Golden Rule #1: Find the right level of granularity

Key Takeaways

1.  Assessing the impact of companies is complex as they engage in a multitude of activities.

2.  It is important to break down each of the relevant and persistent impacts of businesses into single topics while avoiding covering small, peripheral, or too broad topics.


The first golden rule is to find the right scope to cover a particular topic.

What’s the problem?

  • Capturing and assessing the global impact that companies have on the planet and society is highly complex.

  • These companies engage in many activities/businesses, each of them having different forms and scales of impact.

What you must do

  • Research a topic of interest, offered by the Topic Selector, that is relevant and has a persistent impact. You can use some research hacks to get the most relevant sources.

  • Make sure you cover this topic to its fullest potential.

    • Break down the companies’ activities: initiative(s), project(s), or issue(s) that focus on one single topic at a time.

    • Do not select minimal, one-off initiatives or topics peripheral to the company's core business to avoid going at a level of granularity that becomes anecdotal and insignificant.

  • To increase your chances of reaching publication, you should select topics that:

    • Analyze the impact companies have on society and the environment through their mission, products and services.

    • Has a significant impact (in depth, breadth and/or persistence).


Examples

Topics that are too broad

  • "Coca-Cola's soft drinks contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, BPA, 4-methylimidazole, and Phosphoric acid."
  • "Adidas' environmental footprint is improving."



Topics that are too anecdotal

  • "Coca-Cola has given 200 bottles of free soda to Santa Monica primary school for Christmas."
  • "Adidas installed PET recycling bins at its headquarter office and recycled 5,000 bottles in 2019."



The right level of granularity

  • "Coca-Cola's soft drinks contribute to obesity among children."
  • "Adidas produced 11 million pairs of shoes with Parley Ocean Plastic in 2019, removing 0.04% of the 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped into oceans every year."

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