RESEARCH RESULTS: Using The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework Improves The Quality of ESG Disclosures – Joint Research From G&A Institute and Baruch College Shows

(July 18, 2017 – New York, NY) — Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. is the data partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the United States, United Kingdom, and The Republic of Ireland. In this role the Institute monitors, collects and analyzes every sustainability report published in these three countries. The results of this pro-bono work help to feed the GRI’s “Sustainability Disclosure Database,” the largest sustainability database in the world, with 41,734 sustainability reports as of June 30th, 2017.

In addition to this important work, G&A Institute has analyzed the corporate sustainability (and related titles) reporting of the S&P 500® universe of companies for six years in a row, first releasing its benchmark studies on the 2010 reporting year.

In the first year of the study, for 2010 reporting, G&A Institute determined that 80 percent of the leading large-cap companies of the United States of America included in the index were laggards, and not publishing sustainability reports. Generally speaking, this result clearly demonstrated that U.S. companies were lagging many of their corporate peers in Europe where the rates of reporting on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues were much higher and reporting is increasingly mandated.

Since then, there has been a dramatic increase in the S&P 500 universe companies, with 53% of the S&P 500 companies reporting in 2012; 72% reporting in 2013; 75% reporting in 2014; 81% in 2015, and in the most recent flash report issued by G&A Institute 82% of the S&P 500 were reporting in the 2016 calendar year. See more here: http://www.ga-institute.com/press-releases/article/flash-report-82-of-the-sp-500-companies-published-corporate-sustainability-reports-in-2016.html.

The dramatic rise in corporate reporting on sustainability is holding steady, with an increasing number of companies disclosing their strategy and performance on ESG metrics.

But Now That Most Companies Are Publishing Sustainability Reports the Question Arises: What is the Quality of the Content of These Reports?

To explore the answers, G&A teamed with The CSR-Sustainability Monitor® (CSR-S Monitor) research team at the Weissman Center for International Business, Baruch College/CUNY, to combine their partners’ “Big Data” sets to extract deeper intelligence on the subject.

Baruch’s CSR-S Monitor uses a content analysis approach to score CSR / Sustainability reports published by the world’s largest companies as identified in Fortune 500 and Global 500 rankings. The CSR-S Monitor scoring methodology categorizes the content of each report into 11 components called “Contextual Elements,” which cover the most commonly reported sustainability topics:  Chair’s / Executive Message, Environment, Philanthropy & Community Involvement, External Stakeholder Engagement, Supply Chain, Labor Relations, Governance, Anti-Corruption, Human Rights, Codes of Conduct, and Integrity Assurance.

More info on these 11 contextual elements can be seen online at: http://www.csrsmonitor.org/methodology/contextual_elements.pdf
(Note that only disclosure in the form of a standalone or web-based CSR report or Integrated Annual Report is considered for the purpose of scoring on the CSR-S Monitor.)

The Question Asked on The Combined “Big Data” Sets Is: 
Does Reporting Using The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework Result in Higher Quality Reports?

The partners set out an ambitious study to answer this question through examining the quality of information and degree of verification provided in the reports that were identified as utilizing the GRI reporting frameworks, and the ones that did not.

Question Posed
Is there a difference between the world’s leading companies following the GRI guidelines and those not doing so? Short answer: Yes! CSR-S Monitor found that a supermajority of the large-cap companies do follow the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, and following the GRI guidelines makes a big difference in most categories.

Highlights of the Analysis
The partners’ data sets matched up on 572 companies which were included as the Universe for this study. The data are taken strictly from reports published any time during the calendar year 2014. The CSR-S Monitor analysts scored companies on their disclosure on the 11 contextual elements, based on information quality and degree of verification. The G&A data were used to separate the scored reports into two buckets, those that utilized the GRI framework, and those that did not. There were a total of 481 (or 84%) companies publishing using the GRI framework, and 91 (16%) companies not using the GRI framework.

Results of Analysis 
Companies using the GRI framework consistently achieved average contextual element scores higher than the companies not using GRI for their reporting (scores are from 0-100 with 100 being the best).

  • Overall, the score was 45.7% for GRI reporter, vs. 29.6% for non-GRI;
  • For the Environment element, GRI reporters scored 64.9% vs. 51.0% for non-GRI;
  • For Labor Relations, GRI reporters scored 55.8% vs. 36.7% for non-GRI;
  • For Supply Chain, GRI reporters scored 46.6% vs. 28.2% for non-GRI;
  • For Anti-Corruption, GRI reporters scored 26.4% vs 10.4% for non-GRI;
  • For Integrity Assurance, GRI reporters scored 31.0% vs. 13.3% for non-GRI;
  • The largest differential was for Human Rights, with GRI reporters scoring 45.0% vs. 15.0% for non-GRI reporters.

