These are unprecedented times.
While global economic growth and average lifestyles are in many ways at all-time highs, this has come with costs such as degraded environmental systems which otherwise support economies, societies and cultures. Other costs appear to include rising inequality, with the effects of automation only expected to accelerate.
Scientists predict that the next 20 to 30 years will be filled with severe challenges to our ways of life. We need look no further than the turmoil in Syria and Venezuela to see examples of the direct consequences of degraded environmental and social systems, and these may well grow exponentially if we don’t find a way to resolve these present day challenges.
Environmental challenges we currently face, or will face in the near future, include:
The social dimension, while at times overlapping with the expected outcomes above, also include a lack of adequate education, housing, financial, medical and communication services, as well as unequal access to energy.
Progress has been fragmented and uneven. China has made great strides in eliminating energy poverty, but these challenge remains in India. Conditions are improving for a rising middle class in developing nations, while in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, large swaths of society feel increasingly left behind, leading to unexpected results from election cycles which have environmental and social ramifications.
The interconnected nature of the global economy and these environmental and social challenges are becoming clearer, and fortunately, so are solutions to these challenges. However, what is needed to fix these problems is not simple. Many categories of solution in fact appear to be necessary. The common thread for these myriad solutions is innovation for impact.
Sustainability has become an issue of global competitiveness, requiring innovative thinking in areas such as:
Countries and regions which successfully address these areas will almost certainly be the most economically vibrant in the coming decades. However, solutions to social and environmental challenges may have side effects and unintended consequences that must also be managed for. A full solution set must be multi-layered and complex by definition. A systems approach to innovation will be necessary, and therefore we see the need to run solutions within diverse areas, in parallel, for best effect.
Unintended consequences have already been witnessed in regions such as the Silicon Valley in the US. This region succeeds through a lens of innovation, leading to almost out of control financial success for the region in general, yet many remain economically left behind. An ideal systemic solution appears to require more considerations of the social dimension, creating opportunities for all categories of resident, while reducing inequality, in order to achieve the full economic and healthy lifestyles that all of its citizens might benefit from, but how to best achieve this outcome.
Key questions and imperatives, as a result, continue to emerge, such as:
This is what our new book Sustainable Innovation and Impact aims to achieve, namely a presentation of one possible interconnected system of environmental and social solutions, which if run successfully in parallel, might keep us from driving over the edge of the environmental and societal cliff that we are otherwise seemingly heading directly towards.
Turning challenges into opportunities seems to be the best way to drive future success and everyone wants a world that thrives.
What are these specific solutions and what do they start to look like? This is what we posed to recent students at Yale, Brown, Maryland and Concordia in Montreal, and some of the best solutions are featured within.
As we wrote in our previous book on sustainable investing, the future of investing now requires sustainability to be fully “baked in”, and for the environmental and societal outcomes we all seek, there needs to be a business case.
Millennials recognize this, and so do leading corporations, as well as an increasing number of investors from all walks of life. New business models have also emerged in the sharing economy, and global cities are rising up as booming and thriving metropolises where all sorts of solutions are emerging constantly from the positive energy of their citizens. This dynamic now needs to be experienced and implemented in all countries and regions to take full effect. Solving these problems is our biggest challenge, and hence our biggest opportunity.
We hope you enjoy this expedition and that this helps you find your own path forward. We all now need to play our part to help create the sustainable and economically vibrant future we all desire.
It appears to be the only way.
This is an adapted version of the introduction of Cary Krosinsky and Todd Cort newest book published by Routledge.
June is World Oceans Month, marked for spreading awareness of the earth’s oceans, coasts and marine life. It is specifically highlighted on June 8, entitled World Oceans Day. With all the attention marine littering has received over the past few years, corporate life needs to step up. This month provides them with the perfect occasion.
Oceans cover more than 70 per cent of the earth, it is perhaps strange that World Oceans Day hasn’t received the same recognition as Earth Day and Earth Hour. We've all seen pictures of sea animals trapped in plastic and have heard about the floating garbage patch, that's twice the size of Texas. It may feel a bit distant from Norway, with our northern location and breathtaking fjords of clear blue waters. Yet, the reality hit when attention was brought to the polluting cruise ships, the images of coastlines covered in trash and last but not least: the whale stuffed with plastic in its belly. It is even about to be exhibited in a museum.
