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

Future of Work with Digital & Sustainable Trends - Webinar

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 25, 2015 9:33:28 AM / by Cynthia Figge

How to Build a Successful Workforce - Webinar
Ideas and Insights from the Intersection of Human Motivation, Digital and
Sustainable Business Practices

Digital and Sustainable Business

According to Gartner, Inc. 84% of organizations have a remote workforce. Forrester Research predicts that by 2016, 43% of the U.S. workforce will work from home. Join us as Cynthia Figge, Co-founder & COO of CSRHub, who recently spoke at Sustainable Brands in San Diego, and Erick Mott, Founder & Principal Consultant at creatorbase, discuss how to build a successful workforce in the age of digital sustainable brands.

Join us, Wednesday 22nd July @ 1pm PDT, as we address the key issues, including:

  • What are the top workforce-related challenges that modern organizations face and why?
  • How can employees, regardless of where they work, improve their individual and team performance – and be happy in the process?
  • What will the future of work look like with more automation and digital systems across business processes – how should companies and employees prepare, now given current research?
  • Questions from the community asked in advance via Twitter; use #WorkforceSuccess15

We hope you can join us, register here and you will receive a confirmation email from GoToWebinar with all the details.

Please feel free to extend this invitation to your colleagues. The more people attend, the more diverse the conversation!

You can also participate in the conversation and post questions via twitter @elcomCMS #workforcesuccess15.

Elcom


Presenters:

Cynthia Figge, COO & Cofounder, CSRHub
Cynthia is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, Noranda and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business.

Erick Mott, Founder & Principal Consultant, creatorbase
Many years of value creation as a consultant, executive, individual contributor, and entrepreneur at companies including creatorbase, Selectica, Oracle, Ektron, Sitecore, Lyris, Return Path, Nokia, Creator Connection, Mark Monitor, Cisco Systems, GlobalFluency, Sun Microsystems, Philips N.V., Pandiscio Design, Elm Products and CBS television. A patent holder with agency, Fortune 500, media, and startup successes; degree in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Annette Dockerty, Marketing Director, Elcom
Annette’s experience in digital technology, from both a marketing and innovation perspective, spans over 20 years working with major brands, universities, government and the start-up community.

 

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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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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

Agenda

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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Blue States = Better for Business? Or the HQs of Better Businesses? Surprise! U.S. Businesses Elect Ultra-Blue States as Best HQ Locations, 7:1 (vs. Ultra-Red States)

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 6, 2012 1:58:12 PM / by CSRHub Blogging

By Adam Sulkowski

Are blue states or red states better for business?  Where would you locate the headquarters (HQ) of your company?  Are businesses in Democratic vs. Republican-leaning states more sustainable?  More responsible?  More ethical & transparent?  What do the numbers tell us?

Kyle Potvin (JD/MPP, UMass Dartmouth, 2013) and Amie Tailor (MBA, UMass Dartmouth, 2013) just finished checking and sorting the HQs of the 1,686 U.S. companies in CSRHub’s database (the world’s largest collection of ratings and information related to corporate responsibility – including 93% of the Fortune 1000 and more than 95% of the S&P 500) among states (ranging from ultra-blue to ultra-red, depending on the number and margin of victories of Democratic vs. Republican nominees in the past four presidential election cycles).  Results & possible interpretations below.

Clarification: this is NOT intended to be partisan – Kyle & Amie chose this project and my intent is to post a surprising observation to provoke further thought & conversation, not to advocate for a candidate or party.

(1) By a margin of about 7:1, companies favor having their HQ in Ultra-blue v. Ultra-red states. Median # of company HQs per state variety (states by category are listed at the bottom of this post): Ultra-blue 47, Blue 36, Purple 30, Red 7.5, Ultra-red 7.

(2) The pattern persists when we compare lists of most popular business HQ locations: 

Top 5 Blue State HQ Locations: CA (252 company HQs), NY (159), IL (101), PA (84), MA (73).

Top 5 Red State HQ Locations: TX (176 company HQs), GA (49), VA (45), NC (37), TN (27).

Next 5 Top Blue State HQ Locations: MN (50), CT (47), MI (41), WA (31), MD (28).

Next 5 Top Red State HQ Locations: OK (17), AR (15), LA (14), KY (12), AZ (10).

So what?  There are four possible interpretations:

(1) Since the sample includes 93% of the Fortune 1000 and more than 95% of the S&P 500, one could interpret these patterns to simply mean that, by a large margin, U.S. companies perceive the best locations for running a business to be in bluer states.  As none other than Jack Welch (former GE CEO and University of Massachusetts alumnus) said during a visit to our campus in 2005, he’d favor locating a business where there’s an educated workforce and good transportation infrastructure.  Public investments in education and infrastructure tend to be favored more in blue vs. red states, so this “election result” shouldn’t surprise us.

(2) Inasmuch as the 1,686 companies in the CSRHub database tend to be publicly-traded companies about whom there is more information (either good or bad, related to environmental, societal, and economic impacts) the implication could be that companies that are comparatively more transparent tend to favor bluer states.  Depending on how follow-up regression tests turn-out, we may see a headline like this one: “Companies That Are More Transparent Tend to Locate HQs in Ultra-Blue States.”

