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.

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2023/24 Sustainability Census Report

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.

Carnstone joins SLR Group to further enhance ESG support to clients Article

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's Environmental Checklist 2023 Report

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 Design Guide Report

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. 📚

Responsible Media Forum: Media Climate Pact progress Article

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 2010-2020 Impact Report Report

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).

Scope 3: Guidance for the Pharmaceutical Industry Report

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.

The Book Chain Project: Impact Report 2006-2020 Report

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.

Mirrors or Movers II: The Superpower of Media Report

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.

Plastics Guide for the Publishing Industry Report

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.

The Gender Pay Gap: One Year On Report

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.

The State of Community Investment in China Report

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.

The Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Salary Survey 2018 Report

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.

2018 Media Materiality Report Report

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 Gender Pay Gap: An initial review of the FTSE 100 and 250 Report

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.

The Future of the Printed Book Report

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.

The Future of Responsible Media Report

Obviously, all companies have a desire to stay alive and be profitable. But above and beyond mere survival, increasingly we expect businesses to play a positive role in society or at least reduce their negative social and environmental impacts as much as possible.

How do such concerns apply to the media sector? What are the key impacts of media companies? How will society hold them to account in the future?

In our newest report, The Future of Responsible Media, we articulate four interrelated challenges, the management of which, we believe, will set ‘good’ companies apart from the ‘bad’ over the next 10 years. We summarise these four challenges as follows:

  • The future of privacy – getting serious about understanding users’ appetite for
    personalised content vs privacy;
  • Coming to grips with being movers – owning up to the fact that media content doesn’t just mirror society, it moves it;
  • Becoming organisations without walls – finding ways of managing impacts in an increasingly splintered media landscape; and
  • Managing the workplace of the future – rethinking existing notions of ‘purpose’, ‘progression’ and ‘hierarchy’ as the competition for critical talent heats up.

Further to this, we identify eight social and technological forces that are likely to transform society generally and the world of media more specifically.

The report is based on rigorous desk-research, the collective insights of the 25 companies participating in the Responsible Media Forum as well as input from some of the brightest sparks in business, politics and academia.

Diversity in corporate Asia: a review of diversity and inclusion in 200 major companies Report

We were asked by a major investment manager to assess the state of diversity and inclusion (D&I) among a group of 200 major companies, all listed in Asia and the Pacific.

There is no one way of doing D&I, especially in a region as culturally and economically diverse as this. As a result, there are no established benchmarks or frameworks that can be readily applied to assess performance. Noting this, we created our own template to understand and rank companies’ D&I performance.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, the Indian pharmaceutical company, came out top, closely followed by CSL (Australia) and Hang Seng Bank (Hong Kong). However, our findings indicate that the majority of companies in the research universe largely ignore – or at least show no signs of managing – D&I as a strategic business issue. This suggests that awareness and understanding of D&I as a driver of competitive advantage is limited to ‘an enlightened few’.

The report includes case studies and sets out a framework for companies interested in improving their D&I performance.

What's wrong with corporate giving? Article

Large companies give huge amounts to charity. Last year the FTSE 100 handed over a combined total of £2.1bn in charitable giving, approximately 1.6% of their pre-tax profits. And companies are doing great things for, and with, charities – Sainsbury’s alone has donated over £100m to Comic Relief since 1999. Lots of money flowing, professionally managed relationships and plenty of good ideas. All at a time when the charity sector is feeling the pinch. What is not to like?

Our opinion piece in Blue & Green Tomorrow argues that there is lots of room for improvement.

The Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Salary Survey 2016 Report

In collaboration with Acre and Flag, we have released our sixth 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. This year, we achieved an 8% increase in respondents to 1,294, reflecting a growing and maturing sector.

We found an increase in the global average salary from 2014, with pay increases in the UK, Europe and the USA. This increase was largely due to a significant jump in female professionals’ salaries, indicating a shrinking – but still present – gender pay gap. Another key finding was the average salary premium of £10,000 (£5,000 in the UK) for professionals working in-house when compared to those working in consultancies.

Promoting decent work in global supply chains Report

How do multinational enterprises (MNEs) promote decent work in their global supply chains?

This International Labour Organization (ILO) report provides a comparative analysis of good practices across four different sectors to help understand the structure of MNE supply chains and how decent work is encouraged.

