In order to properly factor all exposures and opportunities,
consider both the rewards of meeting established best practices as well as the repercussions of failing to meet expectations. Keep in mind that materiality assessments often do not
require financial metrics and serve more as a ranking system.
While typical financial accounting aims to incorporate all
material values, a materiality assessment for our purpose
aligns more with the GPI metric previously described. In
addition to the GPI, which functions primarily as a governmental metric, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) outlines
a reporting protocol for companies that have chosen to
embrace components of sustainability.
GRI, an international independent organization, offers standards of reporting used by most of the world’s largest
corporations. These comparative metrics can help enhance
transparency and strengthen trust in sustainability reporting
Next, consider gathering a team of colleagues from estimating, engineering, business development, human resources,
and operations to join members of your finance team to discuss your company’s current state and how best to advance
its social sustainability agenda. What can you measure?
Where can you add value? Where do you find support and
ACCOUNTING FOR SUSTAINABILITY
EXHIBIT 3: Guidance for Advancing Social Capital Value
As a member of my company’s financial team...I ask
WHAT CAN I MEASURE?
Professional association memberships
How can I measure value? Qualitative Quantitative Monetary/Shareholder Monetary/Societal Value
Employee training and volunteer hours
Amount of lost time due to sickness or injury
Impact due to our community investment
Impact on the local economy
Staff retention rate
Community impact/skills development
Job creation/skills development
HOW CAN I ADD VALUE?
What social issues impact corporate performance?
What are additional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
Have we identified any trends that will affect the business?
How can social values support budgets and business plans?
What are our competitors measuring?
Is our analytical data correct and comparable?
How can I communicate this analysis to management?
Should we communicate any of these results externally?
Strategic Management Operational
WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT MY EFFORTS TO VALUE THE THREE CAPITALS?
www.globalreporting.org – Global standards for sustainability reporting
www.integratedreporting.org – Integrating strategy, governance, performance, and prospects
www.sasb.org – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
www.iris.thegiin.org – Impact investing and performance metrics
www.valuingyourtalent.com – People analytics; understanding your workforce
www.accountingforsustainability.org – Practical guides for understanding social capital and integrating thinking
www.sustainabilityadvantage.com/books-dvds/ultbook – Fill-in-the-blanks Excel workbook for a cost-benefit analysis framework
www.bcorporation.net – Certification available to businesses meeting specific sustainability thresholds