Vol. 7 No. 2 – March/April 2016

Opinion: GRI – The Enemy Of Good Reporting?

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.47.19 AM By Megan DeYoung Since the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) was founded in Boston in 1997, it has grown both in size and complexity. According to GRI's online database, just 12 pioneers filed reports using their simple G1 standard back in 1999.This year, more than 5,000 companies worldwide will use the standard for their non-financial reporting. Over the years, GRI guidance has become synonymous with rigorous, good practice for reporting. The wholesale application of these guidelines, however, has resulted in a sea of mundane reports that are increasingly difficult to differentiate between or that lack unique perspectives. So, when does a guide become a hindrance to innovation? Amid all the noise, what makes one's strategy—and performance report—stand out from those of its competitors? Why would anyone want to read it? The problem with standards like GRI is that they provide guide rails towards sameness. The same comment could be made about any standard, whether it be SASB or IIRC or CDP.

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Navigating The Voluntary Reporting Landscape: The Nation’s Largest Independent Power Producer Discusses Disclosure Strategy And Reporting

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.44.06 AM By Laurel Peacock It is an exciting time to be a sustainability practitioner, particularly in the energy industry. Working with a cross-functional team of subject matter experts to execute voluntary reporting isn't a simple process, but by setting and tracking against the best average targets for its operations, NRG Energy is executing its vision and holding itself publicly accountable. Companies cannot achieve goals that they don't set, and goals without action are meaningless. There is no single entity that can mitigate climate change, but as one of the nation's most carbon-intensive businesses- NRG is working to take a leadership role in making a difference; namely, by reducing its environmental impact while profitably growing the company. A few years ago, NRG began a science-based approach to developing carbon reduction targets, and thereby set what continue to be some of the industry's most aggressive goals. In addition to developing targets that would drive progress towards the IPCC 2º budget, NRG's executive sustainability steering committee strived to ensure that the company's goals - a 50 percent reduction by 2030 and a 90 percent reduction by 2050 - would be relevant and in-step with its growing clean energy investments and diverse fossil-fueled fleet.

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The Unconventional CSR Payoff: Three Ways Unconventional Thinking And A Collaborative Spirit Helped Mosaic Grow

The Unconventional CSR Payoff

Three ways unconventional thinking and a collaborative spirit helped Mosaic grow By the Editors For Mosaic, helping the world grow the food it needs is more than a mission. It’s a call to action that inspires the company to conduct its work responsibly. From employee development and community advisory panels, to decisions in the boardroom— responsibility is embedded in every aspect of The Mosaic Company’s work producing crop nutrients. For Mosaic, responsibility means: • being accountable for the safety and well-being of employees and the company; • acting with integrity and conviction; and • being careful stewards of natural resources. In practice, Mosaic lives responsibility by striving for an injury-free and incident-free workplace, conserving water and energy in operations, and investing in operating communities. But what is unexpected are three unconventional ways Mosaic delivers economic, social, and environmental value by operating responsibly – for the benefit of the company and its diverse stakeholders. From Mined Land to Golf Destination Streamsong ® Resort is a golf destination resort and conference center developed by Mosaic on part of a 16,000 acre tract of former phosphate-mined land in Polk County, Fla.

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Operating Responsibly: A Conversation With Patsy Doerr, Thomson Reuters’ Global Head Of Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.12.13 AM By Allie Williams Project ROI Corporate responsibility is moving prominently into the mainstream of business and can now be measured and tied to ROI, or return-on-investment. Attendees at CR Magazine’s COMMIT!Forum on October 21, 2015 were treated to a Project ROI report presentation, which was spearheaded by IO Sustainability, a research and advisory services firm, and the Lewis Institute for Social Innovation at Babson College. They make the case for the ROI of corporate responsibility (CR), both anecdotally and quantitatively. The Project ROI report is a true partnership between these entities and its sponsors, Verizon and the Campbell Soup Company. Each sponsor is also included in the analysis. The authors gathered the data and demonstrated a framework about what it really means for a business to be “responsible” while delivering both “value” and relevancy by integrating a connection between CR (also called corporate social responsibility and sustainability) and ROI.

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The Role CSR Plays In Employee Engagement

shutterstock_127921625 By Doris B. González Corporate Social Responsibility has long stopped being just a “nice to have” set of programs that help companies tell their story of how they invest resources in a local community. These programs are at the core of employee engagement, retention and recruiting, as well as making an impact in the community. Most importantly, in order to be sustainable, corporate responsibility programs must be aligned with business strategies. At IBM, the corporate giving programs make a difference in the communities where employees live and work as well as improve the skills and success of the staff - and ultimately, our business. Gone are the days of checkbook philanthropy. Instead, IBM donates its best talent, ideas and technology to solve civic and societal issues. A great example is the Smarter Cities Challenge program, now in its sixth year. IBMers’ problem-solving expertise is donated to cities around the world, helping city leaders solve critical problems. They are shown how municipal agencies can share and analyze data that measure everything from traffic to health so that they can reduce costs, improve infrastructure and the delivery of services to citizens - in short, make cities even more livable.

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Companies With Purpose: A Look At Three Making A Difference

shutterstock_293732144 Solar Power Systems and Suitability Belinda Sharr At GreenBiz on Feb. 23-25, CR Magazine sat down with Nautilus Solar Energy's CEO Jim Rice to talk about solar energy and its impact on the environment. Nautilus Solar Energy, which is headquartered in Summit, N.J., was founded in 2006. It is a full-service solutions provider for business-sector and public-sector customers across North America. Nautilus attributes their solar success to their efforts developing, funding, executing and managing the physical and financial aspects of distributed generation solar electric projects. The company delivers full-service financial and technical capability by customizing cost-saving solar solutions to help customers meet their sustainability goals. Nautilus has been involved in more than 100 MW of solar solutions in the United States and Canada. To Nautilus Solar, sustainability means "creat[ing] a clean, energy independent future by providing widespread access to electricity generated from solar power," according to Rice.

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100 Best Corporate Citizens

100BestCorporateCitizens Our 17th annual ranking of transparency, accountability and business performance By the Editors Corporate Responsibility Magazine is pleased to present our 17th annual list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. This year's 100 Best List began with our research team documenting 260 data points of disclosure and performance measurements for the entire Russell 1000. The data was gleaned from publicly available information and each company was ranked in seven categories: • Environment • Climate change • Employee relations • Human rights • Corporate governance • Financial performance • Philanthropy & community support More details on our methodology follow the list We offer the companies named to the 2016 100 Best List our congratulations. They delivered on their commitments to transparency and accountability in highly competitive industries. Results include Microsoft making an appearance in its second year at No. 1; Intel comes in at No.

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Editor’s Letter: Best of the Best

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We are very pleased to bring you our 17th annual list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens in 2016. Being a great corporate citizen is increasingly important in this day and age. Stakeholders of a company, such as stock holders, employees, prospective employees, contractors, customers and government all need to be aware of important factors to their business — such as the environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, corporate governance, financial performance, and philanthropy. All of these topics are part of what we look at when determining who is the best of the best among corporate citizens. As in years' past, our research team has documented data points of disclosure and performance measurements for the entire Russell 1000. The data was gathered from publicly available information, and each company was ranked in seven categories for measuring their transparency and success.

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