Carnstone provided insights into the tourism sector, writing Study 2. Among the key findings, the research indicates that hotel ownership models have a strong influence on the ability of a multinational chain to maintain standards and effect change throughout their supply chain. The approaches to maintaining standards through franchising agreements, informal agreements and through outsourcing and agency labour contracts, including the business opportunities and risks associated with these diverse arrangements are explored.

The ILO is the United Nations specialised agency devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. This report was produced to encourage the exchange of ideas and provide inputs to the discussion on decent work in global supply chains at the 2016 edition of the ILO’s International Labour Conference.

What investors need to know about employee relations in retail Report

From 2013-2015, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the leading global network for responsible investors, coordinated a collaborative engagement with the aim of improving employee relations reporting and performance at 27 major retailers. Carnstone supported the process as the primary research partner, analysing in detail the extent to which employee relations are financially material and tracking the progress made during the engagement. The findings and insights have now been summarised in a guide, laying out why and how investors should engage with retailers on topics such as training, turnover rates and employee engagement. The research and subsequent engagement enjoyed the support of 24 investors with US$1.5 trillion of assets under management.

Green Screen: How does IT contribute to sustainability? Report

How does IT contribute to sustainability? In sustainable development, the IT sector is usually seen as a force for good. The direct impacts of the sector itself – energy, waste, pollution – are small, especially when compared with other industries. Moreover, these effects are offset by big indirect benefits as IT enables social advances, and offers routes to lower environmental impacts. This new report, supported by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and written by Carnstone, explores the extent to which the sector is delivering on that promise.

It argues that IT companies must stay on top of their direct impacts. More importantly, however, they must help their customers get the biggest possible benefits from their products. They also have a role to understand their influence on long-term societal changes which will likely make or break IT’s contribution to sustainability. The report concludes by setting out a practical agenda for how IT companies can play their part in maximising sustainability benefits.

Corporates and their Pension Schemes: helping each other be more sustainable Report

Companies have spent considerable resources on understanding the sustainability agenda and trying to manage the threats and opportunities. It is now seen as an integrated part of doing business, with many companies building their brand around it. Many pension schemes equally recognise that, as long-term investors, they need to be conscious of the sustainability of their investments.

If sustainability is accepted as good business practice at the corporate level, surely the company’s pension scheme should incorporate the same belief and the same practical lessons into the management of its money? Some pension schemes are already doing this. But why not more?

On 9th February, Carnstone in partnership with the NAPF, the UN PRI and WHEB Asset Management, brought together industry experts to discuss what lessons pension schemes could learn from their corporate sponsor, and vice versa, in order to both achieve greater sustainability.

Are oil companies “morality-free zones”? Article

Do oil company employees operate in morality-free zones? Jonathon Porritt suggests so in a recent article for Guardian Sustainable Business. Reflecting on Forum for the Future’s decision to cease working with BP and Shell - due to a perceived lack of traction towards real transformation – he argues that it is becoming morally unacceptable for oil company employees to carry on in their jobs.

At Carnstone, we like a good discussion. We spend a great deal of time debating the role of ethics in business, internally and with our clients. Our view is that blankly rejecting other people’s position as immoral or lacking morality is unproductive. Instead, we see the ability to appreciate – and sometimes critically engage with – other moral framings of particular social, economic or economic challenges as a core skill of good consultancy.

In his response to Jonathon Porritt’s criticism, Christian Toennesen argues that it is wrong and divisive to say oil companies and their employees do not have morals.

Know How Guide: Human Rights & the Hotel Industry Report

To mark Human Rights day 2014, Carnstone provided input to the International Tourism Partnership’s ‘Know How Guide’ on Human Rights for the Hotel Industry. The document provides an introduction to human rights – what human rights are, the context of the hotel industry, steps to implement the UN Guiding Principles and resources for further reading.

Principles for Responsible Investment - Governance Review Report

The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative is an international network of investors working together to develop a more sustainable global financial system. It has grown exponentially since 2006, now comprising over 1,200 signatories, with a combined US$45 trillion in assets under management.

Due to the rapid growth and changing nature of the PRI, Carnstone was appointed to carry out a formal review of the PRI’s governance structure and processes. The aim of this review is to assess what governance structure the PRI should adopt to fulfil its mission.

After an extensive fact-finding mission, comprising interviews, desk research, legal reviews and peer benchmarking, we produced a set of 10 practical recommendations to support the future growth and aims of the organisation. We presented these to the PRI Advisory Council at the United Nations Headquarters in July 2014. The PRI is currently consulting with its signatories on the 10 recommendations for change, a process also facilitated by Carnstone.

