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What's been going on at Carnstone recently.

This bulletin was published on 29 March
The Responsible Media Forum release 2022 Media Materiality Report

The Responsible Media Forum release 2022 Media Materiality Report

• The report aims to support media companies in understanding the material sustainability issues facing the sector today, and ensure their focus is aligned with the expectations and needs of their customers, employees and investors
• Climate change has risen to the top of the agenda for the media sector in the RMF’s latest review of the materiality of sustainability issues facing the sector. It joins responsible content, diversity, equity and inclusion and data privacy and cybersecurity as the top five issues facing the sector.

*29 March 2022, London* – Responsible Media Forum (RMF), a partnership between 26 leading media companies to identify and act on the social and environmental challenges facing the sector, launch their Media Materiality Report for 2022.

Media is of paramount importance to resilient, democratic societies as the major source of information for the majority of the population; this places a heavy responsibility on media companies to adhere to a sector-specific moral code.

In recent times we have witnessed a heavy challenge to science and reality as the lines between fact and opinion have become more blurred than ever before. There have also been great societal changes over the last three years, not least with the COVID-19 pandemic, murder of George Floyd and increased global focus and efforts to tackle climate change. As society has become increasingly divided, media companies have a responsibility to not capitalise on the division, but instead do their part to mend what has been broken.

RMF’s Media Materiality 2022 report comes in response to these societal shifts and aims to support media companies in their efforts to understand and tackle the major sustainability issues being faced by their sector. The report is based on a desk-based review of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) reporting frameworks, investor indices and recent materiality assessments, interviews with senior sustainability practitioners from media, and interviews with external experts. The report identifies the material, strategic, emerging and operational issues for the media sector.

It also identifies whether a particular issue is becoming more or less important and distinguishes new concerns, as well as opportunities. Offering a focus on the crucial issues of today at a time when topics like Responsible Content, Climate Change, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Data Privacy have never been more important and in the public eye, this report offers a summary of the state of play on these important topics as well as guidance on where focus should be placed.

Having written five reports on materiality in the media sector since their founding in 2001, RMF are experts in this area and the release of this report is very exciting. Spokespeople from RMF and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment have commented positively on the report –

*Mr. Nathan FABIAN, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment* said: “A healthy media ecosystem plays a crucial role in helping citizens decide who to vote for, consumers decide who to buy from, and investors decide who to invest in. No sector has more cultural relevance than media, and therefore the material sustainability issues that face media companies should be of paramount interest to consumers, investors and policymakers alike.”

*Mr. Daniel WITTE, Partner Manager at Carnstone,* said: “Media plays a uniquely important role as we strive to deliver a more sustainable world in this decade of action as a storyteller, information provider, accountability mechanism and platform for connection. We hope this report is a useful snapshot of what issues are important for responsible media companies to manage in these dynamic and volatile times.”

*Mrs. Anna LUNGLEY, Chief Sustainability Officer at Dentsu International, who supported the production of the report,* said: “Climate change has become the defining economic and social opportunity and challenge of our age. The media sector identifying it so clearly and prominently as a material issue is welcome, and needs to be matched by clear and progressive action. Two other issues stand out in the findings: the rise of consumer environmental awareness, and the emergence of sustainable value chains. Both demonstrate how no organisation can act alone on climate change, and that’s why the RMF’s report and continued cross sector collaboration is so important.”

The Responsible Media Forum is a project run by Carnstone Partners Limited, a specialist management consultancy working globally at the intersection of sustainability and business strategy.

This bulletin was published on 31 January
Gravity Media appoint Carnstone to Ensure their Future’s Sustainability

Gravity Media appoint Carnstone to Ensure their Future’s Sustainability

  • This appointment aims to develop Gravity Media’s ESG strategy to ensure that it aligns with their ambitions and the expectations of their customers, employees and investors

  • Gravity Media aims to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the latest climate science to reach a long-term goal of net zero emissions, as well as working to increase Diversity and Inclusion across the Broadcast Media industry

25 January 2022, London – Gravity Media, a leading global provider of media production, creative services and facilities, announce they have appointed Carnstone, an independent management consultancy specializing in corporate responsibility and sustainability, to ensure the sustainable future of Gravity Media and to support them in achieving their ESG goals.

