AccountAbility Publications http://www.accountability.org This feed contains all AccountAbility publications. Stakeholder Engagement: Creating Value and Delivering Performance http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/stakeholder-engagement-creating-value-and-delivering-performance.html <p><span>This Deutsche Post DHL&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.delivering-tomorrow.com/">Delivering Tomorrow</a>&nbsp;<span>publication series features an article by Sunny Misser, CEO of AccountAbility, titled</span>&nbsp;<strong>&ldquo;Stakeholder Engagement: Creating Value and Delivering Performance.&rdquo;</strong>&nbsp;<span>The publication addresses the idea of how stronger relationships with stakeholders not only secure the business' &ldquo;license to operate,&rdquo; but also contribute to its sustained innovative strength &ndash; creating financial and societal value.</span></p> <p><span><span>Mr. Misser emphasizes that,</span><em>&nbsp;</em><strong>&ldquo;Stakeholder engagement can and will be a source of competitive advantage for those companies skilled enough to use the process to create real value and improve overall performance &mdash; collaboratively.&rdquo;</strong><br /></span></p> Article 20077 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Redefining Materiality II: Why it Matters, Who’s Involved,and What It Means for Corporate Leaders and Boards http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/redefining-materiality-ii.html <p><em>Redefining Materiality II</em> was developed in response to accelerating acceptance that non-financial materiality is an influential factor in corporate valuation.</p> <p>As part of a new series of publications on materiality, the report describes the landscape of various global materiality initiatives and provides a framework for corporate leaders and boards to enhance the definition and management of non-financial materiality.</p> <p>"The boundaries between corporations, the environment, and society continue to blur,&rdquo; said Ted Grant, Head of Global Research and Development at AccountAbility. &ldquo;This blurring has made identifying and focusing on what is truly important to long-term company performance, impact, and sustainability even more critical as a governance and management discipline."&nbsp;</p> Research Report 12202 Thu, 08 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Growing into Your Sustainability Commitments: A Roadmap for Impact and Value Creation http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/ungc-roadmap.html <p>Companies' executives today are increasingly being asked to commit to higher levels of performance through an expanding number of voluntary sustainability commitments, at times having to navigate through a cumbersome mix of performance standards, outcome metrics, and reporting requirements. The cost to organizations in terms of time and money has prompted them to ask:</p> <ul> <li>Which initiatives should companies commit to? </li> <li>How can companies get the most value and impact out of the voluntary sustainability commitments they have made? </li> <li>How can these voluntary sustainability commitments be leveraged to reinforce business performance and existing corporate sustainability efforts?</li> </ul> <p>To better understand the challenges and opportunities companies face within the voluntary sustainability commitment arena, AccountAbility, in partnership with the UN Global Compact (UNGC), conducted research to find out how companies are approaching and implementing voluntary sustainability commitments, and to identify and highlight good practices for future adoption, implementation, and advancement of commitments. <br /><br />Following interviews with 20 large multi-national companies (all UN Global Compact participants), survey feedback from non-Compact participants, and supplemental desk research, the findings show companies extract value from making voluntary sustainability commitments when they:</p> <ul> <li>Integrate voluntary sustainability commitments and considerations into strategy, governance, risk, compliance, management, and operational processes and procedures.</li> <li>Understand that implementing voluntary sustainability commitments is not a static process. Successful companies progress through a Sustainability Commitment Growth Curve (SCGC) that builds the skills, capabilities, and strategies to find ways to make commitments an increasingly complementary tool to support reputation enhancement, risk management, and license to operate, among other benefits. </li> <li>The way a company grows with its voluntary sustainability commitments significantly influences the relationship it has with the standard-setting body that stewards the commitment. There is both a pressing need and opportunity for the relationship between standard-setting bodies and their signatories to mature.</li> </ul> <ul> </ul> Research Report 11168 Wed, 05 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Report Preview: Growing Into Your Sustainability Commitments: A Roadmap for Impact and Value Creation http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/growing-into-your-commitments.html <p>Companies today are increasingly being asked to commit to higher levels of performance through an expanding number of sustainability commitments, at times having to navigate through a cumbersome mix of performance standards, outcome metrics, and reporting requirements. To better understand the challenges and opportunities companies face within the sustainability commitment arena, AccountAbility, in partnership with the UN Global Compact (UNGC), conducted research to identify and highlight how companies are approaching, implementing, and advancing their sustainability commitments. <br />&nbsp;<br />The focal point of the research is the Sustainability Commitment Growth Curve (SCGC), a powerful framework that will enable companies to:</p> <ul> <li>Determine why and how they make a commitment</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Map where their sustainability commitments currently function to provide impact and value</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Identify and implement what needs to be done to derive increased return and impact from these commitments over time</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Use sustainability commitments as a strategic governance and management tool, and improve overall operational performance</li> </ul> Research Report 8924 Fri, 25 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0500 Insights from Corporate Responsibility Leaders http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/insights-from-cr-leaders.html <p>Corporate responsibility and sustainable development evolve due to the initiatives of bold, forward-thinking and passionate leaders. These leaders&mdash;CEOs, CSOs, Heads of NGOs, Social Entrepreneurs, and Researchers&mdash;are changing the way we think about business.</p> <p>AccountAbility interviews influential corporate responsibility leaders about their insights, experiences, and the lessons they learned. This publication shares highlights from our conversations with five international leaders:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Jeff Swartz, </strong>CEO of Timberland, on how his company created an online stakeholder engagement platform</li> <li><strong>Carol Atwood</strong>, entrepreneur and AccountAbility Advisory Council Member, on how the movie <em>Avatar </em>presents a lesson in the changing nature of stakeholder engagement</li> <li><strong>Rob Cameron, </strong>CEO of Fairtrade International, on how Fairtrade is achieving success for both companies and producers</li> <li><strong>Bob Langert, </strong>Vice President of Sustainability at McDonald&rsquo;s Corporation, on the importance of listening to critics and engaging them in problem-solving</li> <li><strong>Caroline Roan, </strong>Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation at Pfizer Inc. and President of the Pfizer Foundation, on why corporate responsibility activities are integral to building brand and reputation</li> </ul> Research Report 4082 Thu, 01 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0500 Criteria for Certification as a Sustainability Assurance Practitioner http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/criteria-cert-sust-assurance.html Certification Manual 3451 Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0500 Scaling Up Strategy: Executive Summary http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/scaling-up.html <p style="margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.2em; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; line-height: 1.25em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">AccountAbility and the<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><a style="outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: bold; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #3399cc !important; text-decoration: none; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;" href="http://www.isealalliance.org/">ISEAL Alliance</a><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>proudly launched the Strategy for Scaling Up the Impacts of Voluntary Standards in Zurich on June 8. The Strategy, which was supported by Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), is the culmination of an 18 month process to identify trends affecting the use of voluntary sustainability standards and to develop a collective strategy for responding to those trends. The process to develop the strategy included extensive interviews and focus groups with business leaders, producer capacity building organisations, donors investing in sustainability standards systems and consumer research. The Strategy outlines a coordinated approach to expanding the implementation and acceptance of social and environmental standards on a global level in order to increase the number of producers and enterprises that benefit from sustainable practices and the demand for goods produced using credible standards.<br />&nbsp;<br />The four goals of the strategy are:</p> <p style="margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.2em; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; line-height: 1.25em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">-- Position credible standards systems as leaders in achieving sustainable development</p> <p style="margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.2em; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; line-height: 1.25em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">-- Leverage the support of key external actors for scaling up</p> <p style="margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.2em; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; line-height: 1.25em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">-- Increase producer and enterprise access to standards</p> <p style="margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.2em; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; line-height: 1.25em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">-- Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of standards systems&nbsp;<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></p> <p style="margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.2em; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; line-height: 1.25em; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; padding: 0px; border: 0px initial initial;">Download the Scaling Up Executive Summary<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>here to learn more.</p> Article 1071 Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0400 AA1000 SES Final Exposure Draft Comments Received http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-ses-final.html <p>Comments received by AccountAbility furthering the release of the AA1000 SES Final Exposure Draft.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 432 Mon, 21 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0500 AccountAbility Management Team Response to Assurance Providers & Sustainability Practitioners http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/accountability-10.html <p>AccountAbility Management Team Response to Assurance Providers &amp; Sustainability Practitioners.</p> Miscellaneous 431 Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0500 Letter from AA1000 SES TC to AccountAbility Management Team http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/letter-from.html <p>Letter from AA1000 SES TC to AccountAbility Management Team.</p> Miscellaneous 428 Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0500 Letter from Assurance Providers & Sustainability Practitioners to AccountAbility Management Team http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/letter-from-1.html <p>Letter from Assurance Providers &amp; Sustainability Practitioners to AccountAbility Management Team.