A dispatch from SSC President Jennifer Woofter
As we work with clients to advance their sustainability journey, we're always looking for ways to slice and dice the information we gather. I thought it might be helpful to share some of the common ways we analyze an organization's performance:
Company Now vs. Company Then
How does the client's current performance compare against it's performance in the past (1 year ago, 5 years ago, etc.). This works best when we've been working with a client for a while and can judge how much progress has been made since our initial assessment.
Company vs. Industry Peers
We look at client performance against a representative peer group -- so for example, a midsize mining company would be compared against other midsize mining companies.
Company vs. Industry Leaders
We look at client performance against the sustainability leaders in the industry -- so we might compare a midsize mining client against the current mining constituents of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).
Company vs. Value Chain Partners
We look at the client's performance against its key upstream suppliers and downstream customers. This analysis provides great insight into risk mapping and alignment -- is the client paying attention to the things its customers care about?
Company vs Sustainability Standard
Comparing a client's sustainability performance against other external standards (ISO 14001, GRI, CDP, SASB, DJSI, etc.) is another way to spot omissions and mis-alignment. It can also help to spot the areas where the standards overlap -- where the client may get the most bang for the buck in closing a gap.
What other ways to benchmark are we missing? Let us know in the comments!