Mert Demir, PhD, Director of Research at Weissman Center, commented on the CSR-S Monitor analysis:  “CSR-Sustainability Monitor scores reflect the breadth, depth, and degree of external/independent verification of the information in corporate sustainability reports, regardless of the firm’s underlying ESG performance. While sustainability reporting has become more mainstream over time, these reports still show limited standardization and considerable variation in content and quality, preventing effective comparisons of their information across time as well as among peers. Though stakeholders often find these reports core to their evaluation of a company, these issues make using them effectively challenging.

“The Monitor’s scores indicate these concerns have mostly been addressed with the adoption of a reporting framework such as GRI’s. GRI-compliant reports achieve significantly higher quality scores across all main domains of sustainability reporting. As companies pursue sustainability objectives, they increasingly face the necessity to address growing stakeholder concern and expectations regarding comprehensive, detailed, and material ESG information to complement financial information they believe to be insufficient to assess the big picture alone. And in this respect, following a reporting framework—GRI in particular—seems to make a big difference.”

Louis D. Coppola, MBA, Executive VP of G&A Institute and architect of the G&A Institute’s various research efforts including the S&P 500 studies, commented: “As we continue our in-depth analysis of corporate sustainability and responsibility disclosure and reporting, it is abundantly clear, year-after-year, that companies following the comprehensive GRI framework enjoy higher scores assigned by independent third party providers on a range of ESG factors important to stakeholders.

“The simple fact is that standardized sustainability reporting helps companies and its stakeholders, including investors to better utilize the information disclosed for decision making. Companies not following the GRI framework, by far the most commonly used sustainability reporting framework in the world, are consistently out-classed by their GRI reporting peers.

“By July 2018, companies reporting utilizing GRI will be required to utilize the new GRI Standards that were released in October 2016, to replace the fourth generation GRI G4. The GRI Standards are the first global standards for sustainability reporting and feature a modular, interrelated structure allowing for more flexibility in updating and in usage. The GRI Standards represent the global best practice for reporting on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts.”

# # #

About CSR-Sustainability Monitor Report
The organization reports on the quality of CSR / Sustainability reports from the world’s largest companies. Using a content analysis-based system to score corporate reports; there are 11 contextual elements scored, based on scope of coverage, specificity of detail, and degree of verification. Companies in the Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500 Indices are included in the analysis.

About The Weissman Center
Founded in 1994, Baruch College’s Weissman Center for International Business is designated to enable Baruch College/CUNY to respond to the global economy with programs appropriate to a pre-eminent school of business. The Center created the CSR-S Monitor as a tool for analyzing the CSR reporting by the largest U.S. and global companies; in the screening process, analysts measure the degree to which the reporting company provides integrity assurance as to accuracy and completeness of information disclosed.

About Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
Founded in 2006, G&A Institute is a sustainability consulting firm headquartered in New York City, advising corporations in executing winning strategies that maximize return on investment at every step of their sustainability journey. The G&A consulting team helps corporate and investment community clients recognize, understand and address sustainability issues to address stakeholder and shareholder concerns.

G&A Institute is the Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the USA, UK and Republic of Ireland. A G&A team of six or more perform this pro bono work on behalf of GRI. Over the past six-plus years, G&A has analyzed more than 5,000 sustainability reports in this role and databased more than 100 important data points for each of the [thousands of] reports.

G&A’s sustainability-focused consulting and advisory services fall into three main buckets: Sustainability/ESG Consulting; Communications and Recognitions, and Investor Relations. The resources available within each bucket include strategy-setting; sustainability/CSR reporting assistance; materiality assessments; stakeholder engagement; ESG benchmarking; enhancing investor relations ESG programs; investor engagement; investor ESG data review; sustainability communications; manager coaching; team building; training; advice on third party awards, recognitions, and index inclusions; ESG issues monitoring and customized research.

About *S&P 500® Index
According to S&P Dow Jones Indices / McGraw Hill Financial: “The S&P 500® is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap US equities. There is over US$7 trillion benchmarked to the index, with index assets comprising approximately US$1.9 trillion of this total. The index includes 500 leading companies and captures approximately 80% coverage of available market capitalization.” The S&P 500 is a trademarked® property of S&P Dow Jones Indices, McGraw Hill Financial. Ticker: SPX

About Fortune Indices
According to Fortune.com: “The Fortune Global 500 is our annual ranking of the largest 500 corporations worldwide as measured by total revenue, whereas the Fortune 500 is exclusively U.S. corporations… Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years.” Copyright 2017 Time Inc. FORTUNE® and the FORTUNE Database names are trademarks of Time Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information, contact Governance & Accountability Institute:
Louis D. Coppola
Executive Vice President & CoFounder
Tel: 646.430.8230 x14
Email: lcoppola@ga-institute.com

UNCW and G&A Institute Announce The Certificate & Certification in “Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Strategies” Online E-Learning Course Offering Dual Credentials

New York, NY/Wilmington, NC – July 10, 2017 – To meet the needs of professionals seeking knowledge about the dramatically-expanding fields of Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship, Sustainable Investing and related subject matters, Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. has partnered with the Swain Center for Executive Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington to offer an online, self-paced learning course for individuals.

