Will the Paris 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) show the way for a sustainable future?

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The 21st climate summit, which will take place in Paris, France from 30th of November to 11th December 2015, presents a crucial opportunity to stop climate change and decrease the global temperature.  The global Climate Change Conference should establish ambitious international targets against rising temperature that could devastate poor populations and create more extreme and frequent droughts, heat waves as well as flash floods.

With more than 40,000 attendees and 80 heads of state planning to converge on Paris, an ambitious agreement with strong political will, could translate words into actions. A shift to inclusive growth could be accomplished by mitigating GHG emissions through sustainable development, the use of renewable energy sources as well as efficiency upgrades. This could limit the consequences of climate change and lead simultaneously in a sustainable growth of our global economy.

How about receiving a certified training on sustainability and CSR issues and support your Firm’s Sustainable Progress and Development?

Corporate Sustainability: Measuring its Value

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Sustainability Drives Profit. No major company strategy is complete and successful these days without an integrated Corporate Sustainability Policy.


Nowadays, most corporate executives recognize that sustainability must be integrated into a Firm’s core strategy. Unfortunately, not all executives realize why this is crucial or even worse they proudly promote their short paragraphs of the “About Us” section in their Websites, as Sustainability Initiatives. If the international business community is to prosper in the long term and help the society to build a better future, it needs to continue to scale up the ambition as well as the influence of its efforts through Sustainable Development.

To develop a clear Sustainable Development, a firm should analyze what matters most along the entire value chain. This ought to enable firms to identify the sustainability issues with the maximum long-term potential and to create a comprehensive sustainability analysis. After this analysis, translate the outcome into goals that can be extracted into business metrics and communicate properly the financial and corporate impact. Make progress in your Firm by successfully translating sustainability data to both innovative short-term as well as long-term corporate goals.

Join our Online Diploma on Corporate Sustainability: Foundation Course Certified by IEMA, and support your Firm’s Sustainable Progress and Development.

Sustainability: A core strategic consideration

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Firms have an exceptional opportunity this year to shift the world onto a path of sustainable, comprehensive and competitive development.

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which embraces a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight injustice and inequality, enhance sustainable development as well as tackle climate change by 2030.

The Global Sustainable Goals and the broader Sustainability Agenda for 2030, go much further than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight targets against poverty that the Globe is committed to accomplishing by 2015. The enormous progress which took place so far, illustrates the value of such Agendas to accomplish and implement targets and goals in a global scale. Finally, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proposes, ‘translate promises on paper to action on the ground’ supporting the new sustainability Agenda which aims to a Sustainable future for all.

Having an integrated approach to supporting sustainable progress and development on Organisations across the multiple goals, we would like to invite you to join our Global Certified Sustainability Trainings.

Learn more here

Why Sustainability Reporting is Booming in Gulf Region!

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2014 CSE Research on Sustainability Reporting

The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) as an official GRI Training Partner for Middle East recently conducted a research to observe the emerging trends for the publication of Sustainability (CSR) Reports and external assurance in Gulf Countries and overall Middle East region.

To examine the statistical results, CSE processed data retrieved from the international database of GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and conducted a survey of 67 organizations in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt that have published unique Sustainability reports for the period 2012-2014

The results showed that companies in the energy sector have the lead with a rate of 28% among companies that produce a sustainability report. The country that published most sustainability reports in the period 2012-2014 was United Arab Emirates with 34% followed by Qatar where 22% of the reports were issued.

The main conclusion of this research was that almost 81% of companies in Middle East that published a Sustainability (CSR) report, followed the internationally recognized standards of GRI, while the remaining 19% was based either on ten basic principles of United Nations Global Compact or did not comply with any particular or recognized reporting standard. Despite that the majority of the companies follow the instructions GRI G3.1 to their sustainability reports, only a small percentage of the reports fully comply with the GRI requirements. Furthermore, only 19% of the sustainability reports sample contained external assurance. Additionally, less than 10% of the companies studied have established future goals or launched strategy on sustainability and CSR issues.

