January 31, 2015 | By isosteam |
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Diego, CA | January 31, 2015:
In an age of continuous improvement, performance evaluations and endless surveys, we may ask, “How many more sustainability reports do we actually need?” But when it comes to sustainability reporting and the critical need for transparency in this arena, perhaps the answer should be, “Yes, please.” In early 2010, ISOS Group launched CSR in Focus, which summarizes the sustainability performance of a selection of leading brands, as disclosed in their annual sustainability or corporate social responsibility reports. But tell you what: these reports are in high demand …here’s why!
WHAT IS CSR IN FOCUS:
CSR in Focus reinforces the competencies of our recently trained professionals in Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – based sustainability reporting, while generating functional assessments of published reports. With potential evaluators lined up, our challenge was developing a scoring rubric for participants that accounts for the critical components of GRI and sustainability philosophy. The solution arrived as a simple, yet information-rich matrix providing logical and comparable metrics, with greater values indicative of better performance:
• Content and Quality, based directly upon the GRI Framework’s Reporting Principles, participants scored reports on the aptitude with which the framework was applied to the report
• Commitment to Sustainability, linking organizational impacts to the triple bottom line, this factor serves to show where (and how) the “rubber meets the road”– ensuring policies, procedures and practices in place support sustainability commitments
Each metric was then broken down in a way that could be easily understood and numerically assessed, resulting in 14 individually evaluated principles:
• Report Content: Materiality (External); Materiality (Internal); Stakeholder Engagement; Sustainability Context; Completeness; Reliability.
• Report Quality: Clarity; Balance; Comparability; Accuracy; Timeliness.
• Commitment to Sustainability: Economic Integrity; Commitment to Society and Protection of Human Rights; Demonstrated implementation of Environmental Protection Policies.
The resulting quadrants of the matrix allow us to categorize performance within the upper and lower 50th percentiles, putting a name to the type of reporting we were witnessing: Reports evaluated by participants are selected for recent publication, innovative reporting practices, and adherence to the GRI Framework – and our sample represents everyone from the world’s largest multinationals, to the World Bank, San Diego International Airport, SME’s like Hunter Industries and even academic institutions such as Ball State University. With dozens of individual assessments per selected report, ISOS then crafts customized scorecards for the participating organizations. The aggregate provides a unique overview of how trained readers perceive adherence to the reporting framework and demonstrated organizational commitment to sustainability.
OUR CSR ANALYSIS RESULTS:
Over our program iterations from 2010-2014, 817 GRI trained sustainability professionals contributed to this analysis of 125 unique reports from over 96 different organizations. For 15 of the organizations, ISOS compared at least two reports year-over-year to determine if lessons learned from previous reporting cycles were incorporated into future issuances. The outcome showed that about 50% improved performance in at least one of the two matrix metrics, while 27% managed to perform better in both.
Through the lens of CSR in Focus, we have generated a new perspective on the “state of reporting,” showing us the average annual performance of each group of evaluated reports. Those figures, when plotted on our matrix, reveal impressive overall levels of performance. However, poor performance in properly applying the concepts of sustainability context, materiality (external factors), balance, and completeness demonstrates the need for further improvement.
That is where CSR in Focus fits in. Interested in having your latest sustainability report considered in our selection process for future CSR in Focus evaluation?
Please contact us today!
Reports assessed in 2014:
Ball State University: http://ceres.iweb.bsu.edu/gri/040214GRIReport2013.pdf
Microsoft 2013 Citizenship Report: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/reporting/
Inter-American Development Bank 2013 Sustainability Report: http://publications.iadb.org/handle/11319/6418?locale-attribute=en
International Paper: http://www.internationalpaper.com/apps/sustainabilityreport2013/homepage.html
WESST: https://www.wesst.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/WESST_Sustainability-Report-2012_web_GRIinfo.pdf World Bank: https://crinfo.worldbank.org/wbcrinfo/
Simple Green: http://simplegreen.com/sustainability/
Caesars Entertainment: http://www.caesars.com/corporate/reports.html
City Hall of Bloomington: https://bloomington.in.gov/media/media/application/pdf/16480.pdf
Northrop Grumman (download the full report): http://crreport.northropgrumman.com/
World Bank: https://crinfo.worldbank.org/wbcrinfo/
Johnson & Johnson: http://www.jnj.com/sites/default/files/pdf/cs/2013-JNJ-Citizenship-Sustainability-Report-FINAL061914.pdf
HCP, Inc. : http://www.hcpi.com/grireport
Bank of America 2012 CSR Report (G3.1 B+, Ext. Assured): http://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/Bank-of-America-2012-Corporate-Social-Responsibility-Report.pdf
Alaska Airlines 2013 Sustainability Report: http://www.alaskaair.com/~/media/Files/PDF/CSR/Sustainability-Report_2013.pdf
UC Berkeley 2013 Campus Sustainability Report(G4): http://sustainability.berkeley.edu/reports