Greenstone has partnered with leading global sustainability, EHS and risk data consultancy, SustainIt, to hold a webinar on science-based targets on Wednesday 8th November at 3pm (GMT).
20 Oct 17
Greenstone has partnered with leading global sustainability, EHS and risk data consultancy, SustainIt, to hold a webinar on science-based targets on Wednesday 8th November at 3pm (GMT).
17 Oct 17
Greenstone and Mentis Solutions are hosting a breakfast event titled ‘Simplifying Sustainability Reporting: streamlining data for efficient reporting’ on Tuesday November 21 in Toronto.
19 Sep 17
Greenstone is pleased to be supporting Ethical Corporation's two co-located events in London on 17th and 18th October. See below for details of the events and the speakers.
The 11th Annual Sustainability Reporting & Communications Summit, is the only summit bringing together CSOs, CFOs, and CEOs from the most innovative brands in Europe. They will share their insights so you can go back to the office with practical examples of how to portray your total impact throughout your report.
12 Sep 17
Greenstone is holding a webinar on Wednesday 11th October at 3.30pm BST on reporting Scope 2 emissions using the market-based methodology.
Since the introduction of the GHG Protocol’s new guidance on Scope 2 emissions in 2015, companies have had the opportunity to report the emissions associated with their electricity consumption in a way that more accurately reflects their purchasing choices; the market-based approach.
11 Sep 17
Greenstone has partnered with The Climate Group as the Event Footprint Partner for Climate Week NYC 2017. Taking place between September 18th and 24th in New York City, Climate Week NYC is one of the key summits in the international calendar and has been driving climate action forward since it was first launched by The Climate Group in 2009.
7 Sep 17
It’s that time of year again when Defra releases new UK Government conversion factors for company GHG reporting. We’ve looked into what’s new and have listed below the most notable changes in this year’s release.
Updates generally consist of modifications to existing methodologies, although this year also includes the addition of entirely new factors to account for overnight hotel stays, and to meet the rising use of electric vehicles.
29 Aug 17
The following article was recently published by Greenstone's client Sustainable Homes.
In a world awash with data, choosing the appropriate indicators to measure and monitor makes all the difference in improving business performance. Traditionally, financial metrics have been the single most important tool in measuring an organisation’s and even a country’s success. This has started to change in the last few decades due to growing concerns around environmental and social impacts of businesses. An increasing number of investors now demand data on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance just as they would request key financial information. [1, 2]
1 Aug 17
Since the introduction of the GHG Protocol’s new guidance on Scope 2 emissions in 2015, companies have had the opportunity to report the emissions associated with their electricity consumption in a way that more accurately reflects their purchasing choices; the market-based approach.
This means electricity obtained from a low-carbon supplier can now be reflected in your Scope 2 reporting. However, there has been a lot of confusion on how to calculate and report market-based emissions, particularly when it comes to purchased renewable electricity.
11 Jul 17
Greenstone is conducting a sector survey on future innovations in non-financial reporting. As companies begin to look at how AI and future technologies will impact their business, what are the opportunities for innovation to shape how they report their non-financial impacts?
Greenstone has been providing non-financial reporting software and services to organisations for over 10 years, and through our clients we have witnessed the ever changing reporting landscape first hand.
29 Jun 17
An interview with Close Brothers’ Head of Health & Safety & Environment, Sally Griffin
What has Close Brothers’ environmental reporting journey looked like to date?
Here at Close Brothers we care about the environment we operate in and are aware of our responsibility to protect natural resources and to behave sustainably. We believe, that as a financial services company, our environmental impact is limited and mostly driven by staff travel, our supply chain and our office network.
26 Jun 17
For many organisations the supply chain is becoming an increasing area of focus, and this is not just because of the increasing risks posed by more global and complex supply chains, but also due to the opportunities presented.
In recent years there has been increased scrutiny placed upon those organisations whose supply chains contain sub-standard suppliers, producers or factories. Whereas previously issues with working conditions, for example, may have been directed at employers or owners, the new norm is that those at the top of the supply chain should be exerting a more positive influence.
23 Jun 17
Greenstone is updating its SupplierPortal software to make it even easier for clients to manage and monitor all of their suppliers. We have listened to client feedback and seen the increasing need for more standardised supplier management processes and software.
SupplierPortal is designed to help your organisation manage all of your suppliers in one place. For many of our clients, sending out supplier assessment questionnaires through SupplierPortal means engaging with only a proportion of their overall supplier network, and while this can be sufficient often the remaining suppliers still need to be understood and managed. The SupplierPortal solution, particularly with the addition of new contract management functionality, ensures greater transparency across your entire supplier network.
13 Jun 17
The European Union (EU) Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) came into force in December 2014, with the deadline for member states to introduce the provisions passing late last year. Despite the vote for Brexit, the UK remains a full EU member until negotiations are concluded, meaning companies will have to comply with the new reporting requirements of the UK’s implementation. Here is everything you need to know and what you need to do.
25 May 17
Greenstone is supporting Ethical Corporation to drive the movement for 500 responsible business, CSR, communication and sustainability executives to quantify social impact. We will be joining Ethical Corporation’s 16th Responsible Business Summit Europe taking place on 7-8 June 2017 at the Hilton Tower Bridge in London.
24 May 17
Whilst designed to help companies reduce their environmental impact, ISO 14001 is also a key requirement for companies to win work through tendering. The management system standard was updated in 2015 and companies need to transition to keep their certification.
We spoke with Darren Chadwick, Managing Partner of sustainability strategy consultancy Brite Green to find about the changes to the standard and what they mean for companies.
11 May 17
This webinar has passed, please click here to watch the recording.
In late 2016, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) launched the latest version of its sustainability reporting framework. The ‘GRI Standards’ moves organisations away from the static nature of the previous GRI G4 framework and into what GRI are dubbing a “more flexible and future-proof” set of reporting guidelines.
10 May 17
Greenstone’s non-financial reporting software is one of the first software tools to complete the certification for the implementation of the new GRI Standards content.
The new Standards were announced by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) in October 2016 and were officially launched in a series of global events. Developed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the GRI Standards aim to build on the previous GRI G4 framework to help companies around the world be more transparent in all areas of sustainability and to help organisations contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
5 May 17
The below article was recently published on the SDG Knowledge Hub.
The UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have launched the Action Platform for Reporting on the SDGs. The initiative aims to provide a framework for businesses to assess and report on their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using both the GRI Standards, a sustainability reporting standard, and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact.
3 May 17
Last week's webinar on 'CDP reporting 2017 - what you need to know' generated some interesting questions and discussion. Greenstone and CDP have compiled answers to the questions that were asked during the webinar below.
18 Apr 17
The University of Manchester has received a prestigious award for two of its sustainability projects. At a national awards ceremony, the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) gave Manchester their Whole Institutional Sustainability Engagement award for two projects – 10,000 Actions and the Sustainability Challenge.
The Sustainability Challenge was rolled out across the University of Manchester’s campus last September with around 5,000 new students assembling into probably the largest project team in history. Their mission was to work together to design a new campus for the fictional ‘University of Millchester’.
13 Apr 17
This article was recently published on GreenBiz.
The biggest challenge for businesses as they consider the implications of Brexit is the uncertainty.
Fundamental issues relating to their trading conditions and regulatory environment, issues that have been settled for decades, are now up for debate and could change beyond all recognition in less than two years' time. For businesses working on multi-year, and in some cases multi-decadal, business strategies and investment plans, the challenge is particularly acute.
11 Apr 17
As the CDP deadline approaches, join CDP and Greenstone for a free 30-minute webinar to find out how you can improve your CDP response for 2017.
As part of its CDP Partnership, Greenstone is holding a free CDP reporting webinar on Tuesday 25th April at 4pm GMT. With a guest speaker from CDP, Sarah Robertson, this webinar will give you practical tips for this year’s reporting whilst preparing you for the data collection you should think about now for 2018.
29 Mar 17
This article was originally published on GreenBiz.
Measuring the not-so-easy-to-measure long has been a trick of the sustainability trade.
From tallying carbon footprints to wrangling waste in global supply chains, rising demand for corporate transparency from investors, consumers and enterprise customers has translated to an ever-widening array of reporting and surveying related to corporate responsibility.
27 Mar 17
As the number of companies disclosing to CDP increases to over 5,600, and interest from investors grows following global events such as the ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2016, the importance of scoring highly to stand out from the crowd is greater than ever.
CDP continues to evolve in its methodology and scoring, in an effort to promote further engagement and transparency across a range of environmental and social issues for companies, cities and regions, throughout their supply chains.
22 Mar 17
Fujitsu is a leading provider of IT-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 160,000 employees supporting customers in more than 100 countries, Fujitsu is one of the world’s largest IT service companies.
In 2008, Fujitsu announced that it aimed to reduce CO2e emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2020 through environmental innovation. In addition, Fujitsu had committed to becoming an industry leader in sustainability and, as part of this, were looking at how green IT can be used as a key enabler for their clients to become a truly low carbon business.
