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

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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[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments posted in AMEE, Bahar Gidwani, CSR metrics, Ekobai, Sustainable Brands, Uncategorized, WeGreen, Indiegogo, MIT's Climate CoLab, CDP, Crowd Data, crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, CSR Reports, CSRHub, Datacoup, Glassdoor, GRI

CSRHub’s Bahar Gidwani Speaking at Sustainable Brand’s New Metrics ‘14

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 22, 2014 9:48:27 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

CSRHub CEO and Co-founder Bahar Gidwani will be speaking at Sustainable Brand’sSustainable Brands '14 New Metrics ‘14, September 24-25, 2014 in Boston, MA.  Bahar will be on a discussion panel, Tapping the Crowd for Insights and Solutions: Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, and the Personal Data Economy, along with executives from:Reki Hattori, CTO, Datacoup

Thomas Malone, Director, Climate Co-Lab

Gwen Nguyen, Cause Director, Indiegogo

Bahar Gidwani, CEO, CSRHub

Tapping the Crowd for Insights and Solutions: Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, and the Personal Data Economy

There is currently a boom in tech advances enabling companies to tap the crowd for multiple new types of data and solutions to complex business problems. Whether we're talking about new ways to collect, store and trade personal data, or new tech vehicles for pooling collective intelligence in response to climate change, or creative applications of crowdfunding platforms – there is a lot of valuable knowledge in this field for sustainability, marketing and finance professionals!

Use the code NWSPKNM14 for 20% off  your pass and join us in Boston, Sept. 24-26.


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 9,100+ companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 339 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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[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments posted in Bahar Gidwani, Climate Co-Lab, Crowd, data, Uncategorized, Indiegogo, Sustainable Brands conference, crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, Datacoup

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