</p> Miscellaneous 430 Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0500 Response to AA1000 SES TC from Kurt Ramin, Director of Standards http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/response-to.html <p>Response to AA1000 SES TC from Kurt Ramin, Director of Standards.</p> Miscellaneous 429 Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 Stakeholder Outreach 9th/10th February 2011 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-2.html Miscellaneous 421 Sat, 12 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES) http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-1.html <p>The AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard Exposure Draft:</p> <ul> <li>With its&nbsp;Accountability Commitment&nbsp;advances the right of stakeholders to be heard, and the organisations&rsquo; obligation to adequately respond to their concerns</li> <li>Provides a principles-based, open source framework for quality stakeholder engagement</li> <li>Offers a robust basis for designing, implementing, evaluating and assuring the quality of stakeholder engagement</li> <li>Provides guidance for continuous improvement, recognising different levels of practice</li> <li>Can be used as a stand-alone standard or as an integral element of other standards (e.g. AA1000 Assurance Standard, GRI, ISO)</li> <li>Is relevant across a full range of engagements from micro-level issues specific engagements to macro-level engagements on major societal concerns</li> <li>Applies to businesses, civil society and labour organisations, public bodies and multi-stakeholder networks and partnerships</li> </ul> Standards and Guidance Notes 84 Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 Standards: FAQs http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/frequently-asked-1.html <p>AccountAbility is pleased to release the initial publication of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the AA1000 APS (2008) and AA1000 AS (2008). These FAQs are meant to respond to some of the questions raised by our current and potential standard users and provide guidance on the interpretation of the AA1000 APS and AS.</p> <p>The responses for the FAQs were prepared and approved by AccountAbility's APS/AS technical committee. For more information on our technical committee and its membership click <a href="/standards/aa1000-governance.html">here</a>.</p> <p>It is hoped that these FAQs will help shed greater light on the use and application of the AA1000 APS/AS standards to promote sustainable development. The FAQs deal with issues related to:</p> <blockquote> <ul> <li>Applying the AccountAbility Principles Standard</li> <li>Accepting a AA1000AS Assurance Engagement</li> <li>Preparing an AA1000 Assurance Statement</li> <li>Licensing of a AA1000 Assurance Engagement</li> <li>Monitoring of Assurance Statement Compliance</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>Please access the FAQs These FAQs will be updated on a regular basis. Any questions or comments concerning these FAQs should be directed to: <a href="mailto:standards2@accountability.org">standards@accountability.org</a></p> Standards and Guidance Notes 316 Tue, 31 Aug 2010 00:00:00 -0400 The Climate Competitiveness Index 2010 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-climate.html <p><strong>The Climate Competitiveness Index (CCI) is the most comprehensive analysis to date of national progress towards a low carbon economy. The 2010 CCI shows how countries are creating low carbon strategies by combining performance and accountability. The report draws on a robust new assessment of public policy business action and consumer patterns in 95 countries.</strong></p> <p>(CCI) is the most comprehensive analysis to date of national progress towards a low carbon economy. The shows how countries are creating low carbon strategies by combining performance and accountability. The report draws on a robust new assessment of public policy business action and consumer patterns in 95 countries.The CCI provides a timely insight into which countries are best placed to make progress towards green jobs and the low carbon economy. It will be of interest to policy makers, investors, businesses, researchers, civil society organisations and activists. It pinpoints many examples of good practice and also the pressing need for major investments in strategy, data and capacity building.</p> <p>This summary for decision makers is supplemented by more detailed material for download from <a class=" target-blank" href="http://www.climatecompetitiveness.org/">www.climatecompetitiveness.org</a></p> Research Report 171 Wed, 21 Apr 2010 00:00:00 -0400 Beyond the Farm Fence: Increasing the the contribution of auditing to social development http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/beyond-the-farm.html <p>This report aims to present a constructive series of practical and concrete recommendations that will increase the capacity of off-site auditing to contribute to social development. It is also hoped that the report will form the basis for ongoing discussion, dialogue and change.</p> <p>The research, commissioned by Oxfam Novib, began with a review of existing relevant studies in the area. This enabled an issue register to be developed. This issue register was used to frame a series of interviews with stakeholders representing standards bodies, certification bodies, NGOs, businesses and others with extensive experience of social auditing and voluntary standards (see Annex B).</p> <p>Desk research and interview findings were subsequently fed into an analytical framework based on the AccountAbility Principles of Inclusivity, Materiality and Responsiveness. These principles provided a clear approach to understanding the current problems and potential for improvement.</p> <p>The results of this initial analysis were used to develop a series of findings and recommendations, which were articulated in a draft discussion paper and debated at a multi-stakeholder workshop. The discussion and feedback from the workshop, as well as feedback from a range of relevant international stakeholders unable to make the workshop, all contributed to this report.</p> <p>This report was commissioned by Oxfam Novib. The views and recommendations proposed are solely those of its authors.</p> Research Report 154 Wed, 16 Dec 2009 00:00:00 -0500 Radical Simplicity in Designing National Climate Institutions: Lessons from the Amazon Fund http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/radical.html <p>This summary briefing has been prepared by Simon Zadek, Maya Forstater and Fernanda Polacow and Jo&atilde;o Boffino of AccountAbility, working closely through an accompanied learning process with Tasso Rezende de Azevedo, designer of the Amazon Fund.</p> <p>It also draws on a series of interviews with key stakeholders and expert commentaries.</p> <p>Credible national institutions are needed to enable transformation towards low carbon growth. Without sound national level institutions to effectively manage climate change finance, funds will be wasted or will not be applied as effectively and quickly as needed. The bottom line is that, irrespective of commitments made globally, if national institutions to do not work well, quickly and at scale, the deal will fail to deliver on ambitious plans and needs for low carbon growth and development.</p> <p>This report is part of AccountAbility's Climate Policy Briefing Series. <br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p> Research Report 133 Thu, 10 Dec 2009 00:00:00 -0500 Guidance for AA1000AS (2008) Assurance Providers http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/guidance-for.html <p>The Guidance materials for the use of AA1000AS (2008) have been developed as a direct result of stakeholder input during the AA1000AS revision consultation exercise. Many reporting organisations, assurance providers and other stakeholders asked for more guidance on what the various elements meant and how to deal with them in practice. The guidance, unlike the requirements of the AA1000AS (2008) is non-binding.</p> <p>This Guidance is for the use of Assurance Providers who provide assurance in accordance with AA1000AS (2008). It is non-binding and is intended to provide guidance on good practice and to enable a more detailed understanding of sustainability assurance.</p> <p>This guidance is one of three guidance documents that support the AA1000AS (2008). The other two are '<a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/1/9/194.pdf"><span class=" target-blank">Guidance for Reporting Organisations Seeking Assurance to AA1000AS</span> (2008)</a>' and '<a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/1/9/195.pdf">Guidance for users of AA1000AS (2008) Assurance Statements</a>'.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 104 Tue, 01 Sep 2009 00:00:00 -0400 Guidance for Reporting Organisations Seeking Assurance to AA1000AS(2008) http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/guidance-for-1.html <p><strong>This guidance is for reporting organisations preparing for assurance according to AA1000AS (2008). It provides guidance on common issues relating to assurance from a reporting organisation perspective.</strong></p> <p>When choosing assurance based on AA1000AS (2008), or any other assurance standard, it is useful to understand what assurance based on AA1000AS (2008) offers the reporting organisation, what the process involves and how to prepare for assurance. This guidance is not intended to be comprehensive but aims to highlight areas to consider before and during an assurance engagement to help maximise the value of the assurance process.</p> <p>This guidance is non-binding and is one of three guidance documents that support the AA1000AS (2008). The other two are '<a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/1/9/196.pdf">Guidance for AA1000AS (2008) Assurance Providers</a>' and '<a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/1/9/197.pdf">Guidance for users of AA1000AS (2008) Assurance Statements</a>'.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 106 Tue, 01 Sep 2009 00:00:00 -0400 Guidance for Stakeholders Using AA1000AS (2008) Assurance Statements http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/guidance-for-2.html <p><strong>This guidance is for stakeholders who may read assurance statements based on AA1000AS (2008).</strong></p> <p>It aims to help the reader understand both what the assurance process involves and how to read and understand the various sections of an AA1000AS (2008) assurance statement.</p> <p>This guidance is one of three guidance documents that support the AA1000AS (2008). The other two are '<a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/1/9/198.pdf">Guidance for Reporting Organisations Seeking Assurance to AA1000AS (2008)</a>' and '<a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/1/9/199.pdf">Guidance for AA1000AS (2008) Assurance Providers</a>'.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 83 Tue, 01 Sep 2009 00:00:00 -0400 Base of the Pyramid 2.0: Bringing Sustainable Growth to Scale at the BOP through Enterprise ICTs http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/base-of-the.html <p>The economy-driving role of information and communications technology (ICT) firms &ndash; large and small, national and global &ndash; is growing larger in these early decades of the 21<sup>st</sup> century, and the potential for impacts is expanding right along with it. This paper looks in particular at the role ICTs have played in serving low-income (base of the pyramid, or BOP) communities over the past decade, and draws some lessons from this broad record of experience with regard to ICTs and future growth prospects, both for the firms themselves and for the economies they serve. Evidence suggests that the time is now ripe for achieving both business and development goals, utilizing what the paper calls "enterprise ICTs" &ndash; tools to help small firms to grow bigger more rapidly, and tools to link firms of all sizes more efficiently.</p> Research Report 163 Mon, 27 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0400 Responsible Competitiveness in the Arab World 2009 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/responsible-2.html <p>Responsible Competitiveness in the Arab World 2009 is the first systematic assessment of regional progress towards sustainable economies and prosperous societies. It provides regional pathways, practical case studies and policy recommendations to outline how the Arab World can convert societies' existing and emerging challenges into profitable opportunities. The report analyses progress through three interlocking elements:</p> <ul> <li> <div>An overview of the Arab World against 100 global peers through the Responsible Competitiveness Index;</div> </li> <li> <div>A new Arab Responsible Competitiveness Index, customized to provide in-depth analysis of regional performance on issues such as water security, green buildings and Islamic finance;</div> </li> <li> <div>Insightful essays from regional thoughtleaders on pressing challenges such as food security and human resource development.