Dual Credentials = Dual Advantage for Participants
To maximize the value for participants, those completing the course requirements successfully will receive not just one, but two credentials. In this one of a kind course, students will receive a certification from G&A Institute (a well-known research, consultant, and educator in this space) and a certificate from the Swain Center for Executive Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (ranked as one of the best universities in the country by US News & World Report).

The “Certification in Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Strategies” (or CCRSS) focuses on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations that are evolving very quickly in the corporate sector, compelling companies to develop new capabilities to address the needs for sustainability and social accountability. Firms large and small are adopting policies, strategies, programs and best practices to lead the way for their enterprise to excel in a low-carbon global economy.

Specific Learning Outcomes 
1. Make a business case for incorporating sustainability in strategic decision making
2. Assess climate-change induced risks & opportunities for firms
3. Conduct Sustainability Risk Assessments
4. Perform Sustainability Audit Assessments
5. Describe the process of Sustainability Investment decision-making
6. Evaluate various Sustainability Reporting frameworks
7. Prepare basic Global Sustainability/Corporate Responsibility Reports
8. Develop sustainability strategies for enhancing environmental and economic performance
9. Describe approaches for valuation of ecosystem services
10. Develop strategies for leveraging Biodiversity for competitive advantage

The broad objective of the Certification program is to equip participants with cutting-edge sustainability skills that firms need to thrive in a global sustainable Economy. The dual-certification program will explore how firms can leverage sustainability strategies to not only enhance their environmental performance but also their economic performance.

The Certification consists of 12 sessions that are delivered asynchronously and will require around 30 hours to complete within 3 months from the date of enrollment.

Broad Topics Covered 
1. Corporate Responsibility Overview
2. Making a Business Case for Investing in Corporate Responsibility/Sustainability
3. Corporate Responsibility & Global Climate Change Issues
4. Corporate Responsibility Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change
5. Corporate Responsibility for Biodiversity & Water Management
6. Corporate Responsibility for Valuation of Ecosystem Services
7. Sustainability Risk Assessment Strategy
8. Sustainability Investment Decision Making Strategies
9. Green Firm-Specific Advantages for Driving Sustainable Competitive Advantage
10. Assessing Organizational Sustainability/Audit
11. Environmental Compliance Strategies
12. Global Sustainability Reporting Frameworks (GRI, OECD, UNGC, CDP, etc.)

Limited Introductory Discount 
The course’s normal price of $895 has been discounted by $100 to $795 for a limited special introductory price. There is also a free sample session video available at the top right of the page also.

Register For The Certification in Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Strategies:
http://learning.ga-institute.com/courses/course-v1:GovernanceandAccountabilityInstitute+CCRSS+2016/about

ABOUT GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY INSTITUTE, INC.
Founded in 2006, G&A Institute is a sustainability consulting firm headquartered in New York City, advising corporations in executing winning strategies that maximize return on investment at every step of their sustainability journey. The G&A consulting team helps corporate and investment community clients recognize, understand and address material sustainability issues to address stakeholder and shareholder concerns. G&A Institute is the exclusive Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the USA, UK and Republic of Ireland.

G&A’s sustainability-focused consulting and advisory services fall into three main buckets: Sustainability/ESG Consulting; Communications and Recognitions, and Investor Relations. The resources available within each bucket include strategy-setting; sustainability/CSR reporting assistance; materiality assessments; stakeholder engagement; ESG benchmarking; enhancing investor relations ESG programs; investor engagement; investor ESG data review; sustainability communications; manager coaching; team building; training; advice on third party awards, recognitions, and index inclusions; ESG issues monitoring and customized research.

ABOUT THE SWAIN CENTER FOR EXECUTIVE & PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON (UNCW)
The Swain Center at UNCW enhances the effectiveness of organizations through economic services, and executive and professional education. The Center’s activities benefit the Cameron School of Business through industry-university connections for faculty members and the institution.

UNCW’s values of excellence, integrity, diversity, innovation, and community engagement provide the foundation and philosophy out of which flow the aspirations for the Swain Center. The Swain Center provides the industry-university linkage to connect experts with business needs. Our programs reflect the strength of our faculty members in five areas: accounting, finance & economics, marketing, managing & leading, and operations & logistics. Most of our programs are facilitated by UNCW faculty members but we also draw on talented adjunct faculty members and local experts who have advanced degrees and industry experience.

