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New Tool Helps Firms Add Context to Sustainability Reports

true-sustainability-index2The Center for Sustainable Innovation (CSI) has released a new model for measuring and reporting corporate sustainability performance.

The True Sustainability Index provides context in reporting to help company’s effectively meet sustainability reporting goals of the Global Reporting Initiative, according to a press release.

According to CSI, the index takes into account the following criteria:

Environmental Bottom Line Metrics

  • Greenhouse Gasses: Carbon-equivalent emissions, relative to ecological thresholds (e.g., carbon-equivalent neutrality as a performance standard)
  • Air Quality: Impacts on air quality, relative to safety standards
  • Solid Wastes: Solid waste emissions, relative to limits in landfill capacities
  • Land Quality: Impacts on land quality, relative to safety standards
  • Water Use: Impacts on water resources, relative to quality and sufficiency of available renewable supplies
  • Ecosystems: Impacts on ecosystems relative to standards of stewardship
  • Flora and Fauna: Impacts on non-human life, relative to standards of stewardship and biodiversity

Social Bottom Line Metrics

  • Human Health: Impacts on human health, relative to standards of well-being
  • Climate Change Mitigation: Participation in climate change mitigation programs, relative to standards of fair and proportionate support
  • Social Institutions: Contributions to social institutions (e.g., healthcare, learning and education, judicial, government, and related bodies of knowledge), relative to standards of fair and proportionate support, including provision of services required for general human well-being
  • Social Infrastructure and/or Material Goods: Contributions to social infrastructure (e.g., water, sewer, housing, telecommunications, etc.) and/or provision of goods required for general human well-being, relative to standards of fair and proportionate support

Economic Bottom Line Metrics

  • Livable Wages: Employee compensation, relative to livable wage standards
  • Business Ethics: Management and governance, relative to ethical standards
  • Economic Institutions: Contributions to economic institutions (e.g., regulatory, fair trade, professional, economic development, and related bodies of knowledge), relative to standards of fair and proportionate support, including provision of services required for human economic well-being
  • Economic Infrastructure and/or Material Goods: Contributions to economic infrastructure (e.g., trading zones, trading and commerce systems, etc.) and/or provision of goods required for human economic well-being, relative to standards of fair and proportionate support

In January, CSI released a tool to measure the ecological sustainability of an organization’s water use.

Called the Corporate Water Gauge (pdf), the new tool uses GIS modeling to take into account rainfall, local topography and watershed boundaries. It then determines sustainability performance by measuring the rate of water use against the rate of renewable supply.

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