</div> </li> </ul> <p>The report aims to provide a bold strategy to combine collaboration and innovation to create responsible markets.With seven essays from regional thought-leaders on topics including the financial crisis, economic diversification, sustainable agriculture, and the human resource development challenge, it is a must-read report that outlines how the Arab World can build competitive advantage in global markets.</p> Research Report 162 Sat, 16 May 2009 00:00:00 -0400 What Assures Consumers in an Economic Downturn? Reviewing the agenda in the global economic crisis http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/what-assures.html <p>As the UK officially falls into recession, this report is a timely analysis of the changing nature of consumer trust and the impact of the credit crunch on business strategies related to sustainable development.</p> <p>The report is based on findings from two online surveys of 2,000 UK consumers and a series of expert interviews.</p> <p>The aim of this research from AccountAbility and The Co-operative is to encourage consumers to take more action and responsibility for the impacts of their purchasing; that policy-makers will act upon the need to strengthen transparency and regulation; and that businesses will be able to assure consumers through sound sustainability strategies and delivery, and confident communications.</p> <p>These findings and recommendations will be relevant far beyond the UK, as other countries come to terms with the impact of the economic downturn on their own economy, consumers and responsible business practices.</p> Research Report 160 Thu, 23 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0400 Advancing Sustainable Competitiveness of China's Transnational Corporations http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/advancing.html <p>This paper examines how the Chinese business community can best use international sustainability standards to enhance their competitiveness in global markets and more effectively place themselves on a sustainable economic pathway.</p> <p>It highlights the opportunity for Chinese businesses, supported by enabling public policies, to become a force in shaping the next generation of sustainability standards in global markets as a competitive strategy consistent with China's broader interests. Doing so will require deeper engagement in existing standards initiatives, and a more explicit role amongst the communities that have developed and now govern them. Effective engagement in such standards is a means of off-setting competitive disadvantages, and creating competitive advantages when businesses and nations choose a more sustainable development path.</p> <p>This work is part of the research project on China's "sustainable trade strategy" organised by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the State Council's Development Research Center, and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The work is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and also partnered with the Chinese Central Party School, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, St. Gallens University, and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.</p> Research Report 109 Sun, 19 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0400 Towards Sustainable Outsourcing: A responsible competitiveness agenda for IT enabled services http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/towards-1.html <p>This report sets out an ambitious agenda for countries, cities and companies which they can use to create an outsourcing model that is genuinely sustainable. It concerns the crucial role of Information Technology Enabled Services: that is, all the services that can be provided remotely through cables, phones and computers.</p> <p>In the past decade, Information Technology Enabled Services (IT-enabled services, or ITES) have missed two opportunities to play a proactive role in sustainable development worldwide. They now have a third chance. The report calls this agenda for sustainable ITES "Outsourcing 3.0". The outlines of this agenda emerge from the report's critical review of the past decade's experience of ITES and its close look at the next decade's likely trends.</p> <p>The study&mdash;supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)&mdash;uses new research from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and AccountAbility, which is based on the best available data and in-depth interviews with thought-leaders and practitioners.</p> Research Report 135 Sun, 01 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0500 The Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index Report http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-saudi.html <p>The Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index aims to assemble a critical mass of companies to promote social development in the Kingdom. It is a multi-year initiative by the King Khalid Foundation and AccountAbility, with The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) being a former collaborator. Companies of all sizes are invited to join this initiative and the three strongest performers receive the prestigious King Khalid Award for Responsible Competitiveness at the annual King Khalid Awards (<a href="http://www.kkfeng.org/kingkhalid-awards.php">http://www.kkfeng.org/kingkhalid-awards.php</a>) in December each year.</p> <p>The Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index was introduced in 2008 and forty companies participated in the first Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index. An increasing number of companies have participated in subsequent years. <a href="http://www.dsfh.med.sa/eng/">Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital</a> won the top award in 2013, and previous winners include <a href="http://www.sabic.com/corporate/en/">SABIC</a> (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation), <a href="http://www.alahli.com/en-us/Pages/NCB-Home-New.aspx">National Commercial Bank</a>, and <a href="http://www.marafiq.com.sa/en/default.aspx">Marafiq</a>.</p> <p>Firms were analyzed using AccountAbility's Responsible Competitiveness Index(TM) which assesses performance against those areas of corporate responsibility that contribute to firm-level competitiveness.</p> Research Report 120 Sun, 25 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard 2008 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000.html <p>The AA1000APS 2008:</p> <ul> <li><span>provides an organisation with an internationally accepted freely available set of principles to frame and structure the way in which they understand, govern, adminster, implement, evaluate and communicate their accountability </span></li> <li>is primarily intended to be used by organisations developing an accountable and strategic approach to sustainability</li> <li>provides the basis for establishing, evaluating and communicating accountability</li> <li>allows the organisation to focus on what is material to its own vision and provides a framework for identifying and acting on opportunities as well as managing non-financial risk and compliance</li> <li>demands that an organisation actively engages with its stakeholders, fully identifies and understands the sustainability issues that will have an impact on its performance, and then uses this understanding to develop responsible business strategies and performance objectives</li> <li>provides the basis for understanding and achieving sustainability assurance according to the AA1000AS (2008) and accountable stakeholder engagement according to the AA1000SES (2005)</li> </ul> Standards and Guidance Notes 111 Fri, 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0400 AA1000 Assurance Standard 2008 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-assurance.html <p>The AA1000AS 2008:</p> <ul> <li>is an internationally accepted, freely available standard that provides the requirements for conducting sustainability assurance</li> <li>focuses on what is material to the organisation and its stakeholders</li> <li>provides a means to go beyond mere verification of data</li> <li>requires the assurance provider to provide assurance on the nature and extent of adherence to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles, and where applicable, the quality of publicly disclosed information on sustainability performance</li> <li>provides a means to capture and place in context a wide range of other verification and certification schemes that deal with specific dimensions of sustainability</li> <li>provides a platform to better align the non-financial aspects of sustainability with financial performance</li> </ul> <p><strong>NB: </strong><strong>The 2003 standard will continue to be accepted until December 2009, after which it will be withdrawn. </strong>There will be a mandatory license fee associated with commercial use of AA1000AS (2008).</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 93 Fri, 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0400 Introduction to the revised AA1000 Assurance Standard and the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard 2008 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/introduction-to.html <p>A valuable resource for new-comers to sustainability assurance, as well as experienced providers, users and stakeholders.</p> <p>Includes:</p> <ul> <li>an overview of AA1000AS (2008)</li> <li>an overview of AA1000APS (2008)</li> <li>information on selecting a provider</li> <li>directory of assurance providers</li> </ul> Standards and Guidance Notes 127 Fri, 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0400 What Assures Consumers in Australia on Climate Change? http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/what-assures-4.html <p>This report, focusing on consumer awareness and action on climate change in Australia, is part of the AccountAbility 'What Assures Consumers' series of reports, and builds on our research with consumers, green marketing practitioners and opinion leaders in the US and UK.</p> <p>The report is based on research with over 1000 consumers, through a multiple choice survey conducted online by Globescan in April 2007, with quotas set by age, gender and region.</p> <p>The aim of the report is to build understanding of the role that consumers can play to avert climate change crisis. It looks at what influences consumer behaviour, what provides effective assurance and what pathways offer greatest opportunities for impact.</p> <p>The primary audiences for the report are business, civil society organisations, standards setters and policy makers concerned with achieving climate change goals in the context of the Australian economy. However the issues and debates discussed have relevance to other countries and regions facing the same challenges.</p> Research Report 102 Tue, 12 Aug 2008 00:00:00 -0400 Governing Collaboration: Making Partnerships Accountable for Delivering Development http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/governing-1.html <p><span lang="EN-US">First launched at a World Bank on April 16th 2008, AccountAbility's work (with support from IDRC and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund) has drawn on global practice through bilateral engagement with some of the world's most significant partnerships, through peer-to-peer learning networks of partnerships, through national and international convenings hosted by country partners in Brazil, India and South Africa, and of course, through involvement in other initiatives exploring partnership performance. The findings and recommendations contained in the report are relevant for anyone concerned with development, and in particular partnership founders, managers, participants and other stakeholders, including public and private investors.</span></p> Research Report 182 Tue, 01 Apr 2008 00:00:00 -0400 National Responsible Competitiveness 2007 - Chinese Edition http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/national.html <p>This publication represents the new content of the Chinese version of <em>The State of Responsible Competitiveness 2007</em> in English<em>.</em> The Chinese version was published as <em>National Responsible Competitiveness 2007</em> (Guojia Zeren Jingshengli 2007) by the Chinese Management Enterprise Press April 2008. This report was translated and edited in collaboration with he <em>WTO Tribune</em> of the Chinese Minestry of Commerce's WTO Affairs Division.</p> <p>This publication brings together new content from AccountAbility; long-time advocate of responsible competitiveness <em>WTO Tribune</em> Vice- President Yin Gefei; a preface by veteran economic reformer Cheng Siwei, outgoing vice Chairperson of the 17th Standing Committe of the National People's Congress; and a unique essay by the Chairman of the Shanghai Pudong&nbsp;New District's Economic Board, Wu Quanguo, on City Responsible Competitiveness.