Novo Nordisk is the first company to complete the FFBB.
In a plenary session at New Metrics ’18, Cora Olsen — Global Lead for Integrated Reporting at Novo Nordisk — shared the company’s learnings from this exercise. Later, in a breakout session, Olsen and Future-Fit Foundation co-founder Martin Rich walked participants through the FFBB and the full set of findings from Novo Nordisk’s first benchmarking report.
“We need to get away from the ‘less bad’ model we have been working on, because the metrics are wrong,” Olsen explained. Future-Fit is different because “it’s not about cutting up the pie [e.g. how many GHG emissions does each organization get to produce]; it’s about not eating the pie at all,” she said. It sets aspirational goals that define the break-even point that companies must reach to credibly claim that they do no harm.
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They were developed by the Future Fit Foundation through an extensive consultation process with subject matter experts that translated complex, science-based thresholds into clear, understandable goals.
In addition to identifying what it takes to do no harm, the FFBB builds on the same scientific foundation to define all of the ways companies can do some good at a systems level.
How did Novo Nordisk perform and what was the value?
The company performed well in some areas and identified gaps in others. In some categories, such as whether business is conducted ethically, they scored 100%. In others, such as whether operational waste is eliminated, and whether operations emit no greenhouse gases, they scored poorly. Olsen said the categories in which they did poorly — such as greenhouse gases and operational waste — were the most interesting, because many were real eye-openers.
For Novo Nordisk, the value in the assessment is that it offers a clear picture of what a company needs to work on: “The real value for our company,” Olsen said, “is the conversations this will help us drive internally.”
The Benchmark looks at the full value chain, which means companies can’t just outsource the bad stuff and suddenly bump their score to 100%. Novo Nordisk knows there is no way it will be able to score perfectly across these goals; there are many for which they simply don’t have the technology or processes in place. But companies can get credit for putting in place rigorous processes and procedures for improvement.
Call to action
What’s great about the Future-Fit metrics is that they allow a true comparison. The methodology is formula-based and the score is a percentage, so companies can be compared within or across sectors; this could transform the way companies measure and track and the conversations we have about sustainability.
Novo Nordisk alone is not going to change the world, Olsen said: “We need everyone to do this — so get busy, everyone, and let’s reconvene in a year!”
For a deeper look at “Lessons from the First Ever Full Future-Fit Self-Assessment”, see the slides from Olsen’s presentation at New Metrics ’18: