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

Read Cynthia Figge’s chapter in Trust, Inc. …Hot New Release on Amazon!

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 21, 2013 9:40:27 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

Trust, Inc.Cynthia has joined many thought leaders in Trust, Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Important Asset, edited by Barbara Kimmel.  Trust, Inc., steady on the Hot New Release list on Amazon, includes powerful essays by thought leaders like Stephen M. R. Covey & Greg Link, Patricia Aburdene, Amy Lyman, Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, Lolly Daskal, Bob Whipple, and many others.

“Business must also address real needs and be compassionate and sustainable,” says Figge, who wrote the In Apple We Trust? chapter focusing on Apple's new stated direction in regards to transparency and supply chain.

Learn from the experts through dozens of case studies, real world situations, models and examples...a must have for your leadership development collection.

Get your copy 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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[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments posted in Apple, Barbara Kimmel, Cynthia Figge, trust, Stephen M. R. Covey & Greg Link, Uncategorized, Lolly Daskal, Trust Across America, Inc., Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, Patricia Aburdene, Amy Lyman, Bob Whipple

Trust Across America Names Most Trustworthy Public Companies 2012

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 15, 2013 11:52:22 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

Contact:  Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: (908) 879-6625
Cell: (908) 310-3777
Email: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com
April 15, 2013


Trust Across America™ (TAA) leaders in information, standards and data, and the “Who’s Who” of trustworthy business, today announced the results of its 3rd annual study of over 2000 public companies, naming Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) as the Most Trustworthy Public Company for 2012. Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director states: “We are pleased to see Green Mountain top this year’s list.  According to a recent article in Triple Pundit - While sales have surged, GMCR has worked closer with suppliers and expanded its offerings of sustainable coffee products. And while GMCR has a strong reputation for ethics and doing good in the communities in which it works, the company is doing things right internally as well with an employee retention rate of 90 percent.”

But Kimmel cautions that, “as in years past, the most trustworthy company scored no better than an 82%, or a B- and only 24 companies scored a 70 or above. There is work to be done, even in the most trustworthy companies.” While there are several honorees across the insurance sector, the 2012 top companies represent 11 different industries and are headquartered in 11 states.”

Trust Across America’s “Top Ten” (two companies tied for 10th place) is:

#1 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers

#2 Progressive Insurance (PGR), one of the largest auto insurance groups in the country

#3 Hartford Financial (HIG), a leader in property and casualty insurance

#4 Western Digital (WDC), a long time leader in hard drive technology

#5 Teradyne Inc. (TER), a designer and manufacturer of automatic test equipment

#6 Capital One Financial (COF), a diversified bank offering financial products

#7 Nike, Inc. (NKE), a global marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment

#8 Unum Group (UNM), a leading provider of employee benefits programs

#9 McKesson Corp. (MCK), America’s oldest healthcare services company

#10 Prudential Financial (PRU), one of the world’s largest financial services institutions

#10 McGrawHill (MHP), leaders in content to the capital markets and digital education

Trust Across America shines the spotlight on companies exhibiting relatively high levels of trustworthy business behavior, while providing a roadmap for other organizations to follow. In compiling its list TAA independently analyzes dozens of data points with respect to five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business- our FACTS® drivers: Financial stability and strength, Accounting conservativeness, Corporate integrity, Transparency, and Sustainability. Companies are not nominated, nor do they participate in the analysis. The research highlights those companies with above average scores in all five drivers.

Although trust was difficult to accurately measure in the past, this is no longer the case. Many companies have touted themselves as trustworthy and have been given a free ride because corporate America has lacked a definition of trustworthiness and tools to measure it. TAA’s data sees through the smoke and mirrors.

The Framework initially conceived and developed in 2008, is “the most holistic and comprehensive “trust audit” for public companies. “We are pleased to see Nike return to our list for the second year in a row” stated Kimmel. “It’s all about corporate culture. While most CEO’s aspire to run trustworthy companies, it’s difficult to know where to start.” Trust Across America™ provides analytical tools to begin the journey.”

So while the news continues to be filled with the “scandal of the day” TAA focuses on the companies working hard to earn the public’s trust. As a result, consumers can now choose to do business with these leading companies, while investors have an added level of protection from the next corporate misstep.

We are also pleased to link here to our 2012 Top Companies by Sector in collaboration with one of our data partners, IW Financial and our 2012 Top Companies by State with our colleagues at CSRHub.

The Trust Across America program is administered by Next Decade, Inc an award-winning firm that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over 20 years. TAA provides a framework for public companies to improve trustworthy business practices through detailed individual company reports, industry and sector analyses, and an index of its data. TAA also runs the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts, a growing group of trust experts from around the world. Trust Across America’s co-founder, Barbara Kimmel, was recognized in 2012 as One of 25 Women Who are Changing the World.

For more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Barbara Kimmel, please call (908)879-6625, email barbara@trustacrossamerica.com or visit the Trust Across America website.


