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We offer a free sample rating that provides a “sneak preview” of how your company stacks up. Then we invite you to explore how to join to get access to the full Scorecard and related tools that will enable you to enhance your company’s sustainability strategy and performance.

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The 20 Key Sustainability Indicators below were selected from a total of about 170 indicators in the full Scorecard. Consider these as your own “leading sustainability indicators” that will define, in general terms, where your company stands today.

Just move the slider bar to the “correct” spot. (Available ratings are at the full stages and halfway between each stage.)

The Free Sample Rating

Governance and Leadership

Values, Mission, Vision
The public statements articulating a company’s raison d’être (reason for existing); the less formal but critically important private actions a company takes to reinforce its values, mission, and vision; and the external recognition received from credible organizations

CEO Leadership
The way in which the CEO manages his/her own agenda to drive sustainability throughout the company; manages the Board of Directors agenda; and structures the sustainability organization and initiatives within the company

Executive Sustainability Council*
Best Practices
Stage 1
Cross-functional "S" team
Stage 2
Formal council led by C-suite executive; meets at least 2x/year
Stage 3
Robust Council – linked to operations council; led by COO or equivalent; meets quarterly
Stage 4
Executive Committee replaces the need for an Executive ‘S’ Council; meets 6-12x/year
N/A

Board of Directors Leadership
The structure and resources of the board committee(s) providing oversight of sustainability; the assurance processes that report on sustainability risks and opportunities to the Board; and the Board’s commitment of time to learning about sustainability issues, best practices, and trends

Time Spent on Sustainability in Board Committee Meetings
Stage 1
<4 hours/year; major agenda item at 1+ meeting(s)
Stage 2
4-8 hours/year


Stage 3
8-12 hours/year
Stage 4
>12 hours/year
N/A

Goals and Metrics
The overall approach to establishing and tracking performance against sustainability goals, including the goal-setting process; the time horizon for framing the goals and metrics; and the content and impact of the individual targets that are set, measured, and reported on

Materiality Assessment* of Sustainability Risks
Best Practices
Stage 1
Issues analysis process includes "S" issues; basic materiality evaluation
Stage 2
Formal ‘S’ materiality assessment (full value chain) that incorporates NGO input
Stage 3
Strong partnerships with leading NGOs on most material "S" issues in sector
Stage 4
C-suite executives own key ‘S’ issues; progress toward net-neutral*
N/A
Long-term (5-20 year) Goals re Sustainability
Best Practices
Stage 1
May exist; focus on own operations and suppliers
Stage 2
Exists; focus on own operations, suppliers, and products; align to SDGs*
Stage 3
Top quartile goals in most material KPIs across full value chain
Stage 4
Following a roadmap toward zero net impact; net positive impact
N/A

Culture and Organization
The management attention and accountability directed to sustainability by the CEO and executive team; the key culture indicators related to sustainability in place that define the actual culture (including the “unwritten rules of the game”); and the sustainability organization (structure and people) leading the charge

Sustainability Factored Into Executive Compensation
Best Practices
Stage 1
Safety / EHS may be part of executive incentive compensation
Stage 2
‘S’ is a very small part of incentive compensation, if any
Stage 3
‘S’ = 10-15 percent of incentive compensation
Stage 4
‘S’ >15 percent of incentive compensation
N/A
“Unwritten Rules of the Game*” re Sustainability
Best Practices
Stage 1
Healthy skepticism re ‘S’ – “seems like just another initiative”
Stage 2
CEO is serious about ‘S’ – but incentives are not fully aligned
Stage 3
CEO and few business leaders are driving; "better get on board"
Stage 4
“Sustainability is core to our future; get out if you don’t fit”
N/A

Stakeholder Engagement
The quality and impact of engaging with external stakeholders on sustainability: why they engage; who they engage with; what issues they engage on; and how and when they engage

Stakeholder* Engagement Approach
Best Practices
Stage 1
State our position; win approval (“Declare; listen; defend”)
Stage 2
Learn, share and compromise (“Declare; learn; respond”)
Stage 3
Engage deeply (“Listen; learn; respond”)
Stage 4
Engage and partner on very big initiatives (“Listen; engage; learn; respond”)
N/A

Disclosure, Reporting, Transparency
The information that is disclosed to stakeholders related to own operations, suppliers, and the full supply chain sustainability impacts; the way in which sustainability data and information is reported; and the extent to which the company has earned a reputation for transparency

Sustainability Report
Best Practices
Stage 1
Updated annually; aligned to GRI; on website
Stage 2
Fully GRI compliant; pdf downloadable
Stage 3
Issued and integrated with Annual Report
Stage 4
None (folded into Annual Report)
N/A

