The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Corporate Societal Impact - What Are The Measures?

The Total Impact Valuation: Overview of Current Practices front cover image.
25 July 2018 | Updated 27 July 2018

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 | Published 25 July 2018


Related Articles

Power Rangers - Waste Firms Divert Landfill To Energy

Washroom services operator, the PHS Group has announced a new partnership with Viridor which will divert customer waste from landfill into power generation. As part of...

 Read Full Article
Recycle Week

September 23-29 is Recycle Week with the theme  Recycling - It’s In Our Own Hands. The organisers state that 2018 was the year that Britain woke up to...

 Read Full Article
Furey Gets Wilder

Jackie Furey has taken the gloves off and thrown her heavyweight experience in to developing top tips to stop your office heating the planet. Unless you’ve been...

 Read Full Article
Climate Change and Security Officer Wellbeing

Rises in the cost of living, extreme weather changes and geopolitical upheaval are all factors that will have both long and short term effects on the wellbeing of...

 Read Full Article
Harrods’ Facilities Team Achieves Paper Towel Sustainability

Harrods, the Knightsbridge luxury department store, has solved one of its biggest FM challenges by diverting tonnes of its used paper hand towels from general...

 Read Full Article
What Impact Will Climate Change Have on the Security Industry? – Part One

Despite the security sector not being a key industry contributing to carbon emissions, it is expected to face significant impacts due to climate change affecting the...

 Read Full Article
Global Recycling Day 2022 in FM

This year's Global Recycling Day took place on 18 March and celebrated the "recycling fraternity", those who put themselves on the frontline to...

 Read Full Article
EV Demand Drives Progress

The growing versatility of EV fleets and the imminent introduction of airborne variants are pushing infrastructure and technology to new limits. The UK automotive...

 Read Full Article
How Exaggerated are Net-Zero Corporate Claims?

The carbon reduction targets of 25 of the world’s largest companies have been scrutinised in the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor report. As consumers,...

 Read Full Article
Cleaning Trends for 2022

Cleaning product manufacturer and distributor Robert Scott has revealed the findings of its latest customer research, identifying the key trends that will dominate the...

 Read Full Article