ABOUT THE G&A ELEARNING PLATFORM
G&A Institute’s eLearning Platform is built on open source software tools – primarily Open edX, which was created by founding partners Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The G&A Institute team have customized the platform, with many user-friendly tools and resources to enhance the learning experience.

G&A created the platform to help those seeking career opportunities in both corporate and investor focus areas of ESG, sustainability, responsibility and citizenship. The courseware is designed to help individuals obtain the knowledge needed to begin a career in the fields, and for existing practitioners and organizations to expand their knowledge base.

Additional courseware is in development by G&A Institute and other partnering organizations.

For more information, contact:
Louis D. Coppola
Executive Vice President & Co-Founder
Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
Tel 646.430.8230 ext 14
Email lcoppola@ga-institute.com
Web www.ga-institute.com

Global Reporting Initiative — The World’s Standard for Sustainability Reporting – CEO Tim Mohin Is Six Months Into the Job

The GRI framework for corporate, institutional and organizational sustainability reporting has been in place since 1999-2000.  Since those early days (when a handful of organizations published sustainability reports), the framework has been through four iterations (“G1” to “G4”) and in October 2016 GRI launched the world’s first global standards for sustainability reporting.  More than 40,000 reports are now in the GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database (database.globalreporting.org).  GRI is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Six months ago an experienced sustainability professional assumed the CEO post — Tim Mohin, who during his career was at US EPA, where he led the effort that led to the Clean Air Act); Apple (overseeing the company’s global supply chain, “Supplier Responsibility”); Chair of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition; and Senior Director of Sustainability at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

What’s happening with GRI (now more than a quarter-century in existence)?  What’s the future for GRI and the many organizations interacting with and utilizing the resources of…GRI?  That’s the Top Story this week — an interview with Tim Mohin by Robin Hicks of Eco-Business.

There is a rich trove of information about GRI in this feature for you.
For the record, Governance & Accountability Institute is the exclusive Data Partner for the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for GRI.  We’re also members of the GRI Gold Community…we are proud of our long-term relationship with this great organization.

Is sustainability reporting working?
(Thursday – June 29, 2017)
Source: Eco-Business – More companies are now reporting the impact they have on the environment and society. But where is the value in doing this, and what affect does it have in the real world? Eco-Business asked the new chief executive of Global…

SUSTAINABILITY REPORTS DATA ANALYST INTERNSHIP AVAILABLE AT GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY INSTITUTE

Opportunity:  Learn to Analyze Data and Interpret Content from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting

Position:  Sustainability Report Data Analyst Internship Available (supporting  G&A’s GRI Data Partner Relationship)

Location: Virtual 
Work is done remotely with a flexible work schedule – at your own location.  Initial training via Web. G&A offices are located in NYC.

Time Requirements: Position requires approximately 10 hours a week and begins ASAP.  The timing of the work is flexible and can be done remotely for a majority of the time required.  The internship will take place starting in July 31, 2017 and ending February 28, 2017.

Description
Founded in 2006, Governance & Accountability Institute is a New York City-based company that specializes in research, communications, strategies and other services focused on corporate sustainability and corporate ESG performance (“Environmental, Social, Governance”) issues.

G&A is offering the opportunity for an internship for a qualified student interested in learning more about these topics. G&A Institute interns learn important elements about the GRI Standards for Sustainability reporting as well as other common frameworks such as CDP, RobecoSAM CSA (DJSI), SASB, IIRC, SDGs, and many others that can be used in their future work situations.

This is a very fast growing area of interest to corporations and Wall Street.  The GRI reporting framework is the most widely used in the world for these types of reports.

G&A is the exclusive data partner for the United States, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).  The Global Reporting Initiative is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to sustainable development.

GRI provides all companies and organizations with a comprehensive set of sustainability reporting standards that are the most widely used and respected around the world.  Currently thousands of global organizations use the GRI to report on their Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) strategies, impacts, opportunities and engagements (www.globalreporting.org).

As the exclusive US, UK and Ireland data partner of the GRI, Governance & Accountability Institute’s role is to collect, organize, and analyze sustainability reports that are issued by corporations, public entities, not-for-profits and other entities in the United States, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The Intern Opportunity
In this role, the analyst will work as part of a team to analyze Sustainability reports for inclusion in the largest global database of Sustainability reports, the GRI’s Sustainability Disclosure Database (database.globalreporting.org).

Learning to read, analyze, use, and structure data from reports using the GRI Standards, GRI G4, GRI-Reference as well as NON-GRI corporate and institutional reports will comprise the majority of this assignment.  The research will also contribute to several published research reports on various trends in sustainability reporting which are widely referenced by media, academics, business, capital markets players and other important sustainability stakeholders.

