24 posts categorized "Corporate Services"

08 October 2011

Fronesys to conduct deep-dive study on materiality determination

Having recently launched Materiality Futures, a report based on publicly available sustainability impact information from 31 companies, Fronesys is announcing a "deep-dive" shared learning process on the current state-of-the-art in materiality determination. Fronesys globe

The objectives of the study are to:

  • assess the main processes for materiality determination in a company
  • compare materiality rankings from participating companies against published data for 50 separate sustainability issues
  • analyse what sort of metrics can be tracked to improve the process of materiality determination in a company
  • explore how externalities can be measured and incorporated into the risk and materiality determination processes of a business
  • define the state-of-the-art in materiality determination

Interested? Want to talk further about this? Do get in touch: [email protected]

Leading companies need to disclose more about their materiality determination processes

Fronesys launches Materiality Futures: joining sustainability to strategy. Materiality Futtures cog image

As the marketplace applies an increasing focus on sustainability factors, a number of the world’s leading companies are seeking to establish which of their sustainability impacts are material to their business.

The thirty-one companies covered in Materiality Futures, the latest sustainability report from Fronesys, are some of the most transparent, but even with them there is often a real lack of transparency regarding how the materiality process actually works. In particular, the report finds that companies are much more likely to be open about their stakeholders’ understanding of sustainability impacts than their own.

The Materiality Futures report, released today by Fronesys, is authored by Chris Tuppen, partner, corporate services, and is the most comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the materiality determination  process to date. It investigates how materiality is currently used in the sustainability reporting of thirty one leading global companies (A full list of companies evaluated in the study is included in the press release). From the public disclosures of these companies, a total of 50 different sustainability issues are evaluated in the report in terms of importance to stakeholders and the 31 companies.  These cover a diverse range of issues, such as corporate governance, water use, human rights, executive remuneration, carbon and privacy.

Chris Tuppen, partner, corporate services, Fronesys, says: “The report is particularly timely as companies around the world prepare to tie together their financial and sustainability reporting processes into the draft integrated reporting model recently released by the IIRC. In our view, the key link between sustainability and business strategy is materiality, and it is surprising how opaque the processes are by which materiality is determined.”

Read the full press release on the launch of the Materiality Futures report

Check out more information on the Materiality Futures report.

03 October 2011

2degrees webinar on Integrated Reporting: Identifying material sustainability issues


CT1 pic Chris Tuppen will be discussing his new report Materiality Futures in a webinar with Jessica Fries of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) on October 11. The new Fronesys report, which will launch on October 10, features an analysis of sustainability data from 31 leading companies, covering 50 different sustainability issues.

For more information, check out http://www.2degreesnetwork.com/all-activities/event/integrated-reporting-identifying-material-sustainability-issues-2011-10-11/.

05 September 2011

The CFO's role in sustainability: E&Y lays out five keys

Traditionally, CFOs ran the numbers and let others get on with the soft stuff, worrying about the environment or social performance. No longer, according to How Sustainability has Expanded the CFO's Role, a new report from consultant Ernst & Young. The job silos are crumbling, and the CFO's job scope just widened. 

 Fronesys feels there's some good material in the report for every CFO to consider in terms of their own performance, but here are five keys that stand out:

  • Actively pursue a sustainability reporting strategy, setting in place the means to measure, manage and report on your sustainability performance.
  • Integrate sustainability into the operational side of the business - unless this happens, the company's sustainability posture will be just that: words without deeds.
  • Enhance dialogue with shreholders and stakeholders, and improve disclosure in key sustainability areas. A recent Harvard study found that enhanced disclosure in environmental and social metrics made a bigger difference than enhanced governance disclosures.
  • Ensure the directors know what they they are doing and have the right skills in sustainability issues, particularly when it comes to risk management,
  • Consider using non-traditional performance metrics, such as tying compensation to non-financial risks, to ensure that sustainability strategies connect to real-world performance. 

Check out the full report here.

22 August 2011

Fronesys sustainability content schedule 2011-12

Here's a quick look at some of the content we at Fronesys are working on, and when you can expect to see it:

 Materiality: what counts when it comes to the business impacts of non-financial metricsOctober 2011

For most businesses, there is a disconnect between sustainability and commercial strategy. As businesses have to take account of an increasing number of sustainability factors, it is critical for them to understand which factors are the most pertinent to their business. This research study explores the current state of the art in evaluating the materiality determination processes in 31 companies, covering 50 of the most commonly referenced sustainability issues.

