US company Gaia Metrics has launched a product which the company claims will dramatically reduce the time and cost of putting together a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.
Called CSR QuickStart, the product automates the process of collecting relevant CSR data and typical cuts costs by 90% or more, the company claims.
The product uses semantic search technology to find the key words and numbers needed. It can search across company sources including public sites, intranets, SEC and census filings. In the process it highlights gaps in data and reporting that may attract the attention of regulators, media, community groups and other stakeholders.
“Many of the world’s largest companies have made a commitment to sustainability, but just 5% of them take the next step and publish a CSR,” said Erik Thomsen, Gaia Metris co-founder and CEO.
Gaia Metrics also announced a joint marketing relationship with CSRwire, which will market CSR QuickStart to its members. CSRwire provides corporate social responsibility and sustainability news, so the relationship will give Gaia Metrics exposure to prospective members and partners.
Well it sounds good and could well encourage a lot more companies to publish some form of CSR report. But I can’t help feeling that medium to large companies are likely to have (or at least need) a methodology in place for gathering information and having it easily available. CSR QuickStart may be a useful green IT tool, but periodically trawling company data doesn’t seem a great way to keep on top of CSR issues and targets.