Invitation – The Social Pioneers Roundtable
After 20 years of experience supporting organizations to measure and improve environmental performance, PRé has initiated a roundtable on social metrics together with peers from different industries. The call for interested organisations to join is open.
October 2012 – Our mission is to improve people’s lives. We want to measure and track our performance in a manner that is recognized and trusted by our stakeholders. That’s why we strive for harmonized metrics with a broad base of participating organizations.
Markus Laubscher – Sustainable Innovation Expert – Philips
Our goal is to assist frontrunners on this important topic to reach a consensus on how to assess the social impacts of products from a life-cycle approach. Moreover, we would like to enable participants to share experiences, to address common issues and, ultimately, to drive competitive advantage by facilitating sustainable value i.e., improving people’s lives while doing good business.
Over the past 20 years, methods have been developed and data has been consolidated to support product sustainability assessments with a focus on environmental issues. More recently consumers, governments, and the business community have demonstrated particular interest in social issues and the associated impacts of goods and services. Different stakeholders have begun to question both the positive and negative social impacts of products. In response, companies have become more proactive in recognizing the importance of managing social impacts throughout the life cycle of their products.
The need for social metrics
While there is clear consensus on the need to address social issues at the corporate level, there is no really workable solution for measuring and managing social issues at the product level.
There are many methodological and practical restrictions when considering the implementation of social metrics. For example, we lack a simplified yet useful impact assessment method, and the available data does not cover every country, let alone every sector or product. Additionally, the collaboration with business partners, including direct suppliers and direct customers, is limited.
Roundtable collaboration: The core concept
As one of the leading LCA methodology and tool providers, PRé has initiated a roundtable on social metrics to address these gaps, in collaboration with a number of proactive companies. We believe that pre-competitive collaboration is the answer: companies like to outperform while agreeing on the way they measure their performance. Our roundtable builds on this concept.
The collaboration: Extending the invitation
We would like to continue developing this initiative, together with frontrunners who believe in the power of collaboration and the development of great products and services for the benefit of all, including DSM, Philips, Goodyear, BASF, Ahold and a well known automotive company. At this stage we are also in close dialogue with other peers and we have tentative commitments from other eight companies in a range of sectors, including retail, food & beverage, packaging, and toys.