</p> <p>Download the original version of this publication in <a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/3/331.pdf">Chinese </a></p> Research Report 125 Tue, 18 Mar 2008 00:00:00 -0400 O Estado da Competitividade Responsàvel 2007 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/o-estado-da.html <p>A Competitividade Respons&agrave;vel &eacute; o alinhamento estrat&eacute;gico da a&ccedil;&atilde;o dos neg&oacute;cios, das pol&iacute;ticas p&ugrave;blicas e dos agentes sociais, com o intuito de fazer com que o desenvolvimento susten&agrave;vel seja levado em considera&ccedil;&atilde;o nos mercados globais. Pa&iacute;ses, cidades, setores e empresas t&ecirc;m enorme potencial para formar novos mercados que encorajem pr&agrave;ticas empresariais respons&agrave;veis e as transforme em uma tend&ecirc;ncia.</p> <p>Qual &eacute; o progresso actual em dire&ccedil;&atilde;o a esses objetivos? O Estado da Competitividade Respons&agrave;vel 2007 &eacute;, at&eacute; o presente momento, a mais abrangente avalia&ccedil;&atilde;o sobre as pr&agrave;ticas empresariais respons&agrave;veis, cobrindo 108 pa&iacute;ses ao redor du mondo. Trata-se de leitura essencial para investidores, pol&iacute;ticos, empres&agrave;rios e ativistas.</p> <p>O relat&oacute;rio est&agrave; repleto de id&eacute;ias ousadas, e de exemplos pr&agrave;ticos sobre como combinar inova&ccedil;&atilde;o e colabora&ccedil;&atilde;o, contendo quinze ensaios de grandes especialistas e formardores de pol&iacute;ticas, deside de Sir Nicholas Stern falando sobre mudan&ccedil;as clim&agrave;ticas, e da Professora Laura Tyson sobre a diminui&ccedil;&atilde;o do abismo entre os sexos, at&eacute; o Dr. Anwar Ibrahim sobre a presta&ccedil;&atilde;o de contas entre os Tigres Asi&agrave;ticos.</p> Research Report 132 Tue, 18 Mar 2008 00:00:00 -0400 AF Issue 12: A Special Issue on Accountable Leadership http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-12.html <p>The theme of the last issue of AccountAbility Forum is the concept of accountable leadership. AccountAbility believes that we are in the midst of a fundamental transition away from the vital issues that confronted the 20th-century leaders. Challenges such as climate change, global poverty, water stress, peace and security, and globalising societies' health and education problems are diffuse, hard to define simply, and international in nature. Few obvious courses of action will present themselves, and solutions will demand extraordinary imagination and collaborative skills.</p> Research Report 156 Sat, 01 Mar 2008 00:00:00 -0500 Partnering to Strengthen Public Governance: The Leadership Challenge for Leaders and Boards http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/partnering-to.html <p>This report was launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting on 25 January 2008 and comprises a <span lang="EN-GB">CEO-signed leadership statement and supporting report, that provide a roadmap for business leaders seeking to work with governments and other stakeholders to improve the enabling environment for sustainable economic growth and development.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-GB">There are fourteen signatories of the leadership statement consisting of global CEOs and chairmen from a range of industries including the Chairman/CEOs of</span>&nbsp;<span lang="EN-GB">Ayala Corporation,</span>&nbsp;<span lang="EN-GB">Diageo, Merck &amp; Co., Microsoft Corporation, Pakistan State Oil Company (PSO), Tata Industries, The Coca-Cola Company and the big four accounting firms, Deloitte, Ernst &amp; Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.</span></p> Research Report 164 Fri, 25 Jan 2008 00:00:00 -0500 Investing in Standards for Sustainable Development: The Role of International Development Agencies in Supporting Collaborative Standards Initiatives http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/investing-in.html <p style="margin: 0px;">AccountAbility has released a working paper on the role of international development agencies in supporting Collaborative Standards Initiatives (CSIs).&nbsp;From the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, to the Equator Principles and the&nbsp;Forest Stewardship Council, CSIs are redefining global&nbsp;regulation and reshaping the accountability of most industries and markets.&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px;">Addressing the role of donors is seen by many as a timely issue. Most CSIs face important challenges and opportunities as the markets in which they operate mature and&nbsp;the expectations of their key stakeholders, from industry to governments and NGOs,&nbsp;evolve.</p> <p style="margin: 0px;"><br class="webkit-block-placeholder" /></p> <p style="margin: 0px;">Common issues among CSIs include the challenge of linking their rules to governmental (statutory) regulation, scaling the take-up by industry, harmonizing rules among competing CSIs, overcoming donor-dependency or financial sustainability challenges, and addressing unintended impacts on the competitiveness of producers in poor countries. Donors can make a difference with most of these issues; this paper explores some of the alternatives.</p> Research Report 124 Sat, 01 Dec 2007 00:00:00 -0500 El Estado de la Competividad Responsable 2007 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/el-estado-de-la.html <p>La competitividad responsable es el alineamiento estrat&eacute;gico de la acci&oacute;n empresarial, las pol&iacute;ticas p&uacute;blicas y los facilitadores sociales para hacer que el desarrollo sustentable pese en los mercados globales. Los pa&iacute;ses, las ciudades, los sectores y las empresas tienen un gran potencial para construir nuevos mercados que fomenten el encauzamiento de las pr&aacute;cticas empresariales responsables.<br />&iquest;Qu&eacute; progreso se observa respecto de dichos objetivos? El Estado de la Competitividad Responsable 2007 es la evaluaci&oacute;n m&aacute;s amplia de las pr&aacute;cticas empresariales responsables hasta la fecha y cubre 108 pa&iacute;ses alrededor del mundo. Es lectura esencial para los inversores, los pol&iacute;ticos, las empresas y los activistas.</p> <p>"El Estado de la Competitividad Responsable demuestra el potencial pr&aacute;ctico de las estrategias de competitividad responsable para garantizar el comercio y las inversiones manteniendo un equilibrio entre los intereses nacionales y globales, y entre los beneficios p&uacute;blicos y privados".</p> <p><strong>Pascal Lamy,</strong><br />Director General de la Organizaci&oacute;n Internacional del Comercio.</p> <p>"El informe destaca excelentes oportunidades de mercado, y tambi&eacute;n los riesgos que los pol&iacute;ticos, las empresas y los inversores necesitan gestionar. En resumen, el Estado de la Competitividad Responsable 2007 es la gu&iacute;a indispensable para comprender c&oacute;mo los mercados se est&aacute;n reformulando para recompensar la competitividad para el siglo XXI".</p> <p><strong>Hon. Al Gore</strong></p> <p><em>El Estado de la Competitividad Responsable es la cuarta evaluaci&oacute;n de AccountAbility sobre las pr&aacute;cticas empresariales responsables alrededor del mundo.</em></p> Research Report 149 Tue, 20 Nov 2007 00:00:00 -0500 The State of Responsible Competitiveness 2007: making sustainable development count in global markets http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-state-of.html <p>The Responsible Competitiveness Index is increasingly used by investment banks and global retailers to guide their investment and purchasing decisions. "The report demonstrates the practical potential of responsible competitiveness strategies to deliver trade and investment", says Pascal Lamy, "while striking the right balance between national and global interests, and public and private gain".</p> <p>The report carries essays from leading global experts like<strong> Sir Nicholas Stern</strong>, <strong>Laura Tyson</strong>, <strong>Guy Ryder</strong> and <strong>G&uuml;nter Verheugen</strong>. They identify major opportunities in more responsible markets in climate change, gender, human rights and anti-corruption. Taken together, these markets will be worth at least US$750 billion by 2050. Smart businesses, climate friendly cities, sunrise sectors and responsible countries can win massive market shares in the global markets of tomorrow. Others will fail to coordinate their strategies and lose out.</p> Research Report 112 Fri, 06 Jul 2007 00:00:00 -0400 What Assures Consumers on Climate Change? http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/what-assures-3.html <p><strong>Business, governments and consumers in the US and UK are increasingly concerned about climate change.</strong>&nbsp;54% of consumers are willing to make personal sacrifices to prevent global warming. But only 10% trust the guidance they receive from business and government on this issue.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">So, if 90% of US and UK consumers are unsure about business or government claims on climate change, then What Assures Consumers on Climate Change?</p> <p><strong>This report seeks to answer this critical question.</strong> The research draws on the consumer opinion survey conducted in the US and UK, and relevant work of experts in different fields. Experts, who have concentrated on understanding the science of global warming, what influences consumer behavior, what is effective sustainability assurance, what is needed for rigorous greenhouse gas accounting, and the consumption pathways that have the greatest impacts. Our ambition has been to understand what role consumers can play in overcoming the global obstacles to averting catastrophic climate change.</p> &nbsp; Research Report 153 Fri, 22 Jun 2007 00:00:00 -0400 AF Issue 11: A Special Issue on Material Futures http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-11.html <p>How organisations manage the relevance, or materiality of their non-financial impacts, risks and opportunities appears central to the next generation of accountability mechanisms. Determining what aspects of sustainability are material to organisations has become the latest turn in integrating sustainability into organisational practices. But how does such materiality need to be defined if it is to deliver against such high expectations? What are the implications of emerging innovations in practice? And when we evaluate materiality are we thinking fundamentally about businesses' performance or their impact on the environment and society? <br /><br />In this issue of <em>AccountAbility Forum</em>, a range of international practitioners and thinkers reflect on how they approach materiality and where debate and practice needs to go next..</p> Research Report 143 Tue, 01 May 2007 00:00:00 -0400 A21: Development as Accountability, Accountability Innovators in Action http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/a21-development.html <p>Cross-sector collaboration is celebrated as a more accountable way of promoting development, but this is a claim that has run well ahead of the evidence. Because of difficulties in evaluation and a reluctance to share lessons, there is insufficient awareness of the importance of getting collaborative governance right. The report showcases experiments across a wide range of collaborative frameworks, demonstrating how accountability innovators are leading initiatives to align interests, pool resources, and share responsibilities to tackle development challenges.</p> <p>This report convincingly demonstrates that we now have a unique opportunity to reinvent accountability, placing it firmly at the heart of development.</p> Research Report 105 Sun, 01 Apr 2007 00:00:00 -0400 User Note on the Application of the Principles of Materiality, Completeness and Responsiveness http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/user-note-on-the.html <p>The AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS) was launched in 2003 as the world's first sustainability assurance standard. It was developed to ensure the credibility and quality of sustainability performance and reporting and was the result of an extensive, two-year, worldwide consultation involving hundreds of organisations from the professions, the investment community, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), labour and business.</p> <p>In 2006, in response to requests for further guidance, AccountAbility published a Guidance Note on the Principles of Materiality, Completeness and Responsiveness as used in AA1000AS. During the development of this Guidance Note it was suggested that we provide examples of how the principles were applied in practice. It was agreed that the Guidance Note was not the right place for these examples. We have therefore developed this User Note to provide examples of the application of the principles in practice.</p> <p>The nature of learning in the standards field means that the process of providing guidance is ongoing. By continually engaging with AA1000 Assurance Standard users and stakeholders, AccountAbility is able to reflect learning in the form of additional guidance to the standard. AccountAbility invites you to share your AA1000 Assurance Standard experiences with us so that we can continue to improve the AA1000 Series.