Gravity Media is starting 2022 with a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions and become an ESG leader in the sector. Initially focussing on the areas of Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion, and Employee Wellbeing, Carnstone are working alongside Gravity Media to develop a comprehensive ESG strategy that will enable Gravity Media to realise their goals.

At a time when issues like climate change, Diversity and Inclusion, and biodiversity have never been more important, this partnership will be an example of the work that can be done by businesses to be more sustainable and achieve their own ESG goals.

With strong employee engagement across all levels and functions of the business, Gravity Media has a very solid foundation to build on. Spokespeople from each organisation have commented positively on the partnership –

Mr. John NEWTON, CEO of Gravity Media, said:

“At Gravity Media we recognise that we all have a role to play to contribute to a more sustainable future. We are passionate about playing our part in that journey and are excited to announce our partnership with Carnstone in developing the next stage of our long term ESG strategy. Our aim is to create and implement a strategy that not only contributes to a more sustainable future but also ensures we promote diversity and inclusion in our industry, fostering a culture where our employees feel they can bring their whole selves to work. Our strategy will allow us to create long term value for our organisation, our stakeholders and wider society, whilst sustaining and enhancing our natural resources for future generations.”

Mr. Paul BURKE, Senior Partner at Carnstone, said:

“We're delighted to be working with Gravity Media on the development of their sustainability strategy. We've already been impressed by the company's ambition and senior level commitment. We want to harness these strengths to produce an approach that addresses its main sustainability challenges and positions Gravity Media as a leader within its sector.”

This bulletin was published on 25 November 2021
Report on the largest survey on purchasing practices published by ACT

Report on the largest survey on purchasing practices published by ACT

ACT has just published a report on the largest survey ever carried out with suppliers and brand employees on purchasing practices, and we are so proud to have been involved.

With over 1,300 suppliers and 1,800 brand employees taking part, the anonymous survey covers all key garment manufacturing countries and is a hugely important piece of research, marking a significant contribution to understanding the state of play for purchasing practices in the global garment, textile and footwear industry.

The report offers an assessment of the purchasing practices of some of the world’s biggest fashion and retail brands and shows how the brands involved are making good progress against the ACT Commitments. It also shows the need for much greater education and awareness building, within both brand employees and suppliers, to support continued improvement, and highlights the conditions needed to ensure a living wage is paid to workers in the global garment and footwear supply chain.

Carnstone developed the survey platform and analysed and reported on the data gathered, these are the largest surveys into the purchasing practices of major international brands and retailers carried out to date.

This bulletin was published on 4 November 2021
Energize: A programme to increase access to renewable energy for pharmaceutical supply chains

Energize: A programme to increase access to renewable energy for pharmaceutical supply chains

10 Global pharmaceutical companies are coming together today, Energy Day at COP26, to launch Energize: a programme to engage the pharmaceutical supply chain in bold climate action and decarbonisation. Energize is a first-of-its kind effort to leverage the scale of a single industry’s global supply chain in a pre-competitive fashion to drive system level change.

Convened by Carnstone and designed and delivered by Schneider Electric, Energize will help pharmaceutical and healthcare suppliers to address their own operational Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas emission through renewable electricity procurement, which will in turn reduce the participating companies’ Scope 3 emissions. Energize will enable suppliers to learn more about renewable energy adoption and contracting, giving them an opportunity to participate in the market for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Corporate Members include AstraZeneca, Biogen, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, MSD, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Takeda.

For more information on the programme, please click here.

This bulletin was published on 3 August 2021
John Lewis Partnership Better Jobs

John Lewis Partnership Better Jobs

The John Lewis Partnership Better Jobs Programme was designed to support JLP suppliers to build better jobs for the people that make their products.

The Better Jobs Programme consists of two parts: a framework that helps suppliers think about the ways they support, engage and reward their employees, and the World of Work Survey that captures the views of the employees themselves.

2020 was the second year of the programme and 45 suppliers took part, with over 1,800 responses to the World of Work Survey. This means that since inception, 52 suppliers have taken part in the framework and over 2,600 survey responses have been collected.

