Recent posts on stakeholders

Framework CEO Kate Rebernak writes about the attitudes and connotations that adhere to words like “ESG”, “citizenship”, and “sustainability”. This article also appears in the Journal of Sustainable Banking & Finance’s May edition.

While in a meeting recently with members of the top management team of an iconic U.S. company (which we’ll call IconCorp), I mentioned, as I often do, that investors increasingly consider companies’ performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in making investment decisions. The comment was based, in part, on the growth in the number of signatories to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment in recent years, the increasing amounts of money being managed by investment professionals who (say they’re) considering ESG factors in their investment process, and the growth in the number of shareholder resolutions over the past several years on issues such as board diversity, reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, and… More >

As part of Framework’s ongoing effort to keep clients abreast of the emerging issues in managing for sustainability, we compiled a list of developments and issues to follow in 2012. While some are client-specific and can’t be shared, several deal with sustainable business practices more generally. So we decided to share our perspective on what individuals and companies will think about, talk about, and work on this year.

The eight trends identified are:

1. The integration of sustainability principles into everyday business operations

2. Disclosure initiatives continue to proliferate and become more specific, and increasingly require verification (auditing or assurance)

3. CFOs getting more involved in sustainability efforts—for the good of the data and their own careers

4. Companies are improving the sustainability of their supply chains

5. Industry-based collaborations to address sustainability challenges

6. One word: Plastics

7. Communication, connection, and meaning

8. A return to the principle that businesses should provide social good as their… More >

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is in the midst of developing the next iteration of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines: the G4, expected in 2013. GRI is seeking stakeholder input to decide what topics should be added to the G4 or how current G3 topics should be revised.

At Framework:CR, our extensive cross-sectoral experience in sustainability strategic planning and communications allows us to examine sustainability communications with a critical eye. We often see gaps in what companies report, both from a perspective of omitted data as well as a lack of context around results. We intend to draw on this experience when commenting on the evolving G4 Guidelines.

Specially, our recommendations will focus on three broad goals:

To require companies to base their reporting around material issues and to clearly articulate their process for determining materiality.
To help companies explicitly identify and communicate how… More >