</p> <p>The User Note is an opportunity for assurance practitioners and other users of AA1000AS to further explore questions of practice based on the work of leading assurance practitioners, including KPMG Sustainability, Deloitte, Bureau Veritas, the Reassurance Network and Banarra Sustainability Assurance and Advice. Three of the case studies are written from the perspective of the assurance provider while the Reassurance Network-Camelot and the Deloitte-Vodafone cases present both the reporter and assurance practitioner's view of the assurance process.</p> <p>This User Note is intended for use by Assurance Practitioners as well as by organisations that will have to understand it in order to prepare for assurance.</p> <p>The AA1000 Assurance Standard is designed to be an assurance standard for reports as well as for the data, systems, processes, organisational conduct and competencies that underlie performance. The AA1000 Assurance Standard and its supporting guidance therefore aim to be applicable within the context of other relevant standards, guidelines and frameworks, including the GRI G3 Reporting framework and the IAASB ISAE 3000 standard.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 176 Sun, 01 Apr 2007 00:00:00 -0400 Critical Friends: The Emerging Role of Stakeholder Panels in Corporate Governance, Reporting and Assurance http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/critical-friends.html <p>Critical Friends is a research report, produced by AccountAbility and <a class=" target-blank" href="http://www.utopies.com/">UTOPIES&reg;</a>, which examines the experience of businesses convening stakeholder panels made up of external experts or stakeholder representatives, to help strengthen the company's strategy, performance and accountability in relation to sustainability.</p> <p>At its core is a detailed examination of the experiences of Areva, BT, BP, EDF, Camelot, Gaz de France, Ford, Nike and Vodafone, based on interviews with both company practitioners and panel members. The report provides practical guidance in developing effective panels, and looks at how panels can contribute to the ongoing developments in better corporate governance, reporting and accountability.</p> <p>It will be particularly useful to:<br />&bull; Corporate managers considering, developing or reviewing a stakeholder panel as part of their own company's approach to transparency and responsiveness.<br />&bull; Independent assurance providers and panel conveners supporting companies in developing effective and credible panels.<br />&bull; Panel members and potential panel members in understanding the role that panels can play in influencing business.</p> Research Report 178 Thu, 08 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0500 Competitividad Responsible. La reformulacion de los Mercados Globales a traves de Practicas Empresarias Responsables_ America Latina http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/competitividad.html <p>Competitividad Responsable</p> <p>Es evidente que las pr&aacute;cticas socialmente responsables de empresas multinacionales, que operan en nuestros mercados, y la extensa comprensi&oacute;n de nuestra base nacional empresarial, de la importancia de contar con empresas de excelencia, har&aacute;n posible la generaci&oacute;n de un nuevo tipo de mercado, que basa su competitividad a trav&eacute;s de la gesti&oacute;n de negocios que act&uacute;an de manera responsable en materia econ&oacute;mica, ambiental y social. Esta suma de esfuerzos debe resultar en una estrategia pa&iacute;s, la cual requiere conocer los impactos que este modelo de negocios tendr&aacute; en la competitividad de nuestros pa&iacute;ses, y su relaci&oacute;n final con las pol&iacute;ticas de crecimiento y desarrollo en Am&eacute;rica Latina.</p> <p>Este estudio nos ofrece una aproximaci&oacute;n, y contribuye al debate regional y al requerimiento de contar con mercados que permitan un desarrollo sustentable en los pa&iacute;ses de la regi&oacute;n, donde no s&oacute;lo los resultados econ&oacute;micos de corto y largo plazo son relevantes, sino tambi&eacute;n los impactos sociales y ambientales que esta tendr&aacute; en la sociedad.</p> Research Report 130 Fri, 01 Dec 2006 00:00:00 -0500 Responsible Competitiveness in Europe: Enhancing European Competitiveness through Corporate Responsibility http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/responsible-1.html <p>This study assesses the potential for a European Responsible Competitiveness strategy. It builds on five years of policy and strategy focused research on Responsible Competitiveness led by AccountAbility, including two iterations of the Responsible Competitiveness Index that for the first time provides a quantitative assessment covering over 80 countries.</p> <p>The&nbsp;report summarizes the findings of an in-depth inquiry into three key sectors: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), pharmaceuticals and finance. The research has been funded by the European Commission, with additional engagement and financial support from IBM, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, and SAM. The European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) facilitated the project.</p> <p>The report describes a practical framework to assess the potential of companies in each sector to build competitive advantage by reshaping markets to reward responsible goods and services. The report reflects the real perspectives of stakeholders in all three sectors, from academics and innovators to campaigners and policy makers.</p> <p>The newly published report presents best practice examples of how companies and partners are already starting to shape responsible markets across Europe and beyond.&nbsp; The report argues that responsible competitiveness is possible but not easy. Each sector faces different challenges: from building trust and growing consumer demand to pooling knowledge and going to scale.&nbsp;</p> <p>More broadly, European policy makers now have a unique opportunity to create innovative market incentives, reinvigorate social dialogues and invest in capacity-building. Europe can and should build a more responsible and competitive approach to jobs, growth and sustainable development.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Research Report 142 Wed, 22 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0500 The AccountAbility Rating 2006 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-2.html <p>The AccountAbility Rating 2006</p> <p>The Accountability Rating is a proprietary tool for measuring the extent to which companies have built responsible practices into the way they do business and how well they account for the impact of their actions on their stakeholders. Every year, we apply the Rating to the world's largest companies, and the headline results are published in Fortune magazine.</p> <p><a class=" target-blank" href="http://www.accountabilityrating.com/">http://www.accountabilityrating.com/</a></p> &nbsp; Research Report 128 Mon, 06 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0500 AF Issue 10: Special Issue on Technology and Transparency http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-10.html <p>ICT is growing increasingly important in how we engage with companies, government, and one another. The internet, email, blogs, and chatrooms all enable new forms of interaction. We 'google' or 'skype' someone. Peer-to-peer processes, XBRL or RFID processes are said to new forms of interaction between institutions and individuals, whether as citizens or consumers. At the same time we are uncomfortable, or even highly resistant, to some side-effects of such ICT, fearing that instead of making our organisations more responsive to us, ICT will make individuals too transparent to companies' marketing campaigns or to governments seeking to learn more about citizens' private interactions.</p> <p>In this issue of Accountability Forum, expert practitioners explore how companies, government, and civil society are dealing with the rewards and risks of ICT when it comes to transparency and accountability.</p> Research Report 100 Wed, 01 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0500 The Materiality Report: Aligning Strategy, Performance and Reporting http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/materiality.html <p>The concept of materiality has become an increasingly important word in the reporting lexicon. There are two challenges facing reporters. One is to find an approach that provides the comprehensive data some stakeholders require, while still being able to show what's really important to the success of the organisation. The second is to do this in a concise and clear way. A successful materiality determination process is key to meeting these challenges. In this report we have explored the concept of materiality, reviewed how various companies have tackled it and propose a Materiality Framework that everyone can use.</p> <p>Download <a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/203.pdf">Japanese Translation</a></p> <p>Download <a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/202.pdf">Executive Briefing</a></p> Research Report 126 Wed, 01 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 Guidance Note on the Principles of Materiality, Completeness and Responsiveness as they Relate to the AA1000 Assurance Standard http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-guidance.html <p>The AA1000 Assurance Standard is a generally applicable standard for assessing, attesting to, and strengthening the credibility and quality of organisations' data, processes, systems, organisational conduct and competencies for sustainability performance and reporting.</p> <p>AA1000 Assurance Standard Guidance Notes are intended to provide detailed guidance on the implementation and use of the AA1000 Assurance Standard.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 140 Sat, 01 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 What Assures Consumers? http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/what-assures-2.html <p><strong>What Assures Consumers?</strong></p> <p>Consumer action on ethical issues is growing but still has a long way to go.</p> <p>AccountAbility and the National Consumer Council (NCC) believe that there is a missing link in going from a niche of "ethical consumers" to the mainstream of consumerism. The way going forward needs to be one that understands not just what motivates, but also what inhibits consumers in putting their values into practise, and how action by business to assure consumers on social and environmental issues can overcome these obstacles.</p> Research Report 88 Sat, 01 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 The Stakeholder Engagement Manual: Volume 1 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-stakeholder-1.html <p><em>From Words to Action: The Stakeholder Engagement Manual</em> is comprised of 2 main documents:</p> <ul> <li>Volume 1<em> - The Guide to Practitioners' Perspectives on Stakeholder Engagement</em> </li> <li>Volume 2 <em>- The Practitioners' Handbook on Stakeholder Engagement</em></li> </ul> <p><span lang="EN-US">Together they provide guidance to especially corporate, but also non-corporate users on how to practice effective stakeholder engagement. Volume 2 contains tools and templates for managing engagement. A toolkit of templates for practical use is also available.<br /><br /><strong>Download Links:</strong></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/207.pdf">Stakeholder Engagement Manual Volume 1</a><br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/208.pdf">Stakeholder Engagement Manual Volume 2</a><br /><br /><strong>Translations of Volume 2:</strong></span><strong><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/204.pdf"><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;</span></a></strong></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/204.pdf">El compromiso con los stakeholders </a><span class=" target-blank">(Spanish)</span><br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/205.pdf">Il Manuale dello Stakeholder Engagement</a></span><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/1/312.pdf"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></a>(Italian)<a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/1/312.pdf"><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;</span></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/1/312.pdf"><span lang="EN-US">Manualul pentru implicarea părţilor interesate </span></a><span lang="EN-US">(Romanian)</span><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/206.pdf">The Stakeholder Engagement Manual </a><span class=" target-blank">(Japanese)</span><span class=" target-blank"> </span></span><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> Standards and Guidance Notes 1661 Thu, 15 Jun 2006 00:00:00 -0400 The Stakeholder Engagement Manual: Volume 2 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-stakeholder.html <p><em>From Words to Action: The Stakeholder Engagement Manual</em> is comprised of 2 main documents:</p> <ul> <li>Volume 1<em> - The Guide to Practitioners' Perspectives on Stakeholder Engagment</em> </li> <li>Volume 2 <em>- The Practitioners' Handbook on Stakeholder Engagement</em></li> </ul> <p><span lang="EN-US">Together they provide guidance to especially corporate, but also non-corporate users on how to practice effective stakeholder engagement. Volume 2 contains tools and templates for managing engagement. A toolkit of templates for practical use is also available.