What’s important to you? Finding the best from the rest in CSR reporting
It used to be you could tell a leader by seeing who is out in front.
Nowadays, it seems there’s a herd mentality when it comes to reporting on CSR. Everyone’s got a “great” CSR program that respects our environment, employees, and communities. “My company cares,” each company says at the most basic level. CSR reports are thick, glossy, and picture filled. It seems everyone has a CSR report and everyone is trying to get everyone else to read them.
There’s clutter. A lot of it. So how do you break through? How do you see who is really making a deep commitment to CSR?
In looking to form a research project for http://www.CitizenPolity.com, I decided to try to answer just that. So I dove into the G3 framework with the goal to whittle down the list of indicators to the absolute most important indicators. I’d then evaluate the data and see which company in a given industry would boil up to the top as leaders in their field. Hopefully this would become an objective look at the impact companies are having
After downloading the GRI and creating an Excel spreadsheet, I’m exhausted.
Making subjective judgments about the G3 indicators is an exercise filled with danger. Moreover, trying to decide what is an acceptable level of NOx or SOx emissions for a given industry is beyond my expertise.
So, I went rogue. I’ve made my own spreadsheet – one that respects the GRI and incorporates it, but also takes in other signs that company is serious about CSR. You can view spreadsheet below and see for yourself. Your comments are most welcome.
- Emphasis on climate change – companies that acknowledge the existence of climate change and that they have a role to play in reducing its impact on climate change
- Emphasis on management – successful companies in CSR actively manage their programs. Does the CSR report identify how the company manages its programs outside of a core “CSR” group? Is there dedicated staff and dedicate senior staff that is directly responsible for CSR management?
- Emphasis on measurement – what gets measured, gets done. Is the company holding itself accountable through time-measured and specific goals?
- Multiplier – some information is a stronger sign than others, so we’ve added a weight to the scores. Example: it’s probably more important for a company to acknowledge its role in climate change that it is to acknowledge the difference between strategic philanthropy and philanthropy.
Post comments, let us know what you think. This isn’t a perfect process, but hopefully we’ll be able to identify companies that are doing things differently and doing them better than their peers.
If we like your suggestions, we’ll incorporate them. We’ll then use this matrix to evaluate various industries and identify the leaders in those industries.
So… more to come…
|RAW SCORE SCALE (OTHER THAN YES / NO)|
|0 – Not at all|
|1- Discusses issue very little|
|2 – Discusses issue in broad / overview strokes|
|3 – Discusses issue with details & examples|
|4 – Is very specific and detailed in discussing issue|
|1 – Important issue that is expected of companies doing CSR|
|2 – Important issue that is above “entry” level|
|3 – Important issue that shows very deep commitment & understanding|
|4 – Exceptional sign of highly advanced program