What is the issue?
The organisation believes that existing ways to assess the sustainability of a company are flawed, because they focus on relative improvement rather than absolute progress towards a required state. A new approach is needed which identifies the true breakeven point for social and environmental performance – the minimum thresholds a company must reach if it and society are to flourish in the long term. To enable this, the organisation has created the Future-Fit Business Benchmark: an open-source, systems-science based set of 21 Future-Fit Goals and corresponding Key Fitness Indicators which together give a credible, concise and complete picture of a company’s journey towards being truly sustainable.
What will the project try to achieve?
The Future-Fit Foundation (whose legal name is the 3D Investment Foundation) is seeking to foster widespread implementation of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark through three key approaches.
1) Corporate implementation: a number of early adopter companies have already embraced the benchmark as a management tool to help integrate sustainability throughout the whole business. The organisation now needs to communicate the benefits of the benchmark as widely as possible, so it starts to be seen as the corporate framework with which to pursue full sustainability. The organisation will create a Development Council of supportive early adopter companies to offer invaluable insight to help evolve the tool to be as useful and usable as possible across any industry.
2) Investor implementation: the initial reaction from investors, particularly pension funds, has been overwhelmingly positive as they are seeking consistent, meaningful extra-financial data to inform better long-term decisions. The organisation will grow investor engagement through the creation of an Investor Coalition of asset managers and owners to offer insight as to how they will use Future-Fit data and provide additional pressure on companies to report. The organisation is developing a project with a leading ESG data provider and a large Scandinavian pension fund to explore how proxy Future-Fit scores could be derived from current ESG data and thus how the Future-Fitness of any portfolio can be approximated and integrated into investment decisions.
3) Service provider implementation: sustainability advisers and service providers, see Future-Fit as a much needed definition of our collective destination which other organisations can help reach. The organisation now needs to develop an accreditation process for service providers to ensure quality and consistency of Future-Fit services. The organisation also plans to start developing an assurance process for the Future-Fit methodology.
Who might be interested in this project?
The project should be of interest to:
- Companies which wish to improve their sustainability, reducing their negative impact and increasing their positive impact on society and the planet;
- Investors which wish to improve the overall impact of their portfolio and invest in the most sustainable companies;
- Sustainability consultants and advisors which wish to help others make progress towards a truly sustainable future;
- Academics, foundations and NGOs which wish to use their expertise to further improve the benchmark methodology or use it in their own work.
Please note that this project was funded under our broader Right Use of Money theme rather than as a Resilient Economies project.