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10 *Firsts* Coming Up at #NewMetrics '14

As we get closer to my personal favorite among the growing list of Sustainable Brands events — New Metrics, this year in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management — I am finding it hard not to engage complete strangers on the street in excited attempts to share bits and pieces of the powerful program we have put together. Without trying to be too self-congratulatory about it, allow me to let some of that energy out by sharing 10 highlights — more specifically, 10 *firsts* — that will take place in the New Metrics plenary program in just over two weeks. All of these highlights will deliver either exclusive launches or results presented for the first time to a live audience. Here go the teasers:  

The Latest Greendex Results and Trends in Sustainable Consumption Around the Globe

Terry Garcia, Chief Science and Exploration Officer, National Geographic; Eric Whan, Director of Sustainability Practice, GlobeScan

For several years now, National Geographic has partnered with GlobeScan to develop an international research approach to measuring and monitoring progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption around the world. The key objectives of this unique consumer tracking survey are to provide regular quantitative measures of consumer behavior and promote sustainable consumption. The two partners will launch the latest round of results together in a morning keynote.

Next-Level Product Portfolio Assessment from a Key Upstream Player

Dirk Voeste, VP of Sustainability Strategy, BASF

In order to better help its customers align environmental and societal considerations with business success, chemistry leader BASF has developed a new process for steering its product portfolio based on sustainability criteria. Launched just this week, the Sustainable Solution Steering method is used to systematically review and evaluate the sustainability aspects of the approximately 50,000 relevant product applications in the company's portfolio, which represent sales of €56 billion. The benefit: This externally validated process makes it possible to measure the products' contribution to sustainability within their various markets and industries and to increase this contribution through targeted steps.

A New Guide to Quantifying a Product's #SocialFootprint: The Next Stepping Stone in Assessing Product Sustainability

João Fontes, Social Footprinting Expert, PRé Sustainability; Charles Duclaux, Head of Corporate Responsibility Reporting and Environmental Innovation, L'Oréal; Sébastien Zinck, Manager of Eco-Design and Life-Cycle Assessment, Steelcase; Dirk Voeste, VP of Sustainability Strategy, BASF

While clear rules and standards for environmental LCA have existed for many years, corporate sustainability professionals around the world have suffered from the lack of commonly accepted methodologies for a 'social LCA.' To respond to that need, PRé Sustainability convened twelve sustainability experts from leading companies — including BASF, BMW Group, DSM, Goodyear, Philips, L'Oréal, Marks & Spencer and Steelcase — in its Roundtable for Product Social Metrics, aiming to make social impact assessment more accessible and meaningful through the development of a handbook containing an explicit, clearly defined set of principles and metrics. Join for the first public-event presentation of this one-of-a-kind initiative, followed by an open discussion with the audience.

A New Measurement Model for Companies Creating Shared Value

Kyle Peterson, Managing Director, FSG; Cora Olsen, ESG Data Manager of Global Stakeholder Engagement, Novo Nordisk AS; Veronica Nyhan Jones, Strategic Community Investment Lead of Infrastructure & Natural Resources, IFC

Shared value measurement requires companies to go deeper to the systems level, and consider the needs of more stakeholders, including new types of partners. During this session, a senior expert from the Shared Value Initiative (based on Michael Porter's famous 'creating shared value' concept) will debut new insights from a field guide on measuring shared value based on a consultative effort that involved leading multinational, health-related companies focused on profitably addressing the unmet health needs of low-resourced populations.

The MultiCapital Scorecard: Concept and Pilot Application

All these will be presented at
New Metrics '14,
September 24-26.

Mark McElroy, Founder & Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Organizations; Rob Michalak, Global Director of Social Mission, Ben & Jerry's

Integrated reporting, in the truest meaning of the phrase, must be context- and thresholds-based. This session will introduce a pilot of the MultiCapital Scorecard™ (MCS), which claims to be the world's first integrated measurement and reporting system that more than meets the requirements of the International Integrated Reporting Council's (IIRC) Integrated Reporting standard.

A New Study on Human Capital Valuation Through the Lens of Human-Centric Organizations

Steph Sharma, Managing Partner, Lead the Difference

Human capital valuation might seem as an abstract modeling exercise at first, but — if done the right way — it could be converted into a series of tools allowing companies to make more informed, data-backed decisions and budget allocations. Interface (which presented on the topic at New Metrics '13) is one company that has boldly embraced this vision in the last couple of years, and it is now being featured in a comprehensive research study on human capital valuation through the lens of human-centric organizations conducted by Lead the Difference. We'll have an exclusive first look at preliminary results and learn how said results could be used to inform a strategy around capturing useful human capital metrics in any organization.

An Announcement about GISR & the Future of Measuring Corporate Sustainability Performance

Allen White, Founder, Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR)

The challenge of building sustainable financial markets has never been more urgent. All players — companies, asset owners, asset managers, stock exchanges, regulators, ESG research and rating agencies — have vital roles to play. Dr. Allen White will make an important announcement on the GISR program and Standard, share a preview of GISR's new platform for sustainability and credit ratings, and highlight efforts at credit-rating agencies to integrate sustainability into their ratings frameworks.

A New Study on Analyzing Unprompted Responses to Measure Customer Perception of Sustainability Initiatives and Attributes

Jenny Rushmore, Director of Responsible Travel, TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor's GreenLeaders initiative is the largest 'green hotel' rating program in the world, and it has prompted the creation of a unique database of both sustainable hotel practices (over 4,000) and traveler reviews of those sustainable practices (over 30,000). In an effort to find out how travelers feel about the hotel practices in question, and whether that affects the overall perception of respective properties, TripAdvisor set out to uncover customer insights by looking closely at its unique database. It is the first time guest perception research has been done with a large sample set of unprompted responses, and the results promise to be fascinating.

A Tool for Enabling Informed and Impactful Purchasing Decisions through Effective In-Store Labels

Alexander Gillett, CEO, How Good

How Good is a rating system aiming to serve as a tool that grocery shoppers can use to identify the healthiest, most sustainable food products. The How Good team works closely with academics, industry experts and farmers to review the impact products make on the entire food system, and then crunches the data down to simple and elegant labels added directly to grocery store shelves. CEO Alexander Gillett will share up-to-date insights on customer reactions to How Good labels, including shifts in purchasing behavior across various store locations and resulting shifts in grocery store inventory.

Fair Trade USA's New Impact Measurement and Management Framework

Mary Jo Cook, Chief Impact Officer, Fair Trade USA; Jenny Burns, Director of Mission, Honest Tea

Fair Trade USA will introduce its new Impact Measurement and Management Framework, which has been developed to define, measure and communicate – in a systematic and unified way – the impacts Fair Trade enables for farmers, workers, businesses and consumers. The Framework generates new insight into the complex relationships between value creation (risk management, reliable production, profitable growth), sustainable livelihoods (human well-being, income empowerment, environment sustainability) and consumer activation (product choice, preference for Fair Trade).

I invite you to join us as we host these trailblazers — along with a growing and highly engaged New Metrics community of several hundred forward-looking business leaders — for three days of learning, reflection, re-evaluation and, of course, networking — in Boston, September 24-26. 


Dimitar is the Director of Content Development at Sustainable Brands. He joined the team after earning a Master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering – focused on sustainable business – from Stanford University. Before Stanford, Dimitar worked in international development… [Read more about Dimitar Vlahov]


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