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Commonly asked questions...
- How does Future-Fit relate to the SDGs?
The SDGs, launched by the United Nations in 2015, serve as an urgent call to action in the face of today’s most pressing challenges. The urge companies to pay as much attention to their extra-financial performance as to their financial performance. The holistic nature of the Benchmark, which incorporates both positive and negative impacts, means that companies pursuing future-fitness can make a clear and credible positive contribution to certain SDGs, while ensuring that they aren’t inadvertently undermining progress toward all the others. See how the Break Even goals and Positive Pursuits map onto the SDGs by clicking here.
- Is the Future-Fit Business Benchmark a reporting tool?
The Future-Fit Business Benchmark is not a reporting tool, it is a sustainability/ESG management and measurement tool for companies and investors. Other frameworks have been designed specifically from the perspective of improving corporate reporting but what none of them do is show a company how to be sustainable, which is where Future-Fit comes in. The Benchmark shows a company what to do; reporting might follow on from that, but it’s not the focus.
- How can I use Future-Fit?
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all Future-Fit Business content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License and so is free for anyone to access and use. The term Future‑Fit and the Future‑Fit logos are registered trademarks, not for use on other websites and presentations without express consent from Future-Fit. Partners are permitted to use dedicated logos to indicate they are in a formal business relationship with Future-Fit. If you have any concerns that Future-Fit materials are being misappropriated, please get in touch.
- What does the term Future-Fit mean?
The term “Future-Fit” means the state of being 100% fit across all 23 Break-Even goals.
- How can I use the term Future-Fit in my own communications?
The term “Future-Fit” is always hyphenated and should be capitalized when referring to the organization or the state of being Future-Fit. The term “Future-Fit” is trademarked, in order to ensure that when used, Future-Fit implies the state of being Future-Fit.
- How do I use the term future-fitness?
The term “future-fitness” should be used to indicate the pursuit of becoming Future-Fit. The term “future-fitness” should not be capitalized.
The Future-Fit Business Benchmark
- What is the difference between the Break-Even Goals and the Positive Pursuits?
The 23 Break-Even Goals together mark the line in the sand that all companies must strive to reach, to ensure they are doing nothing to undermine society’s progress toward future-fitness. However, business has the power to do more than just cause no harm, and indeed many companies actively seek to be a force for good in the world by working to solve systemic challenges – even if they have not yet addressed all of their negative impacts. Positive Pursuits are designed to guide such efforts, by characterizing the full range of outcomes that actively speed up our collective progress toward future-fitness. Said another way, Break-Even is about eliminating a company’s own negative impacts, while Positive Pursuits are about creating positive impacts, helping others to reduce their negative impacts or supporting them to amplify their positive impacts. Together, The Break-Even Goals and Positive Pursuits, offers a holistic lens through which to assess and communicate the extent of a company’s negative and positive societal contributions. More information can be found in The Positive Pursuit Guide on the Resources page.
- What happens if it is illegal to meet certain Future-Fit criteria in a specific context? Will our company be penalised for not reaching the relevant Break-Even goal?
While such anomalies are likely to be few and far between, in such cases the company should not seek to break the law, but rather to explain why its performance falls short of the Future-Fit Criteria. More information on this topic can be found in the Implementation Guide on the Resources page.
- How can my company report Future-Fit data?
The progress and context indicators for the 23 Break-Even Goals are a good starting point for reporting your company’s future-fitness. We are continuing to work on the impact evaluation of the Positive Pursuits whilst also building out a suite of supporting tools, such as automated dashboards and reports, to make it easier for your company to form a holistic Future-Fit report. Sign up to our newsletter by clicking here to keep track of our latest developments.
- Can I describe my company's progress towards future-fitness even if I don't have all the data for the relevant data?
If your company doesn’t have the full data required to measure future-fitness, either due to the fact that you have not yet managed to gather information or because your company is undergoing a major structural change, we still encourage you to report your Future-Fit performance. In these cases, just ensure you: disclose and justify the extent of your activities which are not included; make clear to users of the data the likely implications of such omissions with respect to the company’s future-fitness; and explain how those omissions will be addressed in future reporting cycles. More information on this topic can be found in the Implementation Guide on the Resources page.
- How do I set the company boundaries for assessing progress towards future-fitness?
The challenge of determining what is in and out of scope of a company is not unique to the Benchmark. This question has been the subject of much debate and scrutiny in corporate law, tax frameworks and financial reporting. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. The Future-Fit team acknowledges the potential for a company’s structure to affect how its future-fitness should be reported and is working with the Development Council to ensure this issue causes as little confusion as possible when seeking to compare the relative progress of different companies. More information on this topic can be found in the Implementation Guide on the Resources page.
- How do I calculate the future-fitness of collaborative projects that my company is involved with?
