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How to: Track CSR and Sustainability: Company Info

Key Journals

Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum
Duke's environmental forum presents scholarship related to both the legal and policy analyses of environmental issues.

Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Online journal that combines top sustainable energy stories with a blog as well audio and video interviews.

Stanford Social Innovation Review
Stanford's Center for Social Innovation publishes strategies, tools, and ideas for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses. 

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP)
Peer-reviewed, open-access journal that facilitates communication among scientists, practitioners, and policy makers working towards sustainable solutions.

Company News

Learn specific details about recent events affecting the company and the industry.  Perhaps they recently hired new top executives or they were affected by industry or market changes.

What's the company's record on sustainability?

Apart from searching news sources for information on a company, also check out ESG Manager (formerly Global Socrates), a database specifically made for investors interested in a company's record on sustainablity.

ESG Manager tracks and reports on the enviromental, social, and governance activities of approximately 4,000 publicly traded companies. Activities are ranked as either a strength or concern.

Type of Company

What type of social enterprise are you looking to join?

Social Business: is a cause driven business according to Muhammad Yunus of the Yunus Centre (Yunus Centre: Social Business).  "In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point...Sustainability of the company indicates that it is running as a business. The objective of the company is to achieve social goal/s."

L3C: According to the Non-Profit Law Blog, "the low-profit, limited liability company, or L3C, is a hybrid of a nonprofit and for-profit organization. More specifically, it is a new type of limited liability company (LLC) designed to attract private investments and philanthropic capital in ventures designed to provide a social benefit. Unlike a standard LLC, the L3C has an explicit primary charitable mission and only a secondary profit concern. But unlike a charity, the L3C is free to distribute the profits, after taxes, to owners or investors."

Social Finance: a movement based on the belief that financial innovation can be used directly to help society’s neediest people. (The Economist, Financial Innovation and the Poor, Sept. 25, 2009.)

B Corporation: A term coined by B Lab, “Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are unlike traditional businesses because they meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards, meet higher legal accountability standard and build business constituency for good business.” (B Lab: B Corps.)

Flexible Purpose Corporations:  A bill, S.B. 1463, is currently being brought before the California legislature that would introduce a new entity: the Flexible Purpose Corporation (FPC). Traditional corporations are obligated to put profitability above all else. The FPC allows corporations more leeway in pursuing “special purposes” or social and environmental missions. To learn more about FPCs, go here.

Top Companies

The 2009 Inc. 500: The Top Green Companies

Newsweek's environmental ranking of America's 500 largest corporations

Innovest Strategic Value Advisors' 2009 list of the most sustainable large corporations in the world.

Eco-Labels Center

Use Consumer Reports Product Center to search by label or product categories to find out what the labels on your favorite products really mean.