It is widely accepted that sustainability has an inescapable social component, but companies find it very hard to understand and measure their social impacts. Why is this? This book, by noted CSR practitioner, consultant and educator Adrian Henriques, provides the first coherent approach to identifying, understanding, measuring and accounting for corporate social impact. Beginning with an analysis of the nature of corporate social impact and the role of the stakeholder, the complex relationship of social impact to economic and environmental impacts is explored. This naturally leads to an examination of the contribution which social impact makes to business practice, profitability and ultimately to global sustainability. The second part of the book assesses the theory and practise of some of the critical measures of social impact which have been developed to date. This includes Social Return on Investment (SROI), local economic impact (LM3) and social capital as well as more established techniques. . It also explores new approaches such as 'social footprinting'. This is rounded out by presentation of a social accounting framework and how this can operate in parallel to standard financial accounting procedures. This volume provides a clear, digestible and practical roadmap for companies wishing to take responsibility for their role in society and improve their internal and external performance.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Social Purpose of Companies 3. Complicity and the Sexual Exploitation of Children - a case study 4. Sustainability's Social Side 5. Thinking like a Stakeholder 6. The Voice of the Stakeholder 7. Sociological Impacts 8. Signs of Impact 9. Reporting Social Impact 10. Measuring Economic Impact 11. Investing in Impact 12. Social Footprint 13. Accounting for Social Impact 14. The Elusiveness of the Social Revisited Appendix I - Market Research Appendix II - Analysis of GRI Social Indicators Appendix III - SROI Case Study Bibliography
Adrian Henriques is an independent adviser, writer, researcher, teacher and campaigner on corporate responsibility, social accountability and sustainability. He is professor of Accountability and Corporate Social Responsibility at Middlesex University, and the author of Corporate Truth: The Limits to Transparency (Earthscan, 2007).
'Adrian Henriques has done it again ... Clear and well-written, the text will stimulate and challenge practitioners, students, policy-makers and academics.' Professor R.H. Gray, Director of The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, School of Management, The Gateway University of St Andrews 'There may be a temptation to blame the corporate sector for many of the world's problems, but ultimately it's a split of responsibility between the life style choices of individual consumers, the state and the corporation. To address this subject Adrian Henriques reviews an array of methods to try and measure the social outcome of individual companies in an attempt to answer the frequently asked question 'What's a company for?'' Dr Chris Tuppen, BT Director of Sustainable Development 'In developing policy and standards for business activity, social impact has long been the disadvantaged sibling of environmental and economic impacts of companies. Henriques goes a long way toward rectifying this disparity by providing rich and varied perspectives on the definition, measurement and assessment of the social footprint of commercial activity Along the way, he takes us well beyond the boundaries of conventional CSR, raises fundamental questions about the purpose of the corporation, and challenges both companies and stakeholders to rethink their interdependency in new and provocative ways.' Allen L. White, Co-Founder, Global Reporting Initiative; Senior Fellow, Tellus Institute 'Adrian Henriques has done it again. He has taken a refreshingly novel angle on an important issue in need of urgent attention. This much-needed attempt to move on from much of the staleness in the CSR debate is broad and wide-ranging. Clear and well-written, the text will stimulate and challenge practitioners, students, policy-makers and academics. My guess is that my personal reaction of positive response and outraged disagreement in roughly equal measure will be a fairly common one: in this regard it succeeds masterfully in advancing this debate in a challenging manner.' Professor R.H. Gray, Director of The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, School of Management, The Gateway University of St Andrews 'As we cannot stretch the surface of the planet, we cannot extend time. Space and time are the ultimate physical ingredients to anything we do. Measuring, therefore, our time footprint (or social footprint) becomes a key ingredient for any sustainability assessment, and I am thrilled that Adrian Henriques is exploring the time dimension as a metric for social impact.' Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network President