Sustainability and corporate responsibility practitioners believe that doing good is also good business, but the test is being able to demonstrate results in a way that resonates with leaders and other stakeholders. This continues to be a challenge. However, progress is being made that can help bridge that gap. Yes, there’s plenty of recent research from academia showing the correlation between corporate responsibility and financial results, but this isn’t always persuasive about what your company should do.
New tools and techniques are available to help companies place a dollar value on the indirect benefits achieved through environmental/social programs, and finally, rising investor interest in sustainability data is helping more "doubters" realize that sustainability is increasingly being viewed as an indicator of performance and quality.
At the recent GMA/FMI Sustainability Summit, thought leaders from the investment, corporate sustainability, academic and standard setting worlds got together for a panel discussion about what’s working and what’s not.
Some of the top-level take-aways:
For sustainability executives, arming yourself with both the financial and non-financial benefits of your programs, is key to having effective conversations with your counterparts in the finance department so they can understand the trade-offs of decision-making on sustainability funding.