Please click below to see the full report with our recommendations. The ‘article’ link provides more information about the next steps of the governance review.

Launching the ICRS Article

On 9th July, Carnstone helped launch the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS) in the historic setting of the Guildhall. The packed event brought together over 200 people from business, academia, government and the third sector, to celebrate this landmark day in the history of our profession. Images from the event and more details about the ICRS can be found by visiting the article below.

Mirrors or Movers? II: Understanding the impacts of media content Report

This report summarises the second Mirrors or Movers? conference, hosted by the BBC in June and organised by the Media CSR Forum, a Carnstone multi-client project. The event brought together more than 100 people from 34 major media companies to discuss the role of media in society. Specifically, we looked at the impacts of media content in the areas of women, the environment and privacy. Video summaries of individual sessions are also available - follow the article link below.

The Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Salary Survey 2014 Report

As a relatively new industry, the corporate responsibility and sustainability (CRS) sector is still finding its feet, but this year, we are witnessing the emergence of a recognised profession. CRS is becoming a mainstream business activity in many parts of the world. Our fifth CRS Salary Survey helps shed light on the sector, the roles within it, organisational structures, gender split, responsibilities, education and qualifications, satisfaction, and – of course – pay. Undertaken in collaboration with Acre and Flag, this year we achieved a record 1,200 responses, a 42% increase on 2012. The results show a sector enjoying continued growth, maturity, and exceptionally high levels of satisfaction.

Time to look beyond the supply chain? Article

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.

Still Feeling Stumped? Report

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?

On The Rights Track Report

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.

Does It Matter? An analysis of sustainability issues in the media sector Report

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.

Mirrors Or Movers? Framing the debate about the impact of media content Report

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.

Should the media be seeking to influence the sustainability debate? Article

Christian Toennesen shares the key findings of the Mirrors or Movers report here, published by the Guardian. The report seeks to provide a framework and structure to a contentious debate that asks if media companies should promote social good through their content.

Business impact – Wholly positive? Article

Simon Hodgson looks behind 'Net Positive', the next big topic in sustainability, and asks whether we've yet to clarify what it really means.

Inspirational Media In A Post-Water Cooler World Article

Simon Hodgson took part in a discussion, along with other senior industry professionals, about the ethical issues facing the media industry. The discussion was hosted by Ethical Performance and Lumina CR, and was summarised in Ethical Performance's magazine.

Guardian Volunteering Week Begins Article

Christian Toennesen outlines how Guardian News and Media is hoping to align skills development amongst its employees with furthering the objectives of local community partners. Carnstone has been involved in helping Guardian News and Media deliver its annual Volunteering Week for a number of years.

Organising For Sustainability Article

Paul Burke and Simon Hodgson partner with ENDS magazine to produce this report, providing insights into how companies are incorporating sustainability into their business.

Why good companies do bad things? Article

Simon Hodgson argues that conflating morality and the responsibilities of business isn't always helpful.

2012 CR and Sustainability Salary Survey Report

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.

Multiple Messages – the purpose and future of Sustainable Development reporting Report

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.

Responsibility in global supply chains – how far can a company be expected to go? Report

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.

Making a Difference Through Beer Article

With Andy Wales, SABMiller.

The Home Front Article

Simon Hodgson gets a sneaky preview of a major new report showing just how easy it is to cut the household footprint. Or not...

Home Front - executive summary Report

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.

CR Salary Survey 2010 Report

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.

Carbon Salary Survey 2010 Report

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.

Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Across the Value Chain: The New Agenda Report

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.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation Article

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation.

The Elephant In The Room Article

With Sir David Attenborough.

Carbon Salary Survey 2009 Report

The Carbon Salary Survey is a collaboration between Carnstone (then Acona), Acre Resources and Thomson Reuters. The global survey is aimed at professionals working in the climate change and emissions trading markets to gain understanding into their roles in this quickly evolving field. Nearly 1,200 practitioners completed the survey throughout April 2009, the findings of which are presented here along with commentary from senior professionals within the industry.

Mapping the Landscape: CSR Issues for the Media Sector Report

Since 2003, Carnstone (then Acona) has provided the secretariat function for the Media CSR Forum. For this report we engaged opinion formers from both the CSR and media fields. The report offers a timely overview of the most important concerns facing the industry. For clarity, we have divided CSR issues into three areas: those common to all sectors, those shared with other sectors but with unique implications for the media and, lastly, those unique to the media sector.