The programme was also piloted with 15 suppliers in China this year. Those 15 suppliers had an excellent response rate to the survey, with almost 3,000 employees taking part.

We are extremely proud to have supported the John Lewis Partnership with the Better Jobs Programme since the beginning.

To find out some of the key findings from the Better Jobs Programme in both the UK and China this year, please click here.

This bulletin was published on 18 March 2021
Accountability Framework Initiative: Book Chain Project case study

Accountability Framework Initiative: Book Chain Project case study

The Accountability Framework Initiative (AFi) today announced a case study on how the Book Chain Project has applied the AFi methodology to assess paper mills' forest sourcing practices, in our Mill Assessment Framework.

We are proud that the Book Chain Project has been highlighted by the AFi - a coalition of famous NGOs including The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, Verité, World Resources Institute and WWF. The case study recognises the Book Chain Project as one of the first sectors that took AFI recommendations and applied them to help improve improve a global commodity supply chain.

The case study describes the scale of the paper supply chain that we engage with through the Book Chain Project (290 mills in 38 countries); the challenge of ensuring forest sourcing is done responsibly and the key role paper mills play in that; and how we developed the Mill Assessment Framework to assess and engage with paper mills on their sourcing practices.

“The outcome of the evaluation helps us to improve our shared best practices and processes at the mill, and see the new opportunities and challenges we face when managing responsible sourcing. We have increased our engagement with business partners to share our best practices and help them build capacity.” Jacek I. Los, Arctic Paper’s Executive Vice President of Procurement.

This bulletin was published on 9 February 2021

Major streaming companies join Carnstone’s pioneering initiative

  • Netflix, BT and Cambridge University Press have signed up to fully operational DIMPACT tool.
  • DIMPACT now fully operational, covering digital media streaming, publishing, advertising services and business intelligence.
  • Plans to develop scenarios capability and expand coverage to gaming and music streaming.
  • New DIMPACT participants BT, Cambridge University Press and Netflix, to join our founding participants, with more to join in 2021.
  • White paper to validate the underlying model and establish the carbon impact of media streaming due in the spring.

DIMPACT is a pioneering initiative to help the digital media industry map and manage its carbon impacts. Computer science researchers from the University of Bristol have completed a 12-month pilot phase, working closely with sustainability and technology teams at leading media companies to move the DIMPACT web app beyond proof of concept, with a clear path for further development.

Recent years have seen a surge in companies setting Net Zero targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including many of the DIMPACT participants. DIMPACT was borne out of this movement as the first serious collaboration to create a tool that takes the complexity out of measuring the carbon emissions of digital products and services.
Launched in 2019 and facilitated by sustainability experts Carnstone, DIMPACT is backed by some of the world’s most innovative media companies and the world-class researchers at the University of Bristol. Three new companies have recently joined the initiative, namely BT, Cambridge University Press and Netflix.

Participating companies now have a working tool to understand their ‘downstream’ carbon impacts, right through to the end-user. DIMPACT has successfully created four modules covering digital video streaming, publishing, advertising services, and business intelligence, with gaming and music streaming modules next on the agenda.

To date, the tool has been used for reporting purposes, helping participants understand where the emissions hotspots are in their digital value chains. The next step is to develop the ability to model different scenarios, enabling technology teams to work with companies across the value chain to lower overall emissions. Such is the promise of DIMPACT that it has been awarded a major research commercialisation grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC).

Recognising that the carbon impact of streaming media content is the subject of competing claims and much discussion, DIMPACT has engaged the Carbon Trust for an independent validation of the model underpinning the tool and to establish the carbon impact of media streaming. The findings will be published in a white paper in the spring.

When we started in 2019, there was some uncertainty about whether it would even be possible to create a web tool for the digital media industry. Fast forward to today and not only do we have a working tool, but we also have an engaged group of companies and big plans for the future,” says Christian Toennesen, DIMPACT’s initiator and product manager.

It is rare to see an initiative that combines cutting-edge academic research with real-world impacts to such a degree as DIMPACT. We have seen our research and modelling skills translated into meaningful results for a whole industry. We expect this technology to go far, as we have only just started. Internationalisation, forecasting, validation and increasing the scope are the focus areas that will drive the next phase of development,” adds Dr Daniel Schien from Bristol’s Department of Computer Science.

