What would the report of a sustainable development consultancy look like ?
It should present the daily activities of a team of consultants, their issues and challenges. We operate into three business segments: strategic and operational consulting, training and reporting. We invite you to immerse yourself in a typical working week at CAP conseil.
If the shape surprises you, however, this report is built according to a rigorous methodology. The indicators are chosen to reflect the realities of CAP and in response to the expectations of our stakeholders. CAP began to measure its impact on the organizations it works with, and thus its added value for the Society. Quite a challenge !
So what is our societal added-value ? What is a good consultant ?
We tried to answer these questions by asking our stakeholders on our strategy, vision and expectations. Their answers focus on the quality of our advice, our “value for money”, our consistency, which pushes us to choose their satisfactions and disappointments …
This report is deliberately short and illustrated. It also communicates the progress of our ten commitments as a signatory of the UN Global Compact. It is further explained on our website. It invites to reflect, and to react. What does it bring to your mind ?
In nearly 10 years, our business has been reflected in more than 20 countries. Just in 2011, we have worked for the academic, food, insurance, banking, construction, chemicals, diamonds, distribution, energy, ICT, transport sectors !
Today, we are facing new challenges: put sustainable development higher in the agenda of leaders, beyond speech, bring the Human Rights at the heart of business practices and raise questions about this economic framework that hammers the Society as a whole. We want to do it with clients who dare to commit themselves sincerely at the level of their challenges, gradually but without naivety.
Sustainable development is not a sideline, it is our raison d’être. Our simple existence shows that the demand for advice and knowledge is there, and we commit ourselves to respond to it in the most professional and efficient manner.
Marie d’Huart, Serge De Backer
This matrix is a crossing of the internal and external perceptions of CAP’s stakes. It puts in perspective the list of attention points considered as essential for CAP. We built this matrix using the seven core issues of ISO 26000 and other key topics identified internally. CAP’s quotations were fixed using the GRI methodological guide. The ranking by our customers results from the satisfaction survey conducted with our clients of 2011.
What does it tell ? That training and knowledge as well as sustainable trends are the topics of highest importance both for CAP and its stakeholders: a consultant and teacher must be highly knowledgeable to be credible! The issue of fair operating practices is also an important issue. Surprisingly, CAP seems more concerned with its impact than its clients! These points of attention have fed this report and our program for 2012.
Here are some indicators provided in our report :
For the details of the calculation, press here!
Themes asked for CAP’s report
What lies behind “Everything you always wanted to know about CAP?” We asked our clients and partners what they wanted us to adress in our 2011 report. Surprisingly enough, they ask us to explain CAP’s social commitment, what we think the next sustainable trends are and CAP’s operating practices. We thought they wanted to know our efforts to be an efficient consultant! We paid attention in answering all these subjects in this first report.
Why do clients choose CAP ?
We are very pleased by the answers to this key question: we are selected for our qualifications and expertise, experience and good references. Our seniority in the field of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility is an advantage. We are not really chosen for a punctual help, nor to improve the client‘s image – we are not manipulated, – nor for the price.
Who works with CAP ?
The distribution of our clients remains constant over the past few years, which is encouraging. We manage to convince about 50% of new clients every year while the previous ones still trust us and come back for more!
Clients distribution by sector:
We work with all types of sectors. The private sector is more present in our activity but public authorities are also an important player, either to work on themselves, or as part of their public policy to encourage sustainability in the Society.
Distribution of our activities:
We spend half of our time delivering strategic advice. We provide training 40 % of our time, either in-house or in universities (UCL, Vlerick, ICHEC, ULB, Paris XII, ULg…). Reporting is a smaller share of our work and our ambition is to make it more strategic through expert GRI implementation and check!
Are clients satisfied ?
The overall (satisfied + very satisfied) satisfaction of our customers is 96%. Our best assets are dialogue, flexibility in project management and quality of the outcome. Rigor and understanding of expectations follow closely.
