Measuring the social impacts of products

Begun in early 2013, the Social Pioneers Roundtable has already made great strides in harmonizing approaches for measuring the social impacts of products. Of course, there is still work to be done. Therefore, we are delighted to extend our group for the next phase of this Roundtable.

Roundtable collaboration yields results

The Social Pioneers Roundtable is a pioneering endeavor in sustainability aiming to find harmonizing approaches for measuring the social impacts of products. The people and organizations participating in the roundtable are involved in the implementation of social metrics. These frontrunners believe in the power of collaboration and the development of great products for the benefit of all: Ahold, BASF, DSM, Goodyear, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, and one automotive company.

Social Pioneers Roundtable members aim to harmonize key principles and metrics for social impact assessment, to share and align with other global initiatives, and to collaborate during an implementation phase.

The Roundtable has three phases, to better allow participants to learn, harmonize, and share best practices:
Phase 1 was just finalized, with the development of a draft handbook. The draft handbook establishes a baseline for product social assessment, including harmonized methodology, social topics, and performance indicators. It also provides an understanding of the development process and includes key principles to guide future decisions made by the Roundtable. The handbook will also be used for product social impact assessment. Right now the draft handbook is undergoing consultation with experts from 18 external organizations.

The next phase

In phase two, the draft handbook will be refined, allowing us to incorporate external feedback and invite new participants to contribute their knowledge and ideas. By extending the group, we can make the final handbook even more valuable.
To maximize the visibility and traction of this initiative, phase 2 also involves reaching out to various external stakeholders to disseminate the handbook. PRé will not claim any ownership, nor do we want to prescribe a standard. We simply wish to join forces with other initiatives, as we believe a harmonized methodology must reach a critical mass in order to become broadly adopted.

Join us at the Roundtable

The seven pioneers of the Roundtable all agree that inviting new companies to join the initiative will further support quality and help us to reach the critical mass required for business traction. Application for the next phase is open until September 1st, which will be immediately followed by a meeting to introduce new participants, discuss expert feedback, and revisit the work plan and objectives for phase 2.

  • We believe this is a cutting-edge initiative that brings many benefits for the participant companies:
  • Deepen learning: Developing individual and company capabilities for product social metrics
  • Broaden network: Collaborating with frontrunners and connecting to other initiatives
  • Shape the future: Contributing to the development of social impact assessment
  • Enhance reputation: Company visibility on handbook and during dissemination
  • Facilitate positive change: Developing social metrics to enhance sustainability programs and product development

Do you work with sustainability at a global company? Would you like to take part in a progressive and collaborative sustainability initiative? Visit the website or contact us for more information.

João Fontes


João Fontes joined the Consultancy team in 2008, focusing on social sustainability. He co-initiated the Roundtable for Product Social Metrics. João worked at PRé from 2008 to 2016.

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