How to Cope With Survey Fatigue?

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Will responding to 200 questionnaires per year get your company a good sustainability rating?

 

Large companies get asked for sustainability information from hundreds of different groups. Wall Street research houses, mutual fund groups, “engagement-oriented” investors, stock exchanges, government regulators, not-for-profit groups, community organizations, consumer researchers, major customers (via supply chain questionnaires), activists, and academics each ask for data. These groups do not harmonize their requests, use common definitions for the terms they use, or work on the same schedule.

 

Join CSRHub Co-founder and CEO, Bahar Gidwani and notable CSR leaders for the next CRA-sponsored webinar event as they discuss the following issues:

 

  • Does not responding to some or all of the questions asked, affect how a company is perceived?
  • Which groups should a company respond to and which can it safely ignore?
  • How can a company get maximum value out of the ratings and input it receives from those to whom it chooses to report?

 

Panelists include:

 

Bahar Gidwani, Co-founder and CEO, CSRHub
Niki King, Senior Manager CSR Program Office, Campbell Soup Company
Maia Kutner, Director, Technical Reporting, CDP
Benoit Terpereau, Product Manager, Enablon/Wizness

 

How to Cope With Survey Fatigue?
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 12:00PM – 1:00PM EDT

Free webinar

Corporate Responsibility Association

Register today! This is a free webinar, and space fills up quickly.

 

See the complete CRA webinar series to watch previous webinars and review upcoming webinars.

 


 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,900+ companies from 135 industries in 102 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 325 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

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The Next Frontier for CSR Measurement

By Bahar Gidwani

 

The folks at S-Network Inc. invited me to speak at their 2014 Summer In the City Investing Summit about the state of CSR measurement for nonpublic and emerging market companies.  I was joined by Rekha Unnithan of TIAA CREF and Christina Alfonso of Madeira Global.

 

CSRHub has a lot of data on nonpublic and emerging market companies.  About one third of the ~9,000 companies we rate fall into this category and we have some data already on another 100,000 smaller entities.  It was a pleasure to have the chance to talk with an audience of fund managers, sustainability professionals, and pundits about something other than the “Global 1,000.”  S-Network Inc. and their partner Thomson Reuters always sell out this event, so we had a good-sized crowd in attendance.

 

Despite how little attention they get, smaller companies and not for profit enterprises are a huge part of our economy.  For instance, the top 2,000 U.S. companies employ only about one third of U.S. workers.  Improving the sustainability performance of smaller companies could make twice as much difference to our economy, as further improving the performance of the largest ones.

 

 

The rightmost column above uses data from CSRHub’s database to show that there is a big gap between the information available on the CSR performance of the big companies and that of the rest.  The average big company has more than 10 different sources of ratings.  Middle-sized companies have an average of 1.5 rating sources.  Smaller companies have almost no rating sources.  (CSRHub ingests data from 325 ratings sources, and should be a comprehensive sample of what is currently available.)

 

There is another layer to consider.  Many of the smaller entities in our economy are private, for-profit companies.  But, many others are not-for-profits (e.g., charities, religious organizations, and social groups) or government entities (e.g., universities and state, local and federal agencies).  If we have little data on smaller entities in general, we have even less on the 31% (in the U.S.) that are not commercial and profit-oriented.

 

 

I didn’t get into how this type of data looks for emerging market companies.  But, the stats are similar.  We know a lot about a few big companies in those markets and much less about smaller public and private companies and those in the not for profit sector.  As a result, we can measure the CSR performance of only a small portion of smaller companies, not for profits, and governmental agencies.

 

 

My fellow panelists added several interesting insights to these basic facts.  Both Reyka and Christina had personal experience investing in non-public entities—both here and abroad.  They spoke about the effort it took to dig out and analyze social performance factors on smaller entities—the firms that provide ESG (environment, social and governance) data on bigger companies can’t do the same for thousands of smaller ones.  They had to spend more time and money to do this specialized research.  But, doing so created an “information asymmetry” that gave them an “edge” and allowed them to generate above-average returns.

 

Christina works with investor groups who want to develop socially responsible investment (SRI) strategies.  She noted that some of these groups were “impact first” and some were “financial first.”  For the former, it is important to provide high quality data on the social impact of investments—something that is often hard to do with private companies.  For the latter, it is important to provide good estimates of the expected financial return from a private investment (or investment into a project led by a not for profit or government entity).  This is also hard to do, and requires different skills than impact assessment.

 

Finally, given the investment orientation of our audience, the panel stepped back and took a “big picture” view of smaller company and developing world impact investing.  We agreed that these investments were likely to have different patterns of return and risk than traditional large company investing.  As such, they could be considered a distinct “asset class” (e.g., like stocks, bonds, physical commodities, real estate, and private equity investments).  “Modern Portfolio Theory” would say that adding asset classes improves diversification and that this by itself should make non-public and developing market investments attractive to rational investors investor.  It seemed that our audience did not disagree with this argument.  In fact, many audience members approached my panelists after the talk, to get more information from them about launching their own new investment efforts, in this area.

