As leaders in our field, we regularly publish reports and commentary on emerging and established sustainability issues. We do so on our own, on behalf of our clients and with our partners.
The 2023/24 Sustainability Census Report is now live!
The report aims to paint a holistic and global picture of the sustainability profession within business and finance.
With over 2,200 responses globally, it is the largest global report of its kind and discloses more information than ever before about what it’s like to work in a sustainability-related profession today.
Stemming from the rich legacy of the CR Salary Survey, first launched by Acre and Carnstone in 2007, the Sustainability Census sheds light on the current challenges faced by sustainability professionals and whether employers are doing enough to help those tasked with owning or driving the sustainable change our planet so urgently needs.
Expanding on previous years, this report unpacks the following and much more:
• Do sustainability professionals feel fairly compensated for the work they do?
• Do sustainability professionals believe that their organisation’s sustainability targets are achievable within the timeframes set?
• Who owns sustainability at board level, and how are organisations structuring their sustainability functions?
• Are sustainability professionals receiving the backing they need to achieve their organisation’s targets - be those impact-driven, financial or both?
• How are sustainability professionals being compensated across the globe?
As the world leans heavily on the shoulders of the few, this report offers insight into the current state of the sustainability profession, offering a benchmark for navigating the challenging terrain ahead with hope.
The 2023/24 Sustainability Census is now available to download here.
We are thrilled to announce that Carnstone have joined SLR Consulting, a global leader in environmental and advisory solutions.
Simon Hodgson, Carnstone Director & Senior Partner, said: "We are very excited to now be part of SLR. Together with SLR we’ll be able to offer our clients access to more services, more technical expertise, and geographical coverage to address the sustainability imperatives we face. For our staff, this move offers greater opportunity for growth and development.
The fit between our two organisations is excellent both in terms of cultural alignment and expertise, and the resulting ESG/sustainability consulting offering team will, we think, be market leading in terms of both scope and scale."
Carnstone supports large companies and NGOs with their sustainability strategies. As the focus on climate change intensifies, we are speaking with increasing numbers of small and mid-sized companies looking for our advice.
As a useful first step, we have put together this short Environmental Checklist to help SMEs understand the typical environmental impacts of business, and how to measure and reduce them.
The LoCaT Project's report on the energy consumption of different methods of watching TV released Report
The LoCaT project’s study has been released and we are thrilled to have been a part of this significant project, bringing together broadcasters from across Europe to analyse the energy consumption of different methods of watching TV – antennas, Freeview boxes, satellites and online apps.
We developed our own approach, in collaboration with leading academics in this area. We are pleased that the findings from our independent methodology was aligned with other studies in this area, whilst also providing some unique perspectives. We are very proud to have been a part of it and are excited to finally share the findings with you!
The bottom line is that, for individual viewers, the emissions per hour across all viewing methods are still quite small when compared with other every day activities like driving to the shops. When you’re comparing delivery methods of TV content, the many-to-one distribution of terrestrial TV comes out most efficient when compared to linear TV distributed over the internet. What’s still to be explored is the consequential effects of significant increase in internet traffic from viewing TV will affect the internet energy consumption in the longer-term.
The Book Chain Project (BCP) have finally released their Design Guide to the public.
After researching design processes, collecting data on every stage of the supply chain, and interviewing publishers and suppliers, BCP are sharing this guide to help inform all actors in the design process about the environmental and social impacts of different materials and processes that can go into making a book.
The purpose of the Design Guide is not to tell readers which materials and processes they should or should not use – the purpose is simply to give everyone at all stages of the design process the tools they need to further understand the impact of each material and process in order to make informed choices about the spec of their publication.
The Book Chain Project is a collaborative initiative run by Carnstone, involving 28 leading book and journal publishers, over 400 print suppliers and more than 300 paper manufacturers. The publishers participating in the Book Chain Project have one common aspiration – to make informed buying decisions and minimise the impact their books have on the environment, as well as those who manufacture or read their books. 📚
As COP26 starts, the Responsible Media Forum (RMF) have published a summary of the progress the Media Climate Pact signatories have made on:
- Setting science-based targets to reach net zero as early as possible and 2050 at the latest
- Driving climate-friendly lifestyles through content
"The efforts of 7 leading media companies to reduce their emissions and drive behaviour change towards climate-friendly lifestyles through content are encouraging. Systematically putting climate at the heart of editorial & creative decisions would have been unthinkable 5 years ago."
