Report Report: Why small businesses care big about climate

Report Report: Why small businesses care big about climate

Legrand's building performance mechanisms

The Report Report brings you highlights from recent reports that are worth a look. Too often, reports from business groups and analysts gather dust on desks, or virtual dust in email inboxes. That's a lot of wisdom left untapped. Watch for more of our roundups of reports in the months to come, and share your own reports by emailing us here.

A Guide to the Building Performance Landscape

Source: Legrand

What it says: This 15-page white paper is the second in Legrand’s series on high-performance buildings. It evaluates building performance mechanisms from the AIA 20130 Commitment to Energy Star to the Whole Building Design Guide (logos in image above). It then breaks down those mechanisms into five major types, such as building energy disclosure and building design guidance. The report also looks at three key trends, the first being, “Change is constant and performance trends upward.” As a case study, Legrand highlights Washington, D.C., which requires large commercial buildings to be LEED-certified.

What we say: “All parties to the building industry will need to refine their tools and systems to fulfill the potential for high-performance building,” the report concludes. Climate change, the rise of urbanization and the need for resilient energy alone justify the half-hour you might spend absorbing this thoughtful overview.

Access: Download here.

ASBC report on small businesses and climate change

Small Business Owners’ Views on Climate & Energy Policy Reform

Source: American Sustainable Business Council

What it says: In 20 pages, the ASBC presents the results of a telephone survey of 555 small-business owners with less than 100 employees. Perhaps bucking conventional wisdom, an overwhelming majority of them report caring about climate change — and 20 percent say it already has hurt them. The high costs of energy and healthcare, as well as potential impacts to work from weather disruptions, are among their top concerns. You’ll find predictable gaps in concern based upon political affiliation.

What we say: The diverse landscape of small businesses is notoriously hard to pin down. But with clean language and charts, this is good evidence that climate change is no small concern for most independent businesses. It’s worth noting that most survey respondents are at very small companies, with only 14 percent counting more than 20 employees. The bigger the business, the greater the concern appears to be over climate-related disruptions.

Access: Download here.

EY "Let's Talk" report coverLet’s talk: Governance: First-year conflict mineral reporting reveals insights and surprises

Source: EY

What it says: Some 1,300 companies recently obeyed a new Dodd-Frank Act requirement by telling the SEC about their potential use of conflict minerals from conflict zones in or near the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the SEC had anticipated 6,000 companies to report, and most who reported said they didn’t have enough information to draw a complete picture of the origins of their tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold.

What we say: This 12-page status report is a good snapshot of the state of conflict mineral reporting. Sectors affected, response rate, details on disclosures and the job title of whoever signed off on Form SD are all here. Whether it’s due to a lack of cooperation among suppliers or the general difficulty of tracing elements in complex supply chains, it’s no small task to comply with Dodd-Frank. If you’re among the companies affected, the charts and summary here prove that you’re not alone.

Access: Download here.

The Path to Product Sustainability

Source: Pure Strategies

What it says: Pure Strategies interviewed 100 consumer product companies and provides examples from some, including Aveda, Coca-Cola, Timberland and Seagate. The consulting firm wanted to find out what makes product sustainability work or flop.

What we say: This 20-pager reveals useful insights from the telephone conversations. For example, respondents named Walmart, Target and Costco as the top three retailers driving product sustainability. But did you expect Nordstrom at No. 4? Cost savings, employee engagement and brand enhancement are among the biggest business benefits named. There’s more about strategies and tools to boost sustainability efforts — and none of the subjects anticipates its budget being cut in the next year.

Access: Access here.