8 Mar 17
Greenstone’s Head of Client Services, David Wynn spoke at edie’s Smarter Sustainability Reporting conference in London last week. David spoke to the audience on ‘Future-proofing your data for 2020 and beyond’ emphasising the importance of creating a data strategy that enables long term sustainability reporting goals.
David used the analogy of the Wizard of Oz to describe an organisation’s non-financial reporting journey. Where we’re initially engaging different people for advice (conducting a stakeholder materiality assessment) and know we need to get to the Wizard (setting long term KPIs and targets) but are not necessarily defining the yellow brick road in order to get there (the data strategy that underpins our reporting journey).
6 Mar 17
Clif Bar & Company has received a prestigious award in Supply Chain Leadership from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The award recognizes organizations that demonstrate leadership in managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in internal operations and throughout the supply chain, as well as integrating climate resilience into their operating strategies.
22 Feb 17
Eurostar is the only high-speed railway service connecting London with Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Paris. All its trains traverse the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France. Since it started in 1994, Eurostar has carried over 150 million passengers across the Channel.
As a business working across a range of destinations for over twenty years, Eurostar has always had a strong sense of responsibility to the environment and the communities in which it operates.
14 Feb 17
Greenstone is updating its SupplierPortal software to make it even easier for clients to manage their suppliers. We have listened to client feedback and seen the increasing need for all-encompassing supplier management processes and software.
The result is the introduction of more ‘Buyer’ (client) functionality, which will ensure that all suppliers and contracts can be managed in one place, and a risk-based approach can be applied to the gathering and analysis of specific supplier information.
8 Feb 17
Greenstone has received a 100% Overall Customer Service Rating, and a 9.25 out of 10 average Net Promoter Score (a measure of the likelihood of Greenstone’s Clients recommending its software to a friend or colleague), in NAEM’s 2017 software report.
NAEM's EHS & Sustainability Software Ratings Report is a third-party evaluation of customer satisfaction of EHS & Sustainability (EHS&S) software. The report reveals how software users rate their satisfaction with the ease of use, speed of implementation, integration and customer service of leading EHS&S software systems.
7 Feb 17
This week, Greenstone submitted its annual Communication on Progress (COP) to UN Global Compact. Greenstone has been a participating member of the UN Global Compact since 2013 and each year publically submits a COP which outlines its commitment to the UNGC’s ten principles.
As a non-financial reporting software company, we use our solution to actively promote the UN Global Compact Principles as a standard for our clients. We are also dedicated to improving the transparency of corporate reporting in the four key areas – human rights, labour, environment and anti-bribery and corruption.
6 Feb 17
The below article recently featured on the GreenBiz website following the release of its 'State of Green Business 2017' report. Topics covered in this report feature heavily on the agenda for next week's GreenBiz 17 Conference in Phoenix. Our Head of Client Services, David Wynn, will be attending so please let us know if you would like to meet up with him during the conference.
31 Jan 17
The Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) - the inclusive movement of legal firms committed to working collaboratively to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations and activities - has opened its reporting window to LSA members to report on their carbon emissions for 2016. Since 2011, Greenstone has delivered the LSA Reporting Tool, which enables around 100 UK law firms to report their sustainability credentials to the LSA.
Using this simple and intuitive tool, developed and powered by Greenstone, LSA members can input consumption data, calculate their carbon footprint and respond to the LSA Reporting principles. Reporting organisations receive an individual report on their carbon emissions and the LSA also produces an annual report where results are aggregated across the whole LSA membership.
30 Jan 17
Greenstone has released a free guide on ‘Choosing the right non-financial reporting frameworks’.
This 15-page guide summarises 8 of the most popular non-financial reporting frameworks, including CDP, GRI and the SDGs, to help companies choose the most appropriate frameworks for their reporting.
24 Jan 17
Although workplace health and safety has long been a key consideration for both employers and employees, a recent and growing trend has seen this aspect of corporate activity placed, with greater importance, within the movement of sustainability. This has led to new challenges for health and safety managers who are increasingly needing to incorporate their own data collection and management with other non-financial reporting processes.
23 Jan 17
For many universities, sustainability reporting is seen as a fundamental part of day-to-day operations. With students placing higher importance on sustainability credentials and public expectation increasing, further education institutions have not only accepted the importance of being ‘green’ but have largely embraced the journey. At Greenstone, we have seen first-hand the challenges that universities face and the unique position they are in when it comes to reporting. Below we outline 3 of the key challenges that a Sustainability Manager at a university is likely to be faced with.
9 Jan 17
Greenstone has been confirmed as a speaker at edie’s Smarter Sustainability Reporting conference in London on 1st March 2017.
As part of the morning plenary session on reporting excellence, our Head of Client Services, David Wynn, will be giving practical advice on how to future-proof your data for 2020 and beyond. David has also been invited to sit on a panel, alongside The Crown Estate and Barclays, in the Advanced Reporting workshop. During this workshop, the panel will be exploring emerging reporting options for advanced reporters.
7 Dec 16
Last month saw the launch of the latest version of the sustainability guidelines produced by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The new ‘GRI Standards’ take reporting organisations away from the static nature of the GRI G4 framework and into what GRI are dubbing a “more flexible and future-proof” set of reporting guidelines. Here is everything you need to know.
23 Nov 16
On Tuesday 29th November at 15:00 GMT, Greenstone's Head of SupplierPortal Gyles Scott-Hayward will be delivering a webinar on responsible sourcing and managing sustainability risks in supply chains.
21 Nov 16
Clif Bar & Company is a privately held company producing organic food and drinks. Headquartered in California USA, the company was founded in 1992 by baker and former mountain guide Gary Erickson with the creation of the infamous CLIF Bar.
Clif Bar works hard to reduce its ecological footprint in everything it does – from the field to the final products. This means that, in its day-to-day work, it is thinking about using more organics, less packaging, more planet-friendly transportation, less landfill and working in partnership with like-minded companies.
14 Nov 16
Greenstone has been confirmed as a CDP Software Partner for a second year in a row. This partnership provides Greenstone’s clients with a CDP accredited software platform to accurately collect, manage, analyse and report non-financial information.
Greenstone has partnered with CDP to further streamline the CDP reporting process for its software clients. Greenstone’s CSR Frameworks module includes the CDP reporting questionnaires, which simplifies the reporting process for organisations and enables them to collect the exact data required for reporting to CDP.
17 Oct 16
Since the launch of the SDGs at the General Assembly in September 2015, there has been a great deal of emphasis on the role of business in achieving them. This has led to some uncertainty about the best approach to incorporate the SDGs into a company’s non-financial reporting strategy.
Greenstone is holding a 30-minute webinar at 3pm GMT on Tuesday 15th November, focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how businesses can start to collect, manage and report data to help them to understand their contribution to them.
7 Oct 16
Earlier this year, Greenstone conducted extensive research to understand how companies are identifying and mitigating supply chain risk.
The survey asked 1000 senior decision makers about their perception of supply chain risk. It found that increasing global focus and the impact of regulation has resulted in a growing business requirement for supplier due diligence processes.
The results will now be shared during a complimentary online webinar. The webinar will be held on two dates at the start of November, and will explore how companies are reacting to the increased scrutiny placed on their third party relationships. It will also highlight the five key steps organisations can take now to successfully address supply chain risk and ensure supplier compliance.
5 Oct 16
The Climate Group’s Opening Ceremony on Monday 19th September set the stage for almost 100 climate change related events across New York. Coinciding with the UN General Assembly, the week brought together influential global figures from the worlds of business, government and society who are leading the transition to a low carbon economy.
Five key trends from Climate Week 2016:
29 Sep 16
This article was originally published on CDSB's website following the release of its EU environmental reporting handbook.
The Directive 2014/95/EU on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information (NFR Directive), amends the Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU to require certain large companies to disclose information on policies, risks and outcomes as regards environmental matters, social and employee aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity in their board of directors.
21 Sep 16
This article was recently published on Environmental Leader.
Environmental managers and chief sustainability officers are increasingly looking to their supply chains to conserve natural resources and reduce carbon emissions.
Considering supply chains are responsible for up to four times the greenhouse gas emissions of a company’s direct operations and many suppliers operate in water-stressed areas of the globe, this makes sense from an environmental savings standpoint.
To this end, we’ve seen major corporations like Apple push for more rigorous environmental standards and renewable energy use across its supply chain — and publish regular supply chain audit reports detailing suppliers’ progress — and Nike creating an entirely new apparel supply chain company that will “embed sustainability and transparency into the business.”
13 Sep 16
The latest version of Greenstone’s Enterprise software now includes the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using Greenstone’s CSR Frameworks module, clients can now collect, manage and report data to help them understand their contributions to all 17 of the SDGs. This new feature is mapped and aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’s G4 framework to enable clients to streamline their non-financial reporting.
1 Sep 16
This year the Business & Climate Summit was hosted by The Climate Group in London on 28th and 29th June. Greenstone was selected as the event footprint partner for the 2-day event and the footprint report, detailing the carbon emissions associated with the conference, has recently been published.