Norway has a long history of being a sea and fishery nation. We are also present on the seas with oil production – with plans of extracting oil in areas that will affect marine life and the fish we live off. As oil also is used in the making of plastic, one cannot help but think of the irony: advocating for less interference with the oceans’ ecosystems is something we increasingly do, at the same time as petroleum is Norway’s most important (and profitable) industry.
This year, more than 80,000 Norwegians expressed an interest in taking part of Strandryddedagen – a national initiative to clean beaches across the countries. That surely says something about an increased awareness of what state the world oceans are in. An increased awareness of how companies behave is also implicit here. They are not only expected to be against damaging initiatives, but also to walk the talk. In order to do that, they need real strategies (big or small) that deliver what they promise.
The faster they are at making these changes, the better, with the European Union considering a ban of disposable plastics such as cups, lids and cutlery. Joining in to do good will help building a future-proof reputation. Making these commitments during World Oceans Month is the perfect timing to “dive in”.
The risk of drowning in plastic turns out to be just as scary for a business. It’s time to not only walk the talk, but to swim it. Let’s hope more companies are ready to take the plunge.
Miljøhippiene solgte dommedag og fikk betalt i forbud og avgifter. Nå, mer enn 30 år etter Brundtland-kommisjonen, går kapitalistene i spissen for å redde kloden. Bør kapitalistene få gulrøtter for innsatsen? Eller må de piskes til lydighet og betale når de ødelegger livsgrunnlaget vårt?
Meld deg på frokostmøte hos Geelmuyden Kiese den 20. juni kl. 8-10 her. Der debatterer vi om kapitalistene bør få betalt for å redde kloden.
Siden 60-70-tallet har en liten bastion miljøhippier jobbet beinhardt for at næringslivet skal ta større ansvar for naturen, klimaet og samfunnet vårt. For å motivere til miljøkamp har de fortalt fryktinngytende historier om naturkatastrofer og dyredød.
Miljøhippiene brukte lenkeaksjoner for å sette de fossile industrigigantene i gapestokken. På TV, i avisene og i sosiale medier. Og de svingte pisken for å få politikerne til å innføre flere forbud, høyere avgifter og strengere krav til næringslivets samfunnsansvar.
Men nå, 200 år etter Karl Marx sin død, er en ny bevegelse i ferd med å erobre samfunnsansvarsbegrepet. Bærekraftkapitalistene er på fremmarsj.
Bærekraftkapitalistene anser samfunnsansvar som en integrert del av forretningsstrategi og merkevare. De er på jakt etter muligheter og løsninger som gir avkastning både finansielt, miljømessig og for samfunnet.
Larry Fink, styreleder og CEO i Blackrock, verdens største investeringsfond, er en typisk bærekraftkapitalist. Han har ikke tillit til at myndighetskrav og reguleringer alene kan løse samfunnsutfordringene vi står ovenfor. Sosial ulikhet, lav lønnsvekst, automatisering og klimaendringer truer selskapers langsiktige vekstpotensial, og påvirker finansielle risikovurderinger.
Derfor sendte Fink ut et brev til 17 000 administrerende direktører i januar i år. I brevet krever Blackrock-sjefen at selskapene må vise samfunnsansvar og skape verdier for flere enn aksjonærene. Hvis ikke trekker Blackrock investeringene sine.
Toppledere i næringslivet er i ferd med å innse at monsterbedrifter er dårlig business. Og at samfunnsansvar og bærekraft er blitt et knapt gode som er mer verdifullt enn noen gang.
Da Poul Poulman ble administrerende direktør i Unilever i 2009 overtok han et synkende skip. Unilever er en av verdens største produsenter av dagligvarer, en bransje kjennetegnet av tøff konkurranse og svak vekst. Det første han gjorde var å samle 175 000 ansatte i over 150 land rundt tydelige mål for bærekraftig vekst.
Bærekraftstrategien har gitt resultater. I starten av mai rapporterte Unilever at de bærekraftige merkevarene vokser 76 prosent raskere enn resten av selskapet. Unilever-aksjen har de siste to årene gitt en avkastning på 25 prosent. Til sammenlikning har konkurrenter som Procter & Gamble og Kraft Heinz fått redusert aksjeverdien med henholdsvis 10 og 33 prosent.
