Chelsea Green Publishing

The MultiCapital Scorecard

Pages:256 pages
Book Art:Full-color illustrations throughout
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603586900
Pub. Date December 01, 2016
eBook: 9781603586917
Pub. Date December 01, 2016

The MultiCapital Scorecard

Rethinking Organizational Performance

Categories:
Business & Economy

Availability: In Stock

Hardcover

Available Date:
December 01, 2016

$45.00

Availability: In Stock

eBook

Available Date:
December 01, 2016

$45.00 $36.00

For decades now, organizations have been struggling to find the best way to address their social and environmental responsibilities alongside their economic obligations. In other words, they want to know how best to effectively manage their operations based on a triple bottom line (3BL)—one that reflects social, environmental, and economic performance.

Recently, an international standard for integrated reporting has emerged that in principle emphasizes the importance of managing toward a triple bottom line. But it fails to provide specific guidance on how to do so. Organizations have been left to their own devices to respond. How should 3BL management actually be done?

In this book, sustainability and performance experts Martin Thomas and Mark McElroy introduce the world’s most advanced 3BL performance accounting methodology: The MultiCapital Scorecard. It is the first context-based integrated measurement, management, and reporting system. And, it can help corporations, public institutions, and other organizations answer the question they should be asking themselves for every aspect of their operations: “How much is enough for us to be sustainable?” The answers set internal performance standards against which operations and their impacts can be measured. Nothing less will do!

The MultiCapital Scorecard describes this open-source methodology, which consists of a structured, quantitative measurement and reporting system that complies with international standards for 3BL integrated measurement and reporting. Moreover, the MultiCapital Scorecard is designed to help organizations assess their own 3BL performance in their own contexts with context-based metrics of their own choosing. An eminently practical management aid for integrated thinking, it can be tailored to any organization’s needs.

The authors also describe how and why businesses are gradually shifting from managing impacts on only one type of capital (economic) to managing impacts on multiple types. They also provide detailed examples of worked reports, showing how organizations might develop and quantify the interim and long-term goals to meet their obligations to their employees, community, shareholders, and the environment. The examples also show how an organization can use the Multicapital Scorecard methodology to assess their progress in meeting those goals, and convey that progress to their stakeholders.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

The MultiCapital Scorecard provides a valuable aid to help companies get to grips with the complex set of resources and relationships upon which all organizations impact and depend. The context-based approach is a particularly important development, as social and environmental issues put ever greater constraints on business and the economy, and provide real opportunities for those providing solutions.”--Jessica Fries, executive chairman, the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S)

“As a company with global distribution and deep roots in social purpose, Ben & Jerry’s has long been working on a meaningful set of sustainability performance metrics to assess social and environmental impacts. We consider the MultiCapital Scorecard one of the most promising performance measurement models for integrated reporting that we have yet encountered.”--Jostein Solheim, CEO, Ben & Jerry’s

“Most of us easily forget we live in an ecological world. For the past two hundred years, often unknowingly, we have been busily sawing off the branch from the tree of life on which we survive. The annual biocapacity of the Earth is consumed at an earlier date each year, after which natural capital is eroded. As anyone in business knows, maintaining capital intact is essential. Running permanent long-term overdrafts is not—it leads to collapse. This book makes it clear that the ultimate source of all value (natural and human capital) is under threat, and sets out a series of practical and useful measurement tools that can aid business managers in the necessary turnaround. Measuring and managing an organization’s social and environmental impacts is a useful start, but this book goes much further. With its systems-based philosophy and context-based target setting, it offers the kind of transformational thinking so necessary to reorganize business ecologically.”--Markus J. Milne, professor of accounting, University of Canterbury

“In order for sustainability reporting to provide an accurate picture of a company’s impact on the economy, environment, and the society in which it operates, context must be given to the reported information. While the context principle was introduced in 2002, it has largely been absent in corporate reporting, partially due to a lack of available guidance on how to apply context to reporting. The Multicapital Scorecard is a step forward in addressing this gap and encouraging a widespread dissemination of context-based sustainability reporting.”--Elisa Tonda, head of the Responsible Industry and Value Chain Unit, UNEP

