Valuing Corporate Responsibility

Rory Sullivan’s new book about corporate responsibility reporting is worth a read. I have to say that the stuff I like best in it is where he is honest about the limitations of responsible investment, because few people are willing to say this stuff publicly…(more)

Tom Powdrill , Labour and Capital

Rory Sullivan is one of the world’s foremost experts on corporate responsibility. His newest book Valuing Corporate Responsibility aims to address the ‘dialogue of the deaf’ that characterises too many of the discussions between companies and their investors on corporate responsibility issues, through:

Explaining to companies what responsible investment looks like in practice and, from this analysis, explaining what sort of corporate responsibility information investors are interested in and how this information is used in practice.

Explaining to investors some of the practical difficulties faced by companies when preparing corporate responsibility reports and the implications for the quality and utility of the data provided in these reports:

This book exposes the chasm in understanding that currently separates companies and investors on the critical issue of corporate responsibility. It explains why a dialogue of the deaf has continued for so long, and also provides wise guidance based on practical experience on how to bridge the divide. Importantly, it also points the way to a new relationship between company management and their shareholders based not on better corporate reporting but on actual improvements in social and environmental performance.

Nick Robins, Head, HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence

Valuing Corporate Responsibility takes a brave look at the realities of corporate responsibility in the face of a “relative lack of investor interest in corporate responsibility performance (as opposed to information on social or environmental issues that have financially significant implications for the business)” and analyses how issues such as investors’ views on materiality and investment time-frames influence the dialogue that investors have with companies on corporate responsibility matters.

Most corporate responsibility professionals approach the task of reporting in much the same way as spending Christmas with the in-laws: they grit their teeth at the prospect, try to keep from screaming during the event, and pray they don’t have to repeat it once it’s all over. Social and environmental reporting is time-consuming, labour-intensive and expensive. So what’s the value?..(more)

Oliver Balch, Ethical Corporation

The book concludes that there is a need for a major rethink of current approaches to responsible investment, as the manner in which most investors are implementing their responsible investment commitments is unlikely to see them making a substantial contribution to improving corporate responsibility performance or to the wider goals of sustainable development.

Rory Sullivan is one of most provocative thinkers in responsible investment. This book is a timely “reality check” for the responsible investment and corporate responsibility movements, and challenges companies and investors to look afresh at their respective efforts in these areas, and how they are conducted and communicated.

Dr James Gifford, Executive Director, Principles for Responsible Investment

Valuing Corporate Responsibility is of relevance not only to companies and to responsible investment professionals but to all those interested in really understanding how companies and their investors relate to each other and the implications of this relationship for sustainable development.

As such, it is a concise and noteworthy contribution to what is often a complex and polarized debate…(more).

Colleen M. Fletcher, CSR Europe

Chloe Parker
Greenleaf Publishing


Valuing Corporate Responsibility is one of the most important books to be written on corporate responsibility over the past decade. Limited offer: Order direct from Greenleaf and get 30% discount. Use voucher code vcrjun11 at checkout. Offer ends 30 June 2011.


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