Strategy and Execution

Strategic Planning
The business drivers that frame how the CEO and CFO think about sustainability; the strategy; the operational and capital planning processes; and the output of how environmental / societal risks and opportunities are incorporated into plans, personal objectives, and budgets

Innovation, Research & Development
The role innovation plays in the business and the extent to which sustainability is connected to innovation; the processes and methodologies for embedding sustainability into innovation, research, and development; and the output of innovation investments

R&D Investment in Sustainable Products
Best Practices
Stage 1
Likely do not track
Stage 2
< 25% of total R&D investment
Stage 3
~50% of total R&D investment - growing focus on disruptive technologies
Stage 4
~100% of total R&D investment
N/A

Customers and Markets
The core approach a company takes to address customer needs; the sustainability linkage to customers; and the role sustainability plays in shaping future market opportunities the company is pursuing

Identifying Customers’ Sustainability ("S") Issues
Best Practices
Stage 1
Respond to customer ‘S’ / ESG requests
Stage 2
Understand ‘S’ / ESG goals of key customers
Stage 3
Partner with customers to meet their ‘‘S’ / ESG goals
Stage 4
Partner with customers to jointly create new ‘S’ / ESG solutions
N/A

Products, Services and Solutions
The fundamental product positioning of the company; the extent to which sustainability principles are incorporated formally into existing products, services, and solutions; and the role sustainability plays in driving future products, services, and solutions to drive top-line revenue growth

Sustainability in Product Design
Best Practices
Stage 1
Consider "S" attributes indirectly
Stage 2
Formally consider full life-cycle impacts
Stage 3
Systematically grow "S" PSS as percentage of sales; closed-loop design
Stage 4
Breakthrough solutions to tough global problem(s)
N/A

Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Footprint: Operations
Environmental impacts associated with wholly owned or partially owned operations, including managing purchased resource inputs, managing own physical footprint, and managing non-product outputs (emissions and wastes)

Environmental Footprint: Suppliers
The posture and management processes governing sustainability interactions; the means of addressing the most material supplier impacts; and the nature and extent of supplier sustainability partnerships

Standards for Supplier Env’l. Footprint
Best Practices
Stage 1
Adopt industry standards; traditional; business / compliance requirements; supplier risk analysis
Stage 2
Formal ‘S’ procurement policy; lead industry efforts to standardize
Stage 3
Basic ‘S’ requirements: all suppliers; drive improved supplier "S" performance
Stage 4
Lead cross-industry standards; best-in-class across industry; "S" requirements non-negotiable
N/A

Environmental Footprint: Products
Managing the environmental impacts of the company’s products, including the overall product stewardship approach, the product design process, and end-of-life product management following retail, consumer use, and disposal

Use of Industry Codes, Standards, Certifications, Eco-labels
Best Practices
Stage 1
Comply
Stage 2
Actively Promote
Stage 3
Co-lead industry product "S" initiatives; in sector
Stage 4
Model across all industry sectors
N/A

Social Responsibility

Own Operations: Workplace
The general workplace environment established by management and seen by the employees; the core workplace programs to promote safety, health, and employee well-being; and the sustainability capability-building initiatives in place

Employee Engagement with Sustainability (‘S’)
Best Practices
Stage 1
Employee engagement largely based on own initiative
Stage 2
CEO-endorsed; core set of ‘S’ teams / networks, awards & recognition
Stage 3
CEO-led; broad ‘S; network and teams; volunteering, incentives
Stage 4
Reputation for being among the best
N/A

Supply Chain: Social Impacts
The philosophy and policy regarding human capital implemented by the company across its supply chain; the processes and programs in place to build human capital by investing in employees, contractors, and the broader workforce; and the supply chain social initiatives under way

Supply Chain Philosophy RE: Sustainability
Best Practices
Stage 1
Quality; cost; dependability; compliance
Stage 2
Long-term partner; training and incentives to suppliers
Stage 3
Capability-building; joint learning; joint development of ‘S’ solutions
Stage 4
Leading supply chain transformation


N/A

Community Investment
The company’s community policies and programs; the community investments made by the company; and the benefits to society from those initiatives and investments

Community Partnerships
Best Practices
Stage 1
Local industry groups and sponsorships; selected “safe” NGOs
Stage 2
With broad range of NGOs
Stage 3
Lead effort to tackle a major societal challenge
Stage 4
Best globally (e.g., UNICEF)
N/A

Free Sample Rating Results

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You have just seen and completed about 10% of the “Key Sustainability Indicators” that comprise the core of the Scorecard.

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