Free Radical Article

With Alistair McIntosh.

Weathercocks and Signposts Article

With Tom Crompton.

Review of socially responsible HR and labour relations practice in international hotel chains Report

The ILO commissioned this report to explore current Human Resources (HR) and labour relations practice within major international hotel chains, regarded as 'standard setters' within the industry, in order to form a basis of future dialogue. The report explores the scope of HR policy across a number of international hotel chains and, by illustrating some of the frameworks they use, the way in which HR policy and labour relations are intended to be implemented.

Warm Words Article


Mr Offset Article

With Jonathan Shopley.

CSR Salary Survey 2008/2009 Report

Carnstone (then Acona), in conjunction with Acre Resources and Ethical Performance, has undertaken the second detailed study of remuneration, working conditions, background and principal activities of those working on corporate responsibility (CR) issues. The fact that more than 350 people (a 26 per cent increase on last year) took the time to complete our questionnaire suggests there is considerable interest in the survey and its results among practitioners.

Two for the Price of One Article

With Professor Chris Rapley.

The Appliance of Science Article

With Professor Sir David King.

Participative Ecology Article

With Tony Juniper, Friends of the Earth.

Who's the Greatest? Who's the Greenest? Article

Who's the Greatest? Who's the Greenest?

CSR Salary Survey 2007 Report

Carnstone (then Acona), in conjunction with Acre Resources and Ethical Performance, has undertaken the first detailed study of remuneration, working conditions, background and principal activities of those working on corporate responsibility (CR) issues. Nearly 300 people participated in what is intended to be an annual survey. The results cover those employed in-house, as well as the growing number of external consultants operating in this field, and provide information on average salaries and bonus levels, location and experience of CR practitioners, and how they spend their time.

The man who's died twice Article

With George Monbiot.

Briefing paper: An uncertain business: the technical, social and commercial challenges presented by nanotechnology Report

Commercialising nanotechnologies presents huge opportunities for business. But at the same time - while the evidence of harm is currently limited - there is real uncertainty over the potential environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks of some nanoscale materials. All businesses with an interest in this area will need strategies for dealing with these uncertainties.

The Economist Next Door Article

With Ian Pearson.

The Storyteller Article

With Michael Morpugo.

Defining best practice in corporate occupational health and safety governance Report

The report presents an outline framework for what, in the authors' view, Best Practice in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) governance looks like. This framework consists of seven basic principles covering: director competence; director roles and responsibilities; culture, standards and values, strategic implications; performance management, internal controls; organisational structure.

The Customer Assumption Report

A clear trend is emerging; more companies are increasing their involvement in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and more customers want to trust that business practices are ethical. Yet customers are sceptical of the validity of ethical claims, and businesses have doubts about the sincerity of customer interest. In an effort to better understand why businesses are often slow to engage customers on CSR, this report looks firstly at the evidence for customer interest in environmental and social issues, then secondly at some of the common barriers preventing businesses from engaging with customers and markets on the subject of CSR. Finally it reviews best practice in this area to identify approaches taken to overcome some of these barriers and suggests practical steps for better customer engagement.

Rewarding Virtue Report

Corporate Responsibility is often challenging, and there are already heavy demands placed on Directors of large companies. However, effective Board action on sustainability issues need not involve onerous work. The secret of success is to ensure that - in choosing strategy, approaching regulation, designing incentives, shaping the organisational culture, and overseeing internal control - 'virtue' is rewarded.

A Predictable Outcome Article

With Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos.

The Complexities of Life Article

With Robert Napier.

Not as simple as you might think Article

With David Bellamy.

Slowburn Article

With Elliot Morley.

What kind of animal are you? Article

With Dr. Glyn Davies.

A wild ride… Article

With Michael Molitor.

It's all on the label Article

With Jonathon Porritt.

White: Academic or activist Article

With Robin Grove.

Going with the flow? Article

With Jim Haywood.

Buying Your Way Into Trouble Report

Few companies look at their supply chain as an integrated system and most importantly, at how their own buying practices affect suppliers' ability to meet their own commitments to uphold international labour standards. The report explores how certain characteristics or organisations link to, and may undermine, commitments in typical supply chain labour standards codes of practice. Indeed some companies may be inadvertently pursuing a buying strategy that creates tension, or in some cases directly conflicts with their commitments to ethical sourcing.

An air of professional detachment Article

With Sir Tom Blundell.

Bird, Beasts and Baronesses Article

With Barbara Young.

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