The Biggest & Best Portal to the Professional Property, Workplace and Built Environment Community

Tuesday, 22 January

Corporate Societal Impact - What Are The Measures?

The Total Impact Valuation: Overview of Current Practices front cover image.

A study has examined the methods companies use to measure their impact on society.

The Conference Board (with bases in a number of countries) has released a study with examples of how businesses put a monetary value on their environmental, economic and social impacts.

This emerging practice - Total Impact Valuation - reveals to what extent their actions have a positive or negative influence beyond traditional financial accounting – a useful metric for any business looking to provide more societal value.

The study, Total Impact Valuation: Overview of Current Practices, looks at the approaches companies use to evaluate their total impact; the primary characteristics of these approaches, such as the types of indicators measured; and, the key similarities and differences between these approaches.

“Companies now face unprecedented pressure to disclose data about their environmental and social impacts, making Total Impact Valuation a valuable tool in today’s sustainability landscape,” said Thomas Singer, author of the report and Principal Researcher in the Sustainability Center at The Conference Board. “But for the practice to gain more appeal across the globe, the business community must help to improve its key drawbacks – namely, the limited comparability of results given the absence of a standard methodology.”

 

Insights from the analysis include:

  • Water use and greenhouse gas emissions are the two most commonly monetised indicators.

  • Companies typically select the indicators to include in their impact analyses based on a combination of data availability, measurability, and significance to their stakeholders.

  • In addition to water use and greenhouse gas emissions, other commonly monetised indicators from the group of examined companies include employee training and workplace accidents.

 

Total Impact Valuation is still in its embryonic stage

The study identified 14 trailblazing companies worldwide that met its overarching criteria - companies that publish the results of quantitative impact analyses that include both environmental and social impacts. The companies include multinationals BASF, AzkoNobel, and Samsung. While still in its infancy, the practice has gained momentum to the extent that many accounting firms now have a presence in this realm. Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC have all established methodologies and provide relevant service offerings.

Singer added: "Extending Total Impact Valuation to the value chain can yield insights but only a handful of companies do this. A valuation of impacts confined to just a company’s own operations risks obscuring significant yet more distant downstream or mainstream impacts. Most companies engage in only this limited approach, due largely to the additional resources required for conducting a comprehensive analysis that includes its value chain."

 

About the Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Its mission is to provide practical knowledge so major companies can improve their performance and better serve society.

Picture: The Total Impact Valuation: Overview of Current Practices front cover image.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

Share



Related Articles

I Like a Nice Cuppa Tea in the Morning...

Liverpool is officially the tea drinking capital of the UK, according to a new study. Researchers took an in-depth look into the hot beverage habits of the nation and...

 Read Full Article
Runneth Your Cups Over to Costa

Costa is launching a nationwide recycling scheme across over 2,000 stores in order to recover and guarantee the recycling of its takeaway cups. Competitor takeaway cups...

 Read Full Article
Finding Watchers for Monster Munchers

Waste collecting giant Biffa reckons it might start its own spotting craze in the UK following the launch of its new breed of dustbin lorries, dubbed the Wasteaters....

 Read Full Article
Keeping in the Loop

BPI Recycled Products is working with Oadby and Wigston Borough Council on a closed loop recycling scheme. The operation is turning the Leicestershire council’s...

 Read Full Article
No Waste in These Awards

RWM 2015, the international event for resource and waste management innovation announced the winner in its search to find the industry’s Rising Stars of resource...

 Read Full Article
Restaurants and Bars Slammed Over Lack of Recycling

Restaurants, bars and night clubs are the worst in the industrial and service sectors for recycling their waste, it has emerged, writes Commercial Director Mark Hall of...

 Read Full Article
A HELPFUL Hand To Recycle On The Canary Wharf Estate

The Canary Wharf Group has launched a new App that the Group expects to encourage widespread reuse and recycling across its estate. The company has partnered with...

 Read Full Article
The Planet Mark - Heroes At Homerton And Heroes At Awards

It was announced recently that Homerton University Hospital had retained The Planet Mark for the second year - as the Trust was also being nominated in the...

 Read Full Article
Acorn Sustainability Report

Acorn Engineering Group has published its first free Sustainability Report which looks at the environmental and social performance of the business over calendar year...

 Read Full Article
Black Market Plastic Bags On Sale Outside Supermarkets

Aspiring entrepreneurs are taking to selling plastic carrier bags outside of supermarkets and convenience stores, undercutting the 5p price in-store and reaping the...

 Read Full Article