<br /><br /><strong>Download Links:</strong></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/207.pdf">Stakeholder Engagement Manual Volume 1</a><br /><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/208.pdf"></a></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/208.pdf">Stakeholder Engagement Manual Volume 2</a><br /><br /><strong>Translations of Volumne 2:</strong></span><strong><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/204.pdf"><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;</span></a></strong></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/204.pdf">El compromiso con los stakeholders </a><span class=" target-blank">(Spanish)</span><br /><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/205.pdf"></a></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/205.pdf">Il Manuale dello Stakeholder Engagement</a></span><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/1/312.pdf"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></a>(Italian)<a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/1/312.pdf"><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;</span></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/3/1/312.pdf"><span lang="EN-US">Manualul pentru implicarea părţilor interesate </span></a><span lang="EN-US">(Romanian)</span><span lang="EN-US"> <a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/206.pdf"></a></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/0/206.pdf">The Stakeholder Engagement Manual </a><span class=" target-blank">(Japanese)</span><span class=" target-blank"> </span></span><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><strong>Templates from Manual</strong><br /></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/0/603/t1-mapping-stakeholders.doc">t1-mapping-stakeholders</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/0/604/t2-strategic-engagement-objectives.doc">t2-strategic-engagement-objectives</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/0/605/t3-objective-issue-stakeholder-matrix.xls">t3-objective-issue-stakeholder-matrix</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/0/606/t4-stakeholder-influence-dependency-matrix.doc">t4-stakeholder-influence-dependency-matrix</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/0/607/t5-organisational-response-ability.doc">t5-organisational-response-ability</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/0/609/t8-stakeholder-profile.doc">t8-stakeholder-profile</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/610/t9-resources-margins-of-movement.doc">t9-resources-margins-of-movement</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/611/t10-sh-reps-and-objectives.doc">t10-sh-reps-and-objectives</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/612/t11-systems-strengthening-plan.doc">t11-systems-strengthening-plan</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/613/t12-staff-development.doc">t12-staff-development</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/614/t15-stakeholder-engagement-plan.doc">t15-stakeholder-engagement-plan</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/615/t16-the-engagement-outcome-implementation-matrix.doc">t16-the-engagement-outcome-implementation-matrix</a><br /><a href="http://www.accountability.org/images/content/6/1/616/t18-engagement-review.doc">t18-engagement-review</a></p> Standards and Guidance Notes 91 Thu, 15 Jun 2006 00:00:00 -0400 What Assures? Listening to words of assurance http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/what-assures-1.html <p>What Assures?</p> <p>AccountAbility, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, has carried out this study, 'What Assures', to listen to the assurance concerns of those stakeholders who are interested in and affected by the social and environmental impact of companies.</p> <p>The report therefore concentrates on the practice of assurance in the sphere of corporate responsibility, but also considers the implications of these developments for the wider field of assurance covering both financial and non-financial aspects of corporate performance. The study examines the diversity of stakeholders seeking assurance, the type of data they are looking for, and how well they are being assured, and offers a set of predictions of what will assure stakeholders in the 21st century.</p> <p>Download <a class=" target-blank" href="/images/content/2/1/212.pdf">Executive Briefing</a></p> Research Report 121 Sun, 04 Jun 2006 00:00:00 -0400 A21: Reinventing AccountAbility for the 21st Century http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/a21-reinventing.html <p><strong><em>A21: Reinventing Accountability for the 21st Century</em></strong></p> <p>A21: Reinventing Accountability for the 21st Century &ndash; reflects the astonishing breadth of ideas debated at the event of the same name hosted by AccountAbility in October 2005.</p> <p>It predicts that the most significant forms of accountability tomorrow will be rooted in today&rsquo;s experiments with collaborative governance, peer-to-peer networks and civil regulation.</p> Research Report 147 Mon, 01 May 2006 00:00:00 -0400 Governing Collaborative Governance: Enhancing Development Outcomes by Improving Partnerships Governance and Accountability http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/governing.html <p>Partnerships involving public and private actors are becoming key institutional pathways for enabling international development and the delivery of public goods. This is true across three domains, in the direct delivery of public services and infrastructure; in effecting increasingly large public resource transfers, particularly trans-border; and in the co-design, promotion and stewardship of new rules for market and non-market actors. These historically distinct domains are converging, creating a generation of hybrid partnerships that blend service delivery, resource transfer and rule-setting functions.</p> <p>The performance of such partnerships depends on how well they make decisions and their legitimacy to key stakeholders. This in turn depends on their governance and accountability structures, processes and norms. This is particularly true for partnerships that become conduits, amplifiers and arbiters in the allocation of public resources, but is also the case where they are <em>undefined</em> stewards of public goods, whether through commercial contract or as standard setters.</p> <p>The governance and accountability of such partnerships raise specific challenges, as well as those more familiar to traditions and practices in the corporate community and the public sector. Notable is the need to shape relationships between organizations with highly diverse philosophies, rules and practices governing their own governance and accountability.</p> <p>A Framework is proposed to guide the governance and accountability of such partnerships, the first of its kind. The "Partnership Governance and Accountability Framework" has been developed and tested over two years across diverse partnerships and experts, and offers a sound foundation for advancing a more systematized approach to the effective governance and accountability of multi-stakeholder, or public-private partnerships in the future.</p> Research Report 179 Sat, 01 Apr 2006 00:00:00 -0500 SME Clusters and Responsible Competitiveness in Developing Countries http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/sme-clusters-and.html <p><a title="SMEs clusters" href="http://www.accountability.org/uploadedFiles/Conference/SME%20clusters%20and%20Responsible%20Competitiveness%20in%20Developing%20Countries.pdf"><br /></a></p> Research Report 183 Thu, 05 Jan 2006 00:00:00 -0500 AF Issue 9: A Special Issue on Energy and Accountability http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-9.html <p>None of the recent and ongoing scares and worries about energy security, climate change, or nuclear power will break the trend for ongoing energy demands; but these anxieties raise difficult questions about how we think about the relationship between energy and accountability. <br /><br />In this issue, leading practitioners from diverse backgrounds respond to the central question: can we move to more efficient, equitable and cleaner energy systems by changing how we practise accountability in energy use? In this issue of AF, leading practitioners and thinkers from groups including the Frances Seymour and Nancy Kete of the World Resources Institute, Camilla Toulmin of the International Institute of Environment and Development and Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute, address some of the fundamental problems we face as we try to encourage responsible and accountable energy use.</p> Research Report 150 Sun, 01 Jan 2006 00:00:00 -0500 Towards Responsible Lobbying: Leadership and public policy http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/towards.html <p>Political lobbying is arguably the most controversial and secretive of all business practices.</p> <p>In this new era of corporate responsibility, it is one of the few activities still to have escaped close scrutiny. Yet, the world's 100,000+ professional lobbyists seem to exert ever-increasing influence over public policy in virtually all areas: from global trade to local planning, climate change to HIV/AIDS, marketing laws to labour laws.</p> <p><strong><em>Towards Responsible Lobbying</em></strong>&nbsp; takes a realistic and constructive look at the hard questions: Does lobbying have a legitimate role in our 21st century world? Is "responsible lobbying" a contradiction in terms? If lobbying can be made responsible, how will this happen?</p> <p>This report&nbsp;examines the current issues around political lobbying and sets out to reinvigorate the debate. It also proposes a comprehensive framework which companies and NGOs can use to assess the responsibility of their own lobbying activities and to identify areas for improvement.</p> <p>The report has been written in close collaboration with the UN Global Compact, and has been produced with the support of Co-operative Financial Services, Gap Inc, Novo Nordisk and Telefonica.</p> Research Report 119 Thu, 01 Dec 2005 00:00:00 -0500 Responsible Competitiveness: Reshaping Markets Through Responsible Business Practices http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/responsible-4.html <p><span lang="EN-US">This major&nbsp;report &ndash; the result of two years&rsquo; research &ndash; argues that responsible business practice is becoming an important driver of national and regional competitiveness.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">It includes:</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">A wealth of case studies from around the world demonstrating that many industries are now using responsible business practices to establish a competitive edge in their markets and contribute to the growth of their national economy.<br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">The Responsible Competitiveness Index: an investigation of the relationship between corporate responsibility and competitiveness. It reveals which countries are achieving sustainable economic growth based on responsible business practices.<br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">The National Corporate Responsibility Index: the world&rsquo;s first assessment of the state of corporate responsibility internationally. The index assesses over 80 countries on criteria including corruption, civic freedom, corporate governance and environmental management to establish a global ranking.<br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">A robust policy framework to assist governments and businesses in building responsibility issues into their competitiveness strategies.<br /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">New proposals for policy and further research.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">&lsquo;Responsible business practices are no longer just a desirable luxury for global corporations and wealthier nations. They are an increasingly powerful competitive pre-requisite and opportunity for emerging economies to advance their business communities into the heart of the global economy,&rsquo; said Simon Zadek, CEO of AccountAbility and one of the report&rsquo;s authors.