Governance and Ethics
This includes the operational principles that support embedded sustainability and the achievement of positive outcomes in each of the other interconnected social and environmental issues outlined in this framework.
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These guidelines from the OECD were created to promote a common understanding among governments and stakeholders on due diligence for responsible business conduct. They can help you to understand the importance of due diligence towards identifying, preventing, mitigating, and accounting for actual and potential adverse impacts on the systems your business depends upon. The guide includes plain-language explanations of the OECD's due diligence recommendations; questions related to the overview of due diligence for responsible business conduct; and questions related to the due diligence process, such as identifying and assessing impacts, tracking implementation and results, and communicating how impacts are addressed. Implementing the recommendations of this guide can help you to avoid and address adverse impacts related to workers, human rights, the environment, bribery, consumers, and more.
This resource offers short explanations of sustainability in the context of board oversight, management accountability, executive compensation, corporate policies and management systems, and public policy. This is part of The CERES Roadmap for Sustainability.
This report offers insight into the debate around whether or not fiduciary duty is a legitimate barrier to investors integrating sustainability into their investment processes. It was produced by Principles for Responsible Investing in collaboration with UNEP and the UN Global Compact. The report is based on interviews with over fifty investors, policy makers, lawyers, and regulators.
This exploratory self-assessment was created to evaluate the integration of key sustainability competencies within board-level decision-making. The multiple-choice questionnaire assesses ESG considerations across five core pillars: purpose & business model; risk management; engagement with management; engagement with stakeholders; and non-financial reporting. Towards building a baseline, this tool may be of help to corporate directors, executives, corporate secretaries, risk committees, and other governance and sustainability professionals tasked with assessing the board’s effectiveness of ESG oversight.
This brief from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development explores sustainability skills and competencies for senior leaders, and may help you in identifying where to direct attention towards development within your own company. The brief highlights six key leadership features emerging as common themes among companies: understanding the context, managing complexity and coping with uncertainty, systems thinking, working beyond boundaries, leading change, and enabling innovation.
This resource highlights the importance of fostering knowledge and a common understanding among senior partners before developing a strategy on how to be a sustainable and innovative business. This case study explores PwC's sustainability journey, and how the company redefined what was needed from their leaders. Equipping their management board with a broader and more forward-looking mindset was crucial to empowering them to help clients with transitioning to more sustainable operating models.
The Sustainable Board Roadmap is a tool for boards, management, and other governance professionals and teams to assess and benchmark the board’s ESG / sustainability governance practices. The Sustainable Board Roadmap includes 39 practices for board members, and consists of evaluation questions and a ranking system that allow for a gap assessment of leading practices on ESG oversight by boards. This tool will help improve awareness of emerging trends on sustainability issues, and will help identify which practices are most relevant for your organisation.
A social purpose business is one whose enduring reason for being is to create a better world. As pressure mounts on industry to redefine its role in society and to help communities navigate turbulence, it has become paramount for companies to evaluate how their growth and reach can become a uniquely positive force. This short paper from Coro Strandberg will help you to understand what social purpose is and what it is not, as well as how you can distinguish it from mission, vision, and values.
The Edelman Trust Barometer is an annual global survey of more than 32,000 respondents from around the globe. Their reporting covers a range of timely and important societal indicators of trust among business, media, government and NGOs, and can provide business leaders, change agents, and marketing experts with unique insights into trends in public perceptions towards industry.
This booklet from the Purpose Foundation can help you to better understand how businesses can embed their values and mission into their ownership structure. The first to section explains the importance of ownership to business success and sustainability outcomes; the second section outlines five different legal structures within the umbrella of ‘steward-ownership’ that integrate accountability and mission integrity; and the third section presents case examples of businesses that have transitioned to steward-ownership. The concepts and ideas raised here will be most valuable to business leaders interested in implementing more equitable structures of ownership.
This report from the UN global Compact can help you understand the business case for strengthening rule of law. It outlines how to support legal frameworks and public institutions through your core business practices, strategic social investment and philanthropy, public policy engagement, and partnerships. These strategies may be relevant to a number of different departments, but especially sustainability and public affairs.
