B4SI News

Member spotlight: Insights from Matt Sparkes, Sustainability Director at Linklaters and Chair of the EMEA Steering Group

In a recent Discover B4SI Webinar, the B4SI Team explored the drivers pushing businesses towards more rigorous social impact reporting. In the session they also showcased the B4SI Framework in relation to pro bono activities and a new B4SI Guidance Note on how pro bono can best be measured.  The webinar featured insights from Matt Sparkes, Sustainability Director at Linklaters, a long-standing B4SI member and chair of the EMEA Steering Group. Matt shared his perspective on the value of the B4SI Network and the co-creation process behind producing and updating what is now leading guidance for the legal and professional services sector.

A Framework for Impact

When discussing Linklaters’ decision to join B4SI, Matt emphasised the importance of having a consistent framework to measure impact across their global network of peers. This standardised approach allows Linklaters to effectively manage and compare their community investments year-on-year, ensuring both transparency and accountability.

Matt highlighted that B4SI is more than just a framework, describing the Network as “a thriving community where [businesses] collaborate, share best practices, and continuously drive improvements in societal engagement.” This collaborative spirit is essential for any business dedicated to making a lasting societal impact in the communities they serve.

Starting Small and Building Capacity

For businesses looking to join the Network, Matt offered valuable advice: start small with manageable reporting goals that provide a comprehensive overview of your investments and their outcomes. Once you have a grasp of these, gradually expand your capabilities to encompass more output metrics and impact measurement, and use those data-driven insights to assess programme effectiveness and refine social impact strategies.

Enhancing your Social Contributions with Business for Societal Impact (B4SI)

B4SI is well-positioned to support businesses in making significant strides in measuring and enhancing their societal contributions, ensuring they are both effective and sustainable. As a global network of over 150 organisations, it provides a common language and robust standard for businesses to measure and manage their social impact across community investments, social procurement initiatives, and business innovation projects.

Using a simple inputs, outputs, and impacts model, the B4SI Framework offers a practical impact measurement approach that any business can apply. This allows organisations to capture impact data across different programmes and geographies and report aggregated figures on an annualised basis.

To find out how our network of members are guided and supported by the B4SI team to create social impact and articulate metrics with rigour, contact us via our website or email us on b4si@corporate-citizenship.com for next steps.

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