Et monumentalt skifte er på vei. Næringsliv og finans er i ferd med å skifte fokus fra å maksimere en verdi – aksjonærkapitalen – til å inkludere samfunnsinteresser i investeringsbeslutningene sine.
Men mange er skeptiske til om markedskreftene klarer å redde kloden på egenhånd. Er bærekraft i ferd med å bli så lønnsomt at myndighetene ikke trenger å involvere seg? Eller må samfunnsansvaret lokkes frem av stadig større statlige gulrøtter?
Vil bærekraftkapitalistenes grønne grådighet være nok? Eller må synderne straffes med tøffere piskeslag for at vi skal nå Parisavtalen og FNs bærekraftmål?
Velkommen til debatt hos Geelmuyden Kiese 20. juni kl 08.00!
Først publisert på www.gknordic.com og Gjengitt med tillatelse fra Geelmuyden Kiese.
Purpose-driven brands can build stronger emotional connections with consumers that go far beyond a transactional relationship, according to the newly released 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study. Nearly eight in ten (79 percent) say they are more loyal to purpose-driven companies and would tell others to buy products from those companies (78 percent), while two-thirds (66 percent) say they would switch brands and over half (57 percent) would pay more.
The study asked a random sample of over 1,000 Americans over the age of 20 about their expectations and behaviors towards companies that lead with purpose compared to traditional brands. More than three quarters (78 percent) of consumers believe it is no longer acceptable for companies to just make money, they expect companies to positively impact society as well. Companies that meet those expectations seem likely to gain new customers and market share, while benefitting from amplified messaging.
“Purpose-driven brands are able to develop much deeper relationships with consumers by connecting on issues that matter,” said Brad MacAffee, CEO of Porter Novelli. “Consumers of Purpose-driven brands are redefining modern-age loyalty, and brands can seek to benefit from this meaningful personal commitment.”
Consumers want to share the stories of purpose-driven companies
Three quarters (77 percent) of Americans said they feel a stronger emotional connection with purpose-driven companies than traditional brands, while two-thirds (67 percent) also felt that they care more about them and their families. 70 percent feel proud to be associated with purpose-driven companies, which may explain their interest in sharing purpose-driven companies’ stories and higher levels of engagement. Three quarters (78 percent) of those surveyed said they would tell others to buy products from purpose-driven companies and nearly as many (73 percent) would share information or stories about that company. Consumers also want to play a role in advancing the positive impact that company seeks to make, with nearly two-thirds (65 percent) saying they would advocate for issues that company supports.
Beyond positive word of mouth, they’re willing to share purpose-driven companies’ content with their social networks. Consumers are not only more willing to share such companies’ content over that of others, but they are willing to share more than just information about commitments to society and the environment (66 percent). They are just as likely to share product information (66 percent), closely followed by promotions and sales (64 percent) and the company’s overall mission (62 percent).
“Consumers’ willingness to tell a Purpose-driven brand’s story means that company will have an expanded reach to entirely new audiences,” said Alison DaSilva, EVP of Purpose/CSR at Cone Communications. “They are being introduced and ‘endorsed’ based on their role in society and shared values versus a transactional and transient benefit, further expanding a company’s future loyal consumer base.”
Purpose is hot on the heels of quality and cost when it comes to purchasing decisions
When asked to choose between supporting purpose-driven, low cost or quality brands, purpose proved to be a close competitor. Quality remained the primary factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions, loyalty and recommendations to others. Regarding purchases, quality was most important for 41 percent compared to cost for 29 percent and purpose for 20 percent; for loyalty, 40 percent chose quality, 33 percent chose purpose and 27 percent chose cost; and for telling others to buy a product, quality was the most important for 44 percent, while cost was for 29 percent and purpose was for 27 percent.
However, purpose reigned when it came to emotional connection (50 percent vs. 30 percent quality, 20 percent cost), willingness to defend a brand when someone speaks badly of it (48 percent vs. 33 percent quality, 19 percent cost), sharing information or stories about or from a company (45 percent vs. 33 percent quality, 23 percent cost), and being proud to be associated with that company (42 percent vs. 40 percent quality, 18 percent cost).
