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Triple bottom line benefits.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting is no longer a niche practice, and if the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) has enough weight behind it, the federal government might soon adopt sustainability measures in its budget announcements. NRTEE's 2004 Greening of the Budget submission calls on the federal government to ensure that our fiscal policies integrate environmental considerations and recognize the role of natural capital in maintaining our economy. It calls for improving the information base on natural capital; helping rural and Aboriginal communities protect natural capital; and protecting natural capital in urban communities.

Essentially, the report describes a triple bottom line approach to the budget and points to the many benefits Canada would gain from integrating social and environmental considerations within the country's fiscal policy.

If the government did respond favourably to such an initiative, it would be in good company. Currently, 60% of companies on the TSX Composite Index now report some sustainability performance information, and 22% actually produced sustainability or integrated annual reports for 2001 or 2002. This is up from 10% in 2000.

The challenge of any such initiative is determining the relevant indicators for reporting on a triple bottom line, and how to begin the process of preparing such a report. "Satisfied stakeholders," on page 22, discusses the essentials of launching a CSR reporting program and some of the help available here in Canada to do so.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a variety of the Olympic Games' biggest corporate sponsors are also attempting to address the issue of sustainable development. To do so, they are calling on experts who have demonstrated how major sporting events can be managed in an environmentally sound, while fiscally responsible, manner.

In "Gold medal growth" we talk to one of those experts, David Crawford, CMA, who has been involved with the environmental management of the Pan Am Games, and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Crawford shares his experience managing sporting events, as well as establishing and administering waste reduction and prevention programs throughout Manitoba.

When considering the health of any organization, the robustness of its human capital is critical. But intellectual capital (IC) isn't given its due consideration. Despite its strategic importance, IC is a highly under-leveraged asset in Canadian organizations. Moreover, it's disappearing at alarming rates.

In the feature "Accounting for knowledge," Anne Papmehl looks at why its necessary for organizations to come up with new methods of measuring IC--and how effective IC management can create a stronger and more communicative organization.

While we occasionally struggle to communicate within our own organizations, we're regularly inundated with new ways of communicating effectively via computer, telephone, cell phone and pager. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is probably the hottest trend for 2004. In this month's IT column CMA Management talks to two experts and an early adopter of new technology that is likely to change the way small- and medium-sized businesses compete against bigger market players.


Robert Colman

COPYRIGHT 2004 Society of Management Accountants of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Colman, Robert
Publication:CMA Management
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Previous Article:Supporting international standards: IFAC sets its strategic plan for 2005-2008.
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