Corporate Environmental Metrics
The Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy brought thirty experts to New Haven on December 9th and 10th to participate in a ‘Corporate Environmental Metrics Workshop.' The goal of the workshop was to examine how a data-driven approach can be brought to corporate environmental management - first by understanding the state-of-the-art and then by thinking of best ways forward.
The lively discussion featured numerous insights and suggestions, and raised many important issues for the field of corporate environmental performance management. While the varied group often debated without reaching consensus, participants were generally critical of the current landscape of corporate environmental performance data. Companies, they maintained, do not collect enough data to create a clear picture of their environmental performance. And, even where they do, data suffers from methodological inconsistency that makes comparison difficult. The experts recommended focusing on consumers and investors as points of leverage to spur changes in corporate management. Looking to the future, they advised two plans of action. First, to identify the environmental issues that resonate most with consumers and investors. Second, to bolster corporate environmental performance measurement through an improvement in data collection standards and methodologies. The Center is grateful for the input it received in guiding its future research agenda.