Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sustainability linked to business competitiveness

A new report from Sustainalytics concludes that corporate responsibility performance in the mining sector is linked to business success. The SRI research firm says that a strategic focus on sustainable performance is aligned with mainstream business purpose.

“When an organization’s most significant environmental and social issues are addressed, business value is created,” says the report, the first of three looking at the link between sustainability and business performance in the natural resources sector.

“Sustainability concerns and evolving stakeholder expectations are having a greater impact on the business environment than ever before,” the report states. “The business case is likely to strengthen in coming years, as stakeholder expectations continue to increase.”

Sustainalytics studied the influence of nine environmental and social factors on business competiveness relevant to the mining sector. For example, responsible community relations are particularly important for mining companies operating in emerging markets with weaker regulatory environments and human rights records.

Four areas of sustainability were found to be the most material to mining companies’ financial performance: society and community; employee relations; operations; and climate change.

Sustainalytics notes that some of the strongest linkages identified in its analysis cannot be captured in a simple payback or return on investment calculation. “Links that support reputation are difficult to monetize. Links that mitigate risk are hard to quantify. It is interesting to note that the environmental and social areas that generate the most business value do so through their impact on multiple business drivers. “

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SRI Monitor Weekly News Update

Summer – maybe its not so busy at work, you have time to mull over the following ideas…

The Argument for a Single Bottom Line…read more

Gore launches new Climate Reality Project…read more

The End of the Engineer…read more

The Future of CSR Reporting: Coca Cola Enterprises Releases Video Report…read and watch

compiled with the assistance of Nick Searle

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Real estate companies urged to set social standards

A new report by SHARE concludes that the majority of companies in the commercial real estate sector are reluctant to adopt policies going beyond the bare minimum of legally mandated labour standards.

Largely absent so far from the policies evaluated are commitments to responsible contracting, prevailing or fair wages, and freedom of association, SHARE stated in a press release accompanying the report.

The report calls for, among other recommendations, improved disclosure of contracting and procurement policies. “Overall, sustainability reporting by commercial real estate companies is relatively weak in Canada when compared to leading commercial real estate companies internationally.”

The report also suggests that companies incorporate the principles contained in the Responsible Property Services Code into current policies and procedures. “Responsible contractor policies have emerged as an institutional mechanism to address the potential risks posed by precarious work in the property service supply chain.

“Similarly, major commercial property tenants have begun to incorporate social considerations into their procurement processes including in their procurement of property services such as property management, janitorial, maintenance and security services,” the report states. “Through the development of sustainable procurement policies, companies are moving beyond simply price and quality to include environmental and social criteria when purchasing products and services.”

“We are pleased with the efforts of companies that have established responsible contracting policies,” says Shannon Rohan, SHARE's Director of Responsible Investment and author of the report. “Since engaging with commercial real estate over the past four years, we have seen several companies begin to incorporate principles of responsible contracting into corporate policies.”

Nine Canadian commercial real estate companies and five major commercial property tenants were selected for inclusion in this year’s report.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SRI Monitor Weekly News Update

Seeds of bad governance are sown in good more

Huge Potential for Clean Energy Projects Spotlighted at Africa Carbon more

Green plan spurs $20B in investment: Ontario Take that, Tim Hudak! more

Lufthansa to become first airline to run regular biofuel more

When Do Consumers Say “No” to Green? Good follow on from Marc Stoiber's presentation in Victoria last more

Five Merits of Sustainability Reporting for more

Compiled with the assistance of Nick Searle

Monday, July 4, 2011

SRI Monitor Weekly News Update

Canada Makes Big Bet on Carbon Capture and more

Where Canada shines: Water more

Google says delaying clean energy will cost the US more

Water shortages threaten renewable energy more

GE Supports Ruggie more

4 themes to watch in food more

Compiled with the assistance of Nick Searle