 Sustainability for sourcing pros: October 2011 

As sustainability adds itself to price and quality as key measures that a sourcing pro tracks, it is important to understand which sustainability metrics count, and how to use them. This article lays out the foundations for integrating sustainability into sourcing practice.  

 Puma case studyNovember 2011

Apparel company Puma is the latest company to attempt to put a dollar value on its externalities, using assistance from PwC, and environmental data from Trucost. What are the business lessons we (and Puma) can learn from the environmental P&L reporting that Puma has commenced.

 Leading tools and services for managing sustainabilityDecember 2011  

Need to identify some really helpful tools and services in sustainability? This report picks out six software tools, and six suppliers of services that help you run an operation that scores high in the areas of sustainability and business performance.

 Multi-client research study on materiality determinationFebruary 2012

A study involving ten companies assessing the performance of their materiality determination processes, by comparing the results of their internal work to benchmarked sustainability data from external sources.

Fronesys - all of three months young! Check the highlights.

Greetings from London. Fronesys globe

 It was just three months ago that we set up Fronesys, a brand new sustainability advisory service, featuring Paul Druckman, Chris Tuppen  and Jyoti Banerjee.  And you might be wondering what we have been up to.

 Well, glad you asked because here is a quick snapshot of some of the highlights of Fronesys's first three months: 

  • Six reasons why sustainability matters to business

Chris and Jyoti wrote this paper summarising the business impacts of sustainability. If you are still wondering whether sustainability is a business issue, or just something to do with greenwashing, then check out this paper. Our friends at HfS Research are offering it to their subscriber base but anybody can download it for free.  

  • HfS Research has new Research Fellow on sustainability - from Fronesys

Talking of our friends at HfS, we can tell you that their new Research Fellow on sustainability is Fronesys partner, Jyoti Banerjee. HfS Research is a Boston-based firm helping enterprises make complex decisions about their business processes and sourcing. Check out what Phil Fersht, ceo of HfS had to say about sustainability and the invitation to Jyoti. As a result of this arrangement, selected Fronesys content on sustainability will be available to the 55,000 or so subscribers to content from HfS Research

  • Partnership on environmental metrics with Trucost

We are pleased that Trucost, provider of the world's largest store of corporate environmental impact data, and Fronesys have become partners. As a result of our joint work, companies can embed ESG metrics into the heart of their strategic decision-making. Which is exactly what we are offering to joint customers.  Find out what Richard Mattison, ceo at Trucost, had to say about the partnership.  check this link on their website. 

  • We're in the FT

Yes, Rod Newing's article on tracking corporate social impacts (Financial Times, 24th June) features an interview with Jyoti Banerjee

  • Speaking at conferences globally

Fronesys partners have been logging the miles, getting to conferences all over the world to speak on issues relating to sustainability metrics, materiality determination, integrated reporting, and business strategy. Paul, in particular, needs to consider his carbon footprint with speaking slots at the Ceres conference in California, and other events in New York, London, Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt. Jyoti has been in Seoul and also spoke at the DVFA conference in Frankfurt on Integrated Reporting.

  • Content plans

We have so many fresh and new pieces of research and advice that we are publishing over the next few months that we decided to put up a summary of some of the main ideas you can expect. We will be publishing a summary of Chris's work on materiality determination processes, analysing how 31 different companies assess their exposure and vulnerability to 50 different material sustainability measures.  Plus, we are putting together a multi-client research study exploring the state of the art when it comes to the impacts of materiality determination processes on business strategy. And a review of the leading tools and services that improve corporate sustainability. This, and so much more. 

 We are also planning a new website (actually our first one!) after three months of using the wonderful social media tools. And we would love to talk to you about what we are doing. Or if you think you know someone who we can help on sustainability and business, then please connect us.

 As before,  please socialise us across your network. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. And come along and join the conversation at www.fronesys.com.

15 August 2011

Fronesys partners with Trucost to integrate sustainability metrics into business strategy

Trucost logo Fronesys, the advisory company focused on embedding sustainability metrics into strategic decision-making, today announced its partnership with Trucost, the company with the world’s largest data set on corporate environmental impacts.

As a result of the partnership, a company will be able to identify the key sustainability issues that are material to its business and integrate them into its business strategy. This is achieved through a three step process.  A comprehensive data map of all the company's non-financial metrics will be produced, encompassing its own operations and its supply chain. The next step involves identifying which of the multiple sustainability impacts are material to the business.  The Fronesys partnership with Trucost deals with this problem and goes a step further to help companies embed sustainability into their core business strategies. This is achieved by reviewing the company's sustainability impacts alongside the dynamics already occurring across the company's operations and supply chain to identify opportunities to improve business efficiency.  This data-driven, business focused approach to sustainability will help companies develop realistic mitigation strategies for the impacts they wish to minimise and build new business strategies where opportunities emerge. 

