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

Something to Look Forward to at BCCCC

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2016 9:47:55 AM / by Cynthia Figge

By Cynthia Figge

This week I have the pleasure of attending Boston College’s 2016 International Corporate Citizenship conference.  Our friends at BCCCC have asked me to speak about ratings, rankings and data analytics. I look forward to meeting with many of the leaders in the CSR movement.

CSRHub is a Benchmark Sponsor of this year’s event, and attendees will receive a complimentary CSRHub report covering the company of their choice.  Most have requested reports on their own companies, but some have asked about other companies that may have a best practice or two they’d like to learn.  We ran a quick average of the overall rankings for 88 companies that were requested from our system.

We expect this group to outperform the more than 15,500 companies we rate as many of the requests are for member companies of BCCCC and therefore committed to improving their corporate citizenship.  The table below shows that while the average overall rating for this group is slightly above average at 55.4%, the highest category ranking is Employees. With about 600 companies in attendance, we will rerun this analysis as we produce more company reports.

BCCCC top 5 companies

The table also illustrates five companies (all BCCCC members) requested with high scores within the CSRHub system.  We have enjoyed this opportunity to share our metrics with the BCCCC community.  Our mission is to encourage transparent access to sustainability information and to generate feedback and change from this data.  I’m looking forward to several days of learning from companies that are leading the way, and from others who are working hard to improve their companies’ performance.


Cynthia Figge, Co-founder and COO of CSRHubCynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement who co-founded EKOS International in 1996, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business. She was an Officer of LIN Broadcasting/McCaw Cellular leading new services development, and started a new “Greenfield” mill with Weyerhaeuser. She serves as Advisor to media and technology companies, and served as President of the Board of Sustainable Seattle. Cynthia has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Cynthia is based in the Seattle area.

 

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CSRHub's Cynthia Figge speaking at Boston College's 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 17, 2016 9:53:31 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

BCCCC 2016 Conference

CSRHub Co-Founder and COO, Cynthia Figge, will be a panelist at Boston College’s 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference. This event will be held on March 20-22nd in Atlanta, GA. Cynthia will be speaking at the Session focused on Ratings, Rankings and Data Analytics.  Cynthia will be joined by Eric Fernald from MSCI and Susanne Katus from eRevalue, in a session moderated by Stephen Donofrio, BC Center for Corporate Citizenship, to discuss the landscape of how companies are measured. The audience will receive tips to shape their companies' approach to the complex world of ratings and rankings.

CSRHub is a Benchmarking Sponsor of the 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference. We look forward to joining experts from around the world in sharing the innovative new programs, partnerships, and solutions that are driving positive change across the globe.

For the agenda of this event and more information, please click here.


Cynthia Figge, Co-founder and COO of CSRHubCynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement who co-founded EKOS International in 1996, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business. She was an Officer of LIN Broadcasting/McCaw Cellular leading new services development, and started a new “Greenfield” mill with Weyerhaeuser. She serves as Advisor to media and technology companies, and served as President of the Board of Sustainable Seattle. Cynthia has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Cynthia is based in the Seattle area.

 

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What’s New at CSRHub? A lot!

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 16, 2014 9:44:38 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani

Last week, we upgraded the CSRHub web site with many new benefits and features our members have been requesting.  We also officially launched our new CSRHub Dashboard, an Excel-based tool that allows our subscribers to bring millions of data points from our system into our custom templates and into their own internal systems.

CSRHub Dashboard

segment of the CSRHub Dashboard template

This is the fifth major update we’ve made to our site since we first went live in late 2010.  We also update our data monthly.  Our data extends back to December of 2008, so we will soon have seven full years of monthly data available to subscribers.

Curious what we added to the site?  Request a Demo to see what we are offering at our Full Access subscriber level. We will continue to give free basic ratings on more than 10,000 companies and organizations.  We also show non-subscribers some of our sources and some data history.

You can see a sample of what subscribers see on this page.  The new features include:

  • Subscribers can see ratings and rankings.  Over the past three years, many of our users have said that in addition to knowing a company’s absolute sustainability performance (rating), they want to see how a company compares to its peers (rankings).  Now, our subscribers can see these two different ways of comparing company sustainability performance on the same page.
  • Drill down to see what sources contribute to each rating element.  Our users have also been asking us to tell them which elements from each of our 365 sources have something to say about each aspect of the 10,000 companies we track.  Our new company page gives this information.  (Our subscribers can drill down even further by using our CSRHub Dashboard.)
  • Better graphs.  Most people find it easier to understand data when it is presented graphically.  Our new graph allows our subscribers to compare one company’s ratings with those of another company or with the average for an industry or country.  Users can pull category or subcategory ratings into the graph and change the timescale to cover any date range from 2008 to the present.CSRHub interactive graph
  • More clarity about which sources are active.  Until now we’ve shown all of the sources that report on each company we cover.  However, it was hard for our users to figure out if the data from older sources still contributed to our ratings.  We now divide each company’s sources into those that are active (still contribute to ratings) and those that are inactive (not contributing).CSRHub data sources impacting a rating

There are two other important changes in this release.  One is tools-related—we introduced a new Excel template we call CSRHub Dashboard.  The other is technical—major changes in the back end of our site.  We’ll describe the rest of these changes in our next post.


