Our Top Sustainability Insights of 2019

iStockphoto / phive2015

December 17, 2019
  • Maria Bennici portrait

    Maria Bennici

    Associate, Marketing and Communications, BSR

  • Aimee Louise Bataclan

    Former Manager, Communications and Marketing, BSR

As 2019 comes to a close, we are taking a moment to look back at the news and initiatives that shaped the year. The most popular blog posts and reports BSR published this year show reader interest in a variety of topics, from collaboration to climate change, that are sure to impact sustainability strategies for the decade to come.

Some common themes we saw across our most read content of the year were:

  • Understanding the business landscape: We kicked off the year sharing our take on BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s annual letter and its emphasis on ‘purpose’ and came full circle in November, publishing our President and CEO Aron Cramer’s first annual letter on the New Climate for Business, which presents an agenda for business leaders to take on in the decisive decade to come.
  • Seeking a clearer picture of the future: The popularity of future-oriented content, from our report analyzing how the ‘future of work’ will affect gender disparities to a blog post on developing a 2030 strategy, demonstrates that our readers are thinking ahead.
  • Staying on top of trends: Much of our top 2019 content looks at the latest trends—in sustainability reporting, stakeholder engagement, supply chain visibility, and private equity to name a few.

What insights will be the most valuable to take from 2019 and bring into 2020? See the list below of our most read publications from the past year and decide for yourself.

Most Read BSR Blog Posts of 2019

  1. The New Climate for Business: In his first annual letter, BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer addresses the new climate for business and presented the urgency agenda for the 2020s—the decisive decade, now only days away.
  2. Global Tech Companies, Partners Identify Tools to Fight Human Trafficking: This article provides a progress report on the Tech Against Trafficking initiative and their ambitious project to understand and map the landscape of existing tech tools being used in the anti-trafficking sector.
  3. Supply Chain Visibility: Traceability, Transparency, and Mapping Explained: BSR experts explain three concepts for gaining and demonstrating visibility in multi-tier supply chains: traceability, mapping, and transparency. What are these concepts, how do they differ, and what do they offer?
  4. How Private Equity Can Address TCFD and Climate Change: BSR suggests two types of approach for how private equity firms can address climate risks and opportunities in an actionable, meaningful way.
  5. Three Questions to Think About for Your 2030 Strategy: With many sustainability strategies and goals expiring in 2020, companies should reflect on three questions as they begin to shape their 2030 strategies.
  6. What Larry Fink's 2019 Letter Means for the Future of Business: Our four main takeaways from the 2019 letter of BlackRock's Larry Fink to CEOs, which mentioned the word ‘purpose’ 21 times.

Most Read BSR Reports of 2019

  1. Five-Step Approach to Stakeholder Engagement: This year, we released an update to our extremely popular 2011 report, providing a comprehensive stakeholder engagement approach and toolkit to help companies build and retain stakeholder trust as it becomes more important than ever.
  2. ESG in Private Equity: How to Write a Responsible Investment Policy: Over the past 10 years, the private equity sector has seen responsible investment approaches move from exception to expectation. Formalized integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations is becoming the norm. For all firms, a meaningful policy is fundamental to responsible investment and ESG integration.
  3. Five Reporting Trends for 2019: Insights on the Future of Reporting: BSR's Future of Reporting collaborative initiative seeks to help members create sustainability reports that result in improved sustainability performance at companies and informed decision-making by stakeholders. In this report, it outlines the five innovations it was seeking to improve reporting and disclosure in 2019.
  4. The State of Sustainable Business in 2019: The 11th annual BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business survey found the rise of climate change as the most significant issue and investor interest as a key driver in sustainability, among other insights into the world of sustainable business. 
  5. How Business Can Build a 'Future of Work' That Works for Women: Businesses have a responsibility not only to help workers prepare and transition for the ‘future of work,’ but also enact strategies that create positive change and economic advances for women. This report outlines how to do so.
  6. Making Women Workers Count: A Framework for Conducting Gender Responsive Due Diligence in Supply Chains: How can companies conduct more gender-responsive due diligence approaches, and what role does gender-disaggregated data play in this? This report, funded by the C&A Foundation, sets out to address this question.  

We published a lot of other great content this year on critical issues of the moment, from blogs on employee and CEO activism to reports on topics in supply chains, such as gender equality and leadership through maturity models. We also continued our Sustainability Short Takes video series, which highlighted the many major issues discussed at our BSR Conference 2019.

All of us here at BSR wish you and your colleagues a happy and safe new year, and as the new decade dawns, we look forward to working together to build a just and sustainable world.

Let’s talk about how BSR can help you to transform your business and achieve your sustainability goals.

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