The EU Commission has embraced a new strategy for keeping companies accountable for their ecological footprint and social Impact (CSRD & ESRS). In business terms this means that business have to acquire an ESG rating (Environmental, Social, Governance) in their yearly accounting reports. For the environmental impact assessment, many data sets are available. However, for Social Impact it is unclear how this will be measured. Large consultancy firms are hiring thousands of people to help companies acquire such ESG ratings.
Together with the City of Berlin, the City of Amsterdam has been exploring the possibility of Cities positioning themselves in this landscape as being the experts on Social Impact. By offering certificates for ESG ratings, future public/private partnerships have a new potential for engaging with social and cultural initiatives in cities and regions that were not viable before. In collaboration with researchers from local universities, who can measure the impact with scientific quality, cities can take such a position. As researchers, as civil servants, and as Chief Science Officers this is an opportunity to make a difference for many initiatives in our cities that need this kind of new support.
To prepare ourselves as cities we, as the ESG Innovation Collective, are organizing a thinktank to explore how we can do this. In every city there are already examples of interesting public/private/civic partnerships that can lead to ESG ratings. We gather stories and insights on what works and does not work and hope to have a preliminary framework ready as of January 2024.
On the 13th of September the thinktank was kicked-off on the Research Conference. This day, participants from Amsterdam and Berlin shared their stories. In this collection, you find the program and all presentations.