The importance of emotional connection with customers is not to be taken lightly. 71 percent of survey respondents said they expect companies to connect with them emotionally on issues that matter to them personally, including ones that fall well outside of their operational footprint. Nearly four in five (79 percent) Americans believe companies should work to address social justice issues. The majority of respondents feel companies should have a seat at the table to solve complex and hot-button topics including: privacy and internet security (86 percent); domestic job growth (86 percent); access to healthcare (85 percent); sexual harassment (83 percent); racial equality (81 percent); women’s rights (80 percent); cost of higher education(76 percent); immigration (74 percent); climate change (73 percent); gun control (69 percent); LGBTQ rights (63 percent); and fake news (56 percent).
“From #MeToo to March for Our Lives, the last year has seen unprecedented levels of support for critical social justice issues that connect with Americans on a far deeper and vastly more emotional level,” said DaSilva. “While no company should stand for all these issues, organizations should look within and use their unique Purpose to determine which issues they can authentically support.”
Consumers believe all industries, employers should lead with purposeNo industry seems to be exempt, either. When asked among which industries it was most important to have and communicate a sense of purpose, health and wellness (87 percent) topped the list, followed by food and beverage (81 percent) and technology (81 percent). Still, more than three quarters also believe it is important for industries such as manufacturing (79 percent), automotive (78 percent), retail (77 percent), financial services (77 percent), professional services (76 percent), and footwear and apparel (76 percent).
The study also supported previous findings that purpose is increasingly important to maintain its license to operate and its ability to attract talent. 85 percent of Americans would support a purpose-driven company in their community, 68 would work for that company, and 54 percent would be more willing to invest in that company.
“Purpose is more than a marketing tactic or bolt-on strategy,” said MacAfee. “It must be deeply embedded into the business, the brand and the experience that is delivered. And those companies that integrate Purpose into the very bedrock of the business will stand to build deeper bonds with existing consumers, expand the consumer base and enlist those brand advocates to share the brand message.”
25 April, 2018 Sustainability Hub Norway, together with Scatec Solar, Statkraft, and Statoil, hosted its annual sustainability reporting event in collaboration with the World Benchmarking Alliance and the Dutch Embassy. It was a particularly monumental day for S-HUB, as the 'State of Sustainability' report was launched in addition to S-HUB's first annual report.
The 'State of Sustainability' is based on S-HUB's previous editor, Pia Lefevre, masters thesis at NTNU. She conduced a survey on 115 Norwegian companies, enabling her to map out the current trends of sustainability in Norwegian companies. The report was prepared by S-HUB's leading member, Leidar Norway.
This year there were more than 135 people in attendance at the event, with 180 registered and a long waiting list. Similar to last year, summaries of each speaker as well as each speaker's presentation is included below as well as videos of each speaker.
Part 1: Sustainability Reporting
During the first part of the seminar, thought-leaders and corporations led discussions on trends, and showcased different approaches to sustainability reporting.
Game changers in sustainability reporting - TCFD
Johanne Ness a Climate & Environment Advisor from Cemasys presented the game changers in sustainability reporting including the Paris Agreement, Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum, Financial Stability Board (FSB), and Network for Greening the Financial System (FGFS). The true kickstarter for this type of reporting was the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (FCFD), which was created with the goal to assess and price climate related risk/opportunities and transparency. When reporting keep in mind:
Integrated reporting, an avenue to faith in sustainability indicators?
Hanne Thornam, Head of Sustainability Services Norway - EY, explained that companies in the 21st-century are knowledge based compared to product based companies of the 20th-century. Investors now want to see non-financial information such as a company's long term strategy for sustainability, which can create value in the short and long-term. Notable examples of sustainability strategy and indicators include: Storebrand, Tine, and Crown Estate.
Investor expectations of TCFD reporting
Lars Erik Mangset, a Senior Advisor of Responsible Investments at KLP made it clear that the most important aspect about TCFD reporting is just to start. He explained that investors realize that this type of reporting is new for many companies, thus as long as your company is committed to improving reporting methods such as standardizing over time and communicating even uncertainties investors will most likely be satisfied.