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[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments posted in Barbara Kimmel, Western Digital (WDC), Progressive Insurance (PGR), Uncategorized, Trust Across America, Teradyne Inc. (TER), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), Hartford Financial (HIG), TAA

Bahar Gidwani is Founding Member of The Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 3, 2013 10:52:09 PM / by CSRHub Blogging


Bahar Gidwani, Cofounder and CEO of CSRHub, is a founding member of The Alliance The Alliance of Trustworthy Business Expertsof Trustworthy Business Experts (ATBE).  Trust Across America (TAA) (www.trustacrossamerica.com) and its ambassadors are launching the Campaign for Trust™.

In the fourth quarter of 2012 Trust Across America created ATBE to collaborate in advancing the cause of trustworthy business through the creation of trust tools and communications outreach. Over 100 global thought leaders from Fortune 500 companies; leading academic institutions; global media and consulting have joined since the mid-October launch.

Kicking off the campaign will be the January 14 announcement of Trust Across America’s 3rd annual Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business.

Trust Across America, through its new trust alliance, hopes to develop the requisite tools to enhance cultures of trust, and encourages those interested in furthering the cause of trustworthy business to join the alliance. trustacrossamerica.com/cgi-bin/alliance.cgi

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 185+ sources covering 6,500 companies across 135 industries and 70 countries  — into an open, integrated, accessible database platform.


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[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment posted in corporate social responsibility, CSR, ESG, Uncategorized, sustainability, Trust Across America, The Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts, CSRHub, SRI

A Measure of Trust?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 28, 2012 10:29:09 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

By Bahar Gidwani

At a recent Forum for the Future gathering, I had the opportunity to talk about measuringmeasure trust trust with an interesting group of sustainability experts.  Due to the “Chatham House” rules that were in force, I can’t say who was at my table or attribute comments to anyone directly.  But, I think I can say that my table included prominent members of the media, advertising, public relations present—plus a prominent academic.

We started our discussion by agreeing that many people assume companies are lying about both their commitment to improve their social performance and their progress.  This lack of trust contaminates the interactions between companies and their stakeholders.  Companies work hard to treat their community better, cut their environmental impact, or improve how they treat employees and govern themselves.  Then, unfortunately, stakeholders such as investors, employees, consumers, and suppliers discount any improvements because they suspect that some or all of changes claimed are “smoke and mirrors.”

Several groups have tried to address this problem.  For instance, Edelman has created a Trust Barometer that tracks trust across a variety of organizations.  This year’s study pointed out that “distrust” is growing regarding the activities of government, non-governmental organizations, and businesses entities.  Only the media seems to be gaining trust.  Edelman’s work is carefully done and extends back more than a decade.  But, it doesn’t directly describe how much trust companies have earned or what factors engender or destroy trust.

Trust Across America has led an ambitious effort to describe what is causing trust to break down and how to rebuild it.  This group has screened 2,500 publicly-traded companies and has identified the ten it considers most trust-worthy.  Their work gives us great examples to learn from, but does not help us diagnose and fix the problems faced by the companies who lag behind.

One of the folks at my table suggested that a new source of test data—and pressure to value trust—could come from supply chain tracking systems.  For instance, the members of Sedex and the users of Source44 are each tracking the social performance of tens of thousands of supplier companies.  A supplier company that completes the required forms and inspections should see an increase in the trust offered to it by its customers.

Is an audit threat needed to improve trust?  As with financial matters (and personal tax returns), audits are expensive and the likelihood that an auditor will discover something horrible is low.  A supplier can move a waste pile to a different location, send home its child workers, or get help from its own suppliers to cover up excessive carbon use or conflict minerals.  In fact, excessive auditing by customers can destroy trust for the same reason that “stop and frisk” policies in some US cities have been criticized.  Perhaps as a result, instead of presenting themselves as investigators and enforcers, enlightened audit groups such as the Responsible Sourcing group at Underwriters Laboratory use their on-site visits to communicate customer policies and advise the suppliers of ways they can improve their performance.

Finally, I felt compelled to point out to my discussion group that sustainability metrics from CSRHub could contribute to the growth in business trust.  Our ratings reflect the aggregated view of all of the parties who are interested in a business’ social behavior.  A good score reflects the belief that a company is performing well and can in turn be used as an indication that a company is trustworthy.  We intend to continue adding data from supply chain systems, consumer buying sites, and more advocacy groups.  By integrating these inputs with the other information we get from our 180+ sources, we plan to broaden our measures of trustworthiness beyond our current coverage of the world’s 6,500 largest companies.

Tools such as CSRHub increase transparency—and transparency is one of the primary forces that can build trust.  We hope that our system will show that more businesses deserve trust than is generally known.  And, we hope that our metrics will help businesses learn best practices for building trust, from their peers.

Photo courtesy of mikebaird via Flicker CC.

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 provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 6,500 companies from 135 industries in 70 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from over 180 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"] 3 Comments posted in Bahar Gidwani, carbon use, Edelman, Forum for the Future, Trust Barometer, Uncategorized, Responsible Sourcing group Underwriters Laboratory, Sedex, sustainability experts, Trust Across America, Source44, CSRHub, supply chain tracking

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