The Center for Sustainable Innovation has completed an initial pilot of its Social Footprint Method at Ben & Jerry’s. Results of the pilot are included in the company’s online 2006 Social and Environmental Assessment Report, in a special section entitled Global Warming Social Footprint.
Unlike the Global Reporting Initiative, the Social Footprint Method measures social sustainability performance against standards of performance which, according to CSI, results in true triple bottom line measurement and reporting, not just top line reporting.
The scope of Ben & Jerry’s initial pilot focused on the company’s contributions towards reversing climate change. The question being asked was, To what extent is Ben & Jerry’s contributing its proportionate share towards returning greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to safe levels? The standard of performance in this case, was a social one, not an ecological one. “To reverse climate change,an effective mix of human, social, and constructed (or built) capital is required so as to make related solutions (i.e., collective action) possible,” according to CSI’s release. “A proportionate share of what it will take to create such capitals can then be allocated to any company as its own standard of performance.”