The Measuring Stakeholder Metrics: Disclosures report reveals the World Economic Forum’s performance on four pillars of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG): Principles of Governance, People, Planet and Prosperity. As noted in the Forum’s second ESG report last year: “By measuring ESG performance, it becomes possible to better manage it.”
This third edition increases the depth of existing measures, showing a more holistic picture of impact through the organization’s work. Over the reporting period, the gradual improvements observed last year continued.
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The Forum is a public interest, not-for-profit organization committed to improving the state of the world. The Principles of Governance Pillar shows that 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 around this topic, including the production of its flagship Global Risks Report and its Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.
As the People Pillar reveals, the Forum has been preparing 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. It also started a process of reporting on learning and development opportunities. Additionally, the Forum 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.
As stated in the Planet Pillar, 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 to offset 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, as the Prosperity Pillar shows. 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.
This stakeholder metrics report, audited by Mazars, and the developing picture that the Forum is creating of its performance and impact, reveals just how much more there is to annual reporting than a set of financial measures. As with everything it does, the Forum strives to be transparent, using this report as a tool for its leadership and all those who engage with the organization, to ensure that it remains accountable to its aims and mission.