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Posts tagged 'CR'

The 2014 CR and Sustainability Salary Survey

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According to Acre, Carnstone & Flag their CR and sustainability sector continues to grow, as does the reach of the survey. This year their CR and Sustainability Salary Survey Report achieved a record 1,200 responses, a 42% increase on 2012. Breaking through the 1,000 respondents mark has added an even higher degree of clarity and validity to the findings.

Result highlights

* 1,200 respondents this year, a 42% increase on 2012

* In-house employees make up the majority of the survey’s sample

* Average salaries have risen in all regions except the Rest of the World and the UK, where they have dropped (slightly)

* On average, consultants are paid £8.7k less per year than those working in-house

* Those working in the Rest of Europe are the highest paid

* 90% of respondents have a first and/or postgraduate degree

* Carbon/energy management is no longer one of the top five activities

* The global average salaries for men and women are £67,859 and £52,201 respectively

* The average female salary has declined compared to 2012

* Over 52% of respondents are satisfied with their jobs and 28% are very satisfied

* 93% of respondents would recommend a career in the sector

Click on the image to open the report:

Salary Survey

About the Authors:

Flag is a creative communications agency specialising in corporate reporting and communications. We work collaboratively with national and international brands from a wide range of industry sectors, as well as public sector and not-for-profit organisations, to provide: corporate reporting, sustainability and communications consultancy, sustainability copywriting and editing, creative information design, digital and in print technical and accessibility expertise, and implementation project management and production. Our 46 employees are based in Cambridge and London and we have held the ISO 9001 quality standard for 17 years. www.flag.co.uk 

Acre is a specialist sustainability recruitment consultancy connecting companies and people across corporate responsibility, sustainability, environment, energy and health & safety to help build the next generation of sustainable business. The company was founded in 2003 to respond to the growing need for sustainability professionals and offers bespoke solutions for recruitment, search and business intelligence. www.acre.com

Carnstone is an independent management consultancy specialising in CR and sustainability. We have broad expertise and advise large, mainly corporate clients on the full range of social, environmental and ethical matters, from tentative first steps through to day-to-day management, strategic planning, measuring performance and corporate reporting. www.carnstone.co.uk 

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Is Your Wife Cheating On You? Full Product Transparency

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The Best Assurance Is Full Transparency

Expensive external assurance of CR reports is used by companies as a way to verify what they’re saying. But many stakeholders find the resulting bland, heavily caveated statements unsatisfactory.

Full Product Transparency #FPT eliminates the need for this type of assurance, which would be a relief to everyone but the self-maintaining assurers industry.

Product reporting is the ultimate in transparency, clearly showing the environmental impacts of each product. By building third-party assurance into the Environmental Product Declaration #EPD process at product level, for instance by auditing the data that goes into the EPDs, the classic CR report assurance statement becomes redundant.

What could be more reassuring than a company making a promise to cut the impacts of its products, and then annually publishing its EPDs to show whether those impacts are reducing or not? Certainly not the standard boilerplate assurance statement at the back of a CR report.

Imagine this example – You suspect your wife is cheating on you. She comes back with a certificate from her lawyer, who states that he ‘has no reason to believe that your wife is cheating’ and a few caveats in small print. On the other hand, your wife provides you with a fully itemised mobile phone bill.

Which one would you trust more? Certificate or transparency? 

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Full product transparency: The future of reporting

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Good corporate reporting is based on the principles of accountability and transparency. When reporting on sustainability, this transparency is greatest when focused at product level. After a decade of corporate responsibility (CR), FPT heralds a new era for reporting. With many – and often most – environmental impacts occurring outside a company’s boundaries, extending reporting from the narrow confines of a company’s own operations to the wider effects of the products it sells demonstrates superior accountability. This is the ultimate in transparency. It is also of greater relevance to most stakeholders, who are more interested in a company’s products than its facilities.

Accountability across the whole value chain

So forget reporting at company level. Classic CR reporting is too narrow in focus, and it misses too much. Environment sections of reports are usually limited to the immediate impacts of a company’s operations, perhaps with a nod to managing impacts in the supply chain. By extending reporting to include the impacts of products throughout their lifecycle, companies can demonstrate transparency and accountability across the value chain.

A supermarket should take accountability for the products that go through it, not just its buildings

Which environmental impacts, for instance, should a retailer be account- able for – and report on? The environmental impact of a supermarket extends well beyond the doors of its stores to include the impacts of all the products it sells. These occur before and after the products enter and leave the stores – in their production, their use and their disposal. Yet conventional corporate reporting would largely ignore anything that happens outside of the store, apart from a few cherry-picked case studies.

By taking accountability for the impacts of products across their lifecycle, retailers can gain a much better idea of their overall impact on society – and of the type of products they might want to sell. Arguably, it was this kind of approach that led the do-it-yourself retailer B&Q to stop selling patio heaters. A traditional CR approach would not have registered the significant environmental impacts of patio heaters in their use phase. Ikea is now assessing its products based on a sustainability product scorecard to assess the lifecycle impacts of its products, including waste, energy and water from their use in customers’ homes.

A traditional corporate report might pick out one or two products as case studies and look at their impacts, but what about the rest? If a company produces EPDs based on lifecycle assessment for all its products, this can reveal its overall impact much better than any CR report. An EPD takes into account the ingredients of a product, the methods of its production, and the full environmental impact of each stage of its lifecycle.

If we apply the supermarket approach to other sectors, we can see a different level of debate about who should be accountable for what. What about a private equity firm owning various companies? Rather than ticking some boxes and sending back a meaningless Stanford Research Institute-type questionnaire, private equity firms could report the overall impact of each of their companies based on the products these companies sell or make. This would be possible if those companies all produced EPDs for their products. The same thinking would apply to project finance.

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Magic Metrics In A Can Of Coca-Cola

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It’s true. Only geeks like me read sustainability reports, but what can you do when you’re bored waiting for a flight?

This time I read the report from Coca Cola Entreprises. Their seventh, incorporating Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS).

Here is my take:

It’s a bit of a surprise that they are reporting so prominently on key product metrics (normally the opposite for corporates), and it’s quite a good performance.

1.43 litres of water are used per litre of Coke. However, I wonder how much room there is to reduce it to 1.1 or lower perhaps? (Please forgive me for not being ‘a man’ while I grab a Diet Coke)

I love the focus on LCA, finally companies are getting it. And guess what?

47% of the carbon is packaging… with:

  • 21% used to keep the cans and bottles cold
  • 17% on ingredients
  • 8% for manufacturing

Another nice surprise is that they have managed to decouple business growth from emissions although I believe there is a further potential saving seeing that refrigeration and packaging takes so much carbon.

One of the elephants in the room is portfolio management. No company is talking about it.

How can you sell more of the more sustainable stuff and less of the less sustainable. For example CCE could consider how to shift from traditional soft drinks to low calorie ones? And given that packaging has such a high relative carbon footprint, how can they entice customers into shifting towards lower carbon packaging products?

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