The student(s) selected will have the opportunity to experience a fast-paced, highly-adaptive (and nurturing) culture in a small but growing company with a unique niche. This is a hands-on position with considerable learning opportunity for those headed for a career in corporate responsibility, sustainability, citizenship, or impact investment.

G&A interns get public recognition for their work in our published reports, on our web platform and in other ways. To see what other interns have been doing (and their backgrounds) check out the intern Honor Roll at http://www.ga-institute.com/about-the-institute/the-honor-roll.html

Requirements
Applicants should demonstrate:

  • Strong background and keen interest in ESG and Sustainability issues and topics.
  • Basic understanding of business and the capital markets.
  • Strong technical, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Research and Analysis experience, a preference if focused on sustainability topics.
  • Basic skills in Excel / Google Sheets and researching on Google are required.
  • Self-driven and Independent ability to meet expectations and deadlines.
  • Must be fluent in English, additional languages are a plus.
  • Applicants with writing and editing abilities will have preference.

Application Process
Interested students should send a resume outlining education and skill sets. As an option, a one to two page introduction essay on what you would like to learn more about (in terms of your career goals), what your interests are, and anything else you feel may be relevant to the job/our organization will also be welcomed.    Samples of writing or research on sustainability or other topics are also a plus.

Send application materials to Governance & Accountability Institute at:
lcoppola@ga-institute.com & agallagher@ga-institute.com

Meet Judy Young

Joining Outstanding Faculty for Spring CSR Certificate Course
At Rutgers University – May 16th and 17th at Business School

On May 16th and 17th, the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute present the Spring 2017 CSR Certificate Program for corporate managers, not-for-profit and foundation managers, and others interested in career opportunities and advancement in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”), Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Sustainability, Philanthropy, Risk Management, Ethics, and related positions.

An outstanding faculty of professionals from leading CSR and sustainable investment organizations will lead the interactive discussions which are a feature of the course.  For information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR 

Meet one of your hosts and course leaders:
Judy Young
Executive Director, Rutgers Business School, Institute for Ethical Leadership
Topic:  “Ethical Leadership”

A conversation with Judy:

Q:  How is your day-to-day work related to the CSR Certificate Program?
[JY]
 We do discuss ethical leadership and CSR and the importance of an ethical leader, culture as part of and implications to CSR.

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn from your session?
[JY]  Ethical Leadership:  What is Ethical Leadership, Why focus on Ethical Leadership, Explore Organizational Culture and the implications to CSR, CSR Ethical Dilemmas and our Institute for Ethical Leadership process for Ethical Decision Making.

Q:  What advice do you have or opportunity that you see for attendees who complete the CSR Certificate Program?
[JY]  This program will enable participants to be a CSR asset to their current organization or future organization.

* * * * * * * *

Career Background:  Judy Young – Executive Director, at Rutgers University – Business School

Judy Young is an experienced business leader focus on key topics of importance to many in the business world, academia, and the investing community:  Ethical Leadership; Talent Management; Learning & Development; Organizational Effectiveness; Change Management; Leadership Development; and Team Effectiveness.

She is the Executive Director at the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership, and has been at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey since 2009.  Prior, she was Director of Organizational Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb, the global pharmaceutical company; and, Director of Human Resources at Johnson & Johnson, with a decade of service at Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems, Ethicon and Corporate Consulting Group.

Judy Young holds the M.A. and M.B.A. degrees, Corporate Communications, from Seton Hall University.

The course is hosted at Rutgers University Business School in Newark, New Jersey (easily reached by train from Newark’s Penn Station from New York City, Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey, and convenient to Newark International Airport).

For information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet Theresa Ragozine

Joining Outstanding Faculty for Spring CSR Certificate Course
May 16th and 17th at Rutgers University Business School

On May 16th and 17th, the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute present the Spring 2017 CSR Certificate Program for corporate managers, not-for-profit and foundation managers, and others interested in career opportunities and advancement in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”), Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Sustainability, Philanthropy, Risk Management, Ethics, and related positions.

An outstanding faculty of professionals from leading CSR and sustainability- minded organizations will lead the interactive discussions which are a feature of the course. For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet one of your course leaders:
Theresa Ragozine, Vice President, Procurement Citizenship at Johnson & Johnson
Topic:  “Partnering for Sustainable Procurement @ Johnson & Johnson”

A conversation with Theresa: 

Q:  How is your day-to-day work related to the CSR Certificate Program?
(TR)  At Johnson & Johnson everything begins and ends with our responsibilities to our doctors, nurses, patients, consumer, customers and communities – the commitments outlined in Our Credo. Our Sustainable Procurement and Global Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Programs align with and respond to those commitments.

In 2016 we established the Procurement Citizenship Center of Excellence as a way to increase collaboration internally and externally to our organization, and to thoughtfully engage our stakeholders and suppliers in discussions and actions as we strive to meet our Citizenship commitments. This collaboration has allowed us to drive broader, higher impact sustainability and diversity results, driving innovation, growth and ultimately shareholder value. 

