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Social Footprint Masterclass Takes GRI to Next Level

Submitted by: Center for Sustainable Organizations

Categories: Corporate Governance, Sustainability

Posted: Mar 18, 2008 – 11:59 PM EST


Mar. 18 /CSRwire/ - THETFORD CENTER, VT - March 18, 2008 - The Center for Sustainable Innovation (CSI) announced today its plans to conduct a Social Footprint Masterclass on May 28-30 in Burlington, Vermont. The Social Footprint Method (SFM) encompasses the world's first, fully operationalized triple bottom line measurement and reporting system. It consists, in particular, of a technique for computing corporate social and economic bottom lines, on top of what others have already done on the environmental front. This completes the vision of triple bottom line reporting, which until now has been little more than an unfulfilled metaphor.

What differentiates the SFM from other methods is the manner in which it takes sustainability context fully into account. Unlike most sustainability measurement and reporting tools – which do little more than list resources consumed, wastes emitted, donations made, etc. – the SFM measures such impacts against actual conditions in the world, much like an income statement measures revenues against costs. For the first time, then, we have a true sustainability measurement and reporting system that makes it possible to understand the real non-financial bottom-line performance of organizations, not just their top-line performance.

Of particular note in the upcoming program will be coverage of how the SFM adds value to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the world's leading international standard for corporate sustainability reporting. While GRI does, in fact, advocate for the inclusion of sustainability context in related reports, it nevertheless fails to provide guidance for how to do so. Consequently, few, if any, GRI reports have ever actually included such context, making it impossible to understand the true sustainability performance of the companies they describe. The Social Footprint Method solves this problem.

CSI's Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, had this to say about today's announcement: "The Social Footprint Method is the result of a 3-year R&D effort to make triple bottom line reporting a reality. It has survived testing and evaluation in the marketplace, and is arguably now the most rigorous approach available for assessing the true sustainability performance of an organization. At last we can have meaningful GRI-type reporting, with sustainability context taken fully into account. This is exactly what corporate sustainability managers need at this time, and with this Masterclass we're happy that we can provide it."

More information about CSI's Social Footprint Masterclass can be found on its website here. Seating is limited. Registrations will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis.

About the Center for Sustainable Innovation

The Center for Sustainable Innovation is a non-profit NGO located in Thetford Center, VT. It was founded in 2004 with a vision of working for sustainability, both within and by means of innovation. Most of CSI's recent efforts have been applied to development of the Social Footprint Method, a joint project between CSI and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. CSI's founder and Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, can be reached at mmcelroy@vermontel.net. More information about CSI, including its Social Footprint Masterclass, can be found on its website.

For more information, please contact:

Mark McElroy Center for Sustainable Innovation
Phone: 8027852293

For more from this organization:

Center for Sustainable Organizations


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