Ok, I know that I'm biased when it comes to how organizations can leverage technology to provide visibility into their CSR initiatives; after all, I work for a software company that actually provides this type of technology. But my bias is for good reason. It works.
The practice of claiming environmental responsibility without having metrics or processes to back it up certainly leaves a sour taste in the mouth of the eco-conscious consumer. Even if an organization is truly engaged and mindful of their environmental stewardship, the public is now wary and weary of corporate claims that don't hold...um, water.
And the general appetite for responsible companies and governments when it comes to environmental protection is growing. Look at the recent survey of American attitudes created for Yale and George Mason University. It indicated that 3 out of 4 voters favor regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant and a majority of those polled felt that global warming should be a priority for the President and Congress. Scientific American recently ran a story on the study, if you're interested in reading more.
The only way you can really ensure your message of environmental stewardship is believed is by having the data to back it up. Many people will say that capturing that information is easier said than done. While I would never say it's easy, a change in how an organization does things never is, but I will say it may be easier than you think.
The availability of tools like our Environmental Sustainability Metrics application, is enabling a whole new level of visibility into how organizations are performing against their sustainability targets. Visibility that can provide reassurance to skeptical customers and other interested stakeholders like employees and investors. These tools don't just chart and graph existing data, they require tracking tasks to be completed, forms to be filled in and go as far as to raise red flags when activities run overdue. Performance tracking and trending is clearly visible from graphical performance dashboards.
So yes, I am 100% biased on the subject, but I am one of those people who feels skeptical about green claims and I love reading corporate success stories that can be backed up by metrics. Don't you?