What do clients think about CAP ?
We tried to know to what CAP and its services were associated once our mission ends: is there value for money? Here is what our customers and partners think about us! We score the highest in consistency between the values promoted and those applied internally, and dissemination of our knowledge. Then comes the openness, our ability to revisit and improve our own work. These results are consistent with our desire to do innovative work and be responsive to customer needs and societal challenges. They delight us !
What is CAP’s impact ?
We seem good at raising employee awareness, generating a more systematic integration of sustainable development into the daily practices and improving the image of the organization (even if this is not our first aim). CAP also enables a good prioritization of sustainable development issues and improves existing internal tools. In 2011, most cases where CAP had no or little impact are linked to a restructuring in the company or a persistent difficulty by some managers to see a link between sustainable development and their “business strategy”. None of our clients thinks that our services have influenced its turnover. Which re-opens the debate of the return on investment…
Does CAP help sustainable development progress?
96% of our customers and partners think that our mission of inducing social responsibility inside organisations is met. 4% of customers still consider we don’t … we still need to identify what the remaining 4% mean.
Something disappointing in the service provided by CAP ?
We strive to meet the expectations of our customers and partners. Our wish is also to help them move onto emerging and strategic fields. Still, part of our service disappoints 8% of them, we can still do better! We will strive to put words and reasons behind this score to improve the overall quality of our services.
CAP’s causes of concern : sustainability trends
We asked our clients of 2011 how the topic of sustainable development and social responsibility had evolved in their organization between 2008 and 2011. We asked four questions and their answers are instructive in many ways: even if the pressure from internal and external stakeholders is increasing (55% and 65% respectively), the top managements do not raise sustainable development in their agenda. They even sometimes lower its importance (10%)! Too many directors and CEO’s still do not link social responsibility as a strategic element of their organization. As a result, the level of their reporting is not very qualitative, considered in two thirds of cases as less accurate and complete than in 2008. Daily contacts with CSR managers confirm this poll. They feel a sort of “solitude” in the organisation. Mainstreaming and material reporting are two sensitive issues on which CAP will work in the future, with 2 essential tools that we master : ISO 26000 (strategy) and GRI (reporting).
CAP has measured, for the first time, its carbon footprint. It meets the scope 2 of the method developed by ADEME (France) Bilan Carbone©. Result: Transport (essentially plane) is our largest post of emissions. It reflects our willingness to perform good work, rich face-to-face exchange led directly on the field. The rest of our emissions is due to the use of the offices in the building that we rent. Water and paper consumption are difficult to measure and have been excluded from the computation: they are insignificant given the small size of CAP. Simple eco-friendly habits ensure a very moderate consumption (eg: about 5 to 10 sheets are printed/day/person).
More detail …
The indicators provided in this report have been calculated using two analyses, one conducted in-house and the other, larger, involving our stakeholders. These steps are outlined in our report. We chose to give some more details to attest the veracity of the information provided. So you can check them out for yourself!
- We organised a team analysis to reflect on our business and activities and identify where our main social responsibility lies. This was carried out with the ISO 26000 gridwe use for our customers. It is based on our own analysis, that we want as objective and exhaustive as possible. It is the first step of our study, which also allowed the construction of our materiality matrix.
The Bilan Carbone © (carbon footprint – version 6.1) of CAP was also made at this step.
- A strategic consultation of our external stakeholders in January 2011 has enriched our “in-house feelings”. We were able to take the full measure of their expectations about us on the basis of two recurring questions inside CAP: what is a good consultant? Should we grow?The humoristic text “the fantasy of a good consultant” is derived from the results of this consultation.
- The third step was to collect information directly from our 44 customers and partners in 2011 to know their level of satisfaction, cross-check the results of our internal ISO 26000 matrix, and attempt to measure the impact of our work on their social responsibility. The majority of our indicators is drawn from this survey in 10 questions.