This paper from the Taskforce on Nature Markets can help you understand the emerging perspective that nature has fundamental rights and human beings have the legal authority and responsibility to enforce these rights on nature's behalf. It traces how this trend is being expressed in environmental law and the implications for nature-linked markets, including within nature credits and soft commodity markets. This paper points to a paradigm shift that will be most relevant to sustainability and legal practitioners.
It is all too common that traditional and cultural knowledge is made secondary to Westernized worldviews, and particularly within industry. However, there is tremendous, untapped value in using unique cultural and intergenerational ways of knowing to provide a better understanding of complex issues. This short, evocative video explores how rainmakers in Nganyi, Kenya have perfected the art of interpreting plant responses and animal behaviors to predict weather, and how researchers are bringing together ancient and modern systems of thinking to build climate resilience in Africa.
This set of guidelines from the ILO, The World Bank, The Canadian International Development Agency, and KIVU Nature Inc. provides valuable insights that can help you to work effectively with Indigenous Peoples while respecting their rights. It emphasises the importance of applying traditional knowledge systems to decision-making in a way that is respectful, empowering, and complementary to western, science-based knowledge. It includes a series of case studies that illustrate how traditional knowledge can be applied in the planning and implementation of projects, as well as guidelines on how to work with Indigenous Peoples.
Established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, The Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) serve as guidelines that will help your leaders, HR professionals, and change agents to promote gender equality and empowerment in the workplace. Adopting these principles involves six main stages: Consider, Sign, Activate, Engage, Sustain, and Report. Towards helping you understand and progress through these stages, the WEPs has created a comprehensive brochure that features tools, examples, insights, and other resources.
The Indigenous Navigator is a framework and set of tools created for - and by - Indigenous Peoples to systematically monitor the level of recognition and implementation of their rights. They have created community-based monitoring tools that help to illustrate the realisation of Indigenous rights on the ground; a community data portal to make implementation gaps more visible; and tools, publications, tutorials, and other resources to engage and support Indigenous Peoples in monitoring the implementation of their rights. The Indigenous Navigator is an excellent resource both for change agents and leaders responsible for building relations with Indigenous communities and for those seeking comprehensive tools to help anchor their work in the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The findings and recommendations of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report are essential knowledge for those who live and do business in Canada, and especially for those whose business activities immediately affect Indigenous communities.
Drawing on six years of testimony from witnesses, this resource explains the history of Indigenous cultural genocide in Canada, including the legacy of the residential school system and of institutional discrimination and assimilation; explores the challenges of reconciliation against enduring colonial politics and economics; and issues 94 calls to action that your organisation can directly or indirectly advance.
This short video from Murray Sinclair - the chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada - is a heartfelt and accessible primer that will help you to understand the context of the residential school system on survivors and their descendants, and provides thoughtful questions that can help guide your company's approach to advancing its relationship with Indigenous peoples.
This guidebook from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business was created to help you build respectful and sustainable relationships with both Indigenous businesses and communities. The first half of the guide introduces the historical and cultural context of business reconciliation, and the latter half outlines practical steps for working effectively with Indigenous Peoples based on a 3-step process of educate, reflect, and act. This resource will be most useful to individuals and teams engaging with Indigenous businesses and communities, such as procurement, business development, community relations, and human resource professionals.
Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
The National Inquiry’s Final Report is a landmark document that reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in Canada. This report is comprised of truths and testimonies from family members, survivors of violence, experts, and Knowledge Keepers, and culminates in 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries, and all Canadians.
This document will help to familiarise you with Indigenous people's context of multigenerational and intergenerational trauma and marginalisation when engaging with, investing in, and supporting their communities and businesses.
This report from the Reconciliation & Responsible Investment Initiative uses a broad set of indicators to highlight corporate Canada's progress in advancing reconciliation. The indicators address five central themes: recognition of Indigenous peoples in diversity policies and corporate leadership; employment and advancement of Indigenous employees; employment-related training and education; commitment to upholding Indigenous rights; and community investment and support. With this criteria the report provides an analysis of how 78 Canadian companies across a range of industries are equitably engaging with Indigenous Peoples, and includes key findings in relation to hiring, training, referencing Indigenous Peoples in policies, and setting formal commitments to uphold and advance Indigenous rights. This is an important resource for understanding the work that businesses in Canada are undertaking to meet the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action, and may help you to understand some of the approaches that are being adopted to advance reconciliation.
