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

Turning ‘we don’t report’ into ‘we do’

[fa icon="calendar'] May 21, 2013 10:23:52 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani

We were recently invited by our friends at Trucost to moderate a webinar with the above title.  Our shared goal was to encourage more companies to start reporting their sustainability performance.

You can download the webinar from the Trucost site, here.  However, I thought I’d share a few of the things I learned from preparing for the talk and from the other panelists.

I started the webinar by sharing some figures from the CSRHub database.  I showed the audience that only 30% of companies in developing countries outside the US are using one of the three main reporting systems (the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Carbon Disclosure Project (now CDP), and the UN Global Compact or UNGC).  US companies lag far behind—with only about 10% of the companies we track reporting via these systems.

I didn’t spend a lot of time during the webinar bragging about this data.  However, I was pretty proud to see that our coverage has now grown to the point where we can start to make broad, worldwide statements about corporate social performance.  We currently cover more than 7,300 companies in 93 countries.  Other sources have claimed that “reporting is rising rapidly” and that “90% of large companies are reporting.”  If we take the term “large company” to include those over $100 billion in revenue, these statements are true.  However, when we look at companies between $100 million and $1 billion (which most people would still consider “large”), reporting remains quite weak.

The next speaker was Lorinda Rowledge, who is one of the founders of EKOS International.  Over the past 17 years, Lorinda has helped many large companies take their first steps towards reporting their performance.  Among other things, she offered this set of insights into the benefits of making an initial report.

Our third speaker was James Salo of Trucost.  Jamie uses Trucost’s proprietary models (some of which he helped build) to improve company understand of their environmental performance.  He showed the audience this great example of how a company could use the data it gathers through a reporting process to help visualize its competitive position.

After we shared our slides, we took questions and comments from the audience.  In particular, there remains confusion about new standards for reporting such as those being proposed by SASB and the IIRC.  We agreed that we are happy to see the quality of reporting improved by these efforts—as long as they don’t discourage or confuse companies who are just starting on their journey into reporting.

Bahar 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 7,300+ companies from 135 industries in 93 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 200 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"] 1 Comment posted in Bahar Gidwani, Carbon Disclosure Project, CSR, EKOS International, UNGC, UN Global Compact, Uncategorized, IIRC, Lorinda R. Rowledge, James Salo, SASB, sustainability performance, Trucost, CDP, Global Reporting Initiative, GRI

Say yes! Turning ‘we don’t report’ into ‘we do’

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 19, 2013 10:58:23 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

Say yes! Turning ‘we don’t report’ into ‘we do’

Why more U.S. companies are publicly reporting on their environmental performance and what you can do to stay ahead of the trend.

Webinar: April 10, 2013
11am – 12 noon EST

“It used to be that only firms at the leading edge of sustainable business released environmental reports, but by 2012 a third of American firms had begun disclosing these facets of their operations, along with nearly 40 percent of companies globally.” State of Green Business 2013

The link between financial performance and sustainability reporting is growing ever stronger; companies that disclose their performance frequently outperform those which don’t. A rapidly growing number of companies are reporting on their sustainability efforts, if you are a business which doesn’t disclose you will soon be in the minority amongst your peers.

If you are thinking about preparing a sustainability report, this briefing will help jumpstart your efforts by explaining key issues you should consider, things not to do when reporting, and important benchmarking tactics. This webinar is especially aimed at medium and smaller sized enterprises that are looking to build internal capacity for preparing sustainability reports.

Click here now to sign up


11:00        The State of Sustainability Reporting

Bahar Gidwani: CEO and Co-Founder, CSRHub

  • Who is reporting and why?
  • Overview of key reporting frameworks


11:10        Sustainability Reporting Success Strategies

Lorinda Rowledge: Co-founder, EKOS International

  • Trust & Transparency
  • Trends
  • Essential elements to consider in preparing your first sustainability report
  • Lessons learned and tips for success

11:30        Benchmarking:  Find your focus and unlock best practices

James Salo, PhD.  Sr. Vice President Research, North America

  • Why benchmark and what can you learn by doing it?
  • Fast, cost effective approaches and case study examples

11:45        Discussion, Audience Q & A


12:00        Close          

About the Speakers:


Bahar Gidwani, CFA.  Bahar co-founded CSRHub in 2007.  Its goal is to increase access to corporate sustainability information.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses and has experience building a multi-million visitor Web site.  He worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar holds both a CFA and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Lorinda Rowledge, Ph.D.  From a foundation of expertise in world-class management systems and lean production, Lorinda has focused for the last 15 years on helping companies use Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility as a key platform for business advantage, innovation, and positive impact in the world.  She partners deeply with executives, mid-managers, and cross-functional teams to design and implement strategy-driven programs that achieve performance breakthroughs and innovative solutions.  Lorinda co-leads EKOS Sustainability Reporting services, helping companies engage with stakeholders and communicate the story of their CSR impact and progress.

James Salo, Ph.D.  James is the senior member responsible for Trucost's research efforts in North America and coordinates Trucost's Advisory Panel. James has been the research lead for Newsweek's Green Rankings and many of Trucost’s environmental performance benchmarking projects.   James will review why companies benchmark and what value and insights companies gain from benchmarking their performance.

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 7,000+ companies from 135 industries in 91 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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