Mark Goedkoop of PRé was asked to participate in the advisory group of the WBCSD Social Capital Protocol. The WBCSD Social Capital Protocol project focuses on making companies aware of the need to preserve the social capital in society. The shortest way to define social capital is: the ability to cooperate, but there are many others. Companies need this and other abilities in order to prosper. The Social Capital Protocol is a very similar concept as the Natural Capital Protocol.
In Mark words:
I was invited to join an ad-hoc advisory group with several experts from a few companies, NGO’s and academics. The very interesting contrast between our Product Social Metrics Roundtable is the way we approach this topic. The Product Social Metrics group is mostly in a bottom up mode of thinking; What are the topics, what do we measure it and what can we learn; we are very hands-on and pragmatic. The Social Capital Protocol is more in a top down thinking mode: How to engage companies (and investors) in this thinking, how to interpret the results of an assessment and how to understand the business case of all this. Relatively little attention is paid to defining the indicators and measuring.
Currently about 25 companies are taking part, and they “just” focus on three indicators, and not the 18 we have. Some of the companies that are in our roundtable also participate in the Social Capital project.
For me it was great to learn and contribute. I see much value in continuing the exchange, as our roundtable brings metrics and measurement. The Social Capital Protocol brings us a much better understanding how this can and should work when companies start to use this approach. Currently a draft Social capital report is under review, and it is expected to be released by the end of March.