The design choices of Scatec Solar's 2017 sustainability report
Scatec Solar had high ambitions for its 2017 sustainability report - embarking on a journey to improve the report from last year - kicking this year-long process off by co-hosting the Sustainability Reporting event in April 2017, partnering with S-HUB and reaching out to various stakeholders.
Julie Hamre, Senior Sustainability Advisor and her team introduced GRI standards and aligned the reporting to criteria from external rankings such as Sustainalytics. Her topic tip is to work with your stakeholders, not just your investors to get feedback on how your company can improve in reporting.
The design choices of Statkraft's 2017 sustainability report
For Statkraft's 2017 sustainability report, topics were grouped by social, environmental, and economic GRI standard disclosures. Rachel Groux Nürnberg, SVP Head of Corporate Responsibility, praised the GRI questions for creating engagement on sustainability within the company, further saying that reporting is a vehicle that contributes to driving performance. From a practitioner's perspective a sustainability report should be: transparent and balanced, show the risks and opportunities, and tell consistent stories.
The design choices of Statoil's 2017 sustainability report
For this year's report, Statoil played with the idea of integrating its sustainability report into its annual report, however, it ultimately decided to focus on a separate sustainability report and also using web-based reporting to share underlying data. The sustainability reporting team, led by Sophie Tibble, Senior Advisor of Corporate Sustainability, determined that the report needs to be understandable in the eyes of lots of different readers, including those who actively use social media. Although Statoil's sustainability priorities do not change year to year, what the company focuses on does. Sophie says, "What we have to show is how business in contributing to sustainable development and we need to try to quantify that". This year Statoil's key focus was how to tackle SDG number 13, Climate Action.
Part 1: Panel discussion and Q&A
Cilia Holmes Indahl, the Sustainability Director of Aker Biomarine, led the panel discussion with the speakers from part one of the event. Topics included how much information should companies disclose, what is the strategy for companies setting goals around science based targets, and the complexities of applying GHG Protocol Corporate Standard classifications scope 1, 2, and 3.
Part 2: Measuring SDG impact
The second part focused on diving deeper into the Sustainable Development Goals, with presentations and discussions on how companies are already reporting towards them; challenges and solutions in measurement, and how investors are using this information.
How to report on the SDGs: What good looks like and why it matters
Anette Rønnov, KPMG's Director Sustainability Services Norway discussed the firm's research on what the biggest 250 global companies are doing in relation to the SDGs. To analyze these companies, KMPG developed 9 criteria for what good SDG reporting looks like that focuses on measurement, prioritization, and understanding. Key insights from the report include:
Measuring and comparing performance between companies
Gerbrand Haverkamp the Executive Director of the Dutch based, World Benchmarking Alliance, founded the organization with the goal of benchmarking companies against themselves as well as other companies as well as how companies contribute to the SDGs by a sector by sector bases.
Benchmarking companies is seen as a driver for change not only across sector, but collaboratively, with input from companies, civil society, governmental organizations, and investors. This alliance aims to build on different and relevant principles, frameworks and standards of sustainability reporting.
What do investors use SDG information for
Matthew Smith, the Head of Sustainable Investments at Storebrand Asset Management
explained that the investment firm preforms sustainability rankings. Top companies that are rated 'solution stocks' are selected for dedicated sustainability funds, while the 10% worst performers in high risk industries are excluded from all investments. He also provided insights on why your company should use SDG information in investment analyses:
Part 2: Panel discussion and Q&A
Andreas Friis, the Managing Director of Sustainability Hub Norway, led the second panel. The biggest challenges for using the SDGs on not only a global scale, but also a more local scale were discussed. The term 'SDG-washing' was also brought up. This term basically means that companies often loosely integrate the SDGs into sustainability reports without holistically addressing how the company will reach the targets or goals. In other words, just starting to work on the SDGs is simply not enough, there are less than 12 years before the SDGs need to be met in 2030.
Text: Lauren Guido
Video: Mads Metz/ Litteraturhuset
Video editing: Esther van Langen
You might think fashion will be among the last industries to embrace environmental awareness and sustainable business. Global clothing retailer H&M is on a mission to change that.
Will it take a miracle to change the mindsets and habits of the growing ranks of fashionistas who obsessively follow clothing trends? Miracles are few in life, but marvelous ideas that combine environmental awareness and sustainable business are becoming a real force for change.
