In the business world, a variety of options exist for measuring efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). These monitors, indices, benchmarks and rankings have arisen because companies want to profile themselves with specific and distinctive indicators. In addition, NGOs use benchmarks shine a light on – and eliminate – undesirable situations. The government is also working on a benchmark in the area of transparency.
The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) is a government agency that carries out strategic policy analyses on the environment, nature and space. Insight into CSR in the Dutch business community falls under their purview. In particular, the PBL would like to know how activities in this area can be linked to current themes such as energy saving, sustainable water use, the circularity of raw materials, the sustainable use of natural capital and the preservation of biodiversity. PBL therefore asked Sustainalize to map the Dutch monitoring landscape in the field of CSR.
We used PBL’s input to create an overview of the various monitoring initiatives. In doing so, we looked at which CSR aspects were covered with which initiative for each business sector.
Sustainalize investigated where monitoring initiatives in the field of CSR overlap, where they complement each other, and where monitoring is still lacking. We then presented our findings in a research report, which served as input for PBL’s ‘Mandatory Transparency’ study. It demonstrated that the implementation of the European reporting obligations for companies in the field of sustainability must be tightened up – the recent Dutch adjustment of this interpretation is not enough. PBL can now use this overview of the monitoring landscape to draw up recommendations for the evaluation of the Dutch transparency policy and its progress. PBL can also provide the government with concrete points for improvement.