Investing in Sustainability & Social Responsibility

A recent TED Talk that caught our attention includes Chris McKnett making a solid case for investing in sustainability.  In fact, several TED related talks focus on this topic and do an exceptional job demonstrating the benefits of this long-term strategy.

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In McKnett’s talk, he highlights three additional components to sustainable investing that add to the commonly accepted and used financial indicators. He prefaces the discussion effectively disputing many of the common objections we hear.  He argues sustainability and sustainable investing is “less complicated than you think, has better performance than you can believe and is more important than we can imagine.”


  • Environmental – Energy consumption, water availability, waste, etc.
  • Social – Human capital, labor and human rights, etc.
  • Governmental – Oversight of companies by investors (corporate governance)

As we often do when discussing sustainability and social responsibility audits, we focus on the benefits that are difficult to dispute:

  • Financial outperformance (no tradeoffs) – “Environmental leadership is compatible with good returns”
  • Improves and supports innovation.
  • Supports a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • Improves quality and supports continuous improvement.
  • Contributes to long-term, future success. 80% of Global CEOs surveyed agree.

We have written several articles related to sustainability and social responsibility auditing as a third-party provider.  Two of the most applicable articles include the following:

Sustainability Audits: An Evolving Process

Social Accountability Audits: Benefits & Features 

Pro QC’s related supplier audits incorporate the following:

Social Responsibility – These evaluations focus on health and safety, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation, management practices, forced labor, freedom of association and child labor laws.

Sustainability – Although we have offered ISO14000 (environmental) and SA8000 (social responsibility) audits for a number of years, many organizations are now requiring audits that combine elements of both of these standards along with additional elements covering energy usage, renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, materials and waste reduction, life cycle management, supplier’s supply chain activities and more.

The CSR Minute by 3BL Media is also a useful resource to quickly stay up-to-date regarding global organizations and their efforts towards sustainability and social responsibility.

Contact us to review and/or discuss example sustainability/environmental (ISO 14000) and social responsibility (ISO 26000 & SA8000) audits.  

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