In the fashion industry, look to global mega brand H&M. Considering its beginnings in Sweden, there are good reasons why the company should drive the fashion industry towards sustainability. On the one hand, Sweden is ranked among the most sustainable countries in the world. On the other, the citizens of this wealthy social-democratic land throw away 8 kilos of clothes each per year (around 40 T-shirts).
Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M group, visited Oslo recently. In a roundtable session, she gave Sustainability Hub the lowdown on how H&M is changing the clothing industry.
“We need to not only make fashion sustainable, but to make sustainability fashionable.” Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M group
A long-term sustainability strategy focused on 3 pillars
“Mindset change is more important than checklists and routines – culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M group
A set of ambitious goals
Supporting industry innovation
Supporting consumer awareness
“The emerging technology is fantastic, but it is only a means to an end. That end should be sustainable and circular business.” Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M group
A letter from Sustainability Hub Norway's Executive Chairman, on the organization's ambitious journey during 2017.
Sustainability is a vague word. The task at hand is big. But why we set up Sustainability Hub Norway is easy: to bring those working in sustainability together to inspire, learn and stay up to date. Our community has a practical approach to the big promises states and companies made with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agenda.
Launched in March 2017, we focused this year on understanding sustainability in Norway, building the community and sharing knowledge.
We launched a report on the State of Sustainability in Norway 2017, executed and written by our former Editor Pia Lefevre. Key findings showed that the typical Norwegian sustainability employee does not usually have a formal education in sustainability, does not usually have budgetary decision-making power and experiences work capacity within their team as their biggest sustainability challenge.
We hosted larger inspirational events on measuring and reporting sustainability, showcasing concrete examples that combine theory with practice, seminars on sustainability in practice, and we co-hosted events at the Katapult Future Fest in May in Oslo, EAT Forum in June in Stockholm, Arendalsuka in August in Arendal. Generating a lot of interest for each event, it quickly became clear to us that people needed this community - also to dig deeper down into the sustainability matter.
People also needed conversations so we hosted Circles, smaller round table conversations, to address for example how communications directors best can communicate sustainability and workshops with UN Global Compact on the impact of the SDGs. These smaller conversations are creating the change the larger conversations originally inspired.
Our website showcases the latest events helping people to plan better and companies market events. The job portal gathers positions to be filled within sustainability and this has gotten a lot of attention. Our monthly newsletter reaches more than 500 sustainability professionals and decision makers and helps our community stay updated, while our Facebook community encourages online and offline conversations, as well as recommended readings.
Individuals, executives and companies have guided us on the way, shown great interest and provided very valuable feedback. The timing was right for S-HUB. To accelerate sustainable business in Norway, people and companies needed this community. And the community needed them because it is founding partners such as Storebrand and Samfunnsviterne, the leading members such as Statkraft and H&M and all our other corporate partners and dedicated individuals that have made S-HUB possible. Thank you.
With the trends we are seeing, we are planning the following in 2018:
Experimenting less, cementing more: We have learnt what worked and what needs to improve. We are planning three to four bigger inspirational events with external speakers to raise our understanding and knowledge of sustainability in Norway, while continuing to host smaller conversations that create change.
We will run the State of Sustainability report again and be able to show how the sector is changing. Moving outside of Oslo and reaching out to stakeholders in Bergen and Trondheim, making S-HUB a truly national organization.
Thank you again for joining us on this journey, to the board and all the crowd-founders working hard to help Norway reach the SDGs.
Andreas Friis Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Sustainability Hub Norway
The Financial Times published an article on Al Gore, stating that “sustainability is history’s
biggest investment opportunity”. Compared to traditional ways of doing business, that’s
quite an unusual – but much needed - statement.
Delivering fast results has a long history of being rewarded. Bringing money to the table
quickly has been more important than how the money was made. Short term results are still
a highly sought-after goal regardless of business sector. Yet this strategy is part of the old
domain, according to Gore. What brings the former Vice President and environmental
activist to his conclusion?
It might be because his sustainability-focused fund management company is going so well. It
was co-founded 14 years ago with David Blood, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset
Management. Named Generation Investment Management, its flagship equity fund has
produced 13.5 per cent annual returns compared with the benchmark of 7.3. With such a
strong wind in its sails, the flagship really lives up to its company name.