This resource from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples was created to help you progress toward reconciliation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples. The toolkit is structured around four specific areas of reconciliation: Reflection and Learning, Leading Transformation, Inclusive Workplaces, and Outreach and Engagement. This toolkit was designed to be flexible; the principles and lessons can be applied across the spectrum of reconciliation and relations-building with Indigenous Peoples.
This book from Bob Joseph, founder and President of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., is a good starting point for understanding preferred Indigenous terms; common myths and stereotypes about Indigenous Peoples; Indigenous worldviews and barriers to employment; Aboriginal Rights and Title; the differences between types of Indigenous leadership; and the effects of UNDRIP on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The book also introduces a training model (RESPECT) that will help you to build effective relationships with Indigenous Peoples. This resource will be of particular benefit to leaders and communications professionals working for organisations with operations in North America.
This concise guide provides a handy list of practical tips to incorporate in meetings with Indigenous Peoples. This is a good primer for leaders and change agents who are new to Indigenous relations in business, and particularly within Canada.
Gregory Younging's book provides comprehensive advice on culturally appropriate publishing practices for Indigenous content, including how to respect Indigenous oral traditions and knowledge, and when to seek the advice of Elders. The book includes succinct stype principles, identifies terminology to avoid, and provides case studies that demonstrate best practices. This resource will help you to explore the cultural rights of Indigenous Peoples and build a better undersanding of how the oppressive relationship between settler communities and Indigenous Peoples is reflected in language.
This is a great book for understanding Indigenous issues in Canada. This resource from Chelsea Vowel unpacks culture and identity; the legacy of state violence; the relationship between land, law, and treaties; and more.
This workbook by Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee features processes, prompts, and links to resources that can help to guide and shift your framings and actions away from colonial defaults. It addresses topics such as colonial narratives, helping and harm, intention and impact, and reconciliation, and includes an accessible social change framework and a decolonizing process map. This book is a good starting point for critically examining your company's maturity in its decolonizing journey and for creating the space necessary for self-reflection and conscientious change.
This guide from the International Council on Mining & Metals was created to help business leaders and change agents ensure mutually beneficial outcomes through better understanding of Indigenous Peoples, their rights, and how they connect with mining activities. The guide is broken down into four parts: good practice guidance, which explores engagement and Indigenous participation, managing impacts, agreements, and dealing with grievances; a toolkit; case studies; and additional information.
Although this guide was created for the mining & materials sector, it is a worthwhile and relevant read for leaders and sustainability professionals in other industries.
This article by Amnesty International offers an overview of Indigenous Peoples globally. It provides data on the world's Indigenous population and explains the rights of Indigenous Peoples, how Indigeneity can be identified, and the importance of protecting Indigenous cultures and knowledge. This brief introduction can be used by change agents as a resource to share with leaders and peers to help familiarise them with the issues affecting Indigenous Peoples.
This essay from First Peoples Law can help you understand the formation of Indigenous rights in Canada and the problems within that rights framework. The author outlines how Canadian courts have created Indigenous rights that are secondary to non-Indigenous rights, and how they have maintained their limited position overtime. He explains how the Supreme Court of Canada's interpretation of rights fits into a wider project of oppression through creating and recreating 'the other,' and he explains how decolonisation cannot truly begin without truth-telling. This resource will be useful to anyone whose organisation is working with Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Indigenous Rights and Financial Institutions: Free, Prior and Informed Consent, Just Transition and Emerging Practice
This guide produced by Shift can help you better understand and respect Indigenous Peoples rights, specifically when financing clients with projects or value chains connected to Indigenous territories. The guide outlines how Indigenous groups are defined and why Indigenous rights are important to uphold from a financial institution’s perspective. It explains good practice related to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and examines key challenges for the finance sector, such as the lack of information on respecting Indigenous rights and how to navigate power imbalances. The annex section also features summaries of additional resources, including human rights standards and relevant tools for business.