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn from your session?
(TR)  How procurement professionals can add value in unexpected ways, generating positive reputational lift and driving social change.

Q:  What advice do you have or opportunity that you see for attendees who complete the CSR Certificate Program?
(TR)  Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. Leverage the contacts you make through this program to challenge your thinking, identify shared interests and innovate. Collaboration is critical to accelerate environmental and social improvements across the value chain and beyond.

* * * * * * * *

Career Background:  Theresa Ragozine
Theresa is Vice President, Procurement Citizenship, and has been with Johnson & Johnson for 35 years.  In her current role, Theresa is responsible for managing Procurement’s Global Supplier Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Talent programs — all of which are focused on creating positive global community impact and supporting J&J’s mission to help people live longer, happier, healthier lives.

Prior to this assignment, Theresa served as Vice President, Enterprise Standards & Productivity, a transformative global operating model redesign, focused on standardizing functional operations and creating greater business value through optimized service to all stakeholders.   Early career days covered a wide variety of roles within Global Strategic Sourcing and end-to-end global logistics for the International Export Division.

Theresa serves as Johnson & Johnson’s National Program Director for what is recognized as the most successful volunteer blood drive campaign in industry.  Theresa’s awards and citations include TWIN Award (Tribute to Women and Industry), Fleet Executive of the Year, GE Award of Excellence, The America’s Blood Centers President’s Award, New Jersey Business Industry Association (NJBIA) Public Service Award, and the American Association of Blood Banks Award of Merit.

She earned an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in 1980; graduated with honors from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1992, with an MBA in International Business; and, also completed the Smith College Leadership Consortium for executive leadership training in 2008.

For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet Janis Herzig

Joining Outstanding Faculty for Spring CSR Certificate Course
May 16th and 17th at Rutgers University Business School

On May 16th and 17th, the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute present the Spring 2017 CSR Certificate Program for corporate managers, not-for-profit and foundation managers, and others interested in career opportunities and advancement in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”), Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Sustainability, Philanthropy, Risk Management, Ethics, and related positions.

An outstanding faculty of professionals from leading CSR and sustainable investment organizations will lead the interactive discussions which are a feature of the course. For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet one of your course leaders:
Janis Herzig
Director, Global Public Policy and Sustainability for PepsiCo
Topic: “Corporate Sustainability Reporting Panel – GRI Corporate Reporters”

A conversation with Janis:

Q:  How is your day-to-day work related to the CSR Certificate Program?
[JH] Every day is a new adventure and I never know what issues may come up.  Over the last several years my focus has been on sustainability engagement and reporting.  I maintain PepsiCo’s relationship with our sustainability groups, such as Ceres, SustainAbility and the Sustainability Leadership Forum as well as our investors and NGOs. I try to stay engaged with our sustainability experts in the company to be aware of our key priorities strategies, challenges and performance. 

All of this feeds into our sustainability reports, including our annual GRI Report and important sustainability questionnaires and surveys.  I work closely with the Sustainability Office and Sustainability Communications team on development of our reports.

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn from your session?
[JH] I am looking forward to sharing PepsiCo’s sustainability journey.  I also hope to convey how to develop your sustainability transparency strategy, important considerations when developing reports, managing challenges and expectations as well as the fabulous feeling you have when your report is published.

Q:  What advice do you have or opportunity that you see for attendees who complete the CSR Certificate Program?
[JH] “Sustainability” is a very broad area and there is room in the field to focus on your passions.  Think about your passions and your strengths and create a path that marries the two.

* * * * * * * *

Career Background:  Janis Herzig – PepsiCo

Janis Herzig is Director, Global Public Policy and Sustainability for PepsiCo. She serves as part of the leadership team responsible for PepsiCo’s external public policy issues.

Working with key internal functions on stakeholder engagement, she builds the awareness of critical matters to PepsiCo such as health and wellness. She leads the implementation and compliance monitoring of PepsiCo’s health and wellness marketplace policies and represents PepsiCo in several organizations and serves as Treasurer of the International Food and Beverage Alliance.

As senior manager, Janis led sustainability reporting including preparation of the GRI report and submissions to key sustainability rankings such as PepsiCo’s submission to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  Janis now provides guidance on PepsiCo sustainability reporting.

Janis joined PepsiCo in 1999 in the Legal Department serving in various capacities from managing the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) compliance to corporate governance related matters. She has held several other roles within the Global Public Policy and Government Affairs department, all of which have focused on building awareness of PepsiCo’s health and wellness efforts and enhancing the transparency of those efforts to a key external audience. Also, Janis developed and led an award-winning volunteer program with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, where over 100 PepsiCo associates participate.