(3) Considering that about 95% of the Global Fortune 250 now actively report on environmental, societal, and economic impacts, we ought to also test the following interpretation: ”Do Companies That Engage in Sustainability Reporting Tend to Locate in Ultra-Blue States?”

(4) Presuming further that we can also test and discover that there is a connection between being transparent and/or reporting and actually being more responsible, we may see a headline that “Companies That Are More Responsible Tend to Locate HQs in Blue States.”  On a somewhat related note, Co-Founder and CEO of CSRHub Bahar Gidwani recently published an analysis of whether better performing companies tend to be located in more sustainable cities.

Regardless of which interpretation(s) one favors, the raw numbers above should provoke some substantive debate about which political, cultural, regulatory, and tax climates really are “pro-business” – it would seem that the answer is contrary to a lot of unquestioned assumptions.

We welcome comments and critiques and hope to test (soon) for causality between variables.  In case you are wondering, below is the sorting of the states based on outcomes of the most recent four presidential elections (blue states being those that tend to favor Democrats and red states being those that lean Republican, and “ultra-blue” and “ultra-red” being states with consistently greater margins of victory for the dominant party, and purple designating swing states):

sustainability


About Adam Sulkowski

Associate Professor of Business Law and Sustainable Development at UMass Dartmouth, specializing in research and teaching on sustainable business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability reporting, integrated reporting, and corporate and environmental law.

 

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Gifford Pinchot: Climate Change is Real, So Innovate

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 17, 2011 6:29:35 PM / by Berit Anderson

 

By Berit Anderson

Imgres-1 Gifford Pinchot III probably isn’t the typical speaker at Seattle’s downtown Morgan Stanley boardroom. But the lesson he taught a group of Chinese undergraduate students gathered in the audience last week couldn’t have been delivered by your average wealth manager.

Pinchot’s presentation, bolstered by his powerful skill as a storyteller, spanned not just the importance of sustainable business and the tenets and successes of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute – the sustainable MBA program he pioneered on Washington’s Bainbridge Island – but his own realization that human relationships and doing good in the world was more likely to make him happy than money.

Pinchot achieved overnight financial success when his first sustainable business book became a bestseller and companies began knocking on his door for consultancies. But even with this sudden financial windfall, he found he wasn’t any happier than he had been just weeks earlier, when he was still struggling to make ends meet. The same few things still mattered most and were most likely to make him happy – the development and maintenance of personal relationships.

Why does Pinchot espouse sustainable business??

He’s a man of science. Along with slides documenting the monumental loss of old-growth forest between now and 2090 and the direct connection between fresh water scarcity and a U.S. naval plan for international conflict (Yes, we PLAN international conflict.), Pinchot shared this telling pair from a recent National Center for Atmospheric Research study:

First, the average worldwide drought conditions today (Blue and green being hospitable living environments with enough food and water for human survival and red being truly inhospitable.)

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 5.27.37 PM

Now pick your favorite part of the world in the above picture, and compare it to the next image: World drought conditions 100 years later, given current trends in climate change.

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 5.27.52 PM

As you can see, we’re screwed. By the year 2090 about eighty percent of the world will be inhospitable due to drought and the resulting fires and famine.

So how does this translate to business and sustainability? The trick is, the two HAVE to merge.

Pinchot has used an unusual metric to measure the success of his business endeavors: A scale that takes into account not just financials, but the happiness a business brings to its users and consumers and the damage it does to the earth.

The happiness to damage ratio:  The ratio of happiness a business creates for its customers and users to the amount of damage or harm done to the world is the guideline Pinchot uses to measure the success of a business.

Obviously it’s not easy using the happiness to damage ratio as a measure of success in a world full of corporate profiteers, but Pinchot laid out two groups of people who are already doing it.   

 

  1. Ecopreneurs: Those who create new, eco-friendly businesses that take only renewable resources from the earth or improve the integration of sustainability into existing systems are known as ecopreneurs.
  2. Intrapreneurs: Those who are working from within existing companies to integrate sustainability into business practices.  

 

These folks exist in leading companies around the world. They are pioneering businesspeople, not afraid to advocate for ethics and values as well as the bottom line. Through their hard work and innovation, their companies are at the cutting edge of sustainability and they're reaping the financial and market share rewards. The only question is, which will you be?


Berit Anderson develops and executes strategy to encourage the spread of responsible business. Berit manages CSRHUB's social media outreach and develops business and community relationships. Her background in media and community relations runs the gamut from non-profit sustainability magazines to 24-hour corporate news operations and forward-looking tech publishers. When she isn't busy building bridges with language, Berit studies Arabic, explores the great outdoors, or takes to the garden, where she merges her loves of local food, urban agriculture and education. Weaknesses include large, fluffy canines and Reeses peanut butter cups. 

Inset images courtesy of Bainbridge Graduate Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, respectively. 

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