Investing in sustainable companies is the key ingredient here. These establishments are
defined by Gore and his company as “one whose earnings do not borrow from future
earnings, whose revenues are driven by sustainable practices, and whose products or
services are low carbon and have health or societal benefits”.
At the same time as Generation Investment Management cashes in, traditional companies
listed on the stock exchange generally report low levels of sustainability. The reason might
be because board members demand quick return on investments that does more harm than
good on its way. As Mr. Gore puts it: “everybody knows that the market is a wild and unruly
beast, and you have to do the best you can”. The game changer is that if you focus on long-
term, non-invasive investments, you do not have to play by the same, dirty rules.
This is ultimately what Gore defines as the single largest investment opportunity in history.
And why should we get on board? Because rumor has it that it has the magnitude of the
industrial revolution on the one hand, and the speed of the digital revolution on the other. If
you haven’t yet jumped on the opportunity, the thought itself is worth heavily investing in.
- Resultater fra ny, stor bærekraftsundersøkelse blant 115 norske bedrifter i regi av Sustainability Hub Norway og NTNU Masteroppgave ved Pia Lefevre.
25 April 2018, Oslo - For første gang er det gjennomført en kartlegging om hvordan de største bedriftene i Norge jobber med bærekraft. Studien er basert på masteroppgaven State of Sustainability Norway 2017 av Pia Lefevre, skrevet på NTNU i samarbeid med Sustainability Hub Norway (S-HUB). I dag ble studien lansert på S-HUB sitt årlige arrangement om bærekraftsrapportering.
For å kartlegge bedrifters fokus på bærekraft svarte 115 bedrifter fra 12 bransjer på 92 spørsmål fra mars til mai 2017. De fleste av deltakerne i studien jobber med bærekraft ved en av Norges 500 største bedrifter.
- Studien svarer på hvordan bærekraft er organisert i Norges største bedrifter. Vi håper at denne studien gir bedrifter en mulighet til å se hvordan de kan forbedre seg ved å forstå hvilke parametere de kan måle seg opp mot. Det blir spennende å se utviklingen av resultatene fra studien år for år, sier Lefevre.
Deltidsstilling, internt rekruttert og lite kontroll over budsjettene
Studien viser at kun 34% jobber fulltid med bærekraft, mens flertallet jobber med bærekraft i en stillingsbrøk mindre enn 30%. Flere enn halvparten (56%) hadde ingen tidligere erfaring med bærekraft når hun eller han begynte å jobbe med bærekraft, og rekrutteringen til stillingen skjedde internt (48%).
Gjennomsnittsansatte som jobber med bærekraft har jobbet med tematikken i 0-5 år (69%). Kun 7.9% hadde en utdannelse innen bærekraft, mens de fleste hadde studert økonomi, annet, ingeniør, eller kommunikasjon.
32% av alle bedriftene har egne bærekraftsavdelinger, mens i de andre bedriftene er bærekraft en del av kommunikasjonsavdelingen, helse, miljø og sikkerhet, HR, PR, markedsføring eller andre avdelinger.
Kun 9% har full kontroll over bærekraftsbudsjettet, mens 39% svarte at de kan påvirke budsjettet i samsvar med ledelsen. 42% svarte at de ikke har egne budsjetter for bærekraft og 36% svarte at budsjettene er for små.
Eierskap til bærekraft, men rapporteringen tar for mye tid
36% av bedriftene som svarte har jobbet med bærekraft i 6 til 10 år, og 17% har startet arbeidet med bærekraft i løpet av de siste 5 årene. Dette viser at mange norske selskap allerede har eierskap til bærekraft, men at over halvparten av bedriftene har jobbet med bærekraft i mindre enn 10 år.
70% svarte at de rapporterer på bærekraft årlig. Hele 28% av bedriftene har startet med bærekraftsrapportering i løpet av de siste 5 årene - en sterkt voksende trend. Bedriftene bruker nettsiden, årsrapporten, sosiale medier og annonsering for å kommunisere det de gjør på bærekraft, men i svært varierende grad.
20% svarte at FNs bærekraftsmål har hjulpet dem med å sette bærekraft på agendaen for de ansatte, men kun 16% har utviklet en strategi basert på bærekraftsmålene.
