One stop shop for the Sustainability / CSR Report production? I don’t think so…

Chris Milton sent me this press release link yesterday published by a company called Gaia Metrics in association with CSRWire advertising a great new way to reduce your sustainability / CSR report costs by 90%. Wow, I thought. Lets check this out. Have they developed or found something new I did now existed?

This is what the first paragraph of the press release reads:

“Gaia Metrics announced today the availability of CSR QuickStart™, which dramatically reduces the time, complexity and cost of finding and assembling the words and numbers that populate a Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability (CSR) Report. By automating the process of collecting relevant CSR Report data, CSR QuickStart™ reduces the time to do so from months to just days, and cuts typical costs by 90 percent or more.”

I stopped reading after that paragraph to be honest. You know why? This product is simply useless in my view and experience working on these kind of reports. What quality can you expect by this automated process of information gathering? Not much is my answer.

My view of Sustainability / CSR Reports
Sustainability / CSR reports are so much more then just figures and words. Reports provide you with a view into the inner workings of the business, its values and so much more. This kind of report which would be produced with the above mentioned service in my view can only be a ‘rip off’ of a companies Sustainability / CSR practice.

Are we at this point in the Sustainabilty / CSR field where the practitioners try to lower the costs of a report with all tools available no matter how useless they are? I surely hope not…….

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/4850758742

Why I decided to integrate SustainabilityForum.com into TheEnvironmentSite.org

The last few months have been quite eventful to say the least. Our move back to Germany and the consequential life-change nudged me to make a decision what to do with the other websites I was running over the past years next to this blog.

The problem I was facing was, that I had lots of interesting ideas and things I wanted to do with the sites but I simply did not have enough time anymore to actually make them happen. I just could not fulfill my own high quality expectations anymore.

Integrating SustainabilityForum.com topics into TheEnvironmentSite.org
As a consequence, I decided to integrate the most popular topics from SustainabilityForum.com into my new but much larger website called TheEnvironmentSite.org. I recently finished the redevelopment of TheEnvironmentSite.org and the community has been steadily growing ever since.

SustainabilityForum.com was constantly growing as well but in the end it was a clear choice to pick the site with the most traffic, the largest community and the website that was most suited for further development. And this was TheEnvironmentSite.org.

I also had the possibility to sell SustainabilityForum.com for a nice amount but this was out of the question for me as well as I did not want to give the site into someones’ hands, not knowing what they would do with it and because the purpose of SustainabilityForum.com always was to promote Sustainability and CSR, and not to make lots of money. I am currently in the process of integrating SustainabilityForum.com in terms of content into the other community, but this will be finished soon.

The new TheEnvironmentSite.org

The purpose of the new TheEnvironmentSite.org will be to promote Sustainability, Environment and CSR as best as possible while at the same providing a central place for sustainability-minded people to share their thoughts, information and opinion.

These are the links you need to have to find out more about TheEnvironmentSite.org:

Please let me know your thoughts on this and I hope to see you on TheEnvironmentSite.org soon.

Commenting on the upcoming Guardian Sustainability report

I love commenting as you will have noticed by now. I was therefore really happy to provide a comment about the upcoming The Guardian Sustainability report.

Jo Confino kindly nudged me again today to squeeze out some ideas and comments. After a busy and hectic week I finally found the time today to sit down and align my ideas in order to provide some useful and constructive feedback.
 
Here is what I wrote:
First of all thank you for including such a nice reference about my experience of the last report into the post Jo. My headaches have past obviously but I must say a lot of reports still give me pretty bad headaches. So lets try to make this a better report. 😉
Here are some of the main issues I would like to see in the next report (some are new and the ones that you are already doing work on I would like you to continue the good work):
 
Reporting issues:

  • Explain to us in more detail why you report the way you report. In my view you can never do this good enough.
  • Especially the rolling updates need to be explained in more detail.
  • Give us more details why you changed to stop doing something as a business and why you started something new in order to understand the rationale.
  • I am always going on about this but try to tell us as much as possible in a single storyline. Pure facts are boring and not many people can put them in context.

 
Topical issues

  • Give us an idea of how the guardian helps us make sense of the ever changing world. Regime changes and constant global turmoil are keeping our attention occupied so much these days that the Sustainability report needs to be more than just numbers and words. It needs to be about what you are doing and what has changed. The report needs to enable us as stakeholders to see through the Guardian’s eyes in my view.
  • The importance of Wikileaks as explained by the first commentator here.
  • Show us how you are part of making Sustainability and CSR more popular across the globe by being as transparent as possible. Engage us and make us like the Guardian even more.

This is what I can come up with at the moment. I hope this helps.

 

What would you like to see in the next Guardian Sustainability report? I am sure Jo from the Guardian would be very happy to have more feedback. This is the link to the article where you can provide feedback: The Guardian feedback

What changes would you like to see on my blog?

In today’s post I am solely interested in your opinion. I would like to have your honest and direct opinion on what I should change on my blog. I feel that every blog needs a facelift from time to time. Maybe now is the time for this blog to change. But I need your feedback in order to find that out.

  • Would you like to see a different layout?
  • Are the categories as they are descriptive enough for you the reader to find what you are looking for?
  • Would you like to see additional pages added to my 5 main pages on the top of the page?
  • Would you like to more comments being displayed on the front page?
  • ………………

This is your chance to let me know what I can/should change in order to make this blog better and easier to use for everyone.

Thanks a million everyone for visiting my blog, providing feedback and reading what I have to say!

Sustainability related TED talks

I am big fan of TED talks. Today’s post is a collection of three of my favorite talks all related to the topic of Sustainability. Enjoy and let me know what you think if you have minute. Either here on my blog or on Twitter.

Lisa Margonelli: The political chemistry of oil

 

Majora Carter: 3 stories of local eco-entrepreneurship

 

Ray Anderson on the business logic of sustainability