16 Aug 16
For many universities, sustainability reporting is seen as a fundamental part of day-to-day operations. With students placing higher importance on sustainability credentials and public expectation increasing, further education institutions have not only accepted the importance of being ‘green’ but have largely embraced the journey.
At Greenstone, we have seen first-hand the challenges that universities face and the unique position they are in when it comes to reporting. Below we outline 3 of the key challenges that a Sustainability Manager at a university is likely to be faced with.
25 Jul 16
This article was originally published on Financier Worldwide.
With the implementation date of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting (NFR) Directive now less than six months away, effective as of 1 January 2017, companies across the EU-28 that fall within its scope are preparing themselves for its arrival.
In a nutshell, Directive 2014/95/EU, amending Directive 2013/34/EU, requires certain companies – i.e., public and private companies of a certain size, as determined by number of employees (upwards of 500), balance sheet total and revenues – to disclose to authorities information relating to policies, risks and outcomes as regards environmental matters, social and employee aspects, respect for human rights, anticorruption and bribery issues and boardroom diversity.
19 Jul 16
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) recently published the event footprint of its 5th GRI Global Conference held in May. Earlier this year, Greenstone was selected as the Event Footprint Partner for the event and collected data before, during and after the event to calculate an accurate footprint.
Using its Enterprise software solution, Greenstone calculated the carbon footprint of the 3-day conference held at the RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre in Amsterdam. To measure the environmental impacts of the conference, the carbon footprint includes carbon emissions associated with use of the venue, attendees traveling to and from the event and the logistics involved. This includes:
15 Jul 16
With the results of the State of Supplier Management 2016 survey in mind, Greenstone has outlined five key steps to help you shape your supplier due diligence process and understand risk and compliance in the supply chain.
13 Jul 16
We asked 1000 senior decision makers from mid-to-large organisations about the perception of supply chain risk and due diligence at their organisation, the drivers for collecting supplier information and key factors in shaping their supplier engagement programmes.
Below are some of the key findings in an infographic:
12 Jul 16
Bafta’s albert is sharing its carbon calculator with Dutch Public Service Broadcaster NTR as part of a wider initiative to make its sustainability tools widely available to broadcasters and producers around the world.
The albert carbon calculator, developed with software provider Greenstone, enables TV companies to measure the carbon impact of moving image production.
5 Jul 16
In the current non-financial reporting landscape there is a heightened focus on understanding your supply chain. As a result, organisations are increasingly evaluating the performance of their suppliers against a wide spectrum of non-financial criteria and monitoring the associated risks.
In order to better understand what is driving this behaviour and how companies are identifying and mitigating supply chain risk, Greenstone conducted the State of Supplier Management 2016 survey.
28 Jun 16
This article was originally posted on CDP's website.
We established CDP – then the Carbon Disclosure Project – over 15 years ago with a vision that one day businesses would be playing an active leadership role in combating climate change. Last December’s historic Paris Agreement set an unequivocal new direction for corporate climate action, and today our vision is becoming reality.
Since Paris, a growing number of major companies around the world have been showing a real commitment to playing their part in decarbonizing the economy. A new report launched today by the We Mean Business Coalition, along with CDP, shows just how significant that business contribution could be.
21 Jun 16
Last week, the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) – the inclusive movement of legal firms committed to working collaboratively to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations and activities – released its 2016 Annual Report. This report, showcasing best practice in sustainability from UK firms, demonstrates a growing commitment to non-financial reporting in the sector.
Non-financial reporting is becoming an increasingly important part of maintaining competitive advantage in the legal sector. The business case for reporting non-financial data – including sustainability, CSR, health and safety and supply chain - is becoming increasingly stronger. Not only it is being seen as a way to reduce costs, attract new talent and drive business, it is also continues to be seen as fundamental in reducing corporate risk.
20 Jun 16
Following the release of ACCA's and CDSB's new report, the below article was recently published on the CDSB website.
ACCA & CDSB ask whether the fragmentation of the reporting landscape is resulting in the discipline failing to fulfil its potential.
From the creation of the Michael Bloomberg chaired Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to the agreement of the Sustainable Development Goals, corporate sustainability reporting is finding a new impetus and audiences seeking better information to inform decisions designed to support a more sustainable future.
13 Jun 16
Greenstone is holding its Non-Financial Reporting Summit on Thursday 30th June in London. The Summit, held at the newly opened IOM3, will consist of an expert panel discussion with guest speakers exploring the state of non-financial reporting.
This session will then be followed by networking opportunities, with Greenstone clients, partners and business associates, over canapes and refreshments.
1 Jun 16
The newest release of Greenstone’s Enterprise software includes a Health and Safety Incident Reporting functionality. Aligned with RIDDOR (UK) and OSHA (US) reporting requirements, Greenstone’s clients can now record all health and safety related occupational incidents such as an accident, disease or dangerous occurrence.
A new addition to the current Health & Safety module, this enhanced functionality will enable organisations to adhere to current legislation and legal frameworks whilst providing greater flexibility of data management and reporting.
24 May 16
On 1st June, 30 days ahead of the CDP Climate Change reporting deadline, Greenstone is holding a 30-minute webinar on how to get your data CDP-ready.
Are you struggling to define a boundary for reporting, set science-based targets or report your Scope 2 market-based emissions?
27 Apr 16
After COP21 and the historical Paris agreement, many companies have begun setting more ambitious climate change targets. To reflect this momentum, CDP has amended its guidance on what constitutes an active target which can be reported through the CDP questionnaire in 2016. It has published this updated version of guidance for companies reporting on climate change.
In summary, CDP will now be accepting new targets that were not active during the reporting year, so companies can also report any targets set after the reporting period with base year 2016. It is important to note that, if companies are setting targets with 2016 as a base year, this will only be accepted if their reporting year aligns with their financial reporting year (e.g. from April 2015 to March 2016).
25 Apr 16
Since its introduction in 2014, the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (aka Directive 2014/95/EU) has been a hot topic and the implications to affected organisations and corporate disclosure have been widely discussed. In this blog, we summarise the current status of the Directive and what we think you need to know.
In 2014, the EU introduced a new directive on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies and organisations. Developed to provide investors and other stakeholders with a comprehensive picture of performance, the Directive requires organisations to publish accurate non-financial reports.
19 Apr 16
Marian Moynihan, Consultant at Greenstone, attended the Annual CDP UK Workshop held in London last week. In this blog, Marian reflects on some key take-aways from the event.
“When the world changed” was the opening speech at this year’s Annual CDP UK Workshop. Lord Deban, the chairman of the Committee on Climate Change captivated the room as he spoke passionately about the “battle on climate change” and the steps we need to consider to mitigate the impacts. This opening paved the way for a day of thought provoking presentations and useful workshops focusing on various areas of the CDP questionnaires.
16 Mar 16
Sophie Parsons, Senior Consultant at Greenstone, attended the resource efficiency event Resource held in London last week. In this blog, Sophie reflects on the role of supply chains in the circular economy.
Following the announcement of the EU Circular Economy Package at the end of last year, the transition to a stronger and more circular economy has become a hot topic. At Resource last week, organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Hewlett Packard and Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated how they aim to improve resource efficiency and gain greater circularity within their value chain.
15 Mar 16
As part of its CDP Partnership, Greenstone is holding a free CDP reporting workshop at techUK on Tuesday 5thApril.
With a guest speaker from CDP, this workshop is suited to both organisations who are thinking about starting to report to CDP as well as those reporting that are interested in finding out how to improve their score.
11 Mar 16
Greenstone has been providing non-financial reporting software and services to organisations for over 8 years, and through our clients we have witnessed the ever changing reporting landscape first hand.
The most active trend recently has been an increased focus on suppliers and supply chain risk. The key drivers for this have been increased direct legislation, evolving reporting frameworks and heightened sensitivity to third party risk from clients, investors and other stakeholders.
8 Mar 16
At Greenstone, we are increasingly seeing organisations using sustainability reporting less as a necessary (and all too often stressful) annual process and more as a tool for analysing and monitoring ongoing performance. The merits of a sustainability report are well established and form an important part of an organisations’ communication with stakeholders about its past, present and future impacts on the environment and society. Underpinning this communication is data – data that needs to be robust, material and (most importantly) accessible.
3 Mar 16
Greenstone has partnered with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to measure the carbon footprint of the 5th GRI Global Conference on 18th-20th May 2016.
Using its Enterprise software solution, Greenstone will calculate the carbon footprint of the 3-day conference being held at the RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre in Amsterdam. To measure the environmental impacts of the conference, the carbon footprint will include carbon emissions associated with use of the venue, attendees traveling to and from the event and the logistics involved.
1 Mar 16
The recent introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in the UK has generated a significant amount of interest and concern alike. Organisations appear to be aware of the Act, and are not only keen to understand what they need to do to in order to comply, but also how and what they should report year on year.
There has been plenty of clarification on the aims of the Act itself, its coverage and its requirements. However, what has not been so clear is what organisations actually need to include in their reports, what policies and practices need to be introduced and how to train their workforce.
