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

Dark Data—5 Ways It Affects Sustainability Performance

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 6, 2016 10:20:15 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

We have coined the phrase “Dark Data,” to describe information on corporate sustainability that exists, but cannot normally be seen and evaluated.  Dark Data is exchanged privately as part of supply chain, certification, and regulatory interactions.  As such, it forms an important part of how companies interact with their environment.

CSRHub already has 94 million pieces of corporate sustainability data-and its database is growing by several million pieces per month.  Our data set includes a large part (we estimate at least half) of the publicly available data on corporate social behavior for about 150,000 entities.  While this sounds good, we believe “dark data” sets may contain information on hundreds of thousands of companies that are not in “illuminated data” sets.

What are the types of dark sustainability data and 5 future trends?

Dark Data - 5 Ways It Effects Sustainability Performance - CSRHub



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. 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.  It covers over 16,000 companies from 135 industries in 133 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 491 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.


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CSRHub's Cythnia Figge to Speak at Sustainable Brands '16

[fa icon="calendar'] May 18, 2016 10:04:44 AM / by Cynthia Figge


CSRHub COO and CoFounder Cynthia Figge will be moderating a panel at Sustainable Brands 2016 conference, in San Diego on June 6-9. The panel will be discussing New CDP Product-Level Supply Chain Data: Analysis and Recommendations.

At SB’16 San Diego, thought leaders, brand innovators, designers, and global business leaders will gather to explore various topics and issues pertinent to sustainability. Participants are leading the way with creativity and new products and services facilitating the transition to a truly sustainable future.

Wednesday, June 8th 11:30am-12:30pm PDT

New CDP Product-Level Supply Chain Data: Analysis and Recommendations

  • Betty Cremmins, Senior Manager, CDP
  • Christoph Meinrenken, Chief Data Scientist, COCLEAR
  • Cynthia Figge, COO and CoFounder, CSRHub

SB’16 San Diego is the largest gathering of change makers representing many of the world’s largest global brands, disruptive social entrepreneurs, NGO’s, investors, academia plus a multitude of other stakeholders that support them. For more information regarding the event, click here.  To register for the conference, members of CSRHub may use a 20% Speaker Discount Code. Please use NWSPKSB16SD when registering.

New CDP Product-Level Supply Chain Data: Analysis and Recommendations Panel will cover:


The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has partnered with CoClear to analyze its product life cycle data from CDP’s Supply Chain Climate Change Information Request. Over 1,500 companies from 30 countries, representing 10 industry sectors, responded to the CDP questionnaire in 2013, 2014 & 2015. These companies provided life cycle emissions data on more than 300 products. Prior efforts to understand industry emissions often relied on “top-down” methods of analysis, examining high level, aggregate emissions data. With top-down analyses, it is often difficult to pinpoint with particularity the causes of carbon emissions – and which products and brands in a company’s portfolio offer the most potential for efficiency improvements. This analysis, on the other hand, identifies which life cycle stage cause highest emissions in each industry and how sectors track and manage these hotspots over time. The goal is to help industries identify efficiency improvements throughout their value chain.

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 EarthShift Webinar, Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 14, 2013 10:59:35 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

CSRHub’s Cynthia Figge will be leading a ‘brown bag’ webinar for EarthShift called Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers, on November 20th from 1 - 2:00pm ET.

EarthShift is offering a series of weekly 'brown bag' webinars. EarthShiftThese are free webinars covering a wide range of topics and delivered by leaders in their respective fields.

EarthShift’s founder, Lise Laurin, attended a presentation by Cynthia Figge at a conference earlier this year and wished immediately that all of her colleagues, clients and friends could have been there to attend.  This thought was the catalyst for the creation of the “Brown Bag’ webinar series. Mrs. Laurin said of the presentation “Metrics of sustainability is such a hot topic right now and CSRHub has interesting way of looking at it.”

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,400+ companies from 135 industries in 104 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.

