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Posts tagged “sustainability reporting”

3 questions to prepare for investors who care about sustainability

Sustainability has been steadily increasing as a focus for the investor and corporate governance community. It’s been a slow shift, to be sure, but it’s happening. Two recent developments:

  • The proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) acquired IW Financial, a firm that provides environment, social and governance (ESG) research and consulting services.
  • Investment advisers State Street sent a letter to Boards of Directors urging them to be more transparent on efforts to manage climate change and other ESG hot topics.

Beyond the content of the announcements themselves, the way ISS and State Street are talking about ESG is worthy of attention. ISS asserts that there is a “growing demand” for ESG information within the investment community, while…

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Sustainability Storytelling: More than just an annual opportunity

Issuing a regular (usually annual, sometimes biennial) CSR/sustainability report is now standard practice for many companies. Others will most likely be doing so in the next three to five years.  Of course, such reports can be quite a bit of work to pull together, with input and content coming from many sources within the company. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity to be able to share a rich picture of all the sustainability/CSR activity that took place during the year.

I find it a shame, however, when companies confine all of their great content – examples, stories, data points, photos, etc. – only within the sustainability report. Once the report is published, these companies rely on readers to find the report themselves and read the entire thing in…

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Sustainability and social media: Made for each other

I have to give credit to Matthew Yeomans, founder of Sustainly, a sustainability communications research firm based in the U.K., for so clearly putting into words what I have felt strongly about over the past five or six years – sustainability and social media are made for each other. Sustainly is the provider of the annual Social Media Sustainability Index, which is now in its fifth year.

Here’s why sustainability and social media are such a good fit, according to Yeomans’ presentation at the Sustainable Brands conference last month in San Diego: Each is a “fundamental business philosophy,” not a tactic or strategy. He made a strong case that both social media and sustainability are underpinned by the same…

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Sustainability & your stakeholders: Choose transparency for communications

One of the best parts of Sustainable Brands ’15 (besides stand-up paddle board yoga and working out with ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers…) was all the conversation around the many stakeholders companies interact with on a regular basis. Over and over, panelists presented examples of the ways they communicate with those stakeholders about sustainability and corporate social responsibility.  

Perhaps the best point about the need to communicate came from Jill Manata, senior director of public affairs for McDonald’s, who admitted that the company used to “try to get caught doing things right.” Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. 

The real problem here is that it becomes a cycle – because if you just hope to “get caught” doing the right thing but don’t, it may feel like…

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5 Ways to Make Sustainability Part of Your Business Strategy

At Sustainable Brands ’15 in San Diego, we had the opportunity to hear from Chip Bergh, chief executive officer of Levi Strauss. While there were many brilliant and inspiring leaders and thinkers who spoke at the conference, hearing directly from a CEO is always special. Bergh did not disappoint, declaring, “As the CEO of Levi Strauss, I spend all my time on sustainability, the sustainability of this corporation.”

Bergh said sustainability is starting to drive consumer behavior and doing the right thing can be a growth engine for a company. His example: “Waterless” jeans, the production of which requires no water, make up 25 percent of Levi’s jeans sales, while “acid wash” jeans have all but disappeared from the fashion scene.

I was reminded during his talk and…

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