Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Vote for Your Favorite Corporate Sustainability Report

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) just issued a press release announcing a new award program for Corporate Sustainability Reports.

From the release:

Thousands of companies issue sustainability reports each year - but who reads them? What do these readers think of reports? Do reports meet the needs of communities, investors, employees, customers, journalists, and non-governmental organizations?

The GRI Readers' Choice Award was designed to find answers to these questions and give all sustainability report users worldwide a voice on sustainability reporting today. After extensive preparations by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and their partners - all leaders in the field - the first world wide online sustainability reporting awards scheme is close to launch. Mark your calendar for 1 October 2007.

Between October 1 and December 31, 2007, you get to vote on your favorite report. Again from the release:

Both the Global Readers' Choice Awards and the survey results will be presented during 'The Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency', which will be hosted by the City of Amsterdam, and is supported by the Netherlands Government, UNEP, and with the involvement of businesses, NGOs, labor, and investors active in GRI's worldwide network. This is GRI's second international conference, and will be held 7 - 9 May, 2008.

"While most will agree that transparency through sustainability reporting is essential in our global pursuit of sustainability, little is known about the views and experience of intended readers - the users - and how sustainability reporting influences markets and stakeholder relations" said Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive of the Global Reporting Initiative when asked what inspired the development of the Readers Choice concept over the past year.

Your opinion counts. From 1 October 2007 you are invited to score the sustainability reports issued by companies that you work for, own stock in, are neighbors with, report on, or do business with at:

This is an interesting new initiative. Good Happens calls this Corporate Social Responsibility's version of the Oscar and adds, "As Hollywood taught us, nothing is official until it has an annual award attached to it... So by those standards, CSR reporting is now officially official."

Governance Focus adds that this is only one of two CSR awards being announced:

Users of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports are being invited to vote for the most effective reports, with two new awards schemes announced this week.

Corporate Register (CR), which runs a free online depository of almost 15,000 CSR reports on is inviting its 20,000 registered users to vote in the CR Reporting Awards 2007.

We've been talking about the rise in the use of triple-bottom line reports and improvements in corporate sustainability reporting. This, however, suggests both a real movement towards change and an exciting opportunity to harness new data sets for understanding the community.


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