Development Process

Building on multi-stakeholder engagement

Through an extensive research process, we identify key stakeholder groups for each benchmark. We reach out to stakeholders within these groups to learn how they view the role and responsibility of a particular industry in contributing to sustainable development. We discuss issues they consider important and why. Furthermore, we organize multi-stakeholder dialogues, roundtables and workshops to facilitate discussion about these expectations among stakeholders. Subsequently, we build our benchmarking methodologies on these stakeholder expectations and thorough research. Our methodologies outline the scope of each benchmark as well as clear metrics for assessment.

Developing the benchmarks

After the publication of a methodology report, the data collection process starts. We collect data from public sources such as annual reports, corporate websites and third party data sources. Companies also receive a questionnaire through which they can submit additional data. Based on the collected data, companies are scored according to the methodology framework. We have robust quality management systems in place to ensure accuracy of the data and assessment. For each company in scope, we develop a detailed scorecard that outlines aggregate scores, strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement and best practices. The final ranking and assessment results are published in the benchmark report.

The benchmarking cycle

We publish each benchmark every two years. During the first year the methodology is developed and reviewed. The second year focuses on data collection, verification and analysis. After publication of the benchmark and results, the cycle starts again.

Building on multi-stakeholder engagement

We draw inspiration from the Access to Medicine Index and the Access to Seeds Index.

Access to Medicine Index

The Access to Medicine Index, first published in 2008, gives insight into what the largest 20 pharmaceutical companies are doing to make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics more accessible in low- and middle-income countries. This Index has developed into an important tool for the industry itself and other stakeholders such as investors. It publicly recognizes companies for their efforts and investments aimed at improving access to medicines, raising awareness of relevant issues within pharmaceutical companies and providing with a transparent means by which they can assess, monitor and improve their own performance and that of their peers.

Access to Medicine Index

Access to Seeds Index

The Access to Seeds Index, launched for the first time in 2016, assesses, scores and ranks 26 leading seed companies on their efforts to improve access to quality seeds of improved varieties for smallholder farmers. Improving access to seeds for farmers in those regions is key to meeting future food demands. The seed industry can play a crucial role in this. The Index seeks primarily to identify leadership and good practices, providing an evidence base for discussions on where and how the seed industry can step up its efforts. As a benchmarking tool, the Index aims to incentivize seed companies to improve their performance.

Access to Seeds Index