For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet John Wilson

Joining Outstanding Faculty for Spring CSR Certificate Course
May 16th and 17th at Rutgers University Business School

On May 16th and 17th, the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute present the Spring 2017 CSR Certificate Program for corporate managers, not-for-profit and foundation managers, and others interested in career opportunities and advancement in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”), Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Sustainability, Philanthropy, Risk Management, Ethics, and related positions.

An outstanding faculty of professionals from leading CSR and sustainable investment organizations will lead the interactive discussions which are a feature of the course. For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet one of your course leaders:
John Wilson
Head of Corporate Governance, Engagement & Research
Cornerstone Capital Group

John will be our keynote speaker at dinner on Tuesday, May 16th. He’ll share many insights and perspectives from his two decades of experience in the field of CSR and sustainable & responsible investing.

A conversation with John:

Q:  How is your day-to-day work related to the CSR Certificate Program?
[JW]  I have been involved in sustainable & responsible investing, and corporate governance and related activities for two decades.  What has been encouraging to me is the embrace of corporate social responsibility and sustainability practices and strategies by leading companies over that time, from modest beginning when I started in the field to robust, broad programs being adopted today by leading companies.  At Cornerstone, we work with Investors and corporations to fully integrate sustainability and good governance into capital markets activities.

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn from your session?
[JW]  The embrace of corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability by leaders in the corporate sector is accelerating, and creating many new opportunities for professionals entering the field.  I will share lessons learned over the past two decades, and identify emerging opportunities for course participants.

Q:  What advice do you have or opportunity that you see for attendees who complete the CSR Certificate Program?
[JW]   This is still a relatively new field for a good number of companies.  If you look at the supply chain of major companies you can see the uptake of CSR programs by a growing number of suppliers within the large company’s network.  That creates new opportunities for professional with a keen understanding of what corporate recruiting and promotion needs are, and how they qualify for positions that are opening now with the embrace of CSR by many more companies.

* * * * * * * *

Career Background:  John Wilson – Cornerstone Capital Group

John is Head of Corporate Governance, Engagement & Research at Cornerstone Capital Group. A globally-recognized authority on corporate governance and related issues, he has almost two decades of experience in corporate governance and socially responsible investing.   He leads a team of people who produce thematic investment research into environmental, social and governance topics, and advise companies that wish to better tailor and communicate their sustainability strategies to the capital markets.

His firm was founded in 2013; Cornerstone applies the principles of sustainable finance across the capital markets, enhancing investment processes through greater transparency and collaboration. (Cornerstone, based in New York City, offers wealth management, investment research, and corporate advisory services .)

John was previously Director of Corporate Governance at TIAA-CREF, the nation’s largest private pension system.  He supervised the corporate (shareholder) proxy voting of CREF, which had 8,000-plus public companies in the investment portfolio.  At T-C he engaged with corporate boards and senior management on many issues, helping to advance policies and best practices in corporate responsibility and sustainability.

John is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia Business School, and Member of the Advisory Council of the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board. He holds a degree from Georgetown University (B.A., History), and an MBA and Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.

For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet Danielle Chesebrough

Joining Outstanding Faculty for Spring CSR Certificate Course
May 16th and 17th at Rutgers University Business School

On May 16th and 17th, the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute present the Spring 2017 CSR Certificate Program for corporate managers, not-for-profit and foundation managers, and others interested in career opportunities and advancement in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”), Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Sustainability, Philanthropy, Risk Management, Ethics, and related positions.

An outstanding faculty of professionals from leading CSR and sustainable investment organizations will lead the interactive discussions which are a feature of the course. For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet one of your course leaders:

Danielle Chesebrough
Senior Manager, Investor-Company Relations, U.N. Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI) and U.N Global Compact (UNGC)
Topic:  “United Nations Global Compact & Principals for Responsible Investment (PRI)”

A conversation with Danielle:

Q:  How is your day-to-day work related to the CSR Certificate Program?
[DC]  Every day we are working to connect investors and companies on sustainability-related issues. With 193 countries coming together for the first time to agree to a set of global goals, capital markets have a new blueprint for leadership. Using the framework of these goals, we are working with stock exchanges around the world to help companies and investors better understand how they can work together to advance the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

While there are many avenues available to address these goals, enhanced communication around ESG information is an important foundation for this work. This is why much of my day-to-day work is focused on improving reporting and broader communication between investors and companies on bow ESG factors can create financial value. 

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn from your session?
[DC] Attendees can expect to learn:

  • Why the UN Sustainable Development Goals are relevant to your business.
  • How investors are using the ESG information companies report and why they need improved data.
  • What the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative is doing to help investors, and companies, to improve transparency on ESG globally.
  • Lastly, exploring the role we all have to play in achieving the SDGs and creating more sustainable capital markets. 