When it comes to attributing ownership of collaborative endeavours – e.g. determining the proportion of a joint venture’s impacts that each respective partner is accountable for – the Benchmark draws on the approaches used in the finance world. For corporate groups, partnerships, franchises and joint ventures, businesses should mirror whatever approach it is already using for its financial accounting. More information on this topic can be found in the Implementation Guide on the Resources page.
- What happens if my business wants to get assurance over our Future-Fit progress indicator metrics?
The ‘self-assessment, independent assurance’ model is tried-and-tested for financial reporting, and Future-Fit uses the same approach for extra-financial information tracked using the Business Benchmark. Your company can ask any assurance service firm or provider to assure your calculations. However, the average business person may know nothing about what an auditor would be looking for during this process. To help you wrap your head around this, within each Break-Even Action Guide you will find a section on Assurance. This offers easy-to-follow guidance on the kinds of evidence assurers are likely to look for so that your company can avoid common assurance pitfalls.
Interest in Future-Fit
- How can I get involved?
There are many opportunities to get involved with Future-Fit. If you are an individual who is interested in supporting and learning more about the Future-Fit movement, you can join our Changemaker Community to access additional Future-Fit resources. If you wish to incorporate the Future-Fit approach into your professional services, either as an individual or at a company level, please take a look at our Certified Professional and Accredited Partner programmes.
- Can I request a Future-Fit speaker/representative for an event?
Members of our team are happy to speak at events. Please contact us to submit a request and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Future-Fit Program Information
- What is the difference between Changemaker, Certified Professional and Accredited Partner?
To accelerate awareness and adoption of the Benchmark, we are working to empower an ecosystem of supporters. This ecosystem is made up of Changemakers, Certified Professionals and Accredited Partners. Changemakers are individuals who have joined the Community to learn more about the Future-Fit movement. Certified Professionals are qualified individuals who wish to embed the Future-Fit approach into their services, whether that be as a business advisor or solution provider. Accredited Partners are organizations that have embedded the Future-Fit approach into their company’s professional services.
- What are the benefits of becoming a Changemaker?
By joining the Changemaker Community, you will gain access to a range of resources. These include resources to help you develop your understanding of the Benchmark, webinars held by the Future-Fit team with issue experts and recognized leaders, and a forum where Changemakers can discuss and compare experiences of interacting with the Benchmark. Find out more about becoming part of the Changemaker Community here.
- How can I join the Changemaker Community?
To become a Changemaker and gain access to Changemaker resources, you simply have to sign up and pay the annual membership fee of £100. Find out more about joining the Changemaker Community and if you’re eligible for a discount here.
- What are the benefits of becoming a Certified Professional?
As well as having access to all of the Changemaker Community resources, Certified Professionals will be able to use the Future-Fit Certified Professional logo on professional materials and have access to individual email support from the Future-Fit team. Find out more about becoming a Certified Professional here.
- How do I become a Certified Professional?
To become a Certified Professional, you must pass the Future-Fit Proficiency Test, send us three references from existing clients testifying to your ability to provide the services you are seeking to deliver and pay the annual fee of £1,500. Find out more about becoming a Certified Professional here.
- What are the benefits of becoming an Accredited Partner?
An Accredited Partner is able to use the Future-Fit Accredited Partner logo on professional materials, will have an individual profile in our Accredited Partner directory, will be entitled to biannual one-on-one check-ins with Future-Fit liaisons and will have continuous access to individual email support from the Future-Fit team. Find out more about becoming an Accredited Partner here.
- How do I become an Accredited Partner?
To become a Future-Fit Accredited Partner your company must employ at least one Certified Professional, send us three references from existing clients testifying your company’s ability to provide the services for which you are seeking accreditation and pay the annual fee of £5,000. Find out more about becoming an Accredited Partner here.
- What is involved in the Future-Fit Proficiency Test?
The Future-Fit Proficiency Test is designed to examine your knowledge of the Benchmark, how it works and how to apply it in business situations. It is made up of multiple-choice questions divided into 4 sections. The test will take approximately 5.5 hours to complete and is the first step towards becoming a Certified Professional. For further information please contact the Future-Fit team.
- How can I find an Accredited Partner for my business?
Browse our Accredited Partner Directory and search the profiles to find a service provider that suits your needs. Access the directory here.
- What is the Development Council?
Our Development Council is a focused group of multinational companies and investors who wish to understand and pursue true social and environmental leadership. We work closely with each member to bring Future-Fit thinking and metrics into their business, to whatever degree is helpful for them. In return, Development Council members give us valuable feedback on our suite of Future-Fit tools.
- How can I join the Development Council?
Membership to the Development Council is on an invitation-only basis as we are not seeking to grow the council indefinitely. That said, we are on the lookout for committed businesses to support our work. If your business is keen to be even more closely involved with Future-Fit, contact us to understand whether you’re eligible to join.