The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Bloomberg supports global communities through education and training initiatives

With nearly 20,000 employees based in 172 locations around the world, Bloomberg is a global business and financial information and news leader, giving influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. Committed to giving back to the cities in which it lives and works, Bloomberg uses its employees’ expertise and the company’s resources to address unmet needs in global communities  Tweet This!, deepen engagement with employees, clients and partners and improve lives around the globe.

This case study is based on the 2019 Impact Report by Bloomberg published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Bloomberg’s Corporate Philanthropy programme harnesses the skills and resources of its employees to create a lasting impact, supporting sustainable communities. In 2019, 12,915 Bloomberg employees in 80 cities took part in Bloomberg’s Best of Bloomberg corporate volunteer programme, contributing over 158,000 hours of volunteer service. In order to support global communities through education and training initiatives Bloomberg took action to:

  • promote STEM skills
  • increase access to financial careers
  • provide financial journalism training

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Impact Report Bloomberg identified a range of material issues, such as customer privacy/ data security, employee engagement/ diversity & inclusion, energy, risk management/ compliance. Among these, supporting global communities through education and training initiatives stands out as a key material issue for Bloomberg.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Bloomberg engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics Bloomberg engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers ·      Bloomberg Professional Services annual customer survey

·      Market research

·      Customer education

·      Help desk tickets

·      Sales visits

·      Market-led initiatives and events

Employees

 

·      Events and training

·      Emails and newsletters

·      Diversity & Inclusion Communities

·      Sustainability Squads, employee ambassador groups that promote sustainability activities locally

Suppliers ·      Supplier Code of Conduct

·      Sustainability requirements in relevant requests for proposal and master service agreements

Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs)

 

·      Nonprofit and industry group consultation and collaboration

·      Sustainability conferences

·      Newsletters and other publications

What actions were taken by Bloomberg to support global communities through education and training initiatives?

In its 2019 Impact Report Bloomberg reports that it took the following actions for supporting global communities through education and training initiatives:

  • Promoting STEM skills
  • Bloomberg believes in the power of data and technology and has developed programmes to use the skills of its employees to engage and educate the next generation, with Bloomberg engineers serving as mentors through a variety of Corporate Philanthropy programmes around the globe. In 2019, Bloomberg held regular Python coding workshops, designed and led by engineers in its New York City office, to make sure a diverse spectrum of students developed the skills they needed to unlock opportunity and drive progress. Bloomberg planned to expand this programme to its offices worldwide in 2020, and also hosted a Girls Go Tech boot camp in its Hong Kong office, helping to inspire female students to consider careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Additionally, through FIRST Robotics, Bloomberg’s engineers coached teams of high school students in a year-long project to design, build, code and operate robots to compete in a series of challenges.
  • Increasing access to financial careers
  • Bloomberg is committed to making the world of finance more accessible and diverse and, in 2019, launched Girls Take Wall Street, a day of workshops, panel discussions and motivational talks for high school girls with women leaders in finance and business, including Bloomberg employees. Bloomberg then expanded the Girls Take Finance programme to Mumbai and Ahmedabad and made plans to expand to 12 cities globally in 2020. Bloomberg also launched the Bloomberg Startup Diverse Leaders programme in London, connecting 28 high-potential economics and business students from underrepresented communities with mentors from Bloomberg’s Black Professional and Pan-Asian employee communities.
  • Providing financial journalism training
  • Bloomberg’s Global Business and Financial Journalism Training Programme includes a range of courses designed to strengthen reporting on financial markets and global economies around the world, including in China, India, Dubai and several African countries. The programme includes: academic/university-affiliated curriculum leading to a completion certificate or a master’s or undergraduate degree; training for working journalists and college students co-designed by Bloomberg reporters and editors; and community and philanthropy partnerships focused on increasing interest in journalism careers and diversity in business journalism. In 2019, the Global Business and Financial Journalism Training Programme trained a total of 252 students. A key initiative of the programme is the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) financial journalism training programme, a six-month course that, since 2014, has trained 652 journalists and mid-level professionals from 14 African countries. In 2019, Bloomberg expanded the programme to five new countries — Ghana, Zambia, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania —, graduating 84 journalists from Ghana and Zambia.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs

Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs does not correspond to any SDG.

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



 

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Bloomberg, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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