“To build a world where business and society thrive together, companies need to focus on solving the world’s challenges and using the tools of capitalism and markets to do it most profitably. But how will business leaders know whether they’ve made this big pivot or how far they have to go to get to the hard-to-define sustainable? Business has been missing the right metrics and tools. This new MultiCapital Scorecard fills that critical gap. Managers now have the robust dashboard they need to understand how they’re really doing on environmental, social, and financial performance.”--Andrew Winston, coauthor of Green to Gold; author of The Big Pivot

“The MultiCapital Scorecard provides the first multicapital reporting system that makes possible the practice of John Elkington’s triple bottom line. In other words, it brings reporting into the 21st century. Thomas and McElroy are to be congratulated for their conceptually rich, comprehensive, and persuasive book.I am particularly impressed by the authors’ concepts of capital thresholds and allocations; their broad stakeholder focus; their evenhanded approach to all six vital capitals; and their insight that sustainability criteria must be applied to economic capital, too, which shifts the focus from maximizing profits to reasonable returns. The issues The MultiCapital Scorecard addresses—and therefore makes it possible to tackle—are urgent and elude our current systems: climate change, resource depletion, toxic pollution, societal breakdown. I’d like to live in a world where all organizations are run using the MultiCapital Scorecard. I hope such a world is imminent.”--Jane Gleeson-White, author of Six Capitals, or Can Accountants Save the Planet?

“Having spent most of my career in finance, I am particularly struck by the manner in which The MultiCapital Scorecard answers the question about the balance between production, consumption, and profit in an era when the end consumer is demanding transparency. It turns out that performance is, in fact, about impacts on all vital capitals, not just one of them. What a simple, elegant, and effective way of transforming the triple bottom line from theory to practice in organizations. These principles are transforming every aspect of our business.”--Edward R. Townley, CEO, Agri-Mark/Cabot Creamery Cooperative

“Multicapitalism is a profound manifestation of early 21st century economic governance trends. But our capital markets, accounting, and governance systems are rooted in a one-dimensional history, so businesses need new tools to help them adapt—and quickly. Respecting all the capitals used by an organization to create value and communicating how business models are changing, so that wealth is not only created but also distributed to achieve broad-based prosperity, are the principal challenges of our age. That is why adoption of an integrated reporting model is so vital for the future success of the global economy and society. It is also why I am delighted to welcome the publication of The MultiCapital Scorecard, an important milestone on this journey and the outcome of decades of thinking and working with businesses to develop a practical approach that looks to be both scalable and backed by evidence. It is what the market needs, bringing innovation to management thinking and decision-making.”--Paul Druckman, CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council

“Thomas and McElroy’s emphasis on using context-based metrics is fundamental. Operating without context is like standing on a scale without knowing your ideal weight, tracking your speed without understanding the speed limit, or monitoring your income while ignoring your expenditures. In the same way, the sustainability performance of organizations needs to be tracked relative to limits and thresholds in the world, as clearly illustrated by the MultiCapital Scorecard. This is why The MultiCapital Scorecard originates a whole new generation of triple bottom line accounting.”--Mathis Wackernagel, founder and CEO, Global Footprint Network

Sustainability is mainstream practice. Integration is a keyword. But if we want these words to be truly meaningful in a management context—and to have the positive impact on planet and people that we all hope for—then we must also face up to some hard facts and tough choices. With this long-overdue dose of conceptual clarity and ethical rigor, Thomas and McElroy help us do that, drawing inspiration from the best of systems science, financial accounting, and other disciplines. This is a must-read book for everyone who is serious about responsible enterprise in the age of sustainable development.”--Alan AtKisson, coauthor of Parachuting Cats into Borneo; president, AtKisson Group

“In an interdependent world replete with social, ecological, and economic perils, multicapitalism is an idea whose time has come. With a blend of passion, pragmatism, and pedagogy, Thomas and McElroy chart a pathway to transforming a lofty concept into a critical operational tool for enterprise management in the 21st century. Universal adoption promises to fuel a virtuous circle of multicapital enrichment by business that, in turn, will yield long-term systems resilience that undergirds company—and societal—prosperity. This volume, in short, is a roadmap toward a livable world.”--Allen White, cofounder and former CEO, Global Reporting Initiative; founder, Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings

“Measuring corporate sustainability performance is unlikely to bring about sustainable change unless we also challenge underlying business models, understand context, and consider ecological and social constraints. The MultiCapital Scorecard is one of the few performance measurement frameworks that attempts to integrate planetary-boundary thinking into everyday management and accounting practices. Without making these limits visible to managers, there is the danger that corporations march themselves and others blindly toward a more unsustainable future. MultiCapital Scorecards have the potential to challenge corporations to reflect on the sustainability of their current activities and future strategy in ways that explicitly recognizes contextually relevant constraints.”--Ian Thomson, professor of accounting and sustainability, University of Birmingham

