CSR and Sustainability

We’re not measuring corporate sustainability effectively, so how do we improve?

The business case is, as ever, the holy grail of corporate sustainability in 99.99% of companies.

How do you make the business case? You start with measurement. Then you take targets, put them with performance, and measurement, and then you think about innovation, opportunity and moving towards figuring out how you make a net positive contribution to society and the environment.

The drivers to do so are strengthening, from consumer awareness to investor pressure. But gaining resources internally, pitching successfully to the board for money, people, time and patience is still a challenge in a world made volatile politically, if not currently economically.

Importantly, we all know that companies, a few exceptions aside, are not putting the resources in to both measure their impact, and do something about, seizing opportunities along the way. Yes there are some amazing and inspiring examples out there, but as my last post indicates, we all know how long the journey looks to be, and yet how little time we have to get to the destination. So many of us want to do something about it. That’s why we work in this field. Here’s our attempt at a contribution, below.

At Innovation Forum, we don’t do general ‘CSR conferences’. I did about 100 of them, or more, and they are dull.

90% of what we do is focused on the growing challenges of various aspects of the supply chain, often with a sector or multi-sector focus, certainly with an issue focus. On measurement though, it’s important to have more sector diversity, so we can share commonalities and cross-learnings.

So our summer management conference below, brings together a diverse group of companies, investors, NGOs and other experts to look at how we can work towards that holy grail, the business case, through measurement, ROI and by taking opportunities the sustainable business agenda presents to companies. I hope you can come along. Details are below.

How business can measure the impact – and ROI – of corporate sustainability

Tools, techniques and strategies for understanding, measuring and communicating impact

19th-20th June 2018, London

This two-day conference will highlight the latest methods being applied by business to measure the impact of their sustainability programs. We’ll discuss and debate the pros and cons of the different tools and techniques available, whilst assessing what has really worked for companies in practice.

With: BASF, Nokia, Maersk, Diageo, MARS, Novartis, The World Bank, Aviva Investors, Cargill, Philips, Hermes Investment Management, The Crown Estate, Zara, Ocado, Nordzucker, JLL and many more.

By bringing together a range of stakeholders, we’ll also assess how this information can be best used to communicate the value of sustainability programs – both internally and externally. The emphasis will remain on understanding impacts to drive strategy, justify budgets and communicate work effectively.

In this year’s annual management conference, Innovation Forum will address the key issues;

  • Understanding impact: How can business measure and communicate social and environmental impact effectively?
  • ROI in action: In-depth corporate case studies on how companies can attribute a clear and quantifiable return from sustainability programs
  • Effective communication: Companies often do great work. So how can companies talk about their genuinely positive impacts, without it looking like PR?

We’ll have a number of practical working sessions to cover what you need to know in your day-to-day role, including:

  • Enhancing the business case: How to ensure sustainability is firmly placed on boardroom agendas
  • The investor perspective: What do they want to hear about company performance and how do they want to hear it?
  • Data that drives decisions: How the right data systems and frameworks can drive innovation and strategy within sustainability departments

And we’ll also cover the emerging areas to be aware of, such as:

  • SDGs: How are these all-encompassing goals actually affecting and shaping the future of corporate disclosure and reporting?
  • Science based targets: Can companies bring together economics, expert stakeholders and science based targets to drive strategy and improve performance?
  • Climate reporting: The practical ways to assess exposure to climate change and how to communicate this risk



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