Intern forankring er den største utfordringen
De største utfordringene er tid og ansatte (51%), kunnskap (24%) og bærekraftstrening for de ansatte (21%).
- Tid og kapasitet er den største utfordringen for bærkekraft og rapportering er en av de mest tidkrevende aktivitetene. 21% mener at opplæring av kollegaer er en stor utfordring og 30% mener at kollegaer er den mest utfordrende gruppen for deres arbeid. Dette kan indikere at det er intern motstand for implementering av bærekraft på tvers i bedriftene, og med liten tid og kapasitet er dette vanskelig å rydde opp i, sier Andreas Friis, Daglig Leder av Sustainability Hub Norway
En tilsvarende rapport for 2018 skal gjennomføres i år og blir lansert i begynnelsen av 2019.
Om Sustainability Hub Norway (S-HUB)
Sustainability Hub Norway ble stiftet 1.mars 2017 og har som ambisjon å være Norges ledende kompetansenettverk på bærekraftig og samfunnansvarlig forretningsdrift.
S-HUB samler bedrifter og organisasjoner med ambisjoner innen bærekraftsfeltet for å utvikle og dele kunnskap, skape nye koblinger mellom relevante aktører, sette lys på gode initiativ og iverksette nye og relevante prosjekter.
S-HUB ønsker at Norge og norske bedrifter skal være et globalt fyrtårn og i verdensklasse innen bærekraftig og lønnsom forretningdrift. S-HUB vil bidra til å jobbe mot FNs 17 bærekraftsmål, hvor Statsminister Erna Solberg er Global Co-Chair for FNs Pådrivergruppe.
For mer informasjon, bilder eller intervjuer, ta kontakt med:
Medstifter & Daglig Leder, Sustainability Hub Norway
Mobil: 909 39 923
New evidence suggests that sustainability standards are drivers of the adoption and improvement of corporate practices. Its welcome news following CDP’s recent examination of the gap between corporate intentions and action on tackling climate-related risks. While there is still a lot of progress to be made, a strengthened case that sustainability standards are effective in delivering action is an important contribution to the debate about their ongoing relevance.
3keel and the University of Oxford reviewed 116 studies to better understand what voluntary sustainability standards deliver on the ground and inform a report commissioned by ISEAL. There was evidence in each of the six thematic areas considered that certification and standards can contribute to the adoption of improved practices, typically expressed as a difference in practices between certified and non-certified entities.
The six thematic areas considered were: Conservation and Biodiversity; Input Use; Community Benefits and Development; Occupational Health and Safety; Good Production Practices; and Management Systems. The evidence for practice adoption is more robust for some sustainability themes than for others, in part due to cases where practice is hard to detect or when the requirements of the standard are already being met under existing practice.
The report uses four types of evidence: Information from the systematic mapping on the papers that reported outcomes in each thematic area; a literature review of the papers identified by the systematic map; an analysis of standards’ monitoring; and, where areas and topics were not well covered by the literature, researchers referred to the compliance data of six ISEAL Alliance members and conducted semi-structured interviews with eight other informants. The reviewed studies were filtered from an original body of 13,000 studies from peer-reviewed and ’grey’ literature to only include those which reported relevant outcomes from entities certified with a sustainability standard and which included a counterfactual.
The analysis revealed strong suggestions that:
The report notes that there are concentrations of research in developing countries in the tropics and subtropics, the coffee and forestry industries, and on Rainforest Alliance, Organic, Fairtrade and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. As such, how representative the findings are for other schemes and sectors is not well understood, and more work could be done to understand impacts in developed and temperate countries.
These findings are consistent with those of research by Aidenvironment last year – for another report commissioned by ISEAL – which revealed that businesses can realize a variety of short- and long-term benefits from using sustainability standards. Early business benefits include changes in capabilities, practices, processes, relationships, opportunities and other immediate results of using sustainability standards for both upstream and downstream business entities. When realised, these early benefits can contribute to a range of final benefits. The researchers distinguished between two kinds of final business benefits: the creation of business value, which refers to final benefits that improve the financial return on investment of the business itself; and sustainability impacts, which refers to the social return on investment in terms of social, environmental and economic impacts.