Carbon Trust white paper Report
The Carbon Trust have released a white paper on the carbon impact of video streaming. This publication is an important milestone for DIMPACT, a collaborative project run by Carnstone with the University of Bristol to help the digital media industry map and manage its carbon impacts.
The study estimates the average carbon footprint in Europe per hour of video streaming is approximately 55gCO2e, equivalent to boiling an average electric kettle three times.
It also shows that the viewing devices are responsible for the largest part of the overall carbon footprint. For example, the footprint of watching on a 50-inch TV is shown to be roughly 4.5 times that of watching on a laptop, and roughly 90 times that of watching on a smartphone.
PSCI Annual Report 2020 Report
The 2020 PSCI Annual Report summarises the progress and achievements the PSCI have made in advancing responsible supply chain practices within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries over the past year.
Key developments in 2020 include:
- Growth in membership, with over 45 member companies now committed to the initiative and having adopted the PSCI Principles
- A new three-year strategy adopted to deliver our refreshed vision for excellence in safety, environmental, and social outcomes across the whole of the global pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chain
- Pioneering remote audit standards aligned with the PSCI Principles, now available to members on our community platform The Link, alongside valuable resources, news, and training materials
- Strengthened partnerships with our Indian and Chinese partners, recognizing the importance of those countries for the pharmaceutical supply chain
- Unprecedented levels of supplier engagement through two large-scale virtual supplier conferences in China and India, reaching 700+ supplier delegates
- Expansion of our Board to support the delivery of our ambitious strategy
- Measured improvement in PSCI member companies’ contribution to and use of PSCI resources to address supply chain issues.
Carnstone has been in business for close to 20 years. During that time, we have become one of the biggest independent consultancies focusing exclusively on sustainability, with a deliberately low profile. We realised early on that we’d much rather be known for what we do than what we say we do. As a result, this is the first and only Impact Report we have ever published. It covers some highlights of our work over the last decade, and also offers a few reflections on the process that got us here. We hope our clients, partners and future colleagues enjoy reading it (if not, rest assured the next edition won’t be out until 2030).
This guidance document was created and published by the Pharmaceutical Environment Group (PEG) and the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) in collaboration. Both groups are convened and organised by Carnstone.
The guidance offers a consistent way for pharmaceutical companies to calculate emissions in their upstream and downstream value chains. It provides methodologies consistent with recommendations from the GHG Protocol for calculating emissions which are tailored for each different category.
This report summarises the impact achieved by the Book Chain Project over the past 15 years. It traces the history of the Book Chain Project, from three separate tools to one collaborative project building better book supply chains; looks at our reach; outlines our work and impact across the three workstreams; describes our collaborations; and ends with a look at the future.
With a powerful foreword by Christiana Figueres, this report is a progress update and a call to arms for media companies. Focusing on what we call the ‘brainprint’, the report is concerned with media’s superpower: the ability to shift hearts and minds, and the enormous social, political and environmental change this can create.
In the report, we explore how the sector’s management of its content impacts has moved on since the publication of Mirrors or Movers I in 2013. Media responsibility has often been creative and innovative, putting the sector’s talents to good use. But our research shows that rigour and measurement now also characterise media responsibility. This is timely, because society's expectations of what it means to be a 'responsible' media company have developed rapidly.
Based on our insights from convening the Responsible Media Forum for over 15 years, as well as interviews with experts within and beyond the sector, the report also outlines a framework for good practice in content impact measurement and six steps to impact.
As conveners of the Book Chain Project, we’ve produced this guide to help publishing companies make informed decisions around the design, purchasing and production of their books, magazines and journals. It contains an overview of the current situation, looks at some of the common misconceptions, charts the new developments in this area, and presents good practice from other sectors.
In 2018 Carnstone analysed the first round of Gender Pay Gap reporting from the 350 largest listed UK companies. We have repeated and updated that analysis for 2019, again producing simple comparison tables for the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, and again comparing companies on a sectoral basis.
Want to know who has the largest or smallest gap in your sector? This report collates the mean and median gaps, the mandatory quartile data and boils it all down into a simple single-figure rating.
Our 2018 report was widely used by HR and Governance teams wanting to know how they compared against peers. So this year, we have expanded the basic data with an analysis of the biggest movers; those companies reporting the largest rises or falls in their data, and their quoted reasons for the change.
