CSRHub Blog Research on ESG metrics and comments on sustainability best practice

CSRHub Launches 4 New Dashboard Templates

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 19, 2015 9:35:27 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

 

Dashboard Supply Chain Anaylsis

 New Ranking Percentile Comparisons allow you to compare a company
to other companies in the same industry and country

                                                   

CSRHub works for you                   

CSRHub just released four new products that simplify your sustainability analysis. Each CSRHub Dashboard is an Excel-based template that uses sustainability metrics and ratings to answer questions and solve problems. These competitively priced Company Diagnostic, Competitor Benchmark, CSR/ESG Research and Supply Chain Analysis Dashboards come with enough time to access the full database to complete a project. CSRHub’s Dashboard templates for reporting are priced $79-$199.

Now you can easily enter company names and a date, click calculate and let CSRHub do an analysis. CSRHub Dashboard spreadsheets can show a heat map of ratings, compare percentile rankings, and pull sheets of additional sustainability information.

Do you need to:

  • Run a report on one company’s sustainability performance?
  • Benchmark competitors, customers and peers? Compare who reported to the CDP, GRI, or the UN Global Compact?
  • Check the sustainability status of up to 200 suppliers?
  • See a list of company’s CSR websites?
  • Perform CSR/ESG research on company performance over time?

A Full Access subscription includes all four of the dashboards listed above, plus full access to the CSRHub site for one year. You can see a full list of the new CSRHub products here.


CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 13,736+ companies from 135 industries in 127 countries. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

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CSRHub CEO Bahar Gidwani Speaking at Sustainable Brands Smarter Metrics Webinar

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 13, 2015 3:24:53 PM / by Bahar Gidwani

CSRHub CEO and Co-founder Bahar Gidwani will be speaking at Sustainable Brands Sustainable BrandsSmarter Metrics Webinar, How to Collect, Manage and Report on Sustainability Date More Effectively on January 20, 2015 at 10-11 am Pacific Time.

Speakers include:

Bernard Fort, CEO, Tennaxia
Bahar Gidwani, Co-founder & CEO, CSRHub
Eli Reisman, Product Manager, SASB
Deborah Stern, Founder & CEO, 2020 Strategies [Moderator]

 What You Will Learn

  • Market trends and benchmarking regarding various CSR data management tools
  • What SASB, GRI and other experts recommend
  • The ROI for utilizing data management systems for improving CSR performance
  • Best practices for considering a CSR/Sustainability data management system

Tennaxia

Learn more and register here today:

Register


Bahar GidwaniBahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information, covering over 13,000 companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 370 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

CSRHub is a B Corporation, an Organizational Stakeholder (OS) with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a silver partner with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and an Advisory Council Member of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

 

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What About the Future?

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 18, 2014 9:29:27 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani

part 3 of a 3-part series

CSRHub recently released many new web features and an important new Excel-based tool, CSRHub Dashboard, to serve our 14,000 members. These changes are in response to our members asking us to give them more control over the data, with the ability to get granular details, access to both ratings and rankings, and a way to bring our data to their desktops via commonly-used tools such as a spreadsheet.

We have been updating the site about twice a year since our launch in late 2010.  We’ve also been adding new sources (now up to 365) and new companies (we have data on more than 10,000 companies in 104 countries).  However, this release took CSRHub to a new level.  We now offer the most comprehensive database of sustainability information in the world, and have become a core tool for a wide range of sustainability research.

As we look ahead over the next two years, we hope to offer our members even more:

  • Expand our coverage to include data on more than 50,000 organizations. Much is known about the sustainability performance of the world’s 1,000 largest companies.  Most of them have permanent, professional sustainability staff who create CSR reports, use the GRI standard, send data to CDP, and encourage their companies to commit to the UN Global Compact.  But, while the world’s top companies contribute a lot to the world’ economy, there are millions of other public companies, private companies, not for profits and government organizations who contribute much more.  To change the corporate and organizational social behavior of these firms, we need to provide them with relevant sustainability data through tools such as CSRHub and our new Dashboard.  We already have some data on about 140,000 smaller organizations.  We hope to add enough new data to bring at least 40,000 of these firms into public view.Big Data
  • Continue to add new sources. We plan to integrate more data from certification groups, supply chain software firms, and government organizations.  These sources collect data on both big companies and on thousands of smaller companies and organizations.  We also plan to ingest “crowd” data based on “semantic analysis” into our system.Crowd Data
  • Integrate our data into more tools and applications. More than 60 organizations have signed up to use the CSRHub Specification for REST Access (CSRA).  The use data from this “API” to improve how consumers purchase products, candidates pick the right job, and sustainability practitioners find the right “best practice” to fix a problem.  Our partners follow many different business models and reside on six of the seven continents (we don’t have partners yet in Antarctica!).  We expect soon to see hundreds of developers using our simple, cheap source of sustainability data.
  • Help our users find sustainability-related tools and products.  We already offer access to more than 100,000 reports from a wide range of sources.  But, we need to do a better job of bringing together tools, reports, and resources and tying them to specific “use cases.”  We plan to launch a “store” that may help with this.  It will contain sections for each use case we serve.  And, it will have a page for each company we track and will show which products are available to do research on that company.