Q:  What advice do you have or opportunity that you see for attendees who complete the CSR Certificate Program?
[DC]  By being able to clearly articulate how sustainability links back to both sustainable development and financial value creation your company will be at a competitive advantage. This can help the company improve its customer and employee relations, but also attract and maintain investors who will support your long-term growth plans and put less pressure on short-term, sometimes value destroying, techniques. 

* * * * * * * *

Career Background:  Danielle Chesebrough  – Dual Role – United Nations PRI and UNGC

Danielle Chesebrough started working in her dual role with the PRI and UN Global Compact in May 2011. She facilitates collaboration between UN Global Compact companies and PRI investors, as well as co-organizing the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative with three United Nations partner organizations

About The UN Global Compact: The United Nations Global Compact is a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.

About The UN Principles for Responsible Investment: The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment is an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice.

Her main area of focus is on improving and integrating ESG communication (“environmental, social & governance”) between companies and investors.

Previously, Danielle worked in ESG client services at MSCI. Prior to joining the client services team, she conducted ESG analysis and led engagements with publicly-listed companies. MSCI Inc., is a prominent US-based provider of equity, fixed income, and hedge fund stock market indexes, and equity portfolio analysis tools. The firm publishes the MSCI BRIC, MSCI World and MSCI EAFE Indexes.

Danielle has a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, with a focus on Policy and International Studies, from the University of Connecticut. email:  @DAChesebrough

For more information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet Julia Silberman

Joining Outstanding Faculty for Spring CSR Certificate Course
At Rutgers University – May 16th and 17th at Business School

On May 16th and 17th, the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute present the Spring 2017 CSR Certificate Program for corporate managers, not-for-profit and foundation managers, and others interested in career opportunities and advancement in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”), Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Sustainability, Philanthropy, Risk Management, Ethics, and related positions.

An outstanding faculty of professionals from leading CSR and sustainable investment organizations will lead the interactive discussions which are a feature of the course.   For information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR

Meet one of your hosts and course leaders:
Julia Silberman
Sector Lead, Disclosure Services, CDP – the Global Environmental Reporting System
Topic:  “CDP Global Environmental Reporting System”

A conversation with Julia:

Q:  How is your day-to-day work related to the CSR Certificate Program?
[JS]  Environmental reporting is a fundamental component of corporate social responsibility. Disclosure through CDP, the largest global environmental reporting platform, allows companies across all sectors to learn from best practices in environmental management, benchmark performance against their peers, and communicate their sustainability work to a wide variety of stakeholders.

In addition to communicating environmental resource management information to requesting investors and customers in a standardized and comparable format, data disclosed through CDP is publicly disseminated through annual reports and analyses, allowing companies who participate to be widely recognized for their commitments to sustainability.  

In my day-to-day work, I am in touch with representatives from a wide variety of corporate departments that deal with CSR, ranging from investor relations, to procurement, to corporate communications. I work directly with large, influential North American companies to facilitate disclosure through CDP, and encourage the adoption of best practices in environmental management and reporting.  

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn from your session?
[JS]  CDP is an international non-profit that runs the largest global disclosure platform for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Join this session to learn more about the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world, and how your organization can (or already does!) work with CDP.

You’ll discover how some of the world’s largest organizations provide information annually on climate-related risk, water stewardship, and commodities linked to deforestation; how companies drive sustainability in their supply chains through the power of disclosure; and how investors use CDP data to make more informed environmental decisions. 

Q:  What advice do you have or opportunity that you see for attendees who complete the CSR Certificate Program?
(JS)  In 2016, 800+ institutional investors representing over $100 trillion in assets requested information through CDP’s programs. In addition, over 5,800 companies, including 70% of the S&P 500, disclosed on their environmental management through CDP. The growing scale of CDP’s corporate participation demonstrates that investors, companies and other stakeholders, recognize that climate change, water scarcity, and deforestation are significant, long-term business risks.

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a global challenge – but also an opportunity for individuals and companies to capitalize on this momentum, and contribute to this transformation. 

* * * * * * *

Career Background:  Julia Silberman – Sector Lead, Disclosure Services, CDP

CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, is a premier global environmental reporting system.

As a Sector Lead on CDP’s Disclosure Services Team, Julia leads corporate engagement with North American companies in the consumer discretionary, consumer staples, information technology, and telecom sectors who respond to CDP’s climate change, water, and forests programs.

In this role, she works with companies to support first time responses to CDP programs, share best practices in environmental management and disclosure, and highlight leadership opportunities.

Prior to joining CDP, Julia worked as the Marketing Director for a sustainability software startup.

Julia earned a B.A. in political science from Tufts University.

The course is hosted at Rutgers University Business School in Newark, New Jersey (easily reached by train from Newark’s Penn Station from New York City, Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey, and convenient to Newark International Airport).

For information about the course and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/RutgersCSR