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Companies Seek Greater Impact Through Community Programs

Published 04-21-06

Submitted by SiMPACT Strategy Group

Calgary-- SiMPACT Strategy Group announced today that ten companies have launched LBG Canada, a member-driven association of companies seeking to maximize the impact of their corporate community involvement programs.

The companies leading LBG Canada's development are: ConocoPhillips Canada, Direct Energy, Enbridge Inc., EPCOR, First Calgary Savings, Home Depot Canada, Petro-Canada, TELUS, TD Bank Financial Group and TransCanada Corporation. Their work is founded upon twelve years of development by the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) in the UK.

"There is a growing corporate interest in maximizing the impact of corporate community involvement - for the community partner and for the business. Using the LBG Model is a big step towards ensuring this is achieved," said Stephanie Robertson, Founding President of SiMPACT. "The LBG is a structured process that includes goal-setting, clarity on the investment required to achieve a desired outcome and then performance measurement of the result. In adopting this approach, LBG Canada members create more value, which they can communicate to key stakeholders more effectively."

"Centrica, Direct Energy's parent company, has been a member of the LBG in the UK since 2000. This has resulted in significant improvements in community program management, evaluation and reporting," said Jasmina Mihajlovska, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. "The LBG Model is a proven framework that enables us to gain a better understanding of the combined impact of our investments through consistent valuation and performance measurement."

Used by more than one hundred companies in the UK to value community investment at local, national and international levels, use of the LBG is also expanding to Australia, USA, Czech Republic, Italy, with initiatives also in development in Spain, Germany and France.

"What has been missing up to now is a consistent approach for companies to measure and report on the impact of their community investment programs," said Mel Wilson, Associate Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. "The LBG Model offers this approach."

For more information please visit: www.lbg-canada.ca.

BACKGROUND:

Ten companies have launched LBG Canada, a member-driven association working towards a higher standard in the management, valuation and performance measurement of corporate community involvement programs in Canada.

The LBG Model the most comprehensive and widely-used management framework to manage, value, measure and benchmark corporate community involvement programs internationally. ConocoPhillips Canada, Direct Energy, Enbridge Inc., EPCOR, First Calgary Savings, Home Depot Canada, Petro-Canada, TELUS, TD Bank Financial Group and TransCanada Corporation are integrating the LBG Model into their community program management systems.

About the LBG Model

The Model is a business management framework used by more than one hundred companies in Britain. Its use is expanding internationally to countries such as Australia, the USA, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, and now Canada.

Launched in 1994 by six London-based corporations (Marks & Spencer, Unilever, BP, Diageo, IBM, Whitbread), the founders sought to ensure that their community program investments were creating value. Today, the LBG Model is an internationally-recognized program development and performance measurement framework, as well as an accounting standard to value all investments into community programs including cash, in-kind goods, staff time and program management costs. In Canada, use of the LBG Model is facilitated by the SiMPACT Strategy Group.

Use of the LBG Model enhances a company's ability to report their community investments and program results in a globally-accepted, accurate, and standardized fashion. Use of the Model will enhance corporate responsibility (CSR) and/or sustainability reporting. It can also enhance reporting to standards such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as well as responses to CSR and sustainability questionnaires.

About SiMPACT Strategy Group Inc.

SiMPACT Strategy Group Inc. is a specialist agency in social impact management and is based in Calgary, Alberta. SiMPACT's President, Stephanie Robertson, initiated LBG Canada after working closely with many of the 100 + blue-chip members of the London Benchmarking Group. Between 1999 and 2004 Stephanie was a consultant with The Corporate Citizenship Company in London, England and led the development of the Business in Society Program at London Business School.

SiMPACT's expertise includes tracking and managing social impact across the business to building in-house expertise on management tools such as the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) Model and social return on investment (SROI) analysis. LBG Canada is now part of a growing international group of companies using the LBG Model for the management, valuation and performance measurement of their local, national and international community programs.

For more information: Visit: www.lbg-canada.ca or contact Blythe Butler, Communications and Program Development, SiMPACT Strategy Group, (403) 444-5682, blythe@simpactstrategies.com. For information on the London Benchmarking Group in the UK visit www.lbg-online.net.

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SiMPACT Strategy Group

SiMPACT Strategy Group

The SiMPACT Strategy Group is a specialist agency in social impact management, measurement and valuation. We seek to build capacity and to transfer knowledge in every aspect of our work. One of SiMPACT's core activities is facilitating LBG (London Benchmarking Group) Canada - a network of companies striving to maximize the value of corporate investment for their community partners and for their own businesses. The SiMPACT Strategy Group is an expert in social return on investment (SROI). We work to build capacity in the use of the SROI methodology as a planning, program management and evaluation framework. SiMPACT's work in SROI enables investors, organizational leadership and program management to structure planning and program investment such that achieving maximum value is the result.

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