As you can see, we have a lot of work ahead of us.  As a B Corporation, we are dedicated to both making money and to using transparent access to corporate sustainability information to help change corporate social responsibility performance.  We believe we are contributing value to our users—and that our value is growing.  Our new higher subscription price will help us generate more cash that we can use to help achieve our ambitious goals.

Please let us know if you support our goals and agree with our longer-range plan.  Your feedback and support have helped us tremendously.  Thanks.

Part 1
What’s New at CSRHub? A lot!

Part 2
CSRHub Dashboard


Bahar GidwaniBahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information, covering on 10,000 companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 365 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

CSRHub is a B Corporation, an Organizational Stakeholder (OS) with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a silver partner with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and an Advisory Council Member of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

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Crowd Sourcing CSR Metrics

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 30, 2014 10:33:57 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani

Sustainable Brands kindly invited me to speak at their Boston New Metrics ’14 conference.  They asked me to lead a panel called “Tapping the Crowd for Insights and Solutions: Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, and the Personal Data Economy.”  I got to work with three experts: Gwen Nguyen, Cause Director, Indiegogo; Reki Hattori, CTO, Datacoup, and Dr. Thomas Malone from MIT’s Climate CoLab.  It was fun to work with them and I think both I and the audience learned something from our presentations and discussion.

We at CSRHub had recently posted research on the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and crowdfunding.  However, the SB folks wanted me to talk about how crowd data could influence sustainability metrics.  This is a topic we care about deeply—we have already integrated more than a quarter million pieces of crowd data into our database.

I started by pointing out that we already have many good sources of sustainability information.  In fact, there are almost too many for anyone to track via normal means.  CSRHub currently lists >330 sources in our system, and that number grows by three to ten sources per month.

sources of sustainability information

CSRHub gathers all this data into one place, harmonizes it, and makes it useful to sustainability practitioners.  We’ve recently grown our coverage to include more than 9,000 companies in 106 countries.

CSRHub Ratings

Ten years ago, only a few large (or very socially-minded) companies issued corporate responsibility reports or reported their performance to groups such as GRI or CDP.  These days, thousands of companies have employee-driven community service programs, recycling and carbon reduction targets, and sustainability areas on their web sites.  As you can see below, after twenty years of progress, more than 90% of the Global 250 issues CSR reports.

KPMG Survey of CSR Reporting 2013 Shows That Most Big Companies Have CSR Reports

CR reporting

Hundreds of thousands of middle-sized and smaller companies—many of whom are privately held or not-for-profit organizations—are starting to report their social performance to their customers (via sustainability supply chain systems) or to local or national government organizations.  In contrast to the situation with bigger companies, most of the new data that smaller companies generate is never made public.  This has left a big gap that we believe crowd data can help fill.

crowd sourcing fills ratings gap

For instance, we have already integrated sources that provide data on as many as two million companies.  (In fact, AMEE told me recently they may be able soon to track more than 10 million firms.)

Glassdoor, Ekobai, WeGreen, AMEE

Crowd sources monetize in various ways.  For instance, Ekobai charges companies to list on its site, WeGreen captures a small part of the consumer purchases it helps direct, and Glassdoor sells job ads.  To generate the traffic and attention they need, crowd sources typically cover both larger, well-studied companies, and smaller ones.

We already use the data on one company to standardize and normalize the data on other companies.  We can therefore use our non-crowd expert sources to understand and adjust the ratings we get from crowd sources.  As a result, we should soon be able to track at least 50,000 companies and hopefully soon have ratings on hundreds of thousands of companies, both public and private, from around the world.

CSRHub crowd source data

Sustainability ratings and metrics are vital for making a number of business decisions.  By broadening the number of companies that can be rated, we should be able to enable faster and more accurate supply chain management, improve private investment decision-making, and encourage consumers to shift their purchases towards more sustainable products.  Most people seem to feel that consumer rating and credit management systems have improved our ability to make business decisions.  Broad-based sustainability ratings, based at least partly on crowd data sources, should generate similar long-term value for everyone.


Bahar GidwaniBahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 9,200+ companies from 135 industries in 106 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 348 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

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Can Corporate Social Responsibility Be a Differentiator for Community Banks?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 14, 2014 9:00:13 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

wib-logoma_logoEKOS By John R. Hancock, Moss Adams LLP and Lorinda R. Rowledge, EKOS International

With a few exceptions, community banks lag behind both large banks and other industries in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability policies, strategy, goals, performance and reporting. None are fully realizing the potential that integrating CSR into their core business has to offer.Why is CSR important? And how can your bank develop a CSR road map and report?

