B4SI News

In conversation with B4SI APAC Co-Chair Janet Liu

Each month, we’ll be profiling members of the B4SI Steering Committee as well as leaders from across the B4SI Network.

This month, we speak with the new Co-Chair of B4SI in APAC, Janet Liu from ANZ.

What can members expect from B4SI?

B4SI is now a holistic management model. Based on the pillars of plan, implement, measure, report & engage, businesses will be able to authentically become a business for societal impact. These changes include the expanded framework with two new routes to impact ‘Business Innovation for Social Impact’ and ‘Procurement for Social Impact’, additional management tools with a new name to more accurately reflect the global reach and wider supports available

For those that have loved LBG Framework over the past 30 years or so and have relied on it to report cash, time and in-kind contributions – don’t worry! The LBG Framework still forms the basis of the B4SI Framework and you can choose to dial up or down your use of the two new areas depending on the need of your business.

Personally I’m looking forward to working within ANZ to explore new projects to measure. As many of us are in the same early stages we can also expect a lot of learning, discussion and fine tuning!

How has measurement and reporting of social impact evolved at ANZ?

In many ways measuring and reporting on our community investment has remained similar since 2005 when we founded the LBG Australia and New Zealand Chapter – 15 years on we still report using the B4SI Framework! Some other approaches have come and gone, but we’ve always reverted back to B4SI Framework for its simplicity and usefulness.

However, the projects we choose are much more strategic and aligned to our core business capabilities than before, and we are much, much more sophisticated and intentional about measuring and reporting outcomes data.

What trends are you seeing in social impact?

I don’t think anything I say here is a surprise, here’s a few themes I’ve seen over the past six months:

  • More organisations are looking to pivot to be ‘purpose-led’, going beyond profit to positively impact society. ANZ went through this journey back in 2016 and we continue to embed our purpose to shape a world where people and communities thrive across the organisation.
  • With nine years left until we reach the deadline of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, many organisations have moved beyond the early stages of mapping how they can contribute, to embedding actions across their business
  • Increased attention from Board, senior management, investors and customers on ESG matters – leading to increased reporting and governance. Despite COVID-19, there is a surprising number of job ads in the ESG space.
  • With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its economic impacts, there is increased scrutiny on social investments requiring clear rationale behind the reason for investment, benefit for the community and the business.