29 Feb 16
Over 80% of the world’s top companies now set targets to reduce their carbon emissions. This is a positive step in the right direction, but in reality most targets fall short of keeping global temperatures below a 2°C rise in order to avoid unavoidable global climate change.
In short, the setting of science-based targets aims to ensure we take global context into consideration to be able to stick below the 2°C temperature rise and therefore prevent the worst effects of global warming.
16 Feb 16
The following article was published on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)'s website last week.
It’s a question all sustainability practitioners face: is sustainability reporting making a difference? At GRI, we believe the answer is yes. But we also know there’s still much more that needs to be done to create a sustainable economy and world that lifts people out of poverty while preserving our precious resources. Still, it’s important to keep in mind how much progress we’ve collectively made in a short period of time.
8 Feb 16
Greenstone has been a participating member of the UN Global Compact since 2013. Each year we publically submit our Communication on Progress (COP) which outlines our commitment to the UN Global Compact’s ten principles.
As a sustainable software company, we use our solution to actively promote the UNGC's principals as a standard for our clients. We are also dedicated to improving the transparency of corporate reporting in the four key areas – human rights, labour, environment and anti-bribery and corruption through supplier management.
2 Feb 16
Last week, Greenstone held a breakfast event in London on materiality reporting in partnership with Deloitte and Lodestar. The following article was written by Lodestar's Gail Boucher and gives a useful summary of the session and the topics discussed.
It was great discussing the various aspects (ha ha) of materiality at the Bridging the Materiality Gap breakfast event on 27th January. It was hosted by Deloitte in conjunction with Lodestar, GRI and Greenstone, with guest speaker from URENCO.
26 Jan 16
The following article, written by Greenstone's Marian Moynihan, was recently published on the LSA website.
It’s that time of the year again when the LSA (Legal Sustainability Alliance) opens it reporting window to LSA members to report on their carbon emissions for 2015.
With the help of the LSA reporting tool managed by Greenstone members can measure their carbon footprint and assess their progress against the LSA principles. Reporting organisations receive an individual report on their carbon emissions and the LSA also produces an annual report where results are aggregated across the whole LSA membership.
13 Jan 16
The latest SupplierPortal release enhances the user experience and provides further flexibility in how SupplierPortal can be used across an organisation.
Why the new version?
The latest release of SupplierPortal, as with all of our software development, is based on listening carefully to our clients’ needs and drawing on our wider experience of the market.
This release has focussed on ensuring that SupplierPortal is even more flexible and relevant to global organisations.
12 Jan 16
Towards the end of 2015, Greenstone ran a series of webinars focussed on providing a practical insight into addressing the UK Modern Slavery Act. These webinars were extremely popular and generated a number of questions and discussion points around the Act.
We have turned these questions into a set of FAQs for reference. Hopefully, the questions raised will reflect the issues and concerns of others and therefore provide some wider benefit. However, if you do wish to speak to us about the Modern Slavery Act or indeed how we can facilitate the data gathering process through our SupplierPortal solution, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
8 Jan 16
Greenstone's partner Carbon Smart, a sustainability consultancy delivering innovative and practical solutions to a variety of organisations, is holding a workshop called 'Learn how to engage employees and change behaviour’ on 10th March in London. Please see below for further details from Carbon Smart:
7 Jan 16
In the autumn of 2015, the UK government introduced the Modern Slavery Act which seeks to address the role of businesses in preventing modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organisations.
The Act defines modern slavery as covering slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Organisations captured by the Act not only need to ensure that modern slavery is not an issue in-house, they also need to take, and report on, actions to prevent the issue from occurring within their supply chains. The actions, targets and progress on these issues should be reported annually by organisations through their Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.
5 Jan 16
Greenstone has partnered with Deloitte and Lodestar to host a free breakfast event in London on Wednesday 27th January on 'Bridging the materiality gap - global practice and practical insights'.
Defining what matters to your organisation and stakeholders is at the heart of materiality. In recent years there has been an increased focus on putting materiality at the forefront of sustainability reporting and as a result companies are increasingly experiencing pressure to define their non-financial information.
Join Deloitte, Lodestar and Greenstone, plus speakers from GRI and URENCO Ltd, for breakfast, some thought-provoking discussion on materiality reporting and the opportunity to network with other sustainability professionals.
16 Dec 15
With more than 4,500 companies now disclosing information to CDP, and investor interest increasing, reputational benefits from a good score means that the business case for reporting to CDP is stronger than ever.
This year’s report included the 2015 A-list which saw 113 companies making the top grade for their actions to combat climate change. This is the performance half of the CDP score, and marks the level of action taken by respondents to measure, verify and manage their carbon footprint. CDP respondents are also given a disclosure score (out of 100) which assesses the quality and completeness of a company’s response.
14 Dec 15
The below article was recently published by The World Resources Institute (WRI).
Today marks an historic turning point in global action on climate change. At the UN Climate Conference in Paris, known as COP21, 196 countries joined together in the Paris Agreement, a universal pact that sets the world on a course to a zero-carbon, resilient, prosperous and fair future. While the Agreement is not enough by itself to solve the problem, it places us clearly on the path to a truly global solution.
2 Dec 15
Today the European Commission adopted an ambitious new Circular Economy Package to help European businesses and consumers to make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way.
The current linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model for resource use cannot be sustained, and because of this resource efficiency and circularity in resource use has become a hot topic amongst sustainability professionals.
1 Dec 15
An interview with Eurostar’s Luke Ervine, Head of Environment & Energy
What has Eurostar’s sustainability journey looked like to date?
Our journey started in 2006 when we commissioned independent research into the carbon footprint of our passenger journeys. This study revealed that traveling to our core destinations using high speed rail is more carbon efficient than travelling by air.
However, for Eurostar, being more carbon efficient than our competitors wasn’t enough. So in April 2007 we launched our Tread Lightly Sustainability programme to reduce our impact on the environment and improve our environmental and energy performance.
23 Nov 15
The term ‘supply chain sustainability’ refers to the management of environmental, social and economic impacts, and the encouragement of ethical governance practices  in the supply chain. Managing supply chain sustainability is not only the right thing to do in terms of ethical business practice; it also makes good business sense. As regulatory and consumer demand for transparency in the supply chain increases, businesses of all sizes need to look at the sustainability impacts of their business operations through the value chain.
17 Nov 15
Greenstone has been selected by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to deliver a 3-hour interactive masterclass at its Global Conference in May 2016. In addition to the three day conference program, GRI offers these add-on masterclasses designed to give participants focused learning to empower sustainable decision making.
Earlier this year, Greenstone submitted a proposal for a masterclass titled ‘How to breathe life into your sustainability data’. GRI selected this masterclass out of 48 proposals from over 30 organisations as one of the 14 masterclasses it wished to offer participants as part of the conference.
16 Nov 15
The great news is that the new WRI guidance on Scope 2 emissions provides a clear methodology that not only allows you to effectively report on CO₂ emissions from Scope 2 sources such as electricity, but also allows a much greater level of granularity than before.
11 Nov 15
Greenstone is holding a webinar on Tuesday 24th November at 1pm GMT on the Modern Slavery Act.
The UK government has recently issued statutory guidance relating to the supply chain transparency and reporting obligations of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. With the aim of preventing employment exploitation and increasing disclosure of labour practices, the Act introduces new grounds of compliance for commercial entities.
9 Nov 15
Greenstone has partnered with CDP to further streamline the CDP reporting process for its software clients. CDP has accredited Greenstone as an official Climate Change Software partner as part of its partnership programme.
This partnership provides Greenstone’s clients with a CDP accredited software platform to collect, manage, analyse and report non-financial information. Greenstone’s Enterprise solution includes the CDP reporting questionnaires, which simplifies the reporting process for organisations and enables them to collect the exact data required for reporting to CDP.
4 Nov 15
The UK government has recently issued statutory guidance relating to the supply chain transparency and reporting obligations of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. With confirmation on who is required to comply and when they need to comply by, as well as including essential details on the all-important annual statement, Transparency in Supply Chains: A Practical guide is a welcome document for all. Here is everything you need to know and what you need to do.
2 Nov 15
We are pleased to announce that our CEO, Matthew de Villiers, will be speaking at the Ethical Corporation’s Sustainable Supply Chain Summit on 10th and 11th November in London.
This year’s Summit will show how companies deliver a resilient value chain through industry collaboration and business innovation, focusing on; responsible sourcing, impact measurement, scaling up and supplier engagement.
30 Oct 15
The UK’s Environment Agency (EA) has announced an extension to the December 5th ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme) deadline for organisations falling under the scheme. This may be welcome news for many of the 10,000 plus organisations who have yet to meet the deadline for compliance.
Although the legal deadline for compliance remains 5 December 2015, companies will not face enforcement action if they notify the EA with intention to comply before 29 January 2016. Organisations which cannot comply by 5 December 2015 must inform the EA via an online portal, detailing why they have been unable to comply and when they will respond.