According to IFC’s 2007 report Banking on Sustainability, which surveyed 120 financial institutions in 43 emerging markets regarding their adoption of CSR strategies, 74 percent of respondents reported a reduction in risk as a result of considering environmental and social issues. Another 48 percent noted improved access to international capital, 39 percent benefited from improved brand value and reputation, 35 percent developed new business and 26 percent benefited from improved community relations.

Most corporate leaders in other sectors today recognize that CSR is strategically relevant to their business. This is equally true in banking, where executives are now increasingly seeing CSR as an effective means of:

  • Assessing lending and investment risks
  • Protecting reputation and brand
  • Building loyalty among commercial and retail customers
  • Attracting new clients
  • Capturing savings from reduced operational costs
  • Attracting, engaging, and retaining employees
  • Fulfilling their responsibility as good corporate citizens

While many banks have long supported community activities, and several have initiatives to encourage recycling and reduce paper consumption, true leverage comes from integrating CSR into every aspect of the business. This includes business strategy, product and service offerings, risk assessment and lending policies, facilities management, governance, procurement and supplier management, HR practices, and corporate philanthropy.

Developing a plan for greater integration of CSR in the form of a CSR or sustainability road map together with a publicly shared CSR report are two major approaches that will move banks toward more successful implementation. Begin the process by defining your bank’s social, environmental, and economic impacts and opportunities, then specify your CSR strategy, goals, implementation plan, initiatives, and milestones. Here’s how the steps might look:

  • Commit to strategically managing CSR.
  • Develop a sustainability implementation road map, with goals, milestones and progress reviews.
  • Identify material CSR-related impacts, issues and opportunities.
  • Develop and implement key sustainability performance indicators.
  • Develop a CSR or sustainability report (may initially be internal only).
  • Capture your current success stories – what’s already happening that can be celebrated and built on.
  • Obtain assurance on sustainability assessment systems and data.
  • Integrate CSR into your core business through policies, strategies, and product and service offerings.
  • Improve internal CSR practices.
  • Engage stakeholders – employees, customers, shareholders, community members, local economic development offices, suppliers, etc.
  • Participate in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and other relevant initiatives.
  • Drive both continuous and breakthrough improvement in CSR performance and outcomes.

These need not be done sequentially. Although the primary purpose of a CSR or sustainability report is to transparently communicate CSR impacts, risks, strategies and progress (or lack thereof) to stakeholders, it can also be a powerful organizing driver for strategic sustainability planning and implementation. The tangible goal of producing a CSR report serves as a catalyst to educate leaders and key organizational members, gather and analyze significant issues, assess which measurements are in place and which are needed, engage a cross-functional team in data gathering and analysis, engage the organization in developing strategy and goals, and develop the framework for monitoring progress against goals.

CSR reporting also serves as a platform for telling your story. Although most community banks discuss community involvement on their websites, and several publish facts about their environmental efforts, very few produce CSR reports. Two notable exceptions are Triodos Bank, the pioneer of sustainable banking over 30 years ago, and San Francisco-based WIB member New Resource Bank, which published its first report in 2013.

The first year or so of a sustainability initiative typically involves building the bank’s measurement system to ensure decisions and reporting are based on valid, accurate data. The latest guidelines released by the Global Reporting Initiative make reporting simpler and more targeted, encouraging companies to focus on those issues most material to their stakeholders rather than reporting on a laundry list of performance indicators. The guidelines now allow assurance evidence per indicator, which enables companies to choose to assure only the most significant indicators in their report. External assurance helps build credibility and trust, and this change in reporting expectations makes assurance more affordable and achievable for smaller companies.

Most community banks are failing to leverage CSR to accelerate new product and service offerings, deepen customer relationships and loyalty, stimulate business growth or attract and retain talented employees. For those that jump on board, there are many potential rewards.

Lorinda Rowledge is Cofounder and Partner of EKOS International, a strategic sustainability consulting firm.  She is passionate about the synergistic nexus of innovation, sustainability and employee, customer, and stakeholder engagement. Lorinda leads EKOS CSR Report Rapid Prototyping, Materiality Assessment, and Open Innovation/Crowdsourcing services.  She co-authored Mapping the Journey, a book featuring global businesses leading in the application of sustainability.  Lorinda holds a Ph.D., specializing in Organizational & Community Psychology.  She is a strategic advisor to CSRHub.com, a database that provides sustainability ratings data on 8,900+ companies worldwide.     Contact Lorinda: LRowledge@ekosi.com  and EKOS: www.EKOSi.com   

 John R. Hancock is partner with Moss Adams LLP (www.mossadams.com). He can be reached at 503-323-7386 or john.hancock@mossadams.com

 

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