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 past year has witnessed continued controversies surrounding the supply chains of big retailers. From the traceability of meat to collapsing factories in Bangladesh, the risks associated with product sourcing and labour standards in a globalised world are firmly on the radar of companies, consumers and investors. Conversely, the issue of how retailers manage their direct employees appears to have been relegated to almost secondary importance. We recently completed a research project for the UNPRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) to identify what investors should look for when assessing the human capital management (HCM) practices of large retailers. The report is available to download below. We also summarised the findings in an article for Guardian Sustainable Business.
Since March 2013 businesses across Europe have been responding to the EU Timber Regulation; a law prohibiting illegal timber from appearing on the European market. We wanted to gauge the feeling across the retail and manufacturing sectors so, eight months on from the law’s introduction, we conducted a short survey to understand how companies were facing the new requirements. We presented the findings to the Chatham House Illegal Logging Update in February 2014. The results are summarised in our report Still Feeling Stumped?
The 2011 UN Guiding Principles turned societal expectations of the role of business in human rights into global standards which companies are expected to meet. However, many companies find it difficult to practically implement them through existing business processes. This pragmatic guide was written with business practitioners in mind to address this difficulty. It summarises Ruggie's recommendations and communicates human rights standards in an engaging and user-friendly format. It also includes case studies highlighting significant human rights issues by industry.
As a follow-up exercise, we recently analysed to what extent FTSE 100 companies meet the new reporting requirements. Our analysis demonstrated decidedly mixed progress. You can access the full findings by clicking the article link below.
The media sector faces many unique social and environmental challenges, setting it apart from other sectors. This report builds on previous stakeholder surveys to identify not only what those issues are, but whether they are operational, strategic or material. The research is based on input from media professionals within the industry as well as media analysts from financial institutions.
Does media content, in all its forms, merely mirror society or does it move it? Should the sector actively seek to shape public debate, change behaviours and promote sustainable lifestyles as its contribution to social responsibility? This report is the first of its kind highlighting a sensitive area for most media organisations. Based on interviews and discussions with industry experts, this report provides a framework and structure for the debate.
Multiple Messages: sustainability reporting in transparent times - reviews the factors driving SD reporting, finding conflicting and competing pressures and some very basic unanswered questions over why companies do it. But its most significant conclusion is that discussions over the nature and practice of SD reporting are taking place in the shadow of a tidal wave of social and technological change that is fundamentally transforming the way we communicate. Social media, instant access, handheld devices, syndication, and all-powerful search engines have conditioned users to find the content that they want when they want it. At the same time the fast-rising BRICS economies are developing their own views on the role of companies in society and affecting the way global corporations think. The one-size-fits all, once-yearly SD Report is looking increasingly out of date.
The fourth CR Salary Survey report contains some illuminating findings. The CR sector is evolving and growing at a faster pace than ever in spite of the uncertain economic climate. As was the case with the previous survey, in 2010, the results are taken from the responses of individual professionals in consultancies and in-house departments across the world. This report identifies the highlights and is supplemented by commentaries from significant industry figures.
Simon Hodgson and Richard Welford, Chairman of CSR Asia, have been exploring the changing expectations that companies face, in terms of their supply chains, both at home and a key sourcing market, China. The two companies looked at how far a company’s responsibility stretches and the latest challenges to those responsible for supply chains that involve Asia and the UK.
The case for environmental action - particularly on climate change - is clear, and a host of research demonstrates that public awareness of the problem is high. And yet the adoption of even simple solutions remains low. There is a disconnection between our knowledge and our behaviour. The 21st Century Living Project was created to look rigorously and honestly into this gap. For this research, we pooled our skills and resources with those of Homebase and The Eden Project. Close to 100 ordinary households spent 18 months finding out what they could achieve. Or - just as important - explaining frankly what got in the way. This is the executive summary.
This year, we’ve gone global. The Corporate Responsibility Salary Survey now provides the most accurate picture of how the industry looks on the ground, from those people working day-to-day in corporate responsibility around the world. As in previous years, our survey was based on individuals working both in-house and for consultancies in CR and sustainability. We conducted the survey online throughout January and February 2010 and this year’s results show some of the most exciting insights ever.
For the second time, Carnstone and Acre Resources have collaborated on a global survey of professionals working in climate change and carbon space. Nearly 1,000 respondents from around the world have provided an in-depth picture of the carbon job market. The survey includes information on: global salary and bonus levels; the different roles and responsibilities currently undertaken; and the educational backgrounds of those working in this growing area of activity sector. The report also contains commentary from leading figures in the sector together with the conclusions of the project partners.
Over the past few years, the management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has become one of the core corporate responsibility issues. The focus of this activity has evolved from a concentration on direct and indirect (i.e. electricity) emissions, to one that considers wider emissions across the value chain. This report, produced in collaboration between Carnstone (then Acona) and Insight Investment, sets out our views on current practice on GHG emissions in the value chain and aims to catalyse discussion on how corporate practice may evolve over the next two to three years.