Sustain-the-globe projects and strategies can be large, complex initiatives that may span geographical regions over months or several years.
Our teams and specifically–tailored project packages – produced for purpose, validity or voluntary compliance – can be designed as independent advisories or as supplements to corporate management teams during critical phases when sustainability, corporate social responsibility or crisis management and response issues emerge.
Our project packages are designed for situations large and small.
Sustain–the–globe offers the following professional services to advise and assist businesses and non–governmental–organizations:
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Crisis Management
- Stakeholder Mapping
- Best Practices
- Certification Preparation
- Social Impact Assessments
- Codes of Conduct
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a business priority for many companies – large or small – that seek to protect their reputation and brand. Key players – stakeholders – worldwide are asking for greater social and environmental consciousness in how corporate leaders do business in today’s complex and increasingly interrelated world.
This growing stakeholder demand for “a social license to operate” – by a combination of shareholders, customers, employees, regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations, and those who live in the footprint of the company’s operation – can deliver comparative advantage to a company that ably navigates, or anticipates, its demands.
Key decision-makers in the investment community, governments and regulatory authorities, too, recognize this changing global environment and increasingly say that a company’s reputation for CSR influences their decisions. There are no CSR quick fixes, particularly in social crisis situations. Bit it is vital for companies to identify the crux of a dilemma, and authorize management to develop proactive strategies to improve practice and reputation – emerging in a stronger comparative position.
Our objective is to help our clients manage business risk and create comparative value by improved management of business strategies consistent with a renewed balance of financial and social bottom lines. With growing demands for information and performance changes on corporate activities, here, in the early twenty-first century, sustainability, corporate reputation and brand are inseparable.
Our CSR practice combines deep, substantive expertise with a network of relationships spanning the range of key sectors and issues on the frontlines of today’s social, labor, environmental and globalization debates.
We are confident that customized strategies can be produced to contribute both to stronger bottom lines and a better world.
Managing political crisis requires a targeted combination of assessment, planning, mitigation and action to minimize consequences, build bridges with critics and shape outcomes.
The crisis response and mitigation strategies used by a company can determine the outcome for those affected, including communities, employees and the company itself.
The political crisis and response package utilizes diverse tools sets:
- Know who your stakeholders are identify their core issues in the footprint of the corporate activity;
- Know at all times what types of reputation risks your company is most subject to;
- Assess corporate interests in these areas;
- Open communications, where possible, with stakeholders who live and work in the footprint of operations;
- Produce Best Practices Reports and Recommended Actions to be incorporated into day-to-day management practices.
- Produce long-term crisis management and prevention strategies.
Stakeholder Mapping is a key strategic business tool designed to identify the primary individuals or groups who have a particular interest in a companies’ activities or its social or environmental impacts.
With stakeholders identified, a company can more ably bridge interests between the public, private and non-governmental organization sectors, and develop a comprehensive plan to create the mechanics for a business more responsive to the interests of the wider community.
A key question that underlies stakeholder mapping, and ultimately, social or environmental due diligence questions, is “what is the actual, potential or perceived risk of continued corporate activity” in a challenging, or potentially challenging situation.
Our stakeholder mapping team includes, but not limited to the following:
- Conduct interviews with internal stakeholders, from top management to field levels with particular emphasis on those who have responsibility for the sustainability questions at issue. Prepare in cooperative with company staff;
- Explain how the team will gain its information without upsetting the status quo;
- Shape the scope of the mapping in cooperation with corporate management;
- Conduct in-country field interviews with a wide range of stakeholders to best understand both the risk identification and what options to resolve;
- Based on research, corporate interviews and other preparation, take a more detailed look at the situation on the ground;
- Field visit is crucial to identify practical mitigations;
- Analysis, reporting and debriefing on risks identified and opportunities to mitigate risks.
Setting benchmarks, measuring progress toward goals and evaluating past performance is both challenging and, in many instances, must resolve a problem of perception irrespective of quantitative numbers. The considerable reputational issues in the U.S. Gulf Coast seafood industry serve as a case in point.
Our team would benchmark progress in both qualitative and quantitative terms.
On the metrics side, our approach includes the documentation of perceptions and measurable events.
- Catalogue issues relevant to any criticisms or public perceptions
- Includes substantial stakeholder involvement – stakeholders’ both internal to the company or external observers or critics.
- The metrics would quantify both the interests of the business and the stakeholder concerns.
- Define which metrics to use. For example, internationally accepted standards, such as GRI, industry specific standards, or an approach tht assess stakeholder sentiment and perception of progress, or not.
- Measure progress to previous benchmarks set, and assist with decision making for next steps
- Timely reports.
Given the substantial growth of voluntary certification and sustainability standards and procedures that are shaping much of global industry behavior, our team provides detailed information about the framework, scope, structure and reporting requirements of the appropriate generally accepted international standards that offers industry–specific meaning to sustainability.
