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Join Cynthia Figge at the Sustainable Business Oriented CSR Awards & Summit 2014 Event

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 11, 2014 10:22:39 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

Sustainable Business-Oriented CSR Summit 2014Our co-founder Cynthia Figge has been invited to speak in Shanghai at the 2nd Annual Sustainable Business Oriented CSR Awards & Summit 2014 (SBC 2014). Hundreds of top CSR professionals from Asia (and the rest of the world) will convene in China on April 21-24, 2014, and hear Cynthia’s take on how “big data” will affect sustainability reporting. Other speakers will address issues of shared values, sustainable construction, and interesting ideas such as artificial islands. Learn more at http://dconnector.wix.com/csrsummit2014. To enjoy a special 15% registration discount, please write to support@csrhub.com.

Conference: 21-22 April, 2014
Post-event Workshop: 23-24 April, 2014
Shanghai, China

This event will help you get a deeper understanding of Social Media and Big Data Strategies for CSR projects.

Key Themes of the Conference:

  • Cause-related marketing case study: new challenges, new tools, most advanced international case study
  • Identify the key global and local CSR challenges and emerging trends: key issues, hot topics, opportunities, risks to your future business
  • How to effectively champion CSR within your organization? Transform the culture, strengthen competitiveness and meet your business needs
  • What constitutes CSR best practice and how is it applicable to your organization?
  • Global solutions for local problems: efficient tools, methods, techniques to improve CSR performance to boost sustainable business
  • Partnership and project identification: key techniques to choose the NPO partner and project that fits with business and brand image.

Benefits of Attending:
From this two-day conference and two-day workshop you will be able to:

  • Gain in-depth analysis on compliance risks, financial rewards and the leadership strategies of CSR which will make an impact on your corporate’s bottom line
  • Fresh insight on latest development and future trends of CSR in China and how regulators, corporate leaders and international intellectuals evaluate CSR’s value to business, society and environment and how they respond to the changing environment
  • Cause-related marketing: How can we help government, customers and other critical audiences understand the full value of the contributions we make and leverage CSR benefits by successful marketing campaign
  • Learn the latest international reporting principles and know what the readers want to see: deliver excellent reports by using effective framework and guidelines
  • Best practices in integrating CSR system into business strategy to deliver sustainable products, make consumer-driven branding strategy, enhance corporate soft power in the new age of transparency
  • Skills and techniques to successfully communicate, implement and evaluate your company’s CSR program
  • Find out tools, solutions, practical advices and useful connections to help you dealing with the challenges and difficulties in the process of implementing CSR in 2014 and beyond
  • Network with key regulators, powerful NGO representatives and potential investors to design higher value CSR initiatives and support future projects

You will also be able to meet:
CEO, CRO, CMO, CSR Managers/ Directors/ CFO/ Managers who are responsible for:
• Corporate Social Responsibility
• Corporate Communications
• Public Relations/ Branding/ Marketing
• Sustainable Development/ Environmental Affairs
• Corporate Governance
• Community and Investor Relations
• Strategic Planning
• Human Resources/ Risk & Compliance
• Supply Chains

Cynthia FiggeCynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. She is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub, the world’s largest database that aggregates and organizes data and knowledge on the social, environmental, and governance performance of 8,900 companies to provide sustainability ratings to the marketplace. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Prior to founding EKOS, she was an officer of LIN Broadcasting / McCaw Cellular, and led new businesses and services with Weyerhaeuser, New York Daily News; and with New Ventures. Cynthia is Board Director of the Compassionate Action Network International. Cynthia received her bachelor's degree in Economics and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in the Seattle area.

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,900 companies from 135 industries in 103 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 300+ 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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The Truth Will Out: The Power of Crowds

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 25, 2012 5:06:36 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

The following post is part of a CSRHub series focusing on 10 trends that are driving corporate transparency and disclosure in the coming year. To follow the discussion of each trend, watch for posts on the CSRHub blog every Wednesday.

By Bahar Gidwani

If one consumer complains about a company’s social performance, it is a gripe.  When a horde of them complain at the same time, it is a movement. Bottom up, crowd sources of sustainability information may soon become one of the most important drivers towards corporations becoming more socially responsible.

A surprisingly large number of companies maintain Facebook fan pages, monitor Twitter feeds, and otherwise engage directly with their outside stakeholders. A recent study by Burston-Marsteller showed that 79 percent of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 100 are using at least one social media platform to communicate with their stakeholders. A similar study by The Center for Marketing Research at UMass Dartmouth reported that 90 percent of the leaders of the Inc. 100 group of leading smaller companies said that social media tools are important for managing their company’s brand awareness and reputation.

Early efforts to organize stakeholder pressure have already become an important part of the CSR universe. There are thousands of bloggers who write about sustainability and 179 Meetup groups on sustainability in the New York area, alone. GoodGuide’s smartphone app has been downloaded more than 600,000 times. It helps its users buy sustainable products and to gather data for GoodGuide on user behavior that can drive corporate product development and branding. By collaborating on Glassdoor, the employees of 161,402 companies can share salary information and express their opinion of how they are treated and how their CEO is performing. Services such as Tra.cx, StockTwits, and Hootsuite use Twitter and Facebook data to gage how investors and activists feel about a company.  Tra.cx research shows that many opinion trends are driven by the views of a few well-connected opinion leaders.

Crowds have showed their power with the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. They put pressure on Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers, News Corp, and CNN when they disagreed with their behavior. A number of the 150+ sources we use to generate our CSRHub ratings come from crowd sources. We expect to add more and to perhaps contribute to the power of crowds, by allowing our users to share CSRHub company ratings, search settings, and ratings profiles with each other.

Bahar Gidwani is a Cofounder and CEO of CSRHub. Formerly, he was the CEO of New York-based Index Stock Imagery, Inc, from 1991 through its sale in 2006. He has built and run large technology-based businesses and has experience building a multi-million visitor Web site. Bahar holds a CFA, was a partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co., and worked at McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to both large companies such as Citibank, GE, and Acxiom and a number of smaller software and Web-based companies. He has an MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BS in Astronomy and Physics (magna cum laude) from Amherst College. Bahar races sailboats, plays competitive bridge, and is based in New York City.

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Social Media: A New Tactic for Corporate Sustainability?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 11, 2012 6:00:00 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

By Kimberly Wilson


Social media has undeniably changed the corporate sustainability landscape as companies harness this technology for their sustainability programs. According to the SMI-Wizness Social Media Sustainability Index, in 2011 more companies used social platforms to communicate sustainability initiatives and to crowdsource ideas to resolve sustainability issues. A closer look into this trend suggests that it has only just begun.


The 2011 Social Media Sustainability Index, released by Social Media Influence and Wizness, reported that the number of companies in its index that use social media to communicate sustainability has more than doubled in the last year. In 2010, the report found 120 of the 287 companies in its index engaged in social media through platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, but only 60 companies dedicated resources to the mission. In 2011, 250 major corporations engaged in sustainability communications through social media and 100 companies committed resources to that goal.


The companies trailblazing the way include General Electric, IBM, and Pepsico, all of which made the top 10 list on the index. IBM’s Smarter Planet is a website devoted to communicating its sustainability initiatives and uses compelling storytelling that showcases its work around the world in communities and cities. Just look at its Facebook likes to see how popular it has become – 230,952 and counting.


Other companies like General Electric are using social media to crowdsource ideas to find innovative solutions to sustainability dilemmas. GE created the Ecomagination Challenge to find clean energy ideas in America and the winners received $200 million capital investment by GE and its partners. They also developed a strong editorial team to produce content to encourage participation.


While many companies turn to traditional social media platforms for their sustainability strategy, newer platforms are proving to be equally effective tool for companies. Starbucks brought its BetaCup Challenge to the Jovoto community, a website that crowdsources ideas from the public, in order to find a sustainable solution to the coffee cup. The website Causes, which hosted the famous, viral “Kony video,” has also been used by companies like AT&T to engage the public in its sustainability effort.


For many companies, social media does more than boost their sustainability profile, it is a necessary tool to manage their brand. Social media is a powerful way for consumers to speak out against corporate actions and for companies to engage with their dissenters. Companies that don't manage their brand perception on these platforms can quickly become a target of consumer backlash, like what BP experienced after the Gulf oil spill when a Facebook group "Boycott BP" formed and drummed-up 791,000 likes.


Now that companies have embraced social media for their sustainability initiatives, has it boosted their CSR performance? There may not be a direct correlation, however many of the leading companies on the Social Media Sustainability Index are performing better in general when compared with their peers on CSRHub, such as IBM which has an overall score of 66, higher than its industry average.


Whether or not social media will improve companies' CSR performance in the immediate future is still uncertain, but it certainly will be a driving force in how sustainability programs develop in the future. From what we've seen so far, it is likely that increasingly more companies will incorporate social media into their sustainability strategy in the future hoping to convert their consumers into loyal brand advocates.



Kimberly Wilson comes to CSRHub from Northwestern University where she recently completed her Master’s degree in business journalism. She began her career working in sustainable development at the International Finance Corporation as a marketing consultant. She went on to work at the Financial Times newspaper where she was involved with political and economic coverage. Kimberly has long been passionate about ways businesses can be leveraged to improve the world. This led her to volunteer in South Africa working with women who were microfinance recipients. In her downtime, she enjoys running along Lake Michigan, going to concerts, and weekend brunches in downtown Chicago. 


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[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments posted in corporate social responsibility, GE, Uncategorized, sustainability, IBM, Starbucks, BP, green business, social media

Cleanweb Hackathon Kicks Off This Weekend

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 19, 2012 3:00:00 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

CLeanwebCSRHub is pleased to announce its bronze-level sponsorship of the Cleanweb Hackathon. The Cleanweb Hackathon is a weekend-long competition that is bringing cleantech to the masses with web apps that optimize resource use. Over the course of the event, which kicks-off Friday, January 20 and goes until Sunday, teams of two or more will compete to come up with the most user-friendly and effective cleanweb apps that will help consumers and businesses use natural resources more efficiently.


Cleanweb speaks to the growing shared space between info tech, clean web, entrepreneurship, social media, mobile technologies, and sustainability. The New York event builds of the success of the inaugural San Francisco event that drew over 100 participants this fall. Fourteen new cleanweb applications were developed as part of the first conference and some are already on the market.


The Cleanweb Hackathon will take place at the New York University Tisch School of of the Arts Interactive Telecommunications Program campus in Brooklyn, New York. As a proud sponsor, CSRHub will be there. Follow the event with CSRHub on Twitter.


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[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments posted in API, apps, cleantech, cleanweb, entrepreneurship, mobile tech, Uncategorized, NYU Tisch, sustainability, hackathon, social media

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