26 Oct 15
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, or SASB as it is more commonly referred to, was launched in October of 2012. It is an independent ASNI (American National Standards Institute) accredited organisation that develops sustainability accounting standards for publicly-listed US companies. SASB’s aim is to develop and publish accounting standards for material sustainability issues. These standards are industry specific, with the aim of integrating them into accounting standards.
When should the standards be used?
SASB standards can be used by any global company looking to report on material, environmental, social and governance issues. They can also be used by organisations in the US in their statutory filings to comply with SEC’s Regulation S-K to disclose material information in form 10-K and 20-F filings.
19 Oct 15
Greenstone today announced that Rackspace®, the #1 managed cloud company, has chosen Greenstone’s Enterprise software as part of its emissions management portfolio. Rackspace has selected Greenstone to calculate, track and store its global sustainability data.
The Global Corporate Social Responsibility team at Rackspace has been working with Greenstone to rollout the software to capture emissions data globally across Rackspace’s 23 site locations. Now fully implemented, Greenstone’s software is providing Rackspace with an easy and intuitive way to capture and centralise global sustainability data, eliminating error-prone data transfers and improving data reliability. Rackspace has been tracking this data since 2011.
12 Oct 15
The second analysis paper from GRI’s ‘Reporting 2025 Program’ has just been released, providing greater insights into the shape of reporting over the next decade. Among many interesting predictions, one key realization is clear: the next decade will require concrete action from all organizations on what really matters if we are to truly create a more sustainable economy and world.
Increasing world population, wealth inequality, climate change, conflicts, human rights violations and population migration will all shape the general context in which businesses operate and decision-makers act. According to sustainability thought leaders involved in Reporting 2025, there is also a strong belief that these issues will intensify dramatically in the next decade.
1 Oct 15
Leading ICT company and long-term Greenstone client, Fujitsu Ltd, has topped the industry rankings for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) this year. Fujitsu achieved the highest scores awarded in the software and services industry for its environmental policy and environmental management system, achievements in operational eco-efficiency, and investment in human capital development.
Fujitsu’s approach has been to successfully target its own environmental impact, and address global environmental challenges through technology, working in partnership with its customers.
21 Sep 15
As non-financial reporting frameworks and requirements for organisations evolve, so does the need for transparency throughout supply chains. There is an ever increasing emphasis within current and upcoming regulations on being able to demonstrate a deeper understanding of your suppliers and vendors.
Most recently we have seen evidence of this advancing mood through the UK Modern Slavery Act, the EU corporate disclosure directive, and of course the Dodd Frank Act covering conflict minerals.
This summer David Cameron further clarified the criteria surrounding the UK government’s commitment to anti-slavery and supply chain transparency in a speech in Singapore.
21 Sep 15
Our CEO, Matthew de Villiers is speaking at the Sustainable Procurement & Supply Summit (SPSS) at the QEII in London tomorrow. As part of the Supplier Collaboration panel discussion, Matthew will be talking about how to overcome the barriers to supplier collaboration – both internally and externally – and how to engage with suppliers in a way that benefits them.
The Sustainable Procurement & Supply Summit is organised with The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) - providing the only UK conference to fully address the need for greater attention, measurement and control across all areas of procurement and the extended supply chain.
18 Sep 15
SupplierPortal is a flexible cloud based solution for sharing information between Buyers and Suppliers.By moving your supplier management and due diligence processes online, you will immediately move your focus from data collection to managing risk and compliance.
This is achieved through customisable features, for example: questionnaires, scorecards, response flagging, audits, comparisons, benchmarks and an automated notification system.
Quintain Estates & Development PLC is a London-focussed regeneration company. Quintain is behind Wembley Park, London's largest urban renewal scheme, and during its 21-year history has transformed assets across the Capital into places where people want to live, companies want to grow and neighbourhoods can come alive.
15 Sep 15
The below article was recently published by our partner, The Climate Group, as part of the countdown to next week's Climate Week NYC.
Today business, industry and commerce accounts for half of the world’s electricity consumption. While many companies are already reducing their carbon emissions and energy bills, The Climate Group’s RE100 global campaign goes a step further and is helping the world’s most influential businesses go 100% renewable.
As part of our countdown to Climate Week NYC, Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director and Phil Levermore, Chairman, The Climate Group explain why RE100 is a leading example of how businesses can act on climate in the crucial run up to the UN's global talks in Paris and beyond, in two exclusive video interviews for our digital channel Climate TV.
25 Aug 15
It’s hard to remember a year that could potentially be more pivotal for international climate change talks than 2015. Years of international negotiations trying to repair the perceived collapse of 2009’s climate talks in Copenhagen will culminate this December in Paris for the UNFCCC’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21).
The significance? It’s hoped that COP21 will secure a legally binding climate agreement to limit carbon emissions on a global scale beyond 2020. The opportunity is great but as the talks grow closer, what have countries already pledged and importantly, what is the role of business in COP21?
12 Aug 15
Greenstone is proud to continue to support the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and align with its mission to help businesses, governments and other organisations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues.
Greenstone is working with global organisations across multiple industry sectors to help define, measure, report and improve their CSR programme. We work closely with our clients to define material business impacts, develop efficient data gathering processes and improve consistency of their reporting.
14 Jul 15
The NHS Sustainability Leads Network sets aside part of each meeting to hear about opportunities for continuous improvement in their service. At the Network’s June meeting David Wynn, Head of Client Services at Greenstone, was invited to provide an update on sustainability reporting and the use of software.
The ever increasing requirement for more information and detailed analysis continues to put sustainability professionals under pressure and makes it harder for them to effectively balance their time between strategy and reporting. Reporting is of course an essential part of assessing performance but when it comes to managing data offline, organisations are too often drowning in spreadsheets with data that can’t be easily accessed or analysed. Moving sustainability data to an online platform provides an opportunity to remove inefficiencies and the data management headache, enabling you to use the information to focus on identifying opportunities for improvement and change.
8 Jul 15
Greenstone’s Head of Client Services, David Wynn, attended the OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct in Paris. Here he reflects on the key global trends and discussions on climate change reporting from the event.
Hot off the tail of the warmest May since records began, the OECD Global Forum in Paris brought with it more sweltering heat and an opportunity to share thoughts and insights with global leaders working in responsible business conduct. Covering everything from human rights in international sport to China’s approach to human rights, the forum was an opportunity for global professionals to share information and set the stage for a long-term vision for sustainable business.
8 Jul 15
Greenstone is holding a webinar on Tuesday 21st July at 1pm GMT on what you need to know about reporting Scope 2 emissions under the new GHG Protocol guidance.
New guidance on Scope 2 reporting has been published by the GHG Protocol as a response to the rapid growth in renewable energy. It offers organisations a new approach for reporting how low-carbon electricity purchases contribute towards their carbon footprint.
6 Jul 15
Since the announcement of their strategic partnership in March, Greenstone and Carbon Smart have assisted a growing number of organisations with reporting under the UK’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). The joint ESOS proposition has ensured consistent end-to-end ESOS compliance for both organisations’ clients.
ESOS is a mandatory energy audit compliance scheme set up by the UK government requiring qualifying organisations to measure and audit the total energy usage across all buildings, transport and industrial activities. By 5 December 2015, qualifying organisations are required to have carried out their ESOS assessments and notified the Environment Agency.
24 Jun 15
Defra 2015 is here! UK Government Conversion Factors for company reporting are updated annually and this year is no different. The updates are mainly limited to the revision and modification of existing emission factors.
We have examined what’s new and have listed below some of the most notable changes in this year’s updates that may have an impact on your organisation;
8 Jun 15
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has published an analysis paper titled ‘Sustainability and Reporting Trends in 2025: Preparing for the Future’. The paper, which is the first to be published as part of GRI’s 2025 Reporting Project, examines future trends in sustainability and corporate reporting and disclosure.
3 Jun 15
Last week, a group of Greenstone’s clients, partners and business associates came together for Greenstone’s Supplier Engagement Forum. The event, where participants met to discuss latest issues and solutions in supplier engagement, was very well attended and we were delighted by the feedback received.
19 May 15
Your organisation may already be collecting supplier information offline, for example through a spreadsheet or survey, so what are the key benefits of moving this activity online and what should you consider before doing so?
What are the main benefits of moving to an online process?
• Instant global scalability, enabling 100% supplier coverage
• Easy visibility of supplier compliance and risk
• Save time and cost associated with collection and management of large quantities of information
• Enable detailed analysis to ensure information is meaningful
• Consolidate all supplier information requirements in one place
• Access supplier information at the touch of a button
• Improve compliance through making process efficient and user friendly for suppliers
19 May 15
The latest SupplierPortal release enhances the user experience and provides yet more analytical capability
Why the new version?
The latest release of SupplierPortal, as with all of our software development, is based on listening carefully to our client’s needs and drawing on our wide experience of the market.
This release adds more analytical capability and further enhances the user experience throughout the whole solution, without compromising our focus on simplicity and usability.
12 May 15
An estimate from the Global Slavery Index indicates that there are approximately 35.8 million people being subjected to modern slavery today . Recently receiving Royal Assent in parliament, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 aims to cut this number by requiring businesses to take action and report on modern slavery standards in their supply chain.
