Considering such diverse factors as water use, pollution, product life-cycle and employee well-being, how do you objectively measure and compare sustainability amongst companies?

Currently, there are more than 100 ratings that try to answer that question. But the results are so variable, and the methods so obfuscated, that it’s impossible to tell the difference between green and green-washing.

That’s why the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings is taking on the task of creating a new standard for measuring CSR and sustainability performance. The goal is to create a ratings framework to accurately measure sustainability risk, and move markets toward rewarding sustainability excellence.

As Allen White, co-founder of GISR, notes in this promo by Video4Good, “If share price is achieved at the expense of other forms of capital, there is a problem.” The GISR will be a compass for investors to integrate sustainability metrics into their decision-making, which will be essential for long-term prosperity.

GISR is a joint project of the Tellus Institute and Ceres. It’s working with investors, businesses and nonprofits to build a accreditation system to ensure the accuracy and excellence of existing sustainability ratings. The public is invited to read and comment on Beta versions of the standard.