Following the conduct of field-work in a specific situation, our team develops an approach, in cooperate with top–management, to integrate the requirements of the management system standards within the existing management structure.
Steps include the following:
- Produce a tailored package for various options from a menu of appropriate standards;
- Engage top management and field operations to assess relevant components of the business in terms of standards to be met;
- Identify and chronicle the criticisms of external actors;
- Conduct field–work to document ongoing management practices;
- Assist management in its development of corporate priorities toward facilitating changes in social, environmental, labor or other practices;
- Document any gaps between management practices and relevant standards.
Risks that arise from social discontent surrounding a project or environmental challenges can be costly in terms of delays, work stoppages, negative publicity or, a worse case scenario, threats to operating licenses.
Much like financial due diligence, a company that proactively seeks to reduce and manage these risks, and potential risks, can benefit from improved business performance over time.
The management-approved social due diligence appraisal is consistent with commitments to sustainable development by a growing number of private, public and international lenders, and produces an enhanced understanding of the social risks that contain a potential for reputational or harm to the corporate brand from community, non-governmental or other political forces.
The social due diligence review, developed with appropriate standards of care – or codes of conduct – provides information for top management to reconcile the demands of doing business with the demands of community or other interests in the footprint of the corporate operation.
An independent team of knowledgeable due diligence analysts, assembled locally, and in cooperation with company personnel, will include the following:
- Conduct social due diligence of the proposed activity in its area of operation;
- Assist the client in developing measures to avoid, mitigate or compensate for negative social impacts;
- Identify opportunities to improve outcomes;
- Monitor and document the client’s performance throughout the development phase;
- Report to management on an ongoing basis.
Unlike regulatory requirements, Corporate Codes of Conduct have no authorized or required definition. Codes of Conduct are completely voluntary. The corporate code of conduct is a policy statement that clearly states a company’s philosophy and standards to its personnel, customers, consumers and supply chain. The Code will address social, environmental, human rights or other issues dependent upon corporate priorities.
In cooperation with management, our team would develop Codes of Conduct and related instruments such as the following:
- Corporate Code of Conduct
- Compliance Codes
- Management Philosophy Statements
The success of a complex humanitarian mission depends upon cohesive linkages of diplomatic action, security operations and relief-to-development activities to achieve a desired outcome.
With its recent adoption at the United Nations World Summit, the controversial Responsibility to Protect concept brings greater significance to the issue of ‘best practices.
The ‘responsibility to protect’ rest on three pillars:
- A primary responsibility of states to protect their own populations from the crimes of: genocide, war–crimes, ethnic–cleansing, and crimes against humanity;
- The international community’s responsibility to assist states in meeting those internationally accepted obligations;
- And, the international community’s responsibility to take timely and decisive action in cases where a state has manifestly failed to protect its own population from what would appear state sanctioned crimes.
Despite the fact that, whether the Libyan intervention – seemingly thus far, effective – or whether military intervention is appropriate in other situations, a core question has emerged. “Does it [military intervention] do more harm than good?” In any event, substantial planning and cooperation between civilian and military institutions is crucial if policymakers view a civ-mil response to a crisis situation is the best option.
Our experience includes participating in initiatives to address the following issues:
- Planning: The goal is to assist with analysis and development of a framework that better enables government, military, humanitarian and international organizations to respond to crisis situations.
- Operations: The operating assumption is that the Civil–Military Operations Center (CMOC) offers a good model for an effective civ-mil structure. Critical elements such as communication and coordination, particularly at the Joint Task Force (JTF) and its civilian equivalent, would be explored.
- Security: The team would review the impact of an intervening force on humanitarian operations and the local populations. Appropriate roles and expectations of the military and NGOs would be reviewed, with particular focus on integration.
- Press/Media: The media’s influence on global crises is profound. The team would explore the dynamics of the relationships amongst the press, government and humanitarian operations.
- Legal Challenges: Regional or national conflicts will likely define the nature and scope of complex humanitarian emergencies. These situations raise trans–border and other legal issues that need be addressed by our team.
- Medical Capabilities: Complex humanitarian emergencies present enormous health challenges. The medical capabilities of the host state are often inadequate. A question that emerges is to what degree the US Military, along with civilian groups, address indigenous medical needs.
- Land Mines: A high percentage of peacekeepers and on local populations is due to landmine detonations. Post-conflict reconstruction is also impeded, particularly in agricultural areas. And beyond.
- Transition and Post–Conflict Reconstruction: Review the planning, development, coordination and adequacy of exit and transition strategies for post-conflict reconstruction. Coordinate with financial entities, including the World Bank Group, whose involvement is essential to forging peace.
Sugar and Sugar Ethanol
Global Reporting Initiative
American Indian Energy Tribes