3D Profit & Loss
Companies and organizations talk a lot these days about the need to do business differently - in the name of sustainable development. But when it comes to the crunch, we all tend to revert to practices and principles which lead us down the same old path. The same applies for social accounting. In Topic 4 we discuss how to indeed do things differently. By visioning where we want to be and working backwards (backcasting) - so the vision dictates the indicators of success and not the other way round.
The trouble is, social accounting can be a messy business sometimes and return on investment (ROI) often intangible or difficult to measure. Furthermore, talking about it may backfire, and expose a company to criticism for all the things they are not doing. In light of this, it's easy to understand why a company may prefer to "go underground" to tackle big issues, rather than put their head above the precipice.
Putting numbers - particularly financial numbers - against human wellbeing and the environment is a controversial topic to say the least. For more depth and discussion on this controversy take a read of Michael Sandel's recent article in The Atlantic.
Full Cost Accounting in the Textile Industry
PUMA has indeed set a new standard when they launched their Environmental Profit & Loss approach to accounting - and are now talking about doing something similar for social. But what to we do with the numbers once we have them? And how do we create an industry step change?
Measuring, communicating, and allocating a value to social, environmental, and financial profits in textiles is a hot topic today, and is not about to go away in a hurry. The Pi Foundation (on behalf of Textile Exchange member Pants to Poverty) is developing an open source triple bottom line profit and loss model (from seed through to post consumer disposal) coining their work in this area a 3-Dimensional PNL. There will be more about this exciting development soon. In the meantime, our topic thought leaders Cary Krosinsky and David Meyers will draw on the current state of play and take us into a thought-provoking discussion on how we might constructively put numbers on social and natural capital.
Webinar 4: Conversations on Three Dimensional Profit & Loss
On the 30th and 31 of July we will hold a live conversation with Carl Krosinsky and David Meyers. Carl and David will take us on a journey of discovery.
More about our Topic Leaders:
Cary Krosinsky is a frequent writer on Sustainability & Investing, having co-edited two of the leading contemporary books on the subject: Sustainable Investing: the Art of Long Term Performance (Earthscan, 2008) & Evolutions of Sustainable Investing: Strategies, Funds & Thought Leadership (Wiley, 2011). He has also recently resumed his work with corporates on the nexus of Investor Relations & Sustainability, and is featured frequently on these subjects in the media on NPR Marketplace, the New York Times & elsewhere. Cary has an extensive background in creating & interpreting Institutional Ownership data back to managing the first Global database used by Bloomberg, as well as major Investment Banks and global Investor Relations professionals. His involvement with Sustainability dates back to his being on the Expert Group that helped oversee & create the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and is a Founder & Director of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, and is former Senior Vice President of Trucost, having helped launched their North American business including development of the well respected Newsweek Green Rankings. He also acts as Executive Director of the global non-profit the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets (www.sustainablefinancialmarkets.net), and teaches an MBA class on Sustainability & Investing at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a similar class at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Dr. David Meyers is a serial entrepreneur and environmental finance expert with over 25 years of experience in sustainability spanning business strategy and management, environmental economics, international conservation and development, environmental impact, and research in ecology and evolution. He consults to private companies, the United National Development Program, the World Bank, and other organizations. He is supporting True Market Solutions’ innovative Sustainability Circles™ program in the US and Europe. David was the founding CFO/COO of Mission Markets; a financial services company providing online marketplaces for Impact Investing and environmental assets. He founded and ran Madagascar Bamboo, a triple bottom line bamboo flooring manufacturer. David worked for well over a decade in Madagascar and has visited and worked in over 35 countries. He holds a PhD in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Links to Further Reading
Accounting For Sustainability Project, The Princes Charities http://www.accountingforsustainability.org/
Ecosystem Valuation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem_valuation
Hawken, P et al, Natural Capitalism (1999) http://www.natcap.org/
Impact Reporting & Investment Standards iris.thegiin.org
International Integrated Reporting Council www.theiirc.org
Sandel M, What isn’t for sale (article in The Atlantic) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/what-isnt-for-sale/308902/
Social Capital http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capital
Social Capital, The World Bank http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTSOCIALDEVELOPMENT/EXTTSOCIALCAPITAL/0,,contentMDK:20642703~menuPK:401023~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:401015,00.html
Social Capital Research http://www.socialcapitalresearch.com/
Social E-valuator www.socialevaluator.eu
Sustainable Accounting Standards Board www.sasb.org
TEEB Coalition for Business www.teebforbusiness.org
Tony Juniper, What has nature ever done for us? (2013) http://www.tonyjuniper.com/content/what-has-nature-ever-done-us
Willard, B. Sustainability Advantage http://www.sustainabilityadvantage.com/
World Resources Institute http://www.wri.org/