According to those conclusions it seems that while Sustainability Reporting is booming in particular countries in Gulf (e.g. UAE, Qatar) there is still lack of maturity for the importance of strategy and external assurance according to global best practices.

CSE encourages every company who would like to better understand the significance of those strategies and earn all the practical tools to create Sustainability Reports , to join our

Global Advanced Certified Sustainability Course and GRI G4 Courses:

Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 12-13

Dubai, UAE on December 7-8

For more information contact us at development@cse-net.org or visit www.cse-net.org (Upcoming Trainings) 

Why Academic institutions should add Green to their school colours

Just as the benefits of Corporate Sustainability initiatives go beyond simply doing “what’s right” or saving money, worldwide colleges and universities are finding wide-ranging benefits from making sustainability core to their school brand.

In the same way that companies have their products and services to watch over for ways to implement Sustainability, academic institutions around the world should create the best student experience and classes on Sustainability and seek ways to improve waste management around the campus and football fields.

Research shows that it is mainly universities in the USA which have taken the initiative to build Green Buildings and incorporate solar panels and various waste management programs (e.g how waste is handled in Football games and events, water systems, recycling bins).

For instance, The University of Notre Dame in Paris already has enough student volunteers to handle recycling duties for its football games this year, showing just how many students want to be involved.

Arizona State University in the US, meanwhile, has attracted sustainability-minded students with its environmental commitments and zero waste goals as well as its educational offerings.

While a school can implement any number of sustainability projects, it will want to know the impact of those efforts, and what kind of effect they’re having on the school’s branding. Colleges and universities can determine the brand value of sustainability by looking at national recognition they receive from their CSR actions, recruiting advantages, campus quality of life, increased productivity, student and faculty retention, lower carbon emissions, reduced operational costs and environmental compliance.

Considering the impact and influence of Sustainability globally, all colleges and universities would find clear practical benefits in implementing CSR strategies in their campuses. Furthermore, they would provide a great example for the rest of the world and also create a better place for future generations and more energy efficient facilities for them with all technological advancements that are provided today.

CSE is committed to provide the same example and will continue to train and certify professionals who will consequently improve their CSR performance leading to clear benefits not only for their own organisations but also for society as a whole.

Upcoming training locations and dates:

Advanced IEMA Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training in Abu Dhabi, 12th October 2014

GRI (G4) Training on Sustainability Reporting, Qatar, 15th October 2014

IEMA Certified Carbon Strategy Training in London, 21st October 2014

Advanced IEMA Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training in London, 23rd October 2014

Source: GreenBiz.comNorthland College

Are businesses doing enough to address global sustainability?

Sustainability and sustainable development are concepts that are becoming increasingly important. Each organization’s stakeholders want to know what actions the company is taking on sustainability. However, due to the lack of understanding and confusion about what sustainability really is, the action toward sustainable strategies is very limited.

A recent study conducted by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Accenture Management Consulting shows that, even though 82% of global CEOs believe that sustainability is a crucial key in transforming the world’s major economy, more than 67% of them think that their business is not doing enough about addressing global sustainability issues.

Why do we still have confusion?

Sustainability is a term that everyone uses but yet it still remains very vague. Everyone is using it and each one has a different idea of what it actually means. For many, sustainability means philanthropy, for others public relations and for others simply following regulations or simply doing good for the environment. No one of this is right though. Most professionals fail to see this problem, so the need to improve their knowledge and take it to the next level is actually non-existing. This is a major barrier in practically implementing sustainability strategies and it leads to tremendous stakeholder value loss.

Lead by example:

Despite the existing confusion about what sustainability really stands for, there are a few companies that have the best CSR practices and reputations. According to a Forbes magazine article, entitled “The 10 companies with the best CSR reputations,” the top 3 companies with the best CSR reputations are:

1. Microsoft

2. Google

3. The Walt Disney Company

Dan Bross, Senior Director of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft, a company that has already attended CSE’s certified sustainability practitioner training, mentioned during his interview with Forbes that to become a responsible global corporate citizen the company has taken a holistic approach. “It’s not a top-down effort and it’s not just a grassroots effort – it is important to all of us.