In this webinar you will learn how to use CSRHub to benchmark your supply chain with Cynthia Figge, COO and Cofounder, CSRHub.

www.earthshift.com/brown-bag (a recording of the webinar will also be available at the same site afterwards if you would like to use it to share)

EarthShift strives to demystify sustainability and to empower you to make more informed decisions regarding your business – and the environmental, social, and economic consequences that flow from its activities. EarthShift provides consulting services that take clients through Life Cycle Assessment and Total Cost Assessment evaluations as the practical application of sustainability efforts. They provide specific, individual solutions – training courses, software packages, and consulting engagements – that are designed to be both targeted and cost-effective.

EarthShift Brown Bag Webinar - Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Register for the free webinar today!

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 8,400 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.


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Why Would a CEO Care About CSR?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 16, 2013 10:57:35 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani

One of the smartest folks I know—one of my directors when I was at McKinsey—had time to have a cup of coffee with me, last week.  During a chat that covered topics ranging from board practices to roof leaks, I told him a bit about CSRHub and our efforts to encourage corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability.

After a while, my friend sat back and said, “But why would a CEO care about CSR?”  He

PepsiCo CEO

continued by pointing out that CEOs have to worry about profits, strategy, personnel …so many things that could push CSR off of her or his agenda.

I could have tried to pull a “study says” answer, and quote him data from a great Gibbs & Soell report.  They estimated that more than 80% of Fortune 1000 CEOs wanted their companies to “go green.”  However, my friend has done lots of studies himself.  He knows they don’t always predict what will happen in real world situations.

I instead offered him my belief that three pressures will force CEOs to understand and evaluate how their businesses are performing, socially:

  • License to operate.  If a business abuses the trust of the community it resides in, it can eventually lose the power to operate normally.  Communities can slow down and block company decisions to expand a facility or increase its use of power, water, and other resources.  They can make it hard for a company to hire or fire.  A CEO needs to be sure that her or his company’s behavior engenders support from its local communities.
  • Supply chain pressure.  Major companies have put pressure on their supply chains for years to deliver products faster, more cheaply, or with better quality.  Now they are also asking their suppliers to deliver products that are made more responsibly.  Even if a CEO’s company does not have this type of program, his or her company most likely sells products or services to a company that has set out sustainability goals and guidelines.
  • Hiring and retention.  In a recent MIT survey, 77% of graduating MBAs claim they would take a lower salary if necessary, in order to work for a company that had a clear sustainability strategy.  In most major companies, attracting, training, and retaining employees is a critically important function.  A CEO who does not encourage her or his corporation to be responsible, could lose key human resources.

My friend’s response was that these reasons are rational.  But, CEOs are often driven more by emotional needs than rational ones.  What could cause them to become passionate about sustainability issues?

At the time, I could only come up with one idea.  I’ve since thought of a second:

  • Pride and jealousy.  CEOs track what other competing CEOs do.  They meet their competitors at conferences, envy them when they get awards, and parse their speeches and pronouncements for clues on their plans for the future.  When a competitor gets onto the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Glassdoor’s Top 50 Places to Work or is near the top of the CR 100 Best Citizen’s list, a CEO may ask her or his staff, “Why didn’t we get that award?”  An answer of “we don’t know” or “who cares about awards” is not going to satisfy a CEO who is proud of her/his company and its performance.
  • Children.  I’ve heard several CEOs say that they became interested in sustainability and CSR when their children raised these issues.  Like most parents, CEOs want to give their children a stable, comfortable life.  A CEO should want to leave behind a legacy that her or his children can be proud of.  And, if the CEO’s company is still around in twenty years, it could continue generating job opportunities (and stock market dividends?) that may directly benefit a CEO’s children.

I can’t say that I convinced my friend.  He has seen too many companies with short term orientations and knows too many CEOs whose egos provide plenty of passions stronger than the lure of sustainability.  However, I hope I at least showed him there are some long term trends that may continue pushing CEOs to care about CSR.  I think we could soon see a tipping point—in fact it may already be happening—where CSR awareness and interest becomes the norm and not the exception.

[csrhubwidget company="PepsiCo-Inc" size="650x100" hash="c9c0f7"]

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.

CSRHub is a leading source of corporate social responsibility ratings and information, creating direct comparisons of CSR and Sustainability performance among competitors and across supply chains, industries, and regions. CSRHub is the first to aggregate environmental, employee, community and governance data — 20 million elements from 200 sources covering 6,700 companies across 135 industries and 82 countries  — into an open, integrated, accessible database platform.

