How to apply ECG in your company
Writing a Common Good Report gives a company a values health-check. An organisation can see where it stands on its journey to becoming a common good company. Producing the Balance Sheet is the beginning of an ongoing, value-driven development process. There are different steps to take in order to successfully complete your company’s Common Good Balance Sheet.
Steps to publish a Common Good Balance Sheet
Your Benefits of applying the Common Good Balance Sheet
- 360° Sustainability Management
- Improving Relationships
- Motivation in the Workplace
- Innovation and Productivity
- Meet EU’s non-financial information reporting requirements
- Trust and Reputation
- Common Values
- Quality of Life
- Preservation of Nature and Environment
- Fair and Sustainable Products and Services
Getting Started: take the Quick Test
Preparing a full Common Good Report takes time and requires space for reflection. Consultants, membership of an ECG association and the external audit all provide support.
In order to make a decision to complete a Common Good Balance Sheet, a quick test was developed as an introduction. In just 30 minutes you will learn:
- What is involved in drafting a Common Good Balance Sheet;
- How your company is currently operating with regards to the ECG principles.
Remember: points are only awarded for activities that go beyond legal requirements.
Ways to create a Common Good Report
There are different ways to create an Common Good Balance Sheet. Click through the different options to find out more about the right way for you.
Please note that a peer-evaluation process only makes sense for smaller companies with under 30 employees. A peer-evaluation can only be done once, during the preparation of the first Balance Sheet.
The Common Good Report can be created independently. Materials are available to support the report writing, such as the workbook, the report template, the balance calculator, report guidelines and in-depth online information.
The workbook contains all the necessary information to understand the themes and aspects of the Common Good Matrix, to allow you to make a self-assessment. The work book is deliberately designed to be concise. It is supplemented by more detailed information in a separate online document.
The Common Good Report can be created with help from ECG consultants. ECG consultants make it easier to understand the themes and to make progress, including by adjusting the process of reporting according to the individual needs of the organisation, supported by examples and expert knowledge.
Individual solutions and a customized approach can be clarified during initial discussions. If you are looking for a specific consultant, please go to your national website (Contact). For further information about consultants, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A peer group consists of four to six organisations and is supported by ECG consultants or auditors. The participants create their individual reports over a series of workshops, which take place within a period of about six months. This work forms the basis for a peer evaluation, which can replace the external audit.
In order to find companies to complete a peer evaluation with, please get in touch with your local ECG chapter or contact a certified ECG consultant directly. For further questions on peer evaluation, please email email@example.com.
Resources for Creating a Common Good Report
There are two types of Common Good Balance Sheet – a full and a compact version. You are asked to use one of them mainly depending on your company’s size.
Full Common Good Balance Sheet
The Full Balance Sheet divides all the themes under different aspects, and is required for medium and large companies for their second and subsequent Balance Sheets.
Get started with the Full Balance Sheet by downloading the following documents:
Compact Common Good Balance Sheet
The Compact Balance Sheet provides a summary of all the themes. Small companies can use this version on a permanent basis; companies with 11 – 50 employees (or their full-time equivalents) can use it twice; large companies can use it for their first report.
Get started with the Compact Balance Sheet by downloading the following documents:
Become a Member
In order to complete your Common Good Balance Sheet you have to become an ECG member before your report can be handed in for auditing. New projects and tools are developed with the support of membership fees and donations. This way, your membership is helping the whole Economy for the Common Good.
Membership fees are calculated according to the number of employees. Concessionary rates for membership fees are available. Please contact your local or national ECG association for further details.
Your advantages of becoming a member:
As an ECG company, you’ll stand for an economy focused on the future. You support the transition to a future worth living by establishing an ethical economy. You demonstrate that they trust the power of civil society.
Members can create an initial report (template currently in German only) in the first year of signing up and publish it. This initial stage of the Common Good Report is optional. The cost is much less than the creation of a balance sheet, and yet already more in-depth than a quick test.The initial report can only be created once, thereafter a full Common Good Report and Balance Sheets should be created.
Working in peer groups to create a balance sheet is an opportunity for quality discussions between companies on the key themes of sustainable development. Through events, the Economy for the Common Good promotes constructive dialogue between business, politics and society.
Membership opens the door to the Common Good Balance Sheet. Membership fees fund the running and the further development of the Economy for the Common Good. This contribution to the movement already covers part of the costs of the Common Good Balance Sheet, because a Balance Sheet can only be created, acknowledged and published in conjunction with membership of an ECG association.
External Audit for Individual Reports
After finishing your Common Good Balance Sheet and becoming an ECG member you can apply for the External Audit. The audit includes independent evaluation as well as feedback, flagging up areas for future development. After successful audit, you can integrate your Balance Sheet certificate into the Common Good Balance Sheet. The completed document is your Common Good Report.
For the period of validity of the certificate (2 years), you can identify yourself as an “Audited ECG Company”.
Evaluation for Peer Processes
After drafting your Common Good Balance Sheet in a peer evaluation process and becoming an ECG member, your ECG consultant register your company on our audit plattform. The result is a peer certificate. It is a preliminary step towards the audit certificate and also represents a seal of quality: it assures the credibility of the report for stakeholders.
Completing an external audit also allows you to use the ‘ECG label’ on products (currently in development).
It also makes sense for companies to present the results and to continue to discuss them with internal stakeholders.
Some companies use their Common Good Report as marketing materials using attractive designs and editorial and publish it in print form. Some companies hold press conferences to publicise their Balance Sheet. Together with other ECG Companies, they present their contribution to the common good to the local media.
In addition to your own communication activities, your report is published on our online platform in the Balance Sheet section. ECG Companies appear on the ECG Map as a company with a Balance Sheet and can easily be found in the ECG community as a trading partner.
ECG Companies are pioneers of social change and are actively engaged in ethical trade. This creates a network of like-minded companies, working with a common purpose and sends a clear message:
An ethical market economy which benefits the common good is possible!