Project ROI — Define and deliver financial and wider business value from corporate responsibility and sustainability.

For too long a debate has raged – should companies invest in corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability initiatives and if so, how much? Does CR detract or enhance the bottom line? Project ROI finds that CR has the potential to deliver an attractive business case. The question is not whether to engage in CR programs, but how.

Project ROI establishes the potential returns on investment CR can deliver. But it’s not enough to do CR, one must do it well. Project ROI defines a clear roadmap of essential practices for companies that want to improve the impact and value of their CR and sustainability performance.

Project ROI is led by the research team of IO Sustainability and Babson College. It is supported by lead sponsor Verizon and supporting sponsor Campbell Soup Company.



Key practices in delivering ROI from
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

FIT: Make CR commitments that fit your company’s core attributes and your key stakeholders’ expectations.

COMMIT: Make a genuine commitment to address CR and sustainability issues.

MANAGE: Think of, develop, and manage your portfolio CR practices as a valuable intangible asset.

CONNECT: Build key stakeholder awareness, trust, engagement, and affinity.


Our findings on CR’s potential value is best understood
within the confines of three categories:

Firm Value, Share Price & Risk

  • Increase market value by up to 6%
  • Over a 15 year period, increase shareholder value by $1.28 billion
  • Reduce systematic risk by 4%

Sales and Reputation

  • Increase revenue by up to 20%
  • Charge up to a 20% price premium
  • Build a “reputation asset” based on CR worth up to 11% of total firm value

Human Resources

  • Reduce the company’s staff turnover rate by up to 50%
  • Increase employee productivity by up to 13%
  • Increase employee engagement by up to 7.5%

To download the Project ROI report, visit


IO can support an organization interested in determining the ROI from its CR and Sustainability activities in the following ways:

  • Apply the Project ROI Diagnostic Tool to identify areas of high potential for ROI. The diagnostic process will identify key gaps; opportunities; needs for further strategic development; core metrics; priorities for further investment; and areas that should be low priorities. The result points the way to high opportunity business cases for CR and Sustainability activities.
  • Make and measure the business case for CR and Sustainability. Identify the value and ROI your organization’s CR and Sustainability deliver related to areas such as financial returns, share price, sales, risk management, reputation and brand, human resources, and others.
  • Train key staff to make, measure, and deliver the business case for CR and Sustainability. Our custom training will provide managers the tools, skills, and competencies to deliver value from CR.
  • Identify, measure, and deliver the Social-ROI case for CR and Sustainability. Determine how to plan for and assess the social, environmental, and wider economic value that CR and Sustainability programs deliver.
  • Assess how to evaluate and choose between competing CR and Sustainability priorities and activities. IO will help managers to assess where their organization’s investments will deliver the greatest potential financial and social ROI.


Join the Project ROI Management Institute. This network of companies will:

  • Apply the Project ROI management framework through coaching and training provided by IO and Babson College
  • Share and compare good practices and provide peer-to-peer support
  • Document experiences featured in case vignettes and case studies that (with permission) will be widely disseminated
  • Commission tools and supporting benchmarks that will shape a business-defined set of criteria for CR excellence

To find out more contact:

+1 703 566 5607