The Rankings are in and it is exciting to see the advances in sustainability happening within companies and within our region. What was at first described as 'gaining momentum in the south', has turned into 'substantial advancements.'
The results are in and equally informative are the advancements reported at the annual recognition breakfast. Our region has seen significant adoption, acceleration and results of companies' sustainable practices. This past Rankings year we experienced:
181 companies increasing by 1 category
57 companies accelerating 2 categories
19 remaining in the same category.
As a region, we can be very proud of the journey many of our publicly traded companies are making and their accomplishments. The unfortunate aspect is we still have over 100 companies who have yet to adopt or report on sustainable development within their organization. We look forward to this needle moving!
To gain an deeper understanding of the progress and to review the full presentation given at the event by Michael Muyot, President, CRD Analytics click here.
To understand the Rankings is to understand the methodology and framework. The Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings are based upon the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework.
GRI, a non-profit, is widely recognized as the standard for corporate sustainability reporting. Their mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice for organizations. (For those who are interested, they make the framework for reporting
available for all organizations.) GreenBusiness WORKS and the Rankings have joined the mission of the GRI as organizational stakeholders.
The Rankings will be conducted by CRD Analytics
whose SmartView 360 not only powers the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings but also the Nasdaq OMX, and the JUST MEANS 1000 Sustainable Companies.
CRD is an Organizational Stakeholder for the GRI and provides guidance and direction for its development.
As we have said from the inception of the project, the Rankings are a work in progress. Each year, we will continue to seek ways to continue to hone the reporting protocol and provide the most informative and transparent set of guidelines. There are several developments for the
2012 Rankings that will assist in elevating the quality of the Rankings and give the public and the reporting companies’ tools for greater understanding and insights.
To this point, we are following the guidance and direction of CRDA who has determined that leading performance indicators will be an important addition to its SmartView 360 indexes, rankings and ratings going forward. CRD Analytics has partnered with MetaVu to develop the Sustainable Development Diagnostic Toolkit
for our use. This Toolkit contains the Leading Indicator Self-Assessment Survey (LISAS)
and when completed, becomes prescriptive, informing the reporting companies, especially those in the most resource intensive industries, where to focus their efforts regarding sustainability . Companies will be able to use this tool to make better decisions on where to invest their resources to achieve the best ROSI
(Return on Sustainability Initiatives
) for all of their stakeholders, and then properly communicate their direction and the positive impacts.
When reporting companies submit the LISAS,
they will receive prompt, valuable feedback, at no charge. This is also in alignment with the belief expressed by NAEM in NAEM’s Green Metrics that Matter
“ESG firms should share the results of their ratings and rankings with participating companies, at no cost.. Those research firms that ask companies to pay for their analysis prevent businesses from understanding areas for improvement, and limit constructive dialogue.”
Additionally, raters like CRDA won’t be able to “Focus on the Future” unless they invest considerably more time directly engaging with the companies they rate. Hence, the opportunity for them to dialogue with reporting companies is valuable to both sides of the equation. We hope reporting companies will take advantage of this.
In addition to the increased conversation and dialogue between reporting companies and raters, adding the Leading Indicators Self Assessment (LISA) survey is important because, in their conversations with hundreds of corporations, CRDA is consistently asked for feedback after companies take the time to submit information via surveys, sustainability reports and other voluntary assessments. Not only will this assessment tool provide companies with an inward look at their organization, but also complimentary feedback, dialogue and valuable interchange with CRDA regarding how the organization is perceived and how the organization is performing. We think reporting companies will find this to be a valuable resource as a result of reporting for the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings.
New and different this year will be the approach to the resource intensive industries, largely the energy sector.. There are macro trends toward assessing both the positive and negative impacts that resource intensive industries are having on the environment, and the health and safety of the communities in which they operate. These industries provide services that touch all of our lives, yet have a significant impact on the quality of the environment. Our intention this year is to recognize the work these industries do in a separate list within the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings.
Please save the date. We hope you will plan to join us for the 2013 announcement for the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings.