The World Economic Forum evaluates the organization’s performance on measures of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) as part of a continuous, transparent process to improve and manage its impact.
The Forum’s Measuring Stakeholder Metrics: Disclosures report, now in its third edition, quantifies and qualifies the progress on four pillars: Principles of Governance, People, Planet and Prosperity.
Underscoring the growing importance of such reporting, the Forum has increased the depth of existing measures. The aim is to cover metrics that relate directly to the Forum’s operations as well as the impact of its work, in areas like improving prosperity or tackling the climate crisis. The report is a significant starting point for expanding the Forum’s annual reporting beyond financial measures and serves as a vital tool for the leadership and all those who engage with the organization.
A brief summary of these non-financial metrics follows:
The Forum is a public interest, not-for-profit organization committed to improving the state of the world. This ethos is central to all its activities, with an emphasis on multistakeholder collaboration and public-private cooperation. It maintains and integrates a robust process to continuously identify and assess risks to governance, from internal auditing and personnel training – rates of in-house
Code of Conduct training increased to 90% during 2022-2023 – to providing public value on this topic, including the production of its flagship Global Risks Report and its Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.
The Forum continued to prepare its workforce for the future of work. It increased its learning budget by 45% over the past year to CHF 1.4 million, to reinforce and expand offers established in the previous year and to open additional programmes and more spaces to learners. In the past year, the Forum started a process of reporting on learning and development opportunities. It significantly increased its hiring and upheld its Early Careers Programme aimed at young professionals, with 45 participants hired in the year and a large portion of previous cohorts hired into permanent roles: 33% from the first cohort and 54% from the second cohort of the programme. Progress was also made in enhancing the diversity of the workforce, with the number of nationalities represented rising
to 95. There was greater gender balance at most levels of the organization. In relation to public value creation on this pillar, the Forum mobilized its platform in a wide range of areas, from the latest Future of Jobs Report to continued progress on the Reskilling Revolution.
The Forum pursued its efforts to reduce emissions in line with its commitment to achieve net zero by 2030. In comparison to the baseline of fiscal year 2019-2020, emissions decreased by 37.7% but, as in-person events returned to the calendar, CO2e emissions increased by 48.8% year-on-year to reach 60,711 tonnes as of June 2023. Scope 3 emissions, which include flights and travel of Forum constituents and stakeholders, accounted for 98.6% of these emissions. The Forum continued to purchase carbon removal credits according to its emissions and maintained its adherence to the UN Global Compact. Additionally, the Forum invested in building a new energy plant in Davos to provide green energy and reduce CO2 emissions in the future. More broadly, the Forum mobilized its platform structure and convening power to support nature, climate, economic transformation and technology initiatives, including new efforts this year to address nature loss and freshwater availability.
Social value creation is at the heart of the Forum’s mission. Over the last year, the organization maintained its significant indirect economic impact through the work of its centres and events to promote collaboration between society, political and business leaders in the service of enhancing socio-economic progress. Additionally, in the reporting period, the Forum’s investments in its One Digital strategy and the Global Collaboration Village helped Forum communities pursue their efforts to tackle the world’s most complex challenges more efficiently. At events, such as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Forum supported the prosperity of the area’s local communities. For example, collaboration with Davos restaurants helped fund local youth group initiatives, while non-reusable furniture and plants were offered to the community through the GreenUp initiative.
Over the last year, the Forum also performed an ESG-focused due diligence screening on most of its suppliers as a one-time exercise to increase supplier data availability and quality, as well as to improve ESG reporting quality for metrics related to procurement.