1 May 15
Greenstone is holding a Supplier Engagement Forum in London on Thursday 28th May.
Please join us for a speaker session and panel discussion, with keynote speakers from Quintain Estates & Development and Accenture. The event will focus on a topic that we see becoming increasingly important across all of our clients – Supplier Engagement – disclosure, risk and compliance.
The speaker session will be followed by drinks, providing you with the opportunity to meet with Greenstone’s team, clients and wider network.
For more details and to register, please visit the event page.
8 Apr 15
Greenstone's Head of Client Services, David Wynn attended the annual Greenbiz Conference in Phoenix (17th-19th February 2015). In this blog series he reflects on some of the key trends from the event.
“Save our planet! It's the only one with coffee” was Jim Hanna at Starbuck’s closing quip at Greenbiz Forum 2015. As Director of Environmental Affairs for the coffee giant, his ‘one great idea’ pitch was scaling sustainable innovation. And with over 12,000 global stores that’s no easy challenge. The challenge of engaging with suppliers at scale is twofold. How do you engage suppliers on environmental issues? But even more challengingly, how do you engage suppliers on environmental issues that span interconnected and dependant supply chain processes?
1 Apr 15
We are holding our next Insights Conference in London on Wednesday 29th April. The breakfast event, with speakers from Eurostar, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and UN Global Compact, will focus on sustainability reporting.
We will hear from Eurostar on the challenges and opportunities they have faced in implementing their environmental programme, from GRI on global trends in sustainability disclosure and from UNGC with their take on the illusion of voluntarism in sustainability reporting.
For more information and to register, please click here.
31 Mar 15
albert and albert+, the pioneering sustainability assessment tools for the film and television industry, are enabling production companies across the UK and internationally to reduce the carbon footprint of their productions.
The online tools, developed through a partnership between the BAFTA Albert Consortium and Greenstone, are being used by the four main UK broadcasters – Channel 4, BBC, ITV and Sky - to work with production partners to make significant reductions in the environmental impact of their programmes.
18 Mar 15
Greenstone's Head of Client Services, David Wynn attended the annual Greenbiz Conference in Phoenix (17th-19th February 2015). In this blog series he reflects on some of the key trends from the event.
There’s never a shortage of interesting job titles at sustainability events. You could be having coffee with the Head of Environmental Management, Business Risk, Sustainability, Business Resilience, Corporate Quality or Corporate Social Responsibility from any number of types of organisation. But does the title matter? Of course there are differences between these roles but at the heart their purpose is the same: to drive sustainability through their businesses.
17 Mar 15
Greenstone is pleased to announce a new release of its software and a strategic partnership to assist its clients with reporting under the UK’s Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme set up by the UK government, in response to the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive. It requires qualifying organisations to measure and audit the total energy usage across all buildings, transport and industrial activities.
3 Mar 15
Greenstone's Head of Client Services, David Wynn attended the annual Greenbiz Conference in Phoenix (17th-19th February 2015). In this blog series he reflects on some of the key trends from the event .
“My flight was almost cancelled”. By 10am it was the second time I had heard someone suggest they were lucky to make it to the Greenbiz Forum in Phoenix, Arizona because of unprecedented snowfall in the North-East of the US. As well as being a conversation icebreaker, extreme weather and wider climate change impacts underpinned why hundreds of sustainability professionals had gathered in the Arizona desert to explore the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business.
12 Feb 15
The GHG Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard is the leading global methodology for calculating the emissions of corporate organisations. As well as providing guidance for organisations on how best to report emissions in a consistent and transparent way, the standard underpins our software solutions at Greenstone. We use the GHG Protocol to apply location based emissions factors and in doing so automate and streamline the use of the Standard for our clients.
9 Feb 15
With global energy prices continuing to rise and a steady increase in national and international climate change legislation, there are an array of schemes and standards being developed to help organisations better manage their energy. A key scheme in the UK is the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS), which many organisations are obligated to comply with in 2015.
5 Feb 15
The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently held its annual conference in Davos. On the agenda for this high profile event was a discussion about its Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015 report. The report is the result of a worldwide survey and looks at the top 10 social, economic and political trends that are likely to have a significant impact globally in the next 12-18 months.
5 Feb 15
Greenstone has been a participating member of the UN Global Compact since 2013. Each year we publically submit our Communication on Progress (COP) which outlines our commitment to the UNGC’s ten principles.
As a sustainable software company, we use our solution to actively promote the UN Global Compact Principles as a standard for our clients. We are also dedicated to improving the transparency of corporate reporting in the four key areas – human rights, labour, environment and anti-bribery and corruption through supplier management. In addition to our UNGC commitment, we continue to be an Organisational Stakeholder of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative).
2 Feb 15
The latest statistics from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that, for 2013/14, 1.2 million people suffered from a work related injury or illness in the UK, costing society an estimated £14.2 billion. Needless to say, health and safety (H&S) is a major consideration for businesses all over the world. However, with supply chains now under increased scrutiny, performance in one part of the chain can significantly impact performance in another. In light of this, companies need to expand their procurement approach to include the monitoring and management of supplier H&S performance.
21 Jan 15
It’s hard to remember a year that could potentially be more pivotal for international climate change talks than 2015. Years of international negotiations trying to repair the perceived collapse of 2009’s climate talks in Copenhagen will culminate this December in Paris for the UNFCCC’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). The significance? It’s hoped that COP21 will secure a legally binding climate agreement to limit carbon emissions on a global scale beyond 2020. The opportunity is great but the challenges are significant from all angles, whether they be economic, social or political.
20 Jan 15
Companies are increasingly discovering that environmental and energy-related supply chain risks are both significant and material to their short and long term operational prosperity. With such issues now an everyday topic of conversation, the need to ensure environmental supplier compliance is becoming a central part of business strategy.
12 Jan 15
A recent piece of research by Ernst & Young indicated that only half of British businesses ask their suppliers about their anti-bribery and corruption (AB&C) policies.
With the increase in legislation, public ethical expectation, and the spotlight on supply chains, it is now time for companies to take a more proactive approach and ensure that supplier AB&C performance is not an issue.
22 Dec 14
We are all familiar with the adage ‘communication is key’, however when it comes to CSR reports this could not be more fitting because communication is a key element in making a company socially responsible. Communicating CSR provides evidence of a commitment to social and environmental issues, which, if transparent and correctly communicated, can encourage and embed sustainability within the wider internal and external environment. While transparent communication can be seen to inspire others, magnifying the positive impact of CSR, there is risk associated with communicating information that is false or misrepresented for promotional purposes. Companies often focus the majority of their attention on external reporting as this is normally where the largest potential risks are identified, but it is vitally important to give internal communications the same attention in order to educate and further embed sustainable practises within the organisation.
18 Dec 14
CSR reporting has increased significantly in the last decade, with a substantial rise in the number of companies from Asia and Latin America publishing reports. As a result The Americas has now become the leading CSR reporting region, overtaking Europe, with 76% the world’s top 100 companies producing a public CSR report, making it now considered standard global practise [KPMG 2013 sustainability survey]. The old debate of whether to report or not is waning and companies should instead be asking how they can implement relevant and effective CSR reporting processes.
16 Dec 14
Your organisation doesn’t exist in isolation. It relies on multiple interdependent relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, communities and investors; in other words your organisation’s stakeholders.
15 Dec 14
Historically, organisations have not considered themselves responsible for the actions of business partners further down their supply chain. However, research suggests that in some sectors, such as manufacturing, the supply chain can account for up to 70% of both total expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions, accentuating the necessity to integrate supply chains into responsible business management processes [Accenture: why a sustainable supply chain is good business] and include them as part of CSR reporting.
5 Dec 14
Back in April of this year, the EU adopted a new directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies and organisation.
This new directive will have direct implications for those affected by the change. But before you begin to worry about what this might involve and how quickly you need to act to, read these 6 facts to find out more about what you need to know on the new EU directive on the disclosure of non-financial information.
26 Nov 14
Supermarkets and the horsemeat scandal, technology companies and environmental mismanagement, issues with illegal logging in the construction sector, human rights allegations in the fashion industry… There is a long list of recent examples highlighting just how important supply chains are in the management and development of brand reputation. With competition across all sectors now fiercer than ever, organisations must ensure that suppliers enhance their reputation and do not put it at risk.
20 Nov 14
You might already be collecting your supplier information with a spreadsheet, so why would you want to change this approach and what are the advantages of moving to an online process?
19 Nov 14
Over the last few years there has been a welcome growth in buying organisations recognising the importance of understanding the behaviour and practices of suppliers in their supply chain.
However, for every buyer transitioning to an online solution, there are hundreds more suppliers about to be bombarded with yet another offline questionnaire or interrogated by consultants on a buyer’s behalf. Unsurprisingly, this is leading to supplier fatigue and corresponding low compliance rates.
18 Nov 14
Whether your goal is to improve your data collection efficiencies, increase the depth and detail of your analysis or have a better understand of what is happening on both a macro and micro level, there are some real challenges that CSR professionals are facing.