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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Join CSRHub’s Cynthia Figge at Sustainable Brands New Metrics conference!

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 12, 2013 10:06:39 AM / by Cynthia Figge

CSRHub Cofounder and COO, Cynthia Figge, is speaking at the New Metrics of Sustainable Sustainable Brands New Metrics ConferenceBusiness conference sponsored by Sustainable Brands on September 24-25, 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania. Cynthia will be speaking on 2 topics:Evening Plenary Discussion: New Metrics for Trust, Reputation and Green Brand ValueAre current leading measures of trust, reputation and brand value adequate? Up to speed with a rapidly changing landscape of stakeholders' attitudes? What co-creative efforts might assessment and data providers engage in to get to improved metrics of evolving notions of trust, reputation and brand value? How can brands stay ahead of that process?Amy du Pon
Global Head of Data Insights, Havas Media Group

Cynthia Figge
Co-Founder, CSRHub

Denis Riney
Senior Partner, Marketing, BrandLogic

David Metcalfe
CEO & Co-Founder, VerdantixCompare and Contrast: Sustainability Performance Ratings and RankingsWith over 100 organizations working on some kind of sustainability performance rating or ranking, how can companies decide which one(s) to focus on, or manage against? What do the people behind some of the most popular methodologies out there worry about, and is there any order to this seemingly chaotic situation? What should brands worry about in this confusing picture?Mark Tulay
Program and Organizational Development Executive, Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR)

Toby Heaps
CEO, Corporate Knights

Bob Mann
COO, Sustainalytics

Cynthia Figge
Co-Founder, CSRHub

Register today at www.sbiif.com/register using the code NWSPKNM for 20% off an All Event or 1-day ticket for the conference.


Cynthia FiggeCynthia Figge is a forerunner, thought leader and speaker on the corporate sustainability movement. As the co-founder and COO of CSRHub, Cynthia's team provides free corporate sustainability ratings on over 8,400 publicly-traded and private companies worldwide. In addition to CSRHub, Cynthia is the co-founder of EKOS International, one of the first consultancies to integrate sustainability and corporate strategy. She has crafted corporate sustainability strategies for a host of major organizations, including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI. Cynthia also serves as an advisor to SNS Future in Review, Board Director of Compassionate Action Network, and served as President of the Board of Sustainable Seattle. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior speaking engagements in corporate responsibility have included SRI Basecamp, Future in Review, Sustainable Brands, and SRI in the Rockies.

 

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Which Comes First? State Social Chickens or Company CSR Eggs?

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 16, 2010 5:42:00 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

We recently offered ratings data from our CSRHUB CSR ratings tool on which countries have the most socially-responsible and sustainability-oriented companies.  We were able to check our data against the UN’s Human Development Index, and show that our ratings supported their scores.

I thought I’d carry this analysis a step further, and see how company CSR scores in the US varied by state.  Is there a clear difference in CSR performance across the US and does it tie to differences in each state’s quality of life?

There are a lot of caveats in a study such as this.  In particular, while a company may be headquartered in a particular state, it may have the majority of its operations and employees in other states.  Further, while state regulations have some effect on things like employee and community treatment, they have little power over governance and environmental issues.  Finally, there seem to be relatively few state-by-state measures of social performance that can be correlated against company performance.

Here is a list of the overall CSR score by state, using our CSRHUB community rating profile as a target.  (CSRHUB ratings are personalized to fit the views of each of our individual members and groups.  So, there is no “default” or “standard” view to use for this type of analysis.  The “CSRHUB community” profile is an average of our active users and therefore is only a rough proxy for the views of our site’s visitors.)  As you can see, Hawaii, Vermont, and Maine get the top ratings under this profile and Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Utah were ranked at the bottom.

US State CSR Performance Table

OK, Vermont has some pretty well known high-CSR companies like Seventh Generation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.  But it surprised me a bit to see Maine and Hawaii up there.  I thought West Virginia and Oklahoma might be near the bottom, but I didn't expect Utah with several software and personal care product companies, to join them.

I looked hard for indexes to compare our scores against.  America’s Health Rankings had some interesting figures on personal income, violent crime, and child poverty.  A cool site called StateMaster had good info on unemployment, quality of life, and educational levels.  Unfortunately, none of these indicators seemed well correlated with our data.  Below is a typical one—the correlation between our score and the StateMaster data on the percentage of each state who have an income below the poverty level.

US State CSR Performance Table

As I mentioned in my post on countries, we firmly believe that company social behavior has an effect on the communities they are part of.  As such, we could have hoped for a greater and more apparent connection between our scores and the indexes we studied.  The slope of the curve is in the right direction (downward makes sense as better companies should encourage less poverty), but the 6% correlation is not very strong.  Our sample size is good—we have studied more than 3,000 US companies.  Of course, there are many different social indicators and we might need a more sophisticated, multivariate regression, to prove a connection between these statistics and ours.

In addition, our study universe is based almost entirely on large, publicly-traded firms.  We have neglected the horde of smaller companies, institutions, and private businesses who make up the bulk of our “economic society.”  Perhaps as our base of business expands, we will start to see more signs of the connection we seek?  We hope so.

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