New Frontiers in the ROI of Sustainability

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New Frontiers in the ROI of Sustainability

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New Frontiers in the ROI of Sustainability | Sustainable Brands via @SustainBrands

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:00am

Demonstrating the business case for investment in sustainability — whether in product innovation, supply chain improvements, operational efficiency, employee engagement, communications or an overarching, multi-pronged strategy — remains one of the biggest challenges for the private sector, even for companies that clearly understand the underlying issues. It is proving particularly difficult for change agents trying to get approval from executives within big, slow-moving corporations focused on short-term goals in a highly uncertain global economy. In the absence of commonly-accepted guidelines for relating environmental and social impacts directly to the bottom line, where does one look for the cutting edge in methods that have worked for others?

Thought leaders from academia, along with forward-looking non-profits and consultancies, have been suggesting relevant modeling techniques and tools for at least several years now, and we are seeing select corporate leaders adopt those with varying degrees of success. At our New Metrics gathering last year, we showcased several highly effective methodologies, with inspiring, down-to-earth and useful case studies from Jackson Family Wines, Becker Underwood (now part of BASF) and Newmont Gold, among others. This September, we are bringing both wider and deeper ROI content as part of our 3rd annual New Metrics of Sustainable Business conference, September 24-25 in Philadelphia. Here are some of the ROI topics our speakers will be tackling:

  • Product innovation and stewardship: How do you derive financial benefits from sustainability — particularly in the case of intangible benefits such as risk reduction or being seen as a leader by customers who are increasingly making sustainability part of their purchasing decisions? How do you take on the challenge of quantifying and communicating the financial benefits of product innovation efforts, in a way that is well-received outside of the sustainability organization, too? Featuring: Joseph Wolk, Vice President, Finance, Johnson & Johnson; Daniel Aronson, Leader, Sustainability Transformation & Sustainability Strategy,Deloitte.
  • Creating and translating shared value: How do leaders go about measuring and communicating shared value reliably? What have the most effective means of quantification been to date and where is this emerging shared value movement headed next? What is a brand's "social value proposition," what kinds of value does it deliver and how do you measure them? What core business benefits can be associated with a well-positioned social value proposition'? Featuring: Andrew Harner, Global Cocoa Vice President, Mars Global Chocolate; Greg Hills, Managing Director, Shared Value Initiative; Jason Saul, Founder & CEO, Mission Measurement.
  • Demonstrating the value of ambitious goals and data transparency: Is it wise and value-adding to announce specific bold sustainability goals without necessarily having a play-by-play road map for how you will get there? How does the value of intentionality manifest itself and how do big goals inspire big ideas? How does the voluntary release of total environmental impacts across the supply chain, operations and portfolio of products add brand value to a global company? Are the benefits of such transparency a no-brainer?Featuring: Saleem Van Groenou, Global Environmental Initiatives Manager, HP; Kevin Moss, Head of Net Good Program, BT; Roberta Barbieri, Global Environmental Manager, Diageo.
  • Enabling more data-backed HR decision making: What human capital valuation tools allow corporate HR to assign a specific return on granular results, such as retention rates, in order to make more informed, data-backed decisions and budget allocations? How are various components of the valuation model being used to make strategies for managing the value of different types of human capital on a practical level? Featuring: Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability, Interface; Rachel Parikh, Director, Sustainability, SAP.
  • Pinning down the value of natural capital, directly or indirectly: What progress has been made in the last year in translating the value of natural capital into a language the business world hears loud and clear? What new tools and modeling exercises are emerging, and where can one look for a reasonable beginner-level road map? Featuring: Rodney Irwin, Managing Director for Financial Capital, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Michelle Lapinski, Director of Corporate Practices, The Nature Conservancy; Libby Bernick, Senior Vice President, North America, Trucost.