Social sustainability has gained more importance over the last few years, often as a result of pressure from investors and customers and in the public sector recent legislation. Additionally many of the sustainability related reputational risks can be found within this pillar (such as how employees are treated, especially in low cost labour countries). Social sustainability typically embraces the key areas of Employment Practice, Corporate Citizenship / Philanthropy, People Management and Development, Human Rights Compliance, and Social factors within the Supply Chain. The CIPS Sustainability Index uses a series of questions, targeted by both business sector and Organisation size, to assess and score an organisations current performance in the above areas.
The ‘three pillars’ of sustainability are key to the CIPS Sustainability Index approach: