These resources will help you to determine and transparently explain where you will direct your efforts based on the strategic relevance of particular issues to your business, where your company has the greatest operational or value chain impacts, the urgency of action, and where you are best positioned to support the resilience of the underlying systems.
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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.
Climate change is happening, and the impacts are intensifying. Companies are expected to take a position on climate change and outline an appropriate response. The Embedding Project’s climate position guide helps companies to articulate a concise and transparent board level position on climate change. Drawing on in-depth analyses of over 2,600 climate position statements, this guidebook provides a checklist for crafting a climate position statement with concrete examples from a range of industries and global settings.
It is time for companies to take a very different approach to corporate strategy.
Our new Embedded Strategies guide helps companies respond to the growing calls for businesses to articulate their purpose and their strategy in alignment with the need to shift the global economy towards the reduction of inequality, a rapid climate transition, the preservation of biodiversity, and the elimination of waste.
This guide will help you to develop a contextual strategy and goals that ensure your company is doing its part to maintain the resilience of key social and environmental systems.
Building on our Road to Context guide with insights from 300+ interviews with senior executives, CEOs, board chairs, and directors, as well as our experiences supporting companies around the world, it outlines resources and tactics that can help your company to scan for emerging issues and risks; understand their implications for your business; understand your impacts and your potential for positive influence; prioritise where it makes sense to direct your efforts; and set your strategy and goals in alignment with delivering systems value.
The Materiality Map was developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). It ranks issues by industry based on two types of evidence: evidence that investors in the industry are interested in the issue, and evidence that the issue has the ability to impact companies within the industry. Updated annually, this map is a good starting point to get a snapshot of industry specific priorities.
Kate Raworth's “Doughnut” model is a key framework for understanding sustainability context. Building on the planetary boundaries framework as a 'ceiling', it adds social foundations as a 'floor' and underlines the need to operate in the space between. The social foundation is made up of 11 boundaries that draw attention to communities needing access to basic resources to fulfill their human needs. This access needs to be achieved in a way that does not place undue stress on the earth's resources. The framework is based on the premise that we should be striving to build and maintain social foundations while staying within planetary boundaries.
First introduced in 2009, this framework identifies and quantifies nine planetary boundaries (or thresholds) which regulate the stability and resilience of the earth. Crossing these boundaries may generate abrupt and irreversible environmental changes that threaten the earth’s capacity to support human life. Tipping points have already been reached for climate change, biodiversity, land-system change, and the nitrogen cycle. In this TED talk, Johan Rockstrom from the Stockholm Resilience Centre introduces the framework, explores how human growth has strained resources, and explains how the global community can prioritise and scale solutions.
This podcast discusses how businesses can approach the planetary boundaries framework, using it to become more sustainable by adhering to social and environmental limits. Alok Jha interviews Johan Rockstrom of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Oxfam's Kate Raworth, and Dr. Gail Whiteman from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Whiteman touches on how the idea of planetary boundaries can bring clarity to what sustainability means when interacting with executives, and how to balance economic growth with adherence to social and environmental limits.
This article provides a summary of the Planetary Boundaries Framework and explores the environmental transformations of the Anthropocene era, the early indicators of systems under stress and threatening collapse, the compounding effect of feedback loops, and crucial next steps. If you are new to the concept of planetary boundaries and thresholds, this is a good introduction.
This tool allows you to explore and compare "national snapshots" of the resource use associated with countries meeting the basic needs of their peoples. This will help you to understand and compare national performance relative to the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries so that you can better prioritise your sustainability-related efforts.
This PWC publication provides a useful introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), explaining the value in prioritising and aligning business impact with them. There is also an interactive ‘SDG Selector’ that identifies which SDGs are most important in your sector. This tool is high level, based on data and research from the Global Goals Business Navigator.
Materiality assessments can (and should) inform both reporting and strategy, but what is most "material" from a reporting standpoint often differs from what is prioritised as part of strategy. This results in companies identifying as "material" what is most important to their stakeholders rather than what is most important to the success and longevity of the business. This article from Mia Overall does an excellent job of explaining the fundamental tension between these two objectives and how to better chart such information.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive explanation of the concept and applicability of double materiality, this white paper from GRI may be of help. It draws on academic research to investigate how double-materiality is implemented in sustainability reporting and identifies some of the benefits and challenges when applying double-materiality in practice.
BSR has created a blog series focused on expanding the scope and value of materiality assessments. The first can help you to understand the value of taking a scenario-driven approach to double materiality, where stress-testing and scenario analysis are used to determine which sustainability issues are most likely to challenge and undermine the resilience of your organisation. The second can help you to understand the value of taking a scenario-driven approach to double materiality, where stress-testing and scenario analysis are used to determine which sustainability issues are most likely to challenge and undermine the resilience of your organisation. The third can help you to understand the benefits of focusing your materiality assessment on your company's impacts on communities, the environment, and other affected stakeholders rather than on decision-useful disclosures for investors and other report readers.
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