13 Nov 14
While many organisations currently collect data from their suppliers, the processes that they have in place are not always robust. Many rely on offline, manual approaches, which are time-consuming and inefficient.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By adopting an online system, with a more structured process, it is straightforward for buyers to collect the information they need. In fact there are real benefits for buyers that implement a more structured process for collecting and managing supplier data.
12 Nov 14
There has been a lot of talk recently about the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). With the first phase due to start on 31st December 2014, many organisations have questions about the scheme. To follow up from our post on Understanding ESOS, here is a further look at what is involved in ESOS and what qualifying organisations need to know.
3 Nov 14
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is an independent, non-profit organisation that aims to develop and disseminate sustainability accounting standards to help US publicly-listed corporations disclose material information on how they impact value. The SASB Standards are comprised of disclosure guidance and an accounting standard on potential sustainability topics which corporations may find material in their industry.
31 Oct 14
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) is a family of indices that have a strong focus on stock performance and serve as a key benchmark of investors who consider sustainability as part of their portfolio risk assessments.
24 Oct 14
Since 1947, the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) has published more than 19,500 International Standards covering a huge breadth of aspects of technology and business. Published by ISO in 2010, the ISO 26000 is a voluntary purchased framework that any type of organisation can use as a tool for improved social responsibility. A series of Core Subjects are covered in the standard and the framework is intended to provide guidance on the actions and expectation for organisations to address in each topic.
21 Oct 14
In the past few years the sustainability landscape has shifted. Previously, organisations were primarily focused on getting their own house in order, so looking at their own emissions, their own impacts and what their employees were doing. As organisations have matured, they're definitely starting to look further into their supply chain. Now, they're looking beyond their front doorstep to the wider boundaries of reporting and evaluating what their suppliers are doing.
17 Oct 14
The primary focus of CDP is the reporting of environmental information, particularly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with CDP referring to themselves as a “global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information”. Over 750 investors (representing US$92 trillion in assets) work with CDP to assess the risks within their investment portfolios.
Originally set up as the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP now has broader reporting standards for water, forestry, cities and supply chain issues alongside its annual climate change program but is still focused on providing information for investors.
15 Oct 14
If you're reporting against GRI, then you know you’re going to have to answer questions specifically on your supply chain. In fact, the increased focus on supply chain disclosure is one the key aspects of the GRI G4 guidelines, ensuring a more holistic approach to the overall sustainability performance of a company.
There are questions dotted throughout the GRI on suppliers and supply chains. This includes sections on labour, human rights, society, environment, and then there are also procurement practice questions. For companies to comply with GRI G4’s supply chain aspects robustly they need to be confident that they can gather and analyse all of their supplier data.
13 Oct 14
It’s impractical and unrealistic to expect buyers to use a manual process for managing supplier information requests. Asking all of your suppliers to complete an anti-bribery or working conditions questionnaire by email and spreadsheets is not efficient and for organisations with thousands of suppliers it is impossible; the administrative overheads are too great. It’s why organisations typically focus on just the suppliers they knew well already but it means there are potentially many gaps in the supply chain which go unnoticed.
With an online process, there is no reason why you can’t ask everyone the same set of core compliance questions and then go deeper on those suppliers that are material to your organisation.
10 Oct 14
Integrated Reporting <IR> is the process of producing a concise report on how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects, in the context of its external environment, lead to the creation of value in the short, medium and long term. <IR> brings together reporting on financial, environmental, social and governance information in a manner that is clear, concise, consistent and comparable.
The global authority on <IR> is the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), whose aim is to enable <IR> to be embedded into mainstream business practice in the public and private sectors.
8 Oct 14
For many organisations, collecting survey information from suppliers relies on a manual process. This typically means suppliers will be emailed a questionnaire form that they then fill in, sign, and then scan and send back via email.
With this manual process, buyers are spending a lot of time collecting the information, chasing out responses and trying to make sure that the questionnaire is completed. For many, it takes up so much of their time, that they can't then spend any more time focusing on the analysis side. This means there is no real understanding of what is really happening with their suppliers and limits the opportunities to identify areas of risk in the supply chain.
7 Oct 14
The scale of valuing Natural Capital as part of a sustainability reporting process could range from thinking about the suppliers selected to a structured accounting approach that seeks to quantify non-financial impacts with the same rigour as financial impacts. Using either approach, these assessments should feed into a high-level strategy of engraining sustainability in the operations, products and geographies of the business. Puma’s Environmental Profit & Loss (E P&L) Report is a high profile example of the financial accountancy approach to valuing Natural Capital.
3 Oct 14
The Modern Slavery Bill is expected to be debated in Parliament before the end of 2014 and is expected to become law before the 2015 General Election. If passed, it is expected to grant courts in England and Wales new powers to protect individuals who are trafficked into and within the UK, held against their will and forced to work.
For companies, the Modern Slavery Bill could result in a real change to the way they are expected to report on modern slavery in their supply chain.
3 Oct 14
Signing up to The United National Global Compact (UNGC) commits a company to Ten Guiding Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. It specifically commits the executive leader of an organisation and is therefore seen as an important public, top-down commitment to sustainability and better corporate citizenship.
30 Sep 14
A recent study by PwC revealed that only two of the UK's 100 largest listed companies mentioned "Natural Capital" in their annual reports. There are a number of definitions of Natural Capital. Some distinguish between ecosystems, ecosystem services, biodiversity and natural resources but broadly a consensus forms around it being an aspect of the natural environment that provides value to people.
26 Sep 14
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a framework for comprehensive corporate social responsibility reporting on environmental, social and governance topics. The latest iteration of the framework, GRI G4, puts stakeholder engagement to determine materiality at the forefront of the reporting methodology.
24 Sep 14
The non-financial reporting landscape can be crowded and confusing for organisations that are constantly tasked with navigating definitions, timescales and requirements for different reporting channels. Most global organisations report in some way on their non-financial performance, strategy and vision, whether it’s through mandated legislation, voluntary schemes, social media or direct communication with stakeholders. But as the pressure increases on organisations to report more information, to more stakeholders, in a more accurate way, more often, it’s understandable that it can get a little overwhelming.
10 Sep 14
When it comes to managing relationships with suppliers, businesses are under increasing pressure. Why has this come about? Partially it’s because of evolving standards and legislative requirements related to human rights, social inequality and safeguards for consumers (amongst other factors). These require businesses to be proactive with their suppliers, to ensure compliance.
Alongside this, there is a rising numbers of online commentators, who are using social media, blogging and video to highlight any apparent success or otherwise. While businesses were once less visible, this modern network of influencers means the need for transparency is growing. Now, more than ever, organisations need to understand how the expectations of supplier management are changing, so they can meet and exceed them.
1 Sep 14
The latest version of SupplierPortal is going live in September. We have drawn on our wide experience of the market and our clients’ use of the portal to create an even more comprehensive solution for managing the day to day challenges of supplier due diligence.
Using the latest analytical technologies, the user interface has been carefully enhanced to accommodate all the new functionality without compromising our renowned, easy-to-use approach, to the Buyer and Supplier user experience.
1 Sep 14
State of reporting in the U.S
Nearly three months have passed since the submission deadline for U.S. listed companies’ conflict minerals reports, and the results have been disappointing. Although over 1,200 companies managed to file reports prior to the deadline, a large proportion failed to comply with the ruling through omissions of mandatory items.
1 Sep 14
Greenstone SupplierPortal is a flexible, scalable, easy to use tool that enables the efficient collection of Supplier data and provides a suite of Buyer analytics to monitor compliance, performance and minimise risk. It enables suppliers and buyers to share data through a secure online solution, enabling buyers to focus on monitoring and identifying potential areas of risk and undertaking in-depth supplier analysis, rather than simple data gathering. The Portal includes customisable Buyer features, for example: questionnaires, scorecards, flags, group comparisons and benchmarks.
28 Aug 14
In 2015, a revised version of ISO 14001 will be published; the standard designed to help organisations create the systems and processes that they need to manage their environmental impact and risk. For many organisations, the aim of implementing ISO 14001 is to ensure a robust environmental management system is in place to manage and report information more effectively.
15 Aug 14
Selecting the right sustainability framework for your non-financial reporting can be a challenge. While there are several compelling reasons for organisations to report on their non-financial performance, including mandatory reporting requirements and opportunities to enhance reputation, there is little guidance available when it comes to selecting the best sustainability framework for your reporting requirements.
8 Aug 14
The non-financial reporting landscape can appear crowded and confusing, particularly when it comes to choosing the right non-financial reporting framework for your organisation.
While reporting non-financial performance has become increasingly important for organisations, it’s also, if anything, become more complex. The need to navigate through a wide range of definitions, timescales and expectations puts pressure on individuals and organisations to make the right choice when it comes to selecting a reporting framework. They need to understand their reporting requirements and choose the most appropriate reporting framework.