BT, Cambridge University Press, and Netflix join our founding DIMPACT participants BBC, dentsu international, Informa, ITV, Pearson, RELX, Schibsted and Sky.

This bulletin was published on 11 December 2020

Forest Risk Tool 2020 update

We have updated our Forest Risk Tool for 2020. The tool assesses forest and transhipment risks in global timber supply chains for 186 countries, and is a core part of our work with the Book Chain Project. This year, we found 116 countries with forest risk and 93 countries with transhipment risk. Take a look at the results here

This bulletin was published on 3 December 2020

The 2020 CR & Sustainability Salary Results Are Now Live

The CR Salary & Market Survey today announced the launch of the 2020 results and report. The largest of its kind, the survey was completed this year by over 1,500 professionals globally, making for compelling and thorough results.

The survey was launched in 2008 by Acre, Carnstone and Flag with the purpose of helping CR & sustainability professionals gain a better understanding of the growing areas of corporate responsibility and sustainability, and how sustainability fits into the modern business landscape.

Now in its 12th year, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability within corporate organisations along with the impact the sector has on society and the environment.

The survey provides a snapshot on the following topics:

  • Diversity in the workplace and the gender pay gap
  • Key competencies required in the profession
  • An understanding of the varied backgrounds of CR & sustainability professionals
  • Career progression within CR & sustainability
  • Benchmark salaries and benefits by sector, location, gender and seniority

Here are the key highlights:

  • Salaries globally have risen substantially: the mean salary has increased by 21% (2018: £63k to 2020: £76k); the mode has moved from £30k–£50k (where it’s been since 2012) to £50k–£75k; and the global median rose by £10,000 to £62,500.
  • North America continues to offer the highest average salaries – at around £112,000 (US$ 140,000) for in-house roles and £100,000 (US$ 125,000) for consultants.
  • 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 £16,000 this year;
  • Overall, just below two thirds of respondents received a bonus, which was similar to last time.
  • 90% of respondents have either an undergraduate and/or postgraduate degree. The number of people undertaking postgraduate courses has also increased over 10%, from 61% in 2018 to 68% this year.
  • MBAs have also increased in popularity year-on-year among respondents, with 14% of respondents this year having one, versus 11% in 2018 and 9% in 2016.
  • On average, the duration of careers within CR&S has lengthened since 2018: there are fewer people having worked for less than two years and for 2–5 years, but more people having worked for more than five years in the sector.
  • The level of commitment to corporate responsibility among senior executives has risen by 7% since 2018.
  • Over a quarter of respondents were very satisfied with their jobs, with a further 52% declaring themselves to be satisfied.
  • The survey continues to highlight disparities in the levels of remuneration and seniority (especially for consultants) between men and women.

The 2020 CR Salary & Market Survey Report is now available to download for free - please get your copy here.

This bulletin was published on 19 November 2020
Introducing the Responsible Lobbying Framework

Introducing the Responsible Lobbying Framework

Lobbying is a widespread part of political processes and – when done responsibly – can lead to more stakeholder engagement in democratic government and therefore better policy outcomes.

However, the practice is open to abuse and the media is full of stories of companies acting irresponsibly to promote their own interests ahead of those of society and the environment. The right to influence policy through lobbying is a privilege granted to companies and Non-Governmental Organisations and, like all privileges it can be withdrawn.

Defining responsible lobbying based on the cause is fraught with normative judgment. We believe responsibility in lobbying is about the process followed. The Responsible Lobbying Framework codifies this through five principles of responsible lobbying: Legitimacy, Transparency, Consistency, Accountability, and Opportunity. These five principles are operationalised through 29 indicators, forming a comprehensive evaluation framework.

We believe that responsible organisations will wish to sign up to robust standards to justify society’s trust in the matter. This Framework is intended to guide those wishing to take responsibility for themselves.

The Framework can be downloaded free of charge from www.responsible-lobbying.org. On this website you will also find the latest responsible lobbying news and announcements about third-party uses of the Framework.