End-of-April update: what do The Royal Wedding, NACUBO, ISOS Group, Earth Day, and UMass Dartmouth have in common?

April 2011 – what a month!  In typing this update, I realized that there’s a connection between organizations with whom I’ve been involved and the world’s big marital news story of the week: The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton, specifically by way of one of the parents of the groom.  Here goes:

On April 5th I spoke at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Smart & Sustainable Campuses conference at the University of Maryland at the suggestion of Bob Eccles of Harvard Business School, who is co-author, with Michael Krzus, of One Report.  If you have not heard of sustainability reporting or integrated reporting, I recommend their succinct 3-minute video intro to their book and the concept of integrated reporting and checking out the website of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (the IIRC).

What’s the connection to The Royal Wedding, you are wondering?  Well, it so happens that IIRC’s website features video commentary in support of integrated reporting from none other than the father of the groom, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, who has started his own Accounting for Sustainability Project.

Take your pick: you can watch Prince Charles speak about sustainability reporting in his address to the World Congress of Accountants 2010 at the IIRC website (also here on YouTube) or this podcast of my session at the NACUBO Smart and Sustainable Campuses conference.  Or enjoy both!

Incidentally, though the world press didn’t publicize it as much, April 20 was both our Green Campus Day at UMass Dartmouth (2 days ahead of Earth Day 2011), where I had the great honor of being keynote speaker, and it was the day I turned 37.  Note to my students: beat my time in this year’s Boston Marathon – 2:53 (816th of 26,895 official runners on April 17, 2011) and then you can call me old.  The topic of my talk at our Green Campus Day?  You guessed it: UMass Dartmouth’s Sustainability Report – the first in the world by a university to achieve an A level of compliance with the preeminent standard for such reporting: the GRI’s G3 standard  (specifically, I opened a discussion of what we hope to do with our annual sustainability report, due December 2011).

Again, what’s the connection to the big marital news event of the week?  Just like the proud father of the groom, Prince Charles, and Bob Eccles and Mike Krzus, we at UMass Dartmouth hope our reports start to clarify the connections between our environmental and societal impacts with economic consequences and our financial performance, and that our reports become more integrated with various organizational functions and that they help in making wise decisions).

Finally, looking to the near future: on May 23-25 I’ll be speaking at a conference at Università degli Studi di Messina in Sicily and May 25 I’ll be taking part in a webinar hosted by the ISOS Group.  Both conversations will relate to sustainability reporting.  This summer I’ll also be conducting a seminar on sustainable business at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and attending the Academy of Legal Studies in Business Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Stay tuned and stay in touch!

About Adam Sulkowski

Associate Professor of Law and Sustainability, specializing in research and teaching on sustainable business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability reporting, integrated reporting, and corporate and environmental law.
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