This global standard was created to provide a framework to ensure that companies' lobbying and political engagement activities align with the goal of restricting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It includes an investor statement in support of responsible climate lobbying as well as an appendix of 14 indicators of responsible climate lobbying, which outlines requirements among policy and climate change-related commitments; governance; and actions. This standard is an excellent starting point for any business currently engaged in direct and/or indirect climate lobbying as well as businesses actively considering participation.
This article explains how businesses can engage responsibly in the political sphere and advance sustainability through their political activities. The article asks key questions that can help your company to better use its political clout, and unpacks four principles - accountability, transparency, responsibility, and legitimacy - that can help you to better understand whether (and how) to engage in political influence.
Despite the clarity and availability of scientific research, policy action on climate change has fallen short of what is needed. This resource from Ceres will help you to establish systems that address climate change as a systemic risk and integrate this understanding into your company's direct and indirect lobbying on climate policies. Designed primarily for the governance and legal departments of companies, this Blueprint builds on existing resources and provides concrete recommendations for 1) assessing the impacts of climate change to your company, 2) systematizing decision-making on climate change across the company, and 3) acting to align lobbying with public, science-based climate policies. Many of the guiding principles here can also be applied to other social and environmental issues that impact your company.
This resource from Ceres was created to provide companies with insights into best practices and top performers for climate advocacy. It benchmarks S&P 100 companies against the expectations laid out in the Ceres Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change, and outlines trends and guidance to help you to better assess climate-related business risks; systematise decision-making; advocate in support of IPCC-aligned policy; and engage with trade associations to support said policy. Ceres also released an interactive database to help you to assess and compare companies’ performance on key metrics.
This set of principles from the ERB Institute was created to provide you with an actionable, nonpartisan template for responsible corporate engagement in political affairs. The principles cover four topics: legitimacy, accountability, responsibility, and transparency. Foundational responsibilities and discretionary opportunities are outlined for these topics. This guidance will be most applicable to legal and compliance teams, but may also be insightful for sustainability teams seeking to better understand how businesses may be undermining their sustainability efforts through their lobbying.
This framework by the We Mean Business Coalition aims to help you match your climate policy advocacy efforts with your climate ambition. It explains Responsible Policy Engagement (RPE); identifies the advocacy gap and outlines how you can identify the advocacy gap for your organisation; and highlights the drivers and benefits of RPE. It is also complemented by a data tracker, which illustrates the gap between the advocacy efforts of the world’s largest firms and their SBTi-validated climate targets. The framework is designed for public affairs, legal, and marketing teams, but may be most useful to the sustainability teams and other change agents working to drive change in these departments.
Attention to ESG disclosure has risen dramatically in recent years, and yet the "political footprint" of businesses consistently flies under the radar. This resource can help you understand this phenomenon, as well as understand the tools that are currently available for reporting on corporate political activities such as lobbying, political spending, and other forms of public policy influence. The tracker assesses all major corporate political responsibility initiatives, identifies trends and best practices, and provides specific recommendations for action for different stakeholders, including companies and investors. It also features a series of ranked scorecards for each of the 26 initiatives assessed. This guide will be most useful to corporate change agents, investors, and others interested in making political conduct of businesses more visible and better aligned with addressing sustainability challenges.
This report from Planet Tracker can help you understand and identify the nuances of greenwashing. It explains the problem of greenwashing, identifies six different types of greenwashing, and provides an overview of the global regulatory crackdown on greenwashing. The report may be of particular value to sales, marketing, and procurement professionals.
This report from WWF and others can help you assess the integrity and consistency of net-zero transition plans. It begins by defining greenwashing and how it relates to transition plan credibility, which is a prerequisite for effective capital allocation and climate risk management. It then proposes a framework for assessing transition plan credibility based on a study of 28 transition frameworks. The outcome of this study is a red flag indicator framework that can be used to assess the ambition, credibility, and feasibility of transition plans and prevent greenwashing.
Although the proposed framework was designed for investors, it will also be useful to strategy, sustainability, and finance teams working to develop or improve climate transition plans for their organisation.
Misleading communication around environmental and social topics is on the rise, harming progress on sustainability globally and eroding both investor and consumer trust. This article from RepRisk can help you understand recent trends related to greenwashing and social washing. It explains the regulatory response to misleading sustainability-related communications, trends in greenwashing risk exposure, and recent (and growing) attention to social washing risk. The guide will be most useful to sustainability professionals responsible for disclosure, as well as communications, marketing, and enterprise risk teams.
The Tax Justice Network (TJN) is an advocacy group that creates and curates resources to help address tax avoidance, tax competition, and tax havens. Their learning hub includes short, introductory guides on key tax justice issues, curated collections of relevant articles, and pioneering research reports, such as the State of Tax Justice report. They have also developed a broad range of tools and indexes, such as country profiles on tax havens; the Financial Secrecy Index; the Corporate Tax Haven Index; and the Illicit Financial Flows Vulnerability Tracker. The TJN is a key reference point for leaders and senior sustainability professionals who want to advance the ethics of corporate tax strategy and tax disclosures, both within their organisation and across their industry.
Launched in 2020, the Financial Secrecy Index is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows. The tool features an interactive overview map and interactive nation-centered databases that ranks jurisdictions according to transparent qualitative and quantitative criteria. This tool will help you to understand that most of the world’s most important providers of financial secrecy are, in fact, among the world’s biggest and wealthiest countries, and will empower you to directly confront offshore secrecy and the global infrastructure that creates and perpetuates it.
This index clearly identifies and ranks the jurisdictions most complicit in helping corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It also highlights laws and policies that your business can support towards reducing the ability of these jurisdictions to perpetuate such abuse.
The Fair Tax Foundation was launched in 2014, and was developed by a team of tax justice, corporate responsibility, and ethical consumerism experts. The product of their efforts was the Fair Tax Mark: an accreditation scheme created to encourage and recognise businesses that pay the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place. Their assessment process involves the review of policy, reporting, and tax payments, and includes suggestions for improvement. If your company is motivated and committed to advancing tax justice and transparency, an excellent first step is to review the Fair Tax Mark's standards, guidance notes, and FAQs and to pursue accreditation.
The Leeds Building Society provides an excellent example of tax transparency that can help you to benchmark your tax payment-related performance and to craft a credible position statement on fair tax payments. These examples provide a consice and coherent explanation for why the Leeds Building Society believes it is important to pay the right amount of tax, at the right time, in compliance with the spirit and letter of the law, and they explain why the Leeds Building Society was personally motivated to pursue Fair Tax Mark accreditation. These resources also explain how they manage and monitor tax risk, and how they plan to engage with relevant tax authorities to ensure compliance.
This resource lays out seven principles for responsible taxation that your company can implement and endorse to support stable, secure, and sustainable societies. These principles are a collaborative effort between Team B, leading companies, civil society groups, institutional investors, and international institution representatives. The document also provides a straight-forward call to action for businesses.
This report aims to highlight the potential strength of effective cross-sector partnerships in delivering against broader societal sustainability goals. KPMG have supplemented their own experiences with one-to-one interviews and research to put forward a framework of eight factors that should be considered when creating, operating, and sustaining collaborative partnerships.
The article discusses how long-term sustainable collaborations with other organisations (both public and private) can help businesses tackle complex environmental and social issues. Through research with businesses, government, and NGO leaders, authors Albani and Henderson provide seven ways that businesses can successfully collaborate.
This brief case from Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) demonstrates how mutual benefits can be derived by businesses collaborating with NGOs and communities to explore opportunities for investment. It explores how a non-profit organisation worked with a major mining company to develop a new approach to engaging communities, and helped shift the company's emphasis on investments in philanthropy towards a participatory approach to investments that satisfied both the company's and community's needs.
When it comes to community investment, often times practitioners take a predictive approach (where we expect A to lead to B and then C). However, this doesn't tend to align with the multi-faceted nature of sustainability issues. This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review will help you to become familiar with the idea of developing a emergent approach to community investment. It is targeted at philanthropic foundations, but should be valuable for a diverse range of sustainability practitioners.
This report offers a comprehensive summary of how collaboration is key to unlocking sustainability. The report starts with the premise that no single organisation or sector has the knowledge or resources to "go it alone," and explores the nature and characteristics of different types of multi-sector partnerships before offering a model for the creation of cross-sector partnerships. The report ends with a series of focused recommendations and good practice for different groups (Business, NGOs, Government, and Communities) engaging in partnerships.
The Partnering Initiative (TPI) has created a range of resources to support multi-stakeholder collaboration among business, governments, NGOs, and the United Nations. Their tools, guidebooks, case studies, and other resources cover a broad range of aspects of partnering, including maximising partnership value creation, partnering for philanthropic impact, collaboration for the SDGs, exit aspects of partnerships, and practical approaches to brokering and communicating. TPI is a good starting point for leaders and practitioners who want to develop their engagement skills and create systems and mechanisms for convening sktaeholders and catalysing partnerships.
This handbook from the International Finance Corporation was created to support company engagement with stakeholder groups "external" to core operations, such as affected communities, local government authorities, and other affected parties. It is divided into two parts: key concepts and principles of stakeholder engagement, and integrating this engagement with the project cycle. In the first part is a useful section on grievance management, which highlights key insights and offers practical advice on managing and resolving dissatisfaction and disputes. This section may be of help to project managers who want to take a proactive approach to preventing grievances from arising and to effectively and equitably resolving them when they emerge.
This comprehensive manual was created by Ipieca to provide step-by-step guidance for the design and implementation of operational-level grievance mechanisms, as well as the design and management of corporate-level frameworks for resolving community grievances. The manual draws upon the practical experiences of seven pilot projects created by Ipieca member companies, as well as shared learning from Ipieca members and stakeholders, and will be of particular benefit to operations managers, project managers, policy-makers, and other leaders responsible for managing relations with community partners.
Although this manual was created by and for the oil and gas industry, the manual includes an expansive array of instructions and helpful grievance mechanism tools that can be applied to a broad range of industry and operations contexts.
This case study from Teck, a Canadian mining company, summarises how the company manages relationships with Indigenous Peoples, and can help you to better understand what good practice looks like. The first section outlines how Teck implements governance and accountability around Indigenous relations, including responsibilities assigned to senior leadership and their Indigenous Peoples Policy. The second section explains how the company goes beyond regulatory requirement in its engagement with Indigenous Peoples, including how it negotiates agreements, engages in consultation, and incorporates local Indigenous knowledge into decision-making processes. It also shares how Teck identifies potentially impacted groups, how it includes Indigenous people in its procurement and hiring practices, and how it reports its progress.
This review from the Canadian Human Rights Commission can help you understand how Indigenous and western dispute resolution processes can be used together in way that respects cultural differences. The first section outlines common challenges in dispute resolution involving Indigenous Peoples, including discrepancies in power, cultural differences, language barriers, and colonial impacts. The second section examines differences in Indigenous and western worldviews in relation to dispute settlement. Finally, the resource explores the potential to overcome these challenges and differences to use both systems complementarily. The guidance will be most useful to community relations and legal departments.
Solid work you mob are doing: Case studies in Indigenous dispute resolution and conflict management in Australia
This detailed report produced by the Federal Court of Australia, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, can help you to better manage disputes with Indigenous communities. It focuses on three main case studies as well as a series of short studies. Based on learnings from these cases, the report outlines strategies for implementing effective Indigenous dispute management practices that are applicable beyond the Australian context. This guidance will be most useful to Community Relations, Legal, and Sustainability teams.
Are you designing new goals or interested in benchmarking your goals against leading practice? To help advance progress in setting credible goals, we will maintain a public goals database containing leading sustainability goals and commitments set by large companies globally. Search by issue, company, industry, goal type, or SDG target.
If you are aware of goals that take a credible approach that should be featured in our database, please let us know.
Is your company interested in taking a public position on an ESG issue?
To help companies develop strong, clear positions, we will maintain a public database containing leading positions articulated by large companies globally.
Our governance guide outlines how companies should articulate their positions, and we have applied this criteria to the positions featured in this database.
There is growing pressure among companies to link social and environmental limits to corporate strategy and goal-setting. However, the result is often a lengthy document that fails to make strategic connections between specific issues and their implications on business decision-making. We developed this guidebook to help you articulate a concise and transparent board level position on key environmental, social, and governance issues. Drawing upon in-depth analyses of over 4,000 board position statements; over 200 interviews with CEOs, directors, and board chairs; and concepts outlined in our series on the Road to Context, this guidebook provides a checklist for crafting a contextual board position statement and includes examples from a range of industries and global settings.
As ESG reporting requirements evolve, many companies find themselves struggling to provide forward-looking, investor-grade information. This guide from WBCSD provides a 3-part structured process for selecting and structuring inputs during the ESG reporting decision-making process. For practitioners involved in corporate disclosure activities, this handbook directly addresses many of the most common questions that Boards of Directors and other executives have about ESG disclosure.
This report from BSR draws on features from notable reporting standards and frameworks - including GRI, SASB, and the TCFD - and presents a five-step process for effective disclosure. While the first step in couched in materiality, from which leading companies are moving beyond, steps 2-5 will be particularly helpful for first-time reporters to better evaluate and understand their audience and the presentation and formatting of their report.
Traceability is an important part of developing a sustainable value chain. Part II of this guide from the UN Global Compact will help you to familiarize yourself with the three main approaches to traceability: Product Segregation, Mass Balance, and Book and Claim. Part III offers practical guidance on implementing traceability. The guide also includes an annex that lists the most relevant traceability issues and actors for ten common commodities.
This framework from the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) features twelve core principles for building, strengthening, and supporting ethical supply chains. These principles serve as a guide for companies and others in setting, implementing, monitoring, and reporting on effective goals and commitments on deforestation, ecosystem conversion, and human rights in ethical supply chains. AFi has also developed operational guidance to help you put the core principles into practice; a self-assessment to help you with benchmarking your goals, policies, and practices against the framework; and other related tools and guides.
This brief from Re:Structure Lab can help you to better understand key requirements for strong and effective human rights due diligence legislation and practices to address the business drivers of forced labour along the supply chain. The brief explains how governments can use mandatory human rights due diligence as a key tool - alongside broader legal reforms - to drive wide ranging changes to business practices along end-to-end supply chains. It also explores government solutions that companies can support, such as human rights due diligence legislation and transparency legislation reform.
This brief from Re:Structure Lab can help you to better understand the shortcomings of private tools and schemes intended to detect, address, and prevent forced labour, as well as how these flaws can be addressed. The brief explores how social auditing and certification can be regulated and reformed to eradicate forced labour, and maps out the ways monitoring tools would need to change to play a meaningful role in promoting labour standards.
This checklist produced by NAVEX outlines how you can create an effective anti-bribery compliance programme. It consists of a checklist of actions organised within a protect, detect, and correct methodology, including risk assessments, communications, oversight activities, and more. This actionable guidance will be most useful to legal and compliance professionals, as well as supply chain managers.
This comprehensive and interactive guide from the International Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (IACRC) can help you counter corruption. It has three sections that provide step-by-step instruction on how to detect, prove, and prevent corruption, such as bribery, bid rigging, collusive bidding, and fraud.
Although this guide is written from an international development lens, it provides relevant guidance for business. This includes how to identify ‘red flags’, respond to complaints, and conduct investigations. It also lists additional resource for mitigating corruption risk.
This report from Transparency International can help you understand how to prevent corruption and build business integrity. It explains the business case for corporate integrity, outlines the importance of disclosures in creating accountability, and highlights anti-corruption practices through a series of case studies from Transparency International’s work in Indonesia, Italy, and Mexico. It also includes a resources section on page 19. This guidance will be most useful to legal and compliance teams.
This framework from Transparency International can help you develop and implement effective anti-bribery policies. It recommends minimum requirements for your anti-bribery programme, and includes guidance for assessing bribery risk, defining programme scope, and programme implementation. The guidance will be most useful to Legal and Compliance departments.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries and territories around the world by perceived levels of public sector corruption, and can help you understand where national governments have the least ability to protect the public and uphold the rule of law. The index shows that progress against corruption continues to stagnate around the world; high scores indicate strong institutions and well-functioning democracies, and low scores indicate impacts from conflict or from the restriction of personal and political freedoms. This tool can help inform your Risk, Legal, Supply Chain, and Business Development teams about security risk trends that may affect your operations or value chain.
