Corporate Impact: Measuring and Managing Your Social Footprint

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Earthscan, 2010 - Business & Economics - 216 pages
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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 wide-ranging. 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

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

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, Director of Sustainable Development, BT

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, and Senior Fellow, Tellus Institute

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 towards 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 between social, economic and environmental impacts is explored. This naturally leads to an examination of the contribution social impact makes to business practice and profitability, and ultimately to global sustainability.

The second part of the book assesses the theory and practice of some of the critical measures of social impact that have been developed to date. This includes social return on investment, local economic impact 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 with 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.

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About the author (2010)

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).

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