A long-standing company wants to develop its position as a forward-looking responsible company. How do they determine their strengths and weaknesses when there are so many certifications and assessments to choose from?
Performing a social responsibility evaluation is a combination of self-reflection and sector review. What are you doing well compared to your peers? Where are they moving faster than you? Can you establish a baseline to mark agains? What do you know you can do better because it benefits both you and the customer? What can you do better just because you know you should?
Before you can dig into the work you have to decide who’s metrics your using. There is an alphabet soup of certifications out there and identifying the best fit for you is important, be it GRI, SASB, BCorp, or ones that you develop for yourself. Should you self report or get external validation?
Once you know where you are looking you must then assign responsibility, determine who your stakeholders are and finally once the work is done communicate the results out into the world. Each step must be performed with a clear intent and buy-in from everyone who participates to be effective. It helps to have someone who is familiar with the field and can lead you to reputable evaluations that are effectively communicated into the world.
DECISION Responsibility Evaluation
Review what other companies in a similar space have committed to, and create a baseline, then decide what steps in addition will step you up to the next level, be it committing to the GRI, SASB or becoming a BCorp.
IMPLEMENTATION Project Management
Work with leadership to assign responsibility for the evaluation, determine key internal stake holders to address issues in each section, and plan how to communicate both what is done well, and commitments to being better in the future.