News

Webinar on EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive

Bernd Kasemir to present to GRI GOLD Community on EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive


As requirements on "non-financial reporting" are currently being rolled out across the EU's member states, many companies ask what this means for them. Even more than direct reporting mandates for thousands of companies, indirect disclosure pressure on their suppliers will disrupt the reporting landscape. As one of the major frameworks able to help companies respond, GRI is engaged in informing market participants what this means for them.

Sustainserv managing partner Bernd Kasemir has been asked to present at their GRI GOLD community webinar on the requirements for companies under the EU directive this Friday, April 22, 3pm CET. Join us to get to know what this will mean for you.

If you are not able to participate, please feel free to check in with us directly to share expectations on opportunities and challenges of the upcoming requirements.

First GRI-Report in Liechtenstein

With the support of Sustainserv, the LLB Group published the first corporate report in Liechtenstein that consistently implements the latest GRI G4 guidelines. LLB - the Liechtensteinische Landesbank - applied the standards of the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for the sustainability reporting included in its Annual Report 2015 – the 154. annual report published by the company.

LLB is the longest established financial institute in the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Principality of Liechtenstein holds the majority of the company's share capital. The LLB's shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The LLB Group offers its clients comprehensive wealth management services, as a universal bank, in private banking, asset management and fund services. With 816 employees, the LLB is represented in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, and the United Arab Emirates.

Press release

LLB Annual Report

ISO14001 and Corporate Sustainability Programs

spiral branchThe recently released ISO14001:2015 guidelines for environmental management systems include several key changes that bring the world of certified environmental management systems more in line with robust, state-of-the-art corporate sustainability programs.

ISO14001 has long been the gold-standard for environmental management systems. Based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act philosophy, as well as the comprehensive documentation of standard operating procedures, many corporations have used ISO14001-baed systems as the foundation of their approach to environmental management.

Recent changes to the ISO14001 framework has introduced and/or increased the importance of a number of issues that have long been cornerstones of the corporate sustainability world. The first of these is the concept of “materiality”. This term, long used in financial reporting, has become an important concept in corporate sustainability. By encouraging companies to focus on those topics that are material to them and their stakeholders (as determined by a sound and well-executed materiality process), corporations can focus their limited resources on the most important issues, and confidently defer others. In the new ISO14001:2015 guidelines, materiality is a more central concept, figuring into the determination of the context of the organization, the needs and expectations of stakeholders, and the boundaries that the organization must consider.

Life-cycle thinking is another issue that is important in the ISO14001:2015 guidelines. By encouraging companies to consider the impacts that a product or service may have over its full life cycle, enables companies to identify potential risks to the environment, that they may ultimately be held accountable for. Companies seeking ISO14001:2015 certification are now required to demonstrate and document that they have “identified the environmental aspects and associated impacts of its activities that it can control and those that it can influence, considering a life cycle perspective”.

Lastly, the new guidelines are taking a more robust perspective on the topic of stakeholder engagement. By rigorously identifying those internal or external stakeholders who can influence or who are influenced by the activities of an organization, then environmental impacts can be more effectively anticipated and managed.
Each of these topics are ones that have been central elements of good corporate sustainability planning and action for a number of years. Therefore, by more closely aligning the internal management processes between the sustainability and EHS functions, greater efficiency and oversight of the environmental management of an organization can be realized.

Sustainserv Tapped to Develop National Green Campus Initiative in Kuwait

Sustainserv Inc. was retained by a consortium of universities and national agencies in the State of Kuwait, to lead the development of a national network of colleges and universities focused on planning, constructing and operating sustainable campus infrastructures.

kuwaitcity

Using the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN, a Sustainserv managed organization) as the model, the National Green Campus Initiative in Kuwait will draw upon best practices from leading academic institutions from around the world. Topics to be focused on include energy and water efficiency, environmentally friendly and healthy design, engaging students and faculty, and the integration of sustainability into the research and educational mission of the institutions. The program will be led by Sustainserv Managing Partners Matthew Gardner and Bernd Kasemir.

“Kuwait is a great place to introduce these topics into the mission of higher education” stated Gardner. “They face particular challenges in terms of energy and water utilization, and are well positioned to share their experiences and know-how with the world.”

The program will commence with a two-day workshop in Kuwait City in late January 2016. Following that, a series of pilot projects will be designed with the participation of faculty and students from the Kuwaiti Universities. The initial phase of the program will culminate in a leadership training program to be held in late 2016.

Bernd Kasemir adds “The members of the ISCN have provided many great examples of sustainable campus practices from some of the world’s leading universities. We will be leveraging that experience for this project, and look forward to what the Kuwaiti institutions will certainly contribute to that body of knowledge.

About Sustainserv

Sustainserv Inc., is a fourteen-year old sustainability consultancy based in Boston, MA and Zurich Switzerland, focused on helping companies integrate sustainability focused thinking into their strategies, operations and communications. In addition to its corporate work, Sustainserv is frequently called upon to help lead large multi-stakeholder projects at the intersection of sustainable development, planning, mobility and energy. The three founders are regular speakers at conferences and trade shows, training courses and other forums on sustainability related subjects. In the past few years, the Sustainserv team has worked in across Europe and the US, and in Japan, China, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, Singapore, and Canada.