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Strandberg Consulting - Solutions for a Sustainable World

June 2013

Hello Friends:

Someone's paying attention! A report I released this spring attracted the most website hits of any of my publications over the last decade. So what was the hot topic? Executive compensation. Or to be exact: Sustainable Pay: How TSX 60 companies compensate executives for sustainability performance. The report provides research and recommendations to harness the power of compensation incentives to advance sustainable business practices.

Here's the good news. The research showed that most of Canada's top firms consider social and environmental progress when they award annual executive bonuses. The bad news is that few of them set forward-looking targets for sustainability achievements. And most of the metrics are oriented to compliance and risk management, not value creation. From a practical perspective, the report offers recommendations to better link sustainability to compensation systems. If you know someone in HR or on a board or executive committee, please share this report with them. I'm happy to coach companies on how to translate the study's findings into their compensation practices.

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NEWS FROM STRANDBERG CONSULTING

Transformational Company Qualities
Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and I developed guidelines – The Transformational Company Qualities – that can be applied globally to establish a new sustainability bar for companies. We will roll out case studies and webinars on the framework in the fall. Stay tuned. Now I am integrating the framework into my strategy work. Here is one tool I developed with Camosun College to help it reach its goal of sustainability leadership in its sector. Please call if you want learn how to use the Transformational Company framework to set priorities for your organization.

Sustainable Industry Associations
It's tough for any one company to become sustainable on its own. Often it takes collective action. So I have shifted some of my practice to focus on industry and professional associations. This spring I published a how-to guide for industry associations based on best practices from across Canada. If you know anyone who works for an industry or professional association, please share this tool with them.

A good example of this focus is my project with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia to develop a "CSR Framework for the Shipping Sector". Currently, we are consulting shipping industry representatives, including shipping owners, customers and industry associations, for feedback on draft guidelines.

Governance, Strategy and Reporting
I continue to advise organizations on how to embed sustainability into governance, strategy and reporting. These days an increasing number of organizations want help to integrate CSR and sustainability into the board mandate including governance manuals, nominating guidelines and board committees. To accelerate sustainable practices, I have published the tool I use to advise boards and executives. Please share it with other boards, executive members or CSR managers in your world. Let me know if I can help your organization understand the trends, gaps and opportunities in board and management sustainability governance.

CSR as a Poverty Reduction Strategy
As organizations seek to embed environmental and social considerations in their business models, they often come up short on the social scale. There is a mountain of information on how to improve environmental performance, but a dearth of social sustainability guidance. My early career was in the social service, planning and policy sector. I am keen to apply this background to help frame this new CSR frontier. Check out my draft framework and use it to build your organization’s approach. Read my recent blog series on this topic.

Applause!
Congratulations to my long-term client, The Co-operators, for earning double accolades this month for its commitment to, and action on, corporate social responsibility. The Co-operators is ranked third on the annual list of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada compiled by Corporate Knights, an organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible and sustainable business practices. This is the fourth consecutive year that Corporate Knights has recognized The Co-operators among the top three corporate citizens.

In addition, the global sustainability research and analysis firm, Sustainalytics, ranked The Co-operators among its Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada, as published in Maclean's magazine. This year was the first time that co-operatives and credit unions were considered for inclusion on the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada list. It is an honour to work with The Co-operators – check out their good work.

One-hour webinar: How to catalyze social innovation in your sector
Sponsored by the Conference Board of Canada; July 10 at 1 p.m. PST.
Has your company, industry or government agency reached the limits of individual action on CSR? Could you benefit from the power of collective action? If so, this webinar is for you. I’ll discuss how the new trend to industry collaboration can identify and resolve systemic social and environmental challenges in corporate value chains. As well, you’ll learn about the challenges and benefits of collective industry action and discover if it is right for your organization.

Invite colleagues with industry association relationships to join you in the webinar. I’m sure it will lead to an interesting internal discussion.
More details here.
Special rate of $95 at this link.

Latest Blog Posts

Since my last newsletter, I've added the following posts to my blog. I welcome your thoughts on:

Social Sustainability Roadmap: Five ways to improve your corporate social performance.
Published February-April 2013.
This five-part series is a useful how-to guide that covers employee, community, customer and supplier relations.

Can sustainable pay help build better companies and a better world?
Published March 27, 2013
Toby Heap, guest blogger and CEO of Corporate Knights, provides insightful feedback to Coro’s recently released report, Sustainable Pay: How TSX 60 companies compensate executives for sustainability performance.

Sustainable Pay Report: Who needs to know and why?
Published April 29, 2013
Margot Campbell, guest blogger and compensation expert, explains why corporate board members, executives, compensation experts and HR advisors should read Sustainable Pay: How TSX 60 companies compensate executives for sustainability performance.

Building Sustainability Governance & Culture – The right Q’s and a handy tool
Published June 11, 2013
Smart companies ask how they can adjust for success in the rapidly changing business environment. A top recommendation from the Transformational Companies Qualities is to adopt a sustainability governance framework and culture. But this is easier said than done since many organizations’ governance and management systems are decades old. Here are the right questions to ask and a handy tool to help you get started.

Strandberg Consulting - Solutions for a Sustainable World
Coro Strandberg - Principal
6336 Burns Street - Burnaby, BC V5E 1T2 | T 604.433.7339
E cstrandberg@shaw.ca | W www.corostrandberg.com
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