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Preparing a Consumer Products Company to Respond to Sustainable Reporting Demands

As a publicly traded company in consumer-focused product categories, Fortune Brands needed to respond to investor, customer, and employee demands for transparent reporting on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.

The Challenge

Fortune Brands’ portfolio includes many industry-leading home and security products on the market and in home improvement stores. While Fortune Brands considered itself a highly responsible company, in 2018, it did not have a single comprehensive source of information to accurately report on Fortune Brands’ ESG efforts. This led to incomplete and inaccurate information being reported on key sustainability ratings assessments used by investors, such as MCSI ESG Ratings and ISS Environmental and Social Disclosure QualityScore ratings assessments.

Enabling better ESG reporting was critical for Fortune Brands as investors, customers and employees increasingly see the link between long-term company success and business operations that consider ESG issues. Fortune Brands needed to better communicate its sound and sustainable business approach.

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Our Solution

Fortune Brands needed a more comprehensive story of its efforts to manage its ESG performance. Standing Partnership was tasked to help the company develop a reporting strategy. We audited their ESG policies and investor sustainability rating assessments and delivered a competitor analysis to identify gaps and opportunities. Combining that intelligence with our experience in sustainability reporting frameworks, we helped Fortune Brands outline the right content, performance indicators and format for its first-ever ESG Report in 2018.

The Impact

Fortune Brands improved its ratings scores with both MSCI ESG Rating and ISS QualityScore following its first report.

Throughout the process, we engaged Fortune Brands in learning best practices for sustainability reporting and future steps for continued improvement. Standing remains a valuable partner and continues to help Fortune Brands optimize and improve the annual ESG Report; Standing and Fortune Brands recognize ESG reporting improvement is an on-going process, with frequently changing expectations. Most recently, Standing conducted a comprehensive audience and materiality assessment for Fortune Brands, and helped transition the company to follow the Global Reporting Index (GRI) reporting framework in its latest report, published in 2021.

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