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">Responsible Competitiveness was produced in association with leading Brazilian business school, Funda&ccedil;ăo Dom Cabral (FDC) and the UN Global Compact and is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">AccountAbility would like to thank the following who assisted in the production of the report: the European Commission, Centre for Social markets, Confederation of Indian Industry, African Institute of Corporate Citizenship, Insituto Ethos, UniEthos, ProHumana, UK Department for Trade and Industry.</span></p> Research Report 155 Wed, 30 Nov 2005 00:00:00 -0500 The AccountAbility Rating 2005 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-1.html <p>The AccountAbility Rating 2005</p> <p>The Accountability Rating measures the extent to which companies put responsible practices at the heart of their business. It was developed by leading CSR consultancy csrnetwork and international think-tank AccountAbility, and launched in 2004. We apply the Rating to the Fortune Global 100&reg; &ndash; the world's largest companies by gross revenue. The 2005 results are published in Fortune magazine.</p> <p><a class=" target-blank" href="http://www.accountabilityrating.com/">http://www.accountabilityrating.com/</a></p> Research Report 170 Tue, 01 Nov 2005 00:00:00 -0500 AF Issue 8: A Special Issue on Public Sector Accountability http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-8.html <p>Previous issues of the journal have focused on the accountability of private and non-governmental organisations, as well as that of partnerships. This issue covers the remaining sector in analysing the ways in which the public sector bodies, from intergovernmental organisations such as the World Bank to local governments, are addressing the issue of accountability with their most immediate stakeholders: citizens. It includes articles from leading practitioners and thought leaders in this area including Utopies, One World Trust, and the Centre for Public Agency Reporting.</p> Research Report 118 Sat, 01 Oct 2005 00:00:00 -0400 AF Issue 7: A Special Issue on Accountability in the 21st Century http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-7-a.html <p>Effective accountability is a pre-condition to addressing our common agenda: sustainable development. Accountability is the basis on which decisions are made, actions are taken and outcomes achieved. Our single greatest challenge is to reinvent accountability for the 21st Century. Tomorrow's social organisation will be impacted by today's dramatic changes in how people come together, through knowledge and civil society networks, open-source standards, and e-communities. <br /><br />This special issue of the journal, which marks AccountAbility's 10th anniversary, draws on a number of high-level contributions to examine what accountability innovations are needed for the 21st century, where are they most likely to come from and how can they be encouraged and made effective.</p> Research Report 141 Fri, 01 Jul 2005 00:00:00 -0400 AF Issue 6: A Special Issue on Stakeholder Engagement http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-6-a.html <p>There are many perspectives on stakeholder engagement. Some people consider it as something they have always been doing and don't really know what all the recent fuss is about. Others dismiss it as a potential distraction away from an organisation's primary purpose. However, it is also increasingly being recognised as an essential part of good organisational management as well as one of the primary building blocks for sustainable development. <br /><br />This issue of the journal explores the current state of stakeholder engagement, as well as outlining AccountAbility's own work in the area through the development of an AA1000 module and Handbook.</p> Research Report 139 Fri, 01 Apr 2005 00:00:00 -0500 Assurance Standards Briefing. AA1000 Assurance Standard & ISAE3000 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/assurance.html <p>Globally, two standards have taken on particular importance in the area of sustainability assurance. The AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS), launched in March 2003 by AccountAbility; and the IAASB's International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 , which all professional accounting networks must comply with from January 1st 2005. While these standards have advanced significant and welcome innovations in assurance, differing language, method, development pathways and institutional sources have led to confusion on the part of (assurance) practitioners, organisations seeking assurance and, most of all, the ultimate users, those stakeholders that such organisations seek to assure.</p> <p>AccountAbility and KPMG Sustainability B.V. in The Netherlands, in collaborating in the preparation and publication of this report, are seeking to overcome this confusion by addressing the core question of whether these two global standards are consistent, complimentary or conflicting based on a detailed analysis, and in what ways they offer similar or different value in the assurance process and its impact on the behaviour of the intended users. Based on the research, Professor George Molenkamp of KPMG Sustainability believes "the combined use of ISAE3000 and AA1000AS would help ensure that sustainability assurance is aligned not only to the needs of our clients but also of their stakeholders".</p> <p>This paper is both a contribution towards harmonisation in the field of sustainability assurance, and a call to strengthen productive collaboration between the parties to satisfy demands for professional and broadly credible assurance in the future. It demonstrates that <em>"credible sustainability and non-financial assurance going forward will be grounded in the combined use of AA1000AS and ISAE3000. This complementarity points to the need for harmonisation in the future, effectively integrating the best of stakeholder-based materiality with the best of traditional auditing</em>."&nbsp; -- Simon Zadek, CEO AccountAbility</p> <p></p> Standards and Guidance Notes 151 Fri, 01 Apr 2005 00:00:00 -0500 AF Issue 5: A special issue on Corporate Responsibility and Core Business http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-5-a.html <p>For corporate responsibility to move from the margins to the mainstream it has to be core to the way in which companies go about their business. It is no longer enough for there to be a CR programme separate to strategic planning, product development, corporate governance, or supply chain management. <br /><br />Continuing AccountAbility's aim to upscale the impact of corporate responsibility, and following previous issues of <em>AccountAbility Forum</em><em></em> on Responsible Competitiveness (AF1) and Mainstreaming Responsible Investment (AF3), this issue will focus on strategies and examples of how businesses are integrating corporate responsibility into their core plans and operations.</p> Research Report 144 Sat, 01 Jan 2005 00:00:00 -0500 Mainstreaming Responsible Investment http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/mainstreaming.html <p>Responsible investing is most commonly understood to mean investing in a manner that takes into account the impact of investments on wider society and the natural environment, both today and in the future. The most visible manifestation of this aspect of responsibility has been so-called &lsquo;socially responsible investment&rsquo; (SRI). Initially confined to the negative screening of investment funds managed on behalf of specific religious communities, or targeted at a narrow range of specific issues such as apartheid South Africa, the last decade has seen an extraordinary growth in the scale and breadth of application of SRI. There is over US$ 2 trillion under professional management in the United States linked to some kind of socially responsible investment strategies, a fourfold growth over the last decade.</p> <p>However, the logic of responsible investment &mdash; i.e., the deliberate incorporation of material social and environmental considerations in investment decision-making &mdash; has yet to be embraced by the wider investment community. Responsible investing remains a boutique segment of the industry despite widespread, if largely anecdotal, evidence that social and environmental factors affect market valuations both positively and negatively.</p> <p>Most obvious are instances with direct legal consequences. ABB, for example, is one of many companies facing massiv liabilities associated with asbestos. The financial markets discounted Wal-Mart&rsquo;s normally buoyant share price on news of the class action related alleged discriminatory labour practices. Market shifts associated with changing societal concerns are ignored at a company&rsquo;s risk. McDonald&rsquo;s, responding late but forcefully to obesity and broader health concerns, was duly rewarded with a rise in profits and share price. Broader political risk can be rooted in the dynamics of progressive social change. Sasol&rsquo;s SEC 2003 filing highlights the slow pace of black economic empowerment as a significant risk that may adversely affect the business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. Similarly, recent poor performance in Europe of leading US retail brands has been attributed by some business commentators to broader international disenchantment with the US. More positively, shares in Brazil&rsquo;s top cosmetics group, Natura, offering mid-range products grounded in strong social and environmental credentials, soared upwards on their debut on the Brazilian stock market in June 2004.</p> <p>Despite these and other examples, attention to non-financial factors within the wider investment community remains largely reactive and episodic. What could propel responsible investing from the boutique to the mainstream? Based on three roundtable discussions involving mainstream investment fund managers, analysts, trustees and advisors convened in 2003-04 by the World Economic Forum&rsquo;s Global Corporate Citizenship Initiative and AccountAbility, the answer is likely to be found in the major demographic changes sweeping most advanced industrialized countries and transforming the nature of corporate share ownership.</p> Research Report 180 Sat, 01 Jan 2005 00:00:00 -0500 The AccountAbility Rating 2004 http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the.html <p>The AccountAbility Rating 2004</p> <p>In creating the Accountability Rating&reg;, <strong>AccountAbility</strong> and <strong>csrnetwork&trade;</strong> set out to help companies and their stakeholders improve their accountability in effective and practical ways. We also expect that this work will contribute to the development of accountability standards and the broader debate about how corporate accountability can simultaneously support long-term value creation and sustainable development.</p> <p>Central to the Accountability Rating&reg; is its assessment of companies' progress in establishing an approach to accountability that embeds responsible practices at the core of the business. A comprehensive understanding of the underlying links between accountability, strategy and performance.</p> <p><a href="http://www.accountabilityrating.com/">http://www.accountabilityrating.com/</a></p> Research Report 152 Mon, 01 Nov 2004 00:00:00 -0500 AF Issue 4: A special issue on The Future of Corporate Responsibility Standards http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-4-a.html <p>Standards for corporate responsibility continue to be developed and new ones emerge. But where is it all going? Although there is a certain level of contemporary confusion and bewilderment at the speed of developments in standards, little has been done to understand where it is all going. What will the profusion mean for improving the responsibility of companies? Will companies converge around certain key standards making it easier to judge and manage performance? Or will the kaleidoscope of approaches continue to flourish?</p> <p>This issue will focus on the future of standards, with contributors offering a series of scenarios and predictions as to what we might expect in the future.</p> Research Report 166 Fri, 01 Oct 2004 00:00:00 -0400 AF Issue 3: A special issue on Mainstreaming Responsible Investment http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-3-a.html <p>Data suggests a trend towards more socially responsible investments (SRIs), and that these investments appear to broadly maintain performance in comparison with other rated funds. But relative success of incredibly diverse investing strategies that all come under the heading of SRI hardly constitutes sufficient evidence. Worse still, this evidence is seen by many across the investing community as flawed, produced largely by SRI advocates serving mainly as support for campaigns to show why SRI investment is a good thing. This issue explores the conditions under which responsible investing could become the norm, consistent with statutory directives and market dynamics, with the aim of ultimately making a significant difference in mitigating negative and enhancing positive social and environmental externalities.