 


 

Bahar GidwaniBahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,900+ companies from 135 industries in 102 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 325 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

 

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Merck & Co., Inc. CSR Performance Benchmark

Sustainability Ratings

 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability metrics site CSRHub recently updated its ratings on Merck & Co., Inc. and the 248 companies in the Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing industry.  Merck & Co.’s overall rating currently is 63 after the most recent updates to their CSRHub page.

 

Please note, the Sustainability Ratings widget will continually update and show the latest ratings on CSRhub

 

The average rating for the other companies in the Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing industry is 53.  Merck & Co. has moved up and is currently in 5th position on the list, using the CSRHub average user profile. You can see more information about Merck & Co. at their CSRHub page here.

 

Merck & Co. has a particularly strong score of 73 in the Employees area.  This is due to a high score in Compensation and Benefits category of 74—well above the average for this industry of 57.  The area with the greatest opportunity for improvement for Merck & Co. is the Leadership Ethics category.  Here, Merck & Co. gets a 53— which is equal to the industry average.

 

See the Merck & Co. Corporate Social Responsibility website here.

 


 

CSRHub ratings are on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest. To see more on how CSRHub creates a score and the CSRHub rating rules, visit here.

 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,900+ companies from 135 industries in 102 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 325+ data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

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EKOS International Launches Benchmark Report Service Using CSRHub Data

EKOSCSRHub

 

We are excited to announce that EKOS International is providing a new customized benchmark report service. Using data from CSRHub, the world’s largest database of sustainability ratings, the reports help companies assess their CSR performance compared to selected competitor, customer and peer companies, as a valuable input to their sustainability strategy and goal setting.

 

EKOS provides strategic sustainability consulting for many of North America’s best-known corporations and has been an international thought-leading consultancy on integrating sustainability for competitive advantage for almost 20 years. EKOS is using CSRHub’s 8,900 company ratings and millions of data points from over 300 sources to evaluate, compare, and objectively assess where its clients are leading and/or lagging. Clients receive actionable benchmarking analyses and strategic planning that they can use as a springboard for designing and accelerating their corporate sustainability performance.

 

CSRHub is adding EKOS’ benchmark service to its CSR Report Hub. To see CSRHub partner reports and the new EKOS customized report offering, go to the CSRHub reports page.

 

About EKOS International

 

EKOS International is a leading strategic sustainability consulting firm, helping companies understand the imperative for sustainability as a key driver of competitive advantage, and integrate CSR/ Sustainability into core strategy and operations. EKOS delivers customized solutions for strategic planning, global benchmarking, sustainability roadmaps and implementation, CSR Reporting, employee engagement, materiality assessment, and innovation.

 

For more information, visit www.ekosi.com or contact Lorinda Rowledge, Partner and Co-Founder, EKOS International: lrowledge@ekosi.com 206-232-4000

 

About CSRHub

 

CSRHub creates simple, direct comparisons of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability performance among competitors and across supply chains, industry, and regions. It reinforces third-party standards and encourages transparency and responsible behavior. Our comprehensive database of CSR information provides a complete set of sustainability metrics and tools. We support and serve the decision-making needs of corporate managers, researchers and activists.

 

For more information, visit www.csrhub.com or contact Bahar Gidwani, CEO and Co-Founder, CSRHub, bahar@csrhub.com.

 

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New Mobile App with CSRHub Sustainability Ratings

We are excited to announce Ethical Barcode hasEthical Barcode app powered by CSRHub API released a new app that lets you uncover what you’re truly supporting when you shop. Scan barcodes quickly at the grocery store, and make an empowered, ethical decision on what to buy. Ethical Barcode is using the newly updated CSRHub Specification for REST Access (CSRA) API to power CSRHub ratings into the app. Use Ethical Barcode to empower your next trip to the grocery store and instantly find out which companies really share your values on child labor, animal testing, deforestation and other ethical issues.

 

The app is already receiving some great reviews at the Google Play store!

Just what I needed! It’s now convenient to shop cruelty free. I’m so excited!  KGV
 
This app lets you know how sustainable a product is just by scanning the barcode. It is great helping you do your part to protect our planet!  P Hader

 

Learn more at ethicalbarcode.com/  and download for Android or Apple today.

 

Interested in piping CSRHub ratings into your next app or project? We are happy to help.  The CSRHub Specification for REST Access (CSRA) API offers a simple way for professional-level CSRHub subscribers and partners to request information from the CSRHub database. There are now 105 calls listed in the API, with more than 200 variations. A developer can easily write code that requests CSRHub overall, category or subcategory ratings. Applications can also use the CSRA API to request information about companies, ratings at the overall, category, or subcategory level for any month from December 2008 through the present, average ratings for industries and more.  Check out our newly updated API!

 

Subscribe to CSRHub today for access to the CSRHub Specification for REST Access (CSRA) API.  Let us know your development plans, and we can help promote your app or project release!

 


 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,900+ companies from 135 industries in 102 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 325 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

 

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