The High-Level Expert Group on AI has created ethics guidelines to promote trusworthy artificial intelligence (AI). According to the guidelines, trustworthy AI should be lawful, respecting all applicable laws and regulations; ethical, respecting all ethical principles and values; and robust, from both a technical and social environmental perspective. This guidance introduces seven key requirements that AI systems should meet in order to be deemed trustworthy and highlights assessment criteria to verify these requirements are being met. This is an importance resource for senior leaders, technology experts, and sustainability change agents of any large organisation that is considering developing and/or implementing AI into their operations. The High-Level Expert Group on AI was set up by the European Commission, the principles and recommendations of their guidance are applicable to every business regardless of industry or geography.
These principles promote use of AI that is innovative, trustworthy, and respectful of human rights and democratic values. They consist of five value-based principles: inclusive growth, sustainable development and well-being; human-centred values and fairness; transparency and explainability; robustness, security, and safety; and accountability. This resource also includes key recommendations for policy-makers. These principles will be useful to anyone involved in procuring or implementing AI technologies, as well as for leaders who want to build a better understanding of ethical principles and practices.
This primer provides a helpful high-level summary of artificial intelligence that will benefit executives, board members, and other business leaders. It explains the concept and types of AI, as well as their impact on workers; highlights the risks of data bias and insecurity, privacy concerns, and regulatory risks; and examines the opportunities, such as those related to workforce training and collaborative machine-human applications.
There is a growing number of shareholder resolutions requesting the adoption and disclosure of environmental, employee, social, and governance factors into executive compensation. This article will help you to understand why the inclusion of EESG criteria into executive compensation programs is an irreversible trend. It explores key obstacles and opportunities and how to navigate them, and provides advice from global directors and executives who have integrated - or are in the process of integrating - EESG into their compensation plans.
This resource is part of the Salzburg Questions for Corporate Governance series by the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum, and was informed by insights from the Driving Accountability: Integrating EESG into executive compensation program.
This brief from Re:Structure Lab can help you to better understand how the redistribution of value is essential to eliminating forced labour and other types of economic exploitation from the global economy. The brief explains how profits from production are increasingly captured by powerful brands, retailers, and investors, as well as the key underlying factors that are driving inequitably value distribution. It also highlights solutions, such as direct redistribution of value through wage benchmarking; worker-driven social responsibility programs; support for labour organising; the strengthening of anti-trust measures; and more.
This brief from WTW provides a good introduction to how ESG metrics are currently being used in executive incentive plans, specifically among the world's largest public companies in the Global North. It can help you to build your understanding of the most prevalent metrics being used, as well as how ESG is being measured and incorporated into incentive plans.
More attention needs to be paid to ensuring corporations recognize and reward the value provided by rest of the workforce. This brief from SHARE highlights how often employee performance is overlooked when considering the contributions that a well-compensated CEO provides. The report also looks at ways to elevate the place of the workforce within listed corporations so that boards, executives, and investors can ensure that employees are incentivised.
This guide by The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) will help you to understand why income inequality is one of the major systemic challenges of our time. The first part of the guide (pages 4-11) is most relevant to business. It provides a succinct overview of the issue and a clear case for why it matters, including how it weakens social, environmental, and financial systems. This resource will be most useful to those seeking to communicate this issue with finance professionals within the organisation.
This briefing from Chartered Accountants of Canada provides a concise and accessible introduction to the topic of executive compensation, and includes a checklist of questions that can help directors to critically assess and effectively oversee compensation-related decisions and practices, as well as to better understand the qualities of an effective compensation program.
The "COVID Cut" is Not Enough: Addressing the Negative Social Impacts of Excessive Executive Compensation
This article explains how COVID-19 cuts to executive pay (taken at the base salary level) are a hollow gesture - instead, excess pay to leaders requires wholistic compensation reform to better re-allocate capital. This resource will help you to be understand the capacity of investors to create equitable change around compensation.