</p> Research Report 99 Thu, 01 Jul 2004 00:00:00 -0400 AF Issue 2: A special issue on NGO Accountability and Performance http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-2-a.html <p>The question of NGO accountability is being asked by a wide range of organisations and individuals from progressive-leaning organisations such as SustainAbility to the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. NGOs themselves have been more than aware of the importance of accountability, after all, it is what informs and drives their purpose. However, the debate is often bogged down by preconceived stances and the practice is patchy and unstructured.</p> <p>This issue of<strong> </strong><strong><em>AccountAbility Forum</em></strong> draws together a number of leading commentators and practitioners in NGO accountability. It includes analysis of exciting new initiatives such as ACCESS, which aims to develop a reporting standard for NGOs. Other NGO leaders, analysts, and practitioners such as Kumi Naidoo of CIVICUS, Lester Salamon of John Hopkins University, Agn&egrave;s Callamard on the Humanitarian Project, and L. David Brown of Harvard University, offer important insights.</p> Research Report 90 Thu, 01 Apr 2004 00:00:00 -0500 Trading Accountability: Business, Trade and Investment Policy and Sustainable Development http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/trading.html <p>This report is the fifth in a series exploring the link between corporate responsibility and international competitiveness. It addresses question such as the importance of trade and investment policy for sustainable development, the difference between public policy and corporate responsibility and the role of voluntarism in civil regulations. The report looks beneath the headlines to the 'plumbing' that underpins everyday trade and investment decisions and provides a far more practical basis for determining how approaches to trade and investment policy can support sustainable development within competitive international markets.<br />This paper assesses a range of different types of policy intervention and voluntary initiatives that affect trade and investment against these criteria. These include:</p> <ul> <li>Formal policy measures, including trade policy instruments, investment policy instruments including those affecting inward investment and access to credit.</li> <li>Voluntary initiatives characterised by cluster type, including examples of sector specific initiatives, labelling initiatives, and non-mandatory government initiatives seeking to create a policy space for stakeholder dialogue and consultation.</li> </ul> Research Report 175 Thu, 01 Apr 2004 00:00:00 -0500 The Future of Sustainability Assurance http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/the-future-of.html <p><strong>The Future of Sustainability Assurance</strong></p> <p>Over recent years a variety of approaches within sustainability assurance have been developed to satisfy the demands of managers, trading partners, investors, consumers, regulators and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for relevant, timely and accurate information relating to aspects of economic, social and environmental performance.</p> <p>Following on from AccountAbility's State of Sustainability Assurance in 2003, the report provides a review of the current state of sustainability assurance and offers perspectives on where it is going in the future.</p> <p>The report produced in partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) brings together opinions from experts in this field, and outlines three potential scenarios for sustainability assurance over the next fifteen years.</p> Research Report 167 Sat, 14 Feb 2004 00:00:00 -0500 AF Issue 1: A double issue on Responsible Competitiveness for Sustainable Economic Development http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/af-issue-1-a.html <p>For the launch of AccountAbility Forum we are delighted to bring you a special double issue that covers two under-explored areas of corporate responsibility: the responsible competitiveness of nations, business, and economic development. We have brought together a wide range of contributors, who in various ways are realising the potential of CR in these core areas, and working towards matching the micro activities of economic development with the more macro effects on national economies.</p> <p>Responsible competitiveness is about achieving a more progressive role for business (and indeed governments and civil-society organisations) in society. More than that, it poses the challenge of moving towards a scale of impact that makes a real difference, and so makes sense of corporate responsibility. Articles cover a wide range of issues including the economic impact of mining, the opportunities of under-served markets, the responsible competitiveness of London and of the EU, and measures of competitiveness and economic development that are adding new dimensions to understanding success.</p> <p><em>"...readers will be treated to in-depth articles on the responsible competitiveness of nations, business and economic development"<br /><strong>Corporate Citizenship Briefing, February - March 2004</strong></em><br class="khtml-block-placeholder" /></p> Research Report 89 Thu, 01 Jan 2004 00:00:00 -0500 Responsible Competitiveness Index 2003. Aligning corporate responsibility and the competitiveness of nations http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/responsible-3.html <p>The&nbsp;<strong>Responsible Competitiveness Index 2003</strong> explores the potential for corporate responsibility practices to contribute to national competitiveness. Drawing on two years research by AccountAbility and The Copenhagen Centre, the report sets out the first annual results of two, newly-designed, innovative, country-level performance indexes:</p> <p>-The National Corporate Responsibility Index describes the comparative performance of 51 countries in providing an enabling environment for responsible business practices in the future.</p> <p>-The Responsible Competitiveness Index explores the links between corporate responsibility and the national competitiveness of the same group of countries.</p> Research Report 146 Mon, 01 Dec 2003 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 Assurance Standard. Practitioners Note http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-assurance-1.html <p>A meeting was co-hosted by Novo Nordisk and AccountAbility in London on September 26th 2003, with business leaders from leading adopting companies of the AA1000 Assurance Standard. The purpose of the meeting was to share experience and to develop the first of a series of Practitioner Notes to assist in the practical development of the standard both for and by companies and assurance providers. The following Practitioner Notes provide a description and analysis of the experience of adopting companies in applying the AA1000 Assurance Standard.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 107 Wed, 01 Oct 2003 00:00:00 -0400 Redefining Materiality http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/redefining.html <p>Tomorrow's effective corporate social, environmental and economic reporting must communicate information that is 'material' to stakeholders in making coherent decisions and taking planned and timely actions relevant to their interests.</p> <p>An appropriate redefinition of materiality is therefore essential for business managers, for policy makers establishing tomorrow's regulatory frameworks, and for those involved in their implementation and oversight.</p> <p>Materiality isbeing redefined - through pressure on business from wider civil society, and through precedents established by company practice and, increasingly, regulation and litigation. But current experimentation in redefining materiality suffers from being ad hoc, often confused and confusing, and rarely credible. As a result, companies too often disclose information that is not used, incurring unnecessary costs without satisfying intended audiences.</p> <p>There is a critical need to redefine materiality to the satisfaction of both business and its varied stakeholders, and to codify an agreed approach to ensure its demonstrable, consistent application. This would benefit both business and its stakeholders in settling expectations, converging practice, and enabling balanced comparison.</p> <p>'<strong>Redefining Materiality</strong>' proposes a robust, practical and effective approach that meets the needs of companies' and their stakeholders, both those advocating broader business and investor responsibilities, and those primarily focused on financial returns.</p> <p>Proposed is to broaden the definition of materiality to ensure that companies are sensitive to stakeholder concerns. The proposals are based on the AA1000 Assurance Standard's materiality principle that requires that 'the reporting organisation has included in its public report adequate information about its sustainable performance for its stakeholders to be able to make informed judgments, decisions and actions'.</p> Research Report 123 Tue, 01 Jul 2003 00:00:00 -0400 Responsible Competitiveness. Corporate Responsibility Clusters in Action http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/responsible.html <p><strong>Corporate Responsibility Clusters</strong></p> <p>The potential for '<em>corporate responsibility clusters</em>' has been identified as <em>creating competitive advantage within one or several sectors arising through interactions between the business community, labour organisations and wider civil society, and the public sector focused on the enhancement of corporate responsibility. </em>Corporate responsibility clusters come in different shapes, sizes and types with different types of organisation leading their development. Common, however, are their underlying effects on business performance by: expanding business ability to learn from diverse, rich sources; grow competencies to translate these learnings into improved business performance; gain support from a growing network of service providers that enable companies to more effectively manage their relationships and reputation; and produce benefits from an approach to public policy that moulds markets in ways that reward responsible practices.</p> Research Report 148 Wed, 01 Jan 2003 00:00:00 -0500 Corporate Responsibility and the Competitive Advantage of Nations http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/corporate.html <p><strong>Corporate Responsibility and the Competitive Advantage of Nations</strong>&nbsp;breaks new ground in exploring how changes in the role of business in society might underpin new forms of international, economic competitive advantage. It argues that this is a pre-requisite for corporate responsibility becoming more than an exciting side-event in driving global social and environmental outcomes.</p> Research Report 131 Mon, 01 Jul 2002 00:00:00 -0400 AA1000 Framework Overview http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-framework-1.html <p>The AA1000 Framework was developed to help organisations build their accountability and social responsibility through quality social and ethical accounting, auditing, and reporting. It addresses the need for organisations to integrate their stakeholder engagement process into their daily activities.<br /><br /> The Framework provides guidance to users on how to establish a systematic stakeholder engagement process that generates the indicators, targets, and reporting systems needed to ensure to ensure greater transparency, effective responsiveness to stakeholders and improved overall organisational performance.</p> <p>The A1000 Framework was published as a stand-alone document and includes sections on purpose and principles, framework for integration, assurance and stakeholder engagement.</p> <p>The AA1000 Series is composed of the AA1000 Framework, the AA1000 Assurance Standard and the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 113 Mon, 01 Nov 1999 00:00:00 -0500 AA1000 Framework. Standard, guidelines and professional qualification http://www.accountability.org/about-us/publications/aa1000-framework.html <p><strong>AccountAbility (1999)</strong></p> <p>AA1000 provides a framework to help organisations build their accountability and social responsibility through quality social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting. It addresses the need for organisations to integrate their stakeholder engagement process into their daily activities.<br /><br /> The Framework provides guidance to users on how to establish a systematic stakeholder engagement process that generates the indicators, targets, and reporting systems needed to ensure to ensure greater transparency, effective responsiveness to stakeholders, and improved overall organisational performance.</p> Standards and Guidance Notes 85 Mon, 01 Nov 1999 00:00:00 -0500