The solution:

Trends and legislation in sustainability change very quickly. Leading companies, non-for profits, governmental agencies, as well as individuals seeking to enter the sustainability field have already found the solution and attended CSE’s Advanced Certified Sustainability Practitioner Training.

Join us in:

Las Vegas | September 15-16 | Register here 

San Francisco | September  29-30 | Register here

Atlanta | November 13-14 | Register here

What sustainability means to you? Tell us in the box below.

Companies with Certified Sustainability Practitioners Increase their CSR Performance: 2014

Following last year’s study, CSE has just completed its 2014 global study on determining Certified Sustainability Practitioners (by CSE) contribution towards the overall Sustainability rating score of the corresponding companies, based on CSRHub data. CSRHub is a proverbial corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings tool that allows managers, consultants, academics and activists to track the sustainability performance of major companies. How does CSR Hub do this? By aggregating data from various sources and providing its users with a comprehensive source of information based on the four fundamental categories. These categories are no other than employees, environmental, community, and governance. In turn, the overall CSR rating score calculated by CSRHub creates a benchmark for companies to compare sustainability performance.

In CSE’s Global research 20 companies with senior sustainability professionals from Europe, Middle East and North America served as a statistical sample to investigate their overall sustainability ratings and annual performance, during the a period between 2011-2013. The aim of this research was to discover any impact between companies Sustainability ratings before and after having trained Sustainability Practitioners within their teams. Consequently, the actions taken to compare the 20 companies CSR scores comprised of looking into 1 year before as well as 1 and 2 years after CSE training, compared to the corresponding industry average of the last year.

The steps carried out to meet the objectives were carefully chosen, being as follows:
• Company with sustainability practitioners’ overall CSR ratings before CSE training and 1 to 2 years post training
• Company’s industry average overall CSR rating for the same dates
• The data  points were transformed into line graphs to illustrate the sustainability score trends

Fast-forwarding the process, the data points illustrated the sustainability score trends of the companies. For example the graphs below “Croda International Plc” and “Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce” represent the data point 1 year before CSE’s training, compared to 1 to 2 years after the training took place and indicate the impact that the trained Sustainability Practitioners action plan contributed on the company’s overall Sustainability score.

 

 

Overall, the results of the research indicate improvement in Sustainability scores in the companies that had trained senior sustainability professionals (Certified Sustainability Practitioners by CSE). This should come as no surprise as all sustainability practitioners’ completed CSE’s Certified CSR training and upon completion created a two year Sustainability (CSR) action plan for their company, in which a Sustainability strategy and identification of areas for improvement was included. This is a practical and measurable strategy that  is under review for 4 month by CSE experts and is approved by a third party (IEMA- Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment) to ensure it meets standards and includes a variety of tools for approach. The action plan implemented by the Sustainability Practitioners is evidence representing that knowledge gained during the training contributes to the improvement of the overall Sustainability ratings of the organizations.

In-depth knowledge by CSE trainers initiate a key driver for strategic sustainability improvements while the vast majority of the companies that served as a sample in Europe, MENA and North America increased their overall CSR rating from 2 to 10 points each the first year post training. Based on the conclusions of  this research, we value that CSE sustainability practitioner trainings have positively affected the sustainability performance of more than 300 companies globally. It is also indicated that our Certified Advanced training, our methodology and 2-year action plan that we propose after the completion of the training are very essential tools of an organizations’ CSR improvement. Read the executive summary here

Keen on improving your Sustainability ratings and integrating CSR within your external and external business culture? Then always keep an eye out for our upcoming Certified Sustainability & CSR Trainings approved by the Leading UK Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), delivered by CSE in Europe, North America and the Middle East.