Lastly, the report also contains some initial modelling work to try and link data to cause, by exploring some of the most common drivers of gender pay inequality and investigating the tell-tale signatures they might leave in company data.
TCFD Briefing Note Article
The Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) published recommendations for voluntary climate-related financial disclosures in 2017. These recommendations aim to make such disclosures consistent, comparable, reliable, clear, and efficient. Improved information would help investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters appropriately assess and price climate-related opportunities and risks.
The TCFD recommendations are gaining traction among investors as governments and companies grapple with the message of urgency from last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 1.5°C report. Investors are asking more questions about companies’ climate change governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. This short briefing paper will help you understand what the TCFD recommendations are, their benefits, and how you can prepare to respond to questions from investors and other stakeholders.
For this briefing, we reviewed the corporate community investment landscape in China. We find that community investment in China is still largely about making cash donations or giving gifts in kind, but we also note an increase in volunteering activity and some progressive companies starting to match employee skills with the needs of community groups.
We also find that companies more often than not partner with GONGOs (government-organised non-governmental organisations) with impact evaluation activities still at an embryonic stage.
The analysis is based on a review of the activity of 26 major companies with operations in China; half of them Chinese enterprises, half headquartered elsewhere.
In collaboration with Acre and Flag, we have released our seventh corporate responsibility and sustainability (CRS) salary survey. The survey provides a snapshot of the salaries, benefits, responsibilities, qualifications, competencies, and job satisfaction in the CRS profession.
Here are the key highlights:
- The percentage of female respondents broke the 60% mark for the first time;
- Women are now a majority in every one of our generic role types with the exception of Director/Partner in consultancies;
- As with all our previous surveys, average salaries continue to be higher for those working in-house than for consultants with the gap widening to £12,000 this year;
- 90% of respondents have either an undergraduate and/or postgraduate degree;
- 72% of respondents have a postgraduate degree (including MBAs) compared to 49% in 2007;
- 1,277 respondents this year with an increased response from Europe;
- For those based in UK we have seen a 2% decline in average salaries (2018: £56,000);
- Those working in North America enjoy the highest average salaries of £90,000; and
- The best paying sectors are Natural Resources, Health and Consumer Goods with average salaries of £97,000, £89,000 and £81,000 respectively.
The report is freely available to download. Please follow the link below.
With a foreword by Dr Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, this report takes the temperature of the environmental, social and governance issues facing the media sector.
Our analysis prioritises issues - from fake news to environmental management - into three categories: material, strategic and operational, based on the financial risk posed by each issue. It replaces and builds on previous materiality assessments conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2013.
With a plethora of organisations now evaluating media companies for a living, the aim of the report is to support a conversation between the sector and its stakeholders – particularly those evaluating companies on behalf of investors – leading to more constructive discussions and ultimately better long-term planning.
The new Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations produced a flood of data in April 2018. Carnstone has sifted through it to provide like-for-like comparisons for the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Which companies have the highest gaps in their sector and which the lowest? Who has the most equal pay in the FTSE 100? Which sectors are most equal and which least? This Review sets the data out simply and comparably to form an essential reference document for this first year’s disclosures.
In the face of rapidly changing reading habits what does the future hold for printed books? Will they still be around in ten years? And if so, how might they be made?
Our publishing initiative, the Book Chain Project, helps publishers to better understand how, where and from what their books are made. It’s been ten years since the first part of the Project began by gathering data on the tree species used in paper. We wrote this report to reflect on that past decade, to better understand our current reading habits, and finally to gaze into the crystal ball to see what books of the future might look like, and how and where they might be made.
Based on current trends we’ve identified four underlying stories of the book:
- Digital print: New printing technology is significantly affecting how books are made. It’s allowing print-on-demand, local production, and personalised content, and allowing publishers to revive their archived titles, and take opportunities to trial new authors.
- Digital conversion: In some cases digital clearly offers benefits over print when we look at connectivity and interactivity. Where the changes are happening, they’re happening quickly.
- Digital interaction: Print and digital can complement one another in blended approaches where digital interactivity can help to bring print to life.
- Digital distraction: In our desire to avoid digital overload from the ever-present screens and devices in our lives, are books one of our last remaining bastions of escapism?
We go on to predict three possible futures for the book and ultimately what this means for our future work on the Book Chain Project.
The report’s findings are informed by our desk research, in-depth interviews with the Project’s publishers, and guest presentations from our 2016 seminars in London and New York.