Through subscriptions at multiple price points, we serve corporations, consultants, academics and NGOs. We resell reports, training and consulting. Our sustainability widget feeds data to news sites, blogs, and corporate intranets. We sell data to our partners for integration into their products, using our API platform.


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Source 44 and CSRHub Strategic Alliance Enables Unprecedented Sustainability Benchmarking, Reporting and Compliance

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 31, 2012 9:00:29 AM / by CSRHub Blogging


Offering combines the first interactive web-based supply chain transparency tool, Source Intelligence™, with the world’s largest database of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability ratings and reports.

SOLANA BEACH, CA and NEW PALTZ, NY (July 31, 2012) - Source 44, a leading provider of supply chain sustainability solutions and home to Source Intelligence™, and CSRHub, provider of the largest CSR and sustainability ratings database in the world, today announced a strategic alliance that will provide companies with unprecedented data and analytical and visualization capabilities for corporate benchmarking and compliance reporting.

“This partnership was formed to bring real value to companies seeking to gain control of their supply chains and mitigate associated risks while ensuring overall corporate sustainability,” said Matt Thorn, Chief Operating Officer at Source 44.

“With the imminent rules on supply chain due diligence, companies are gearing up to dig deeper into their supply chains than ever before,” Thorn added. “Through our partnership with CSRHub, they will be able to achieve supply chain transparency while understanding their overall company sustainability position on a comparative industry level.”

CSRHub rates and scores about 5,000 publicly traded companies in 65 countries on their levels of corporate social responsibility, using technology to aggregate 175 information sources that measure environmental performance, corporate governance, community engagement and treatment of employees.

Source 44’s interactive web-based tool, Source Intelligence™, is the leading source of supply chain sustainability intelligence. This groundbreaking technology incorporates a wide variety of key sustainability indicators and easy-to-use visualization tools that enable companies to benchmark, report and drive sustainability through their supply chains.

“These offerings blend high-level and fine-detail sustainability data to give companies a much more precise and at the same time comprehensive picture of their sustainability,” Thorn said. “This means companies will now have both the information and tools they need to reach their sustainability goals, from meeting compliance requirements to protecting their most important asset, their brand.”

“CSRHub is excited to partner with Source 44 to provide customers seeking to improve the sustainability of their supply chain and company with powerful tools for data analysis, insight and decision making,” said Cynthia Figge, Chief Operating Officer and Cofounder of CSRHub.


About Source 44

Source 44, home of Source Intelligence™, delivers a unique blend of cost-effective technology, expertise and data to rapidly improve supply chain sustainability and transparency.  We offer solutions tailored to the distinct challenges that retailers and manufacturers face when they set out to define and meet sustainability targets, from assessing suppliers for increased supply chain transparency and brand protection to complying with conflict minerals requirements. Each solution is powered by groundbreaking technology within Source Intelligence™, which drives companies to meet sustainability goals like never before.

Get More. With Source 44. Visit: s44.co  Source 44 is a B Corp.

About Source 44’s Conflict Minerals Program: http://www.source-44.com/content/cm-ondemand

About CSRHub


CSRHub® provides access to the largest corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability ratings and information database in the world.


CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on nearly 5,000 companies from 135 industries in 65 countries. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and track company and industry ratings monthly.


CSRHub rates 12 indicators of employee, environment, community and governance performance and flags company involvement in many special issues. We offer subscribers immediate access to millions of detailed data points from our 175 data sources. Our data comes from six socially responsible investing firms, CDP, well-known indexes, publications, “best of” or “worst of” lists, NGOs, crowd sources and government agencies. By aggregating and normalizing the information from these sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links each rating point back to its source.

CSRHub's goal is to foster access to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) information. We aim to be an engine of transparency that encourages more consistent and actionable disclosure from all types of organizations. CSRHub is a B Corp.

Website: http://www.csrhub.com

For More Information

Source 44 LLC

Lauren Gambaccini, Marketing Communications Manager

Email: marketing@source-44.com

Phone: 877. 916. 6337 ext: 1007


Cynthia Figge, Chief Operating Officer

Email: cynthia@csrhub.com

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