“This book is a meticulous piece of work, analytically outstanding, detailed, and very worthwhile reading. To me it is an important next step in multicapital thinking and policy making. Let us hope that many organizations in the future become willing to report in a structured way like this.”--Jo M. L. van Engelen, chaired professor of integrated sustainable solutions, Delft University of Technology

“Thomas and McElroy have cut through much of the noise and bluster around business and ‘sustainability.’ They recognize many of the complexities of the issues, and they provide a pragmatically coherent program by which managers might be encouraged to actively begin to address just how their organizations could be tempted toward initial substantive steps away from unsustainability.”--Rob Gray, coauthor of Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability; emeritus professor, University of St. Andrews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin P. Thomas

Martin Thomas came to sustainability thinking after completing his MSc in Consulting and Coaching for Change and chairing The Change Leaders (tCL). In his thirty-four years at Unilever, he headed Unilever’s global strategic planning activities and then had responsibility for several mergers, acquisitions, disposals and international ventures in various countries at different times. His work was international, mainly at subsidiary executive board level, conducted in four languages and living consecutively on four continents. Since 1999 he has been consulting as call4change and has taken on interim management assignments in various organizations.

Martin’s publications include chapters on “Scenarios in Venezuela,” in Business Planning for Turbulent Times (Earthscan, 2008), written by members of the Oxford Futures Forum, and on “Performance that Lasts” in New Eyes (The Change Leaders, 2013).

His focus on measuring organizational performance towards sustainable futures started in 2007 when he decided to complement the activities of tCL colleagues in New Angles by operationalizing triple-bottom-line concepts.

While presenting to The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research at St. Andrews, Martin linked up with The MultiCapital Scorecard coauthor Mark McElroy. Since 2011, they have been extending context-based sustainability principles and practices to include financials and measure progression towards full sustainability.

Mark W. McElroy

Mark McElroy is an accomplished innovator, consultant, author and educator in the theory and practice of corporate sustainability management. He is the founder and executive director of the Center for Sustainable Organizations in Vermont and is particularly well known for his development of Context-Based Sustainability (CBS), an approach to sustainability measurement, management, and reporting in which performance is seen as a function of what an organization’s impacts are or ought to be on vital capitals.

McElroy is also a long-time veteran of management consulting, having spent much of his career at Price Waterhouse, KPMG Peat Marwick – where as a partner he led a national practice – and IBM Consulting. More recently, he created and led Deloitte Consulting’s Center for Sustainability Performance in Boston, MA, a think-tank dedicated to the study of sustainability measurement, management, and reporting that he founded.

McElroy earned his Ph.D. in Economics and Business from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands in 2008, and currently teaches sustainability theory and practice in the MBA in Managing for Sustainabilityprogram at Marlboro College in Vermont. He is Board Chair Emeritus at the Donella Meadows Institute, also in Vermont, where he continues to serve on the Advisory Board.

With Martin Thomas, he is co-creator of the MultiCapital Scorecard. Their joint articles have appeared in Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, The World Financial Review, and the Harvard Business Review.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Farm to Table

Farm to Table

By Darryl Benjamin and Lyndon Virkler

With information on purchasing, marketing, and employing farm-to-table principles in restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other institutions

Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Food for daily consumption—fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products—was grown at home or sourced from local farms. Today, most of the food consumed in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe, is sourced from industrial farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which power a food system rife with environmental, economic, and health-related problems.

The tide, however, is slowly but steadily turning back in what has been broadly termed the “farm-to-table” movement. In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore how the farm-to-table philosophy is pushing back modern, industrialized food production and moving beyond isolated “locavore” movements into a broad and far-reaching coalition of farmers, chefs, consumers, policy advocates, teachers, institutional buyers, and many more all working to restore healthful, sustainable, and affordable food for everyone.

Divided into two distinct but complementary halves, “Farm” and “Table,” Farm to Table first examines the roots of our contemporary industrial food system, from the technological advances that presaged the “Green Revolution” to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s infamous dictum to farmers to “Get big or get out” in the 1970s. Readers will explore the many threats to ecology and human health that our corporatized food system poses, but also the many alternatives—from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing—that small farmers are now adopting to meet growing consumer demand. The second half of the book is dedicated to illuminating best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and other business and institutions to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing.

