Responsible 100: Corporate Responsibility Management Tool

Responsible 100 is a corporate responsibility management tool that enables any business or organisation to improve its responsibility performance – for its own benefit and for the benefit of society. It is also a community seeking to foment a ‘race to the top’ in business – where doing good translates to greater profitability.

Responsible 100 began in 2012 although the concept dates back to 2002 and the realisation that – to be truly credible – businesses couldn’t expect to ‘cherry pick’ the responsibility issues that they wished to be held accountable on while ignoring the rest. From charitable giving to animal testing to modern slavery to diversity in the workplace, executive pay, lobbying government, and paying tax – all issues which impact business and wider society matter. The Responsible 100 corporate responsibility management tool has 

Any business can use the Responsible 100 corporate responsibility management tool to assess their performance through instant assessments, full assessments and roundtables. Organisations are assessed on up to 57 separate responsibility issues across 8 broad categories, i.e. Community, Environment, Ethical Choices, Finance & Governance, Human Rights, Marketplace Ethics, Technology, and Workforce. On each issue, performance is measured as POOR, OKAY, GOOD or EXCELLENT. Results are converted into a score out of 100 for businesses keen to keen to benchmark performance across a range of issues.  

Responsible 100 businesses must commit to continuous improvement. But this is not to say that all issues affecting a business needs to be addressed all at once. It’s recognised that changing attitudes within corporates and industry is a long term game that will require tenacity, pragmatism, and a lot of optimism – and help! The aim is not to criticise corporates but to work alongside business to develop sustainable business practices.

Roughly once a month, Responsible 100 quietly but effectively brings convenes its network by bringing together micro businesses, SMEs and some of the world’s largest corporations with leading campaign groups, NGOs, trade bodies, government and regulators in roundtable peer review meetings.

These ‘critical friend’ sessions are a great way for businesses and their most important stakeholders to explore how effectively performance is being progressed, sharing challenges, learning and practical know-how, in a safe space. They bring together a diverse group of individuals for frank, constructive dialogue.

One participating critical friend, the Head of Engagement and Responsible Business at one of the UK’s leading brands, describes the roundtables “not about talking through the theory – but learning about what works in today’s context, and readying organisations for future scenarios, working with people who are passionate about making a positive difference.”

The roundtables provide the opportunity for the definitions of POOR, OKAY, GOOD and EXCELLENT within the scorecards to be reviewed. Businesses and other organisations submit written accounts of the policies and practices they pursue on the issue under examination. With this, they can be appraised by their critical friends, and assessed against the scorecard. It is an unique process which enables organisations to work out how they currently perform, how they compare to their peers, what better and best practices look like, and if and how to adopt them.

To date, Responsible 100 has convened 56 roundtable peer review meetings. It has brought together 727 critical friends from 561 different organisations including the world’s biggest brands and corporations, and foremost NGOs and campaign groups.

Responsible 100 is delivered by Profit Through Ethics Ltd, the London based social business that devised and developed the concept and platform.

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Michael Solomon is the founder and director of Profit Through Ethics Ltd, the London based social bu...

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