Help stop Greenwashing and Only PR – vote for the Positive Impacts (PI) Approach at the TBLI Better World Prize People’s Choice Award for the Best ESG/Impact Measurement System

One of the major challenges for transitioning to a sustainable economy we must tackle as a society are greenwashing, and Only PR approaches that can take these forms:

> Claims on what an organization does on sustainability – them either being wrong or suggesting them to be applied organization-wide, while not being the case

> Claims on the organizations or product/service performance – them being either wrong or suggesting the claim to tell the entire story while leaving relevant parts of the value chain or other relevant ESG topics aside

We at Positive Impacts (PI) have developed two approaches to tackle these issues from their causes:

Issue I: Overcoming greenwashing and Only PR on what organizations do

The only way to overcome Only PR approaches “sustainably” is to integrate sustainability into the organization’s strategy and core business. For this to work, the sustainability strategy needs to fit different business strategies and business models. Every one-size-fits-all approach will only work for selected organizations. For others, it will either lead to them faking it (Only PR) or losing market share to the competition that does not follow that approach. Not helpful! That is why we have developed the PI Ambition Level Concept that guides any organization to integrate sustainability/ESG into any strategy. It offers five distinct, logical business imperatives why it can make business sense to integrate ESG depending on the organization’s circumstances. It even acknowledges that for some companies, it may make no business sense at all to do more than what is legally asked of them (No Ambition). This makes Only PR practices obsolete and helps us to identify them!

For this, we created an assessment framework (the PI Analysis Framework) that allows us to assess the management approach of any organization. Given the unique assessment method, it also allows us to identify Only PR practices, e.g., if the implemented practices are highly inconsistent.

Issue II: Overcoming greenwashing and Only PR by measuring  the performance of organizations and products/services in a holistic manner

To overcome greenwashing and Only PR on sustainability/ESG performance, it is necessary to measure it holistically and consider at least the entire upstream value chain. Today we can compare the financial performance of any organization, even between companies with completely different strategies like PRADA and Primark, by looking at their revenue, earnings, and earnings margins. That is why we suggest mirroring the financial KPIs revenue and earnings from a societal perspective: Societal Value – as a mirror for revenue and Societal Earnings as a mirror for earnings, with the Societal Earnings Margin to be the ratio of the two. Our fully quantitative approach calculates any organization’s socio-economic, environmental, and social impacts in the upstream value chain and in its own operations together. This way, the positive economic contribution is presented along with the related positive and negative externalities which are based on monetization factors derived from scientific research:

The outcomes of our societal value calculations allow us to benchmark the overall sustainability/ESG performance of an organization or even (company or product) portfolio in our Strategy Matrix. Additionally, it also allows identifying net positive organizations/portfolios and investment decisions to reach a net positive outcome when transforming portfolios (see the example from our study below).

Summary -why you should vote for the Positive Impacts (PI) ESG/Impact measurement approaches

We are the first ESG/Impact measurement approach that addresses the challenge that sustainability is not about reporting or compliance but about performance and changing how business is being done in two separate frameworks. Our approaches are logical, feasible for any organization, and free from impact washing!

The vision of Positive Impacts (PI)

Our vision is a market economy aiming to increase societal value and avoid economic value creation at the expense of society and future generations.

About the TBLI Better World Prize

The background of TBLI competition is bringing clarity and transparency into all the different reporting standards and organizations that are dealing with ESG, and the corresponding impacts organizations generate. TBLI has 25 years of experience, has organized 40 international events with over 10,000 participants, and represents the largest network of ESG and impact investors and peers. This event attempts to find an answer to the most problematic questions of our world now. These include social and environmental issues such as climate change, water scarcity, food security, and global poverty. The best information on ESG and impacts can help to make the best investment decisions.

Click here to attend.