There are many clear reasons for organisations to report on their non-financial performance, including legal requirements, reputation enhancement and opportunities to identify saving opportunities. But these reasons alone don’t necessarily help when it comes to choosing the right reporting framework to use.
1 Aug 14
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a new government policy that requires enterprises in the UK to complete mandatory energy audits.
ESOS originates in EU legislation and the energy efficiency directive, which requires member states to introduce mandatory energy audit systems for its larger organisations.
25 Jul 14
As a buyer, there’s a good chance you are juggling data, left, right and centre. You’re trying to keep on top of your supplier data, while also having to compare supplier performance and monitor supplier compliance.
But it’s not an easy task for suppliers to manage these data requirements either. On top of supplying their products or services, suppliers are increasingly expected to process countless requests for data. Often they have to calculate their carbon, waste and water footprints, generate reports for general business use and share this information with all of their customers to demonstrate a level of compliance.
24 Jul 14
As well as Natural Capital becoming an important part of your sustainability reporting, there is a practical approach for organisations to integrate Natural Capital into financial accounting. Using a robust monetary valuable, when market prices are obtained from exiting market structures, can be used to determine the economic value of an environmental benefit.
18 Jul 14
For modern organisations, working with a wide range of data is a reality. When it comes to CSR reporting this is certainly true. But having the right structure in place to collect, manage and analyse this data can be the difference between it being a smooth process or an organisational challenge. There are many ways that investing in non-financial reporting software can help with CSR Reporting, supporting the growing requirements of non-financial reporting and providing companies with increased confidence in their data.
18 Jul 14
The Home Office has become the latest UK Government department to measure its ICT related energy and GHG emissions using Greenstone’s Enterprise system. The department produced its annual ICT footprint as part of the Cabinet Office Greening Government ICT programme.
In 2011, the UK Government launched its ‘Greening ICT Strategy’ with a vision to create “a cost effective and energy efficient ICT estate…..with reduced environmental impacts to enable new and sustainable ways of working for the public sector.” As a result, 15 central government departments are required to submit an annual report outlining their progress on mandated commitments and actions on greening their ICT estate to the Cabinet Office.
17 Jul 14
Some people might just see the term ‘Natural Capital’ as another bit of jargon making it’s way into the world of sustainability reporting. But actually, as a concept, it has an important role to play in supporting an organisation’s understanding of the broader environmental cost and impact of business.
We’ve recently published a new eBook ‘Beyond CSR Reporting: How to Value Natural Capital”, which takes an in-depth look at the role it has in helping organisations understand the broader environmental cost of their business.
10 Jul 14
When starting to review your options for non-financial reporting software, it can be difficult to know where to start. How can you be sure you’re investing in the right software for your company? How can you know that it is going to help you to achieve your sustainability goals?
While the answer will depend on your industry and your strategy, there are some common considerations. Here are a few tips as to how to make the right decision.
8 Jul 14
While a typical approach to reporting involves reviewing performance over the last year and assessing the next few years to set targets and goals, organisations need to take a longer term approach to ensure continued success.
3 Jul 14
Successfully engaging with your finance department can be the difference between having the budget to support your sustainability strategy and having to restrict your sustainability plans for another year.
But this is easier said than done. While having the necessary funds in place is a vital step to support your plans and ambitions, finance teams are under a lot of pressure to keep a tight rein on any expenditure.
So what can you do to move the conversation forward? Here are ideas on how you can start to build your case and engage with your finance department.
25 Jun 14
If you were to round up a room full of buyers, and ask them what challenges they face when collecting responsible sourcing data, you’ll likely be flooded with different answers!
So if every buyer faces different challenges what chance do they have of getting it right and bringing suppliers with them?
20 Jun 14
Did you know that an estimated that 88% of spreadsheets contain errors [Source: Marketwatch]. So, why is it then that many organisations are still using spreadsheets for their non-financial reporting?
Spreadsheets are perceived as an easy, quick and accessible solution. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case; for many organisations the reverse its true. In some instances, the myths surround spreadsheets are preventing CSR professionals from making accurate, data-driven decision.
18 Jun 14
Demands for transparency in non-financial reporting are high. Your key stakeholders, customers, suppliers and investors are used to a world where they can readily find the information they are looking for and increasingly expect this in your non-financial reports.
So, what are some of the steps that you can take to improve transparency in your non-financial reporting?
17 Jun 14
When the European Union adopts a new directive on non-financial and diversity information, affected companies and their suppliers all have to respond.
Large companies’ influence extends far beyond their traditional organisational boundaries and this legislation is therefore destined to have an impact on those companies’ direct and indirect suppliers.
To help you understand what changes this new directive will introduce and how it will impact your non-financial reporting, we’ve summarised the main points below.
17 Jun 14
Register for a free SupplierPortal Readiness Assessment that reviews your supplier due diligence process and identifies ways to reduce cost, increase transparency and reduce the risk of non-compliance.
The session will cover:
Identify people across the business who need to collect, review and report compliance and other information from suppliers
12 Jun 14
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published new strategic report guidance to encourage companies to prepare a high quality report. The purpose of the guidance is to help and support companies deliver a report which provides shareholders with a holistic and meaningful picture of an entity’s business model, strategy, development, performance, position and future prospects.
10 Jun 14
Companies have not always invested in robust systems for managing and analysing their non-financial data. Yet, as a result of growing non-financial reporting requirements, companies need greater confidence in their data accuracy. On top of this, there is a rising expectation that companies will use their data to improve their performance over time. All of this can be a challenge, without the right structures in place.
It may, therefore, be time to reconsider the role non-financial reporting software could have in your organisation. Here are four signs that it’s time to introduce software to your non-financial reporting.
29 May 14
It’s no secret that there is more data in the world than ever before. In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years [Source: Science Daily].
But more data isn’t necessarily better, especially if there isn’t a system or process to manage it fully. Whether you want to monitor supplier’s information identify potential areas of risk or manage your suppliers more efficiently, having the right data will make this easier for you.
27 May 14
Championing your organisation’s sustainability strategy can be a challenge. You spend hours developing and refining your plans, ensuring that they provide you with the groundwork to achieve your targets. But even the best laid plans don’t always run smoothly.
There are many aspects that can affect your sustainability strategy. Being aware of these factors and including them in your plan, will help to make your sustainability strategy a success.
20 May 14
With less than two weeks to go until this year's CDP deadline, many organisations are putting the finishing touches to their response. However, if you are a behind schedule or new to the whole process, don't worry - there is still time to complete your submission.
19 May 14
With new directives, updates in legislation and the changing expectations of consumers, corporate social responsibility is a bit of a moving target these days. Add in the level of nuance that tends to surround CSR and you’ve created a perfect environment for misunderstanding and CSR misconceptions.
It’s no wonder that there are a lot views, expressed as fact, that don’t stand up to scrutiny. We look at a few of the more common ones below:
15 May 14
When it comes to corporate social responsibility programmes, businesses often find themselves thinking big and long term. Ambitious plans to address sustainability challenges are, of course, commendable. But, it can often be the case that introducing little changes as part of your CSR programme that can ultimately make a big difference. So, don't neglect the small changes, because they can help make a difference with your CSR.
30 Apr 14
ICT equipment can account for 15% of electricity consumption in offices and 2% of overall global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a figure which is set to rise. With energy prices continuing to increase, companies need to find ways to lower without compromising innovation. Significant savings can be achieved by following a few simple steps.
16 Apr 14
When the European Union adopts a new directive on non-financial and diversity information, the world of CSR and affected companies both have to respond. Company Secretaries and CSR professionals will need to react to this new directive and learn how to revise and adapt their strategy accordingly. Quickly understanding the implications of the new directive and its impact need to be a priority.
Who will this new directive on non-financial information affect?
The directive, which has a report or explain approach to providing the required information, is intended to provide greater transparency and accountability of non-financial information. It will affect large companies operating in the EU (those with over 500 employees) – approximately 6000 so-called ‘Public Interest Entities’.
9 Apr 14
A recent report published by Ernst & Young examined the increasing use of non-financial reporting data by investors. Over the past 12 months, 9 out of 10 investors surveyed found that non-financial performance information played a crucial role at least once in their decision-making.
Investors highlighted materiality and a link to financial performance as two key factors they looked for when reviewing ESG data. Geographic locations had a significant impact on the frequency with which non-financial information was used. Over 70% of respondents based in emerging markets frequently or occasionally used non-financial data, compared with only 49% of those in developed markets. Non-financial reporting was considered to be particularly relevant in the mining, energy and industrial sectors.
31 Mar 14
More than a hundred institutional investors have developed recommendations for integrating disclosure on environmental and social issues into listing rules for stock exchanges worldwide. The proposal, released on 26th March by sustainability advocacy group Ceres, is part of an effort to develop a common standard for sustainability reporting for listed companies globally.
25 Mar 14
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced a new partnership between the BAFTA Albert Consortium, responsible for the industry carbon calculator Albert, and Greenstone, a leading provider of non-financial reporting solutions. The partnership will see the redevelopment of the Albert carbon calculator, enabling better carbon reporting for television and film productions.
3 Mar 14