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from all economic strata and in a number of settings, from hospital and office cafeterias, to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. While borrowing from the best ideas of the past, the lessons herein are designed to help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow.

Available in: Hardcover

Read More

Farm to Table

Darryl Benjamin, Lyndon Virkler

Hardcover $49.95

Occupy World Street

Occupy World Street

By Ross Jackson

Ordinary citizens the world over have long paid the price for the swashbuckling behavior of the corporate and political elite. We've seen the reigning establishment widen the gap between rich and poor, champion endless growth on a finite planet, wreak havoc on developing nations, and ravage ecosystems in a mad race for natural resources.

Now, as demonstrators worldwide demand change, Occupy World Street offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.

In this refreshingly detailed plan, Ross Jackson shows how a handful of small nations could take on a leadership role; create new alliances, new governance, and new global institutions; and, in cooperation with grassroots activists, pave the way for other nations to follow suit.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

Occupy World Street

Ross Jackson, Hazel Henderson

Paperback $19.95

Runaway Inequality

Runaway Inequality

By Les Leopold

Runaway inequality is now America’s most critical economic fact of life. In 1970, the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. Today it is a shocking 829 to one! During that time a new economic philosophy set in that cut taxes, deregulated finance, and trimmed social spending. Those policies set in motion a process that greatly expanded the power of financial interests to accelerate inequality. But how exactly does that happen?

Using easy-to-understand charts and graphs, Runaway Inequality explains the process by which corporation after corporation falls victim to systematic wealth extraction by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. It reveals how financial strip-mining puts enormous downward pressure on jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, while boosting the incomes of financial elites.

But Runaway Inequality does more than make sense of our economic plight. It also shows why virtually all the key issues that we face—from climate change to the exploding prison population—are intimately connected to rising economic inequality.

Most importantly, Runaway Inequality calls upon us to build a common movement to tackle the sources of increasing income and wealth inequality. As the author makes clear, the problem will not cure itself. It will take enormous energy and dedication to bring economic justice and fairness back to American society.

The book is divided into four parts:

  • Part I: What is the fundamental cause of runaway economic inequality? What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure?
  • Part II: How does the United States really compare with other major developed countries?  How do we stack up on quality of life, health, and well-being?
  • Part III:  What does economic inequality have to do with so many of the critical issues we face, including taxes, debt, education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade, and war?
  • Part IV: What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society?   

From the book: “There is nothing in the economic universe that will automatically rescue us from runaway inequality. There is no pendulum, no invisible political force that ‘naturally’ will swing back towards economic fairness. Either we wage a large-scale battle for economic, social, and environmental justice, or we will witness the continued deterioration of the world we inhabit. The arc of capitalism does not bend towards justice. We must bend it.”

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Runaway Inequality

Les Leopold

Paperback $19.95

The Zero Waste Solution

The Zero Waste Solution

By Paul Connett

Waste is something we all make every day but often pay little attention to.  That's changing, and model programs around the globe show the many different ways a community can strive for, and achieve, zero-waste status.

Scientist-turned-activist Paul Connett, a leading international figure in decades-long battles to fight pollution, has championed efforts to curtail overconsumption and keep industrial toxins out of our air and drinking water and bodies. But he’s best known around the world for leading efforts to help communities deal with their waste in sustainable ways—in other words, to eliminate and reuse waste rather than burn it or stow it away in landfills.

In The Zero Waste Solution, Connett profiles the most successful zero-waste initiatives around the world, showing activists, planners, and entrepreneurs how to re-envision their community’s waste-handling process—by consuming less, turning organic waste into compost, recycling, reusing other waste,  demanding nonwasteful product design, and creating jobs and bringing community members together in the process. The book also exposes the greenwashing behind renewed efforts to promote waste incinerators as safe, nontoxic energy suppliers, and gives detailed information on how communities can battle incineration projects that, even at their best, emit dangerous particles into the atmosphere, many of which remain unregulated or poorly regulated.

An important toolkit for anyone interested in creating sustainable communities, generating secure local jobs, and keeping toxic alternatives at bay.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Zero Waste Solution

Paul Connett, Jeremy Irons

Paperback $24.95