There is currently considerable progress being made by companies across the world in reporting their sustainability impacts. This global story is reflected in the UK as well, where a Trucost study for the UK Environment Agency, Environmental Disclosures, found that 67% of FTSE All-Share companies are reporting quantitatively on their environmental impacts. However, and perhaps more significantly, few companies currently integrate sustainability into their business strategies.

In a world that is heading towards more transparent governance and greater understanding of sustainability impacts, companies need to find a way to bring these traditionally disconnected issues into their business strategies. However these issues will never connect with the mainstream business unless companies can identify and deal with their challenges in the areas of carbon and environmental impact and resource efficiency in their processes and supply chains.

Jyoti Banerjee, partner at Fronesys, said, "The partnership between Trucost and Fronesys is exciting in bringing together the domains of sustainability impacts and business strategy. Fronesys has a data-driven approach to sustainability. However, many companies struggle to put together the data they need to manage their sustainability impacts. By using Trucost's environmental impact data and tools, we can help a company measure their impacts, and then figure out what they need to do to address those impacts through the value chain."

Richard Mattison, chief executive, Trucost said, "We are seeing more and more examples of outperformance among environmentally efficient companies. Trucost provides a data framework to unlock this potential along each tier of the corporate value chain.  An explicit part of our strategy is to work with partners to help companies embed our data within their business strategies. Our partnership with Fronesys will help companies build more efficient, sustainable, and successful business models."

Find out more about Trucost here: http://www.trucost.com/what-we-do

Find out more about Fronesys here: www.fronesys.com

05 August 2011

Why companies should measure their social impact: Alison Braybrooks in the Guardian

Companies don't report their negative social impacts, according to research by the GRI. Often, they also often don't link their impact on society to wider global goals or recognised concepts like human rights, and don't set and track progress against impact targets.

 But all that is set to change, as companies respond to reporting and market pressures, while seeking competitive advantage.

 Check out this article by Alison Braybrooks in the Guardian for more on this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/social-impact-business-community

21 July 2011

Stern thinks more needs to be done and faster than envisaged in Stern Review

Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review, says his views on climate change have intensified over the five years since the publication of his impactful study. In an interview with Technology Review, Stern lays out some key thoughts that every person concerned about the impact of climate change on business needs to take account of: Nick stern

  • It is unreasonable to overlay climate change models on growth scenarios. Climate change so changes the growth story it could radically reverse growth over the next 50-100 years. That would reverse development and potentially force the displacement of hundredsd of millions or even billions of people.
  • Businesses are now all looking at a carbon-constrained world - this lowers their risk.
  • Though carbon pricing has failed to get going in the US, it will get there in the end because there is no choice
  • Although lo-carbon technology has moved faster than Stern anticipated, entrepreneurship will not be enough to deliver the result needed - we need smart policies too.
  • The Stern Review has failed to convince people that there is a sense of urgency about acting now. IF we wait 5-10 years to act, it will be even more diffficult then.
  • China has been remarkably proactive in its decision-making. China's leaders expect to invest about half a trilliondollars a year into each of three industries: renewables, energy efficiency and clean tech. This is because they see China as extremely vulnerable in climate change, but also because they see the growth stories in the future.
  • The science of climate change looks more worrying than it did five years ago. There were some nasty feedback loops that got left out of the initial publication because they were difficult to model. However, some of these drivers seem to bigger and faster, and therefore more worrisome.

Plenty here for every risk manager, business strategist and policy-maker to devour. For more on the interview, check out http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/37774/

 

20 July 2011

Independent directors: really, what can we expect?

The News Corp disaster has many victims already (and the body count is only mounting) but so far none of them are non-executive directors. Lucy Marcus raises a really important issue about non-execs in a blog on Harvard Business Review's website:

 "News Corporation and the actions — or as some would note, the inactions — of its board highlight several important directions in the way that boardrooms need to be, and indeed are, moving. No longer will boards be able to conduct themselves behind closed doors without consequences. Investors have been loath to make waves when all was going well, but with the banking crises, HP, and now News Corp, investors are waking up to the fact that it is better to make changes in the good times than to be caught without trunks when the tide goes out."

 Amen, Lucy.

 And what does the non-exec director bring to the change process? Independence, transparency, asking the right questions. Really, it should be light in a dark world. If the non-execs fail to do this, then they are failing the company and its stakeholders (just ask the employees of the defunct News of the World if you think only investors are interested in good performance from the non-execs!). 

 Recommended reading.