The 60 Decibels 2022 Review You Can’t Miss

A look back at 2022, highlighting some of our favorite impact measurement projects, top reads, and more

It’s hard to believe that 2022 has come and gone! It was our biggest year yet at 60 Decibels by almost every metric, and we uncovered so many cool projects, stories, and voices along the way. In typical 60 Decibels fashion, we’ve synthesized the top findings from the year into a 2022 review – we hope you enjoy!

2022 by the numbers…

3M

Unique data points gathered across all of our projects

171,000

People shared their lived experiences with us

685

Projects completed in 64 different countries

295

New 60dB Research Assistants (bringing our global pool to 1,000+)

58

New 60dB-ers (our team now has 115 people across the US, UK, Kenya & India)

48

New languages spoken (we now conduct surveys in 190 different languages)

Project Highlights

Some of our favorites from the more than 685 projects we completed in 2022.

Clean Cooking Alliance: Clean Cooking Alliance Report. Since November 2021, we’ve been working with the Venture Catalyst portfolio at the Clean Cooking Alliance. In October, we pulled together insights from talking to 3,000+ customers of 12 different portfolio companies across six countries. 80% of these customers said clean cooking technologies have improved their quality of life and 84% previously didn’t have access to clean cooking products.

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60 Decibels: Microfinance Index Report. In June, we published our biggest report to date. It shows the comparative social performance of 72 microfinance organizations representing 25 million customers globally. We’ll be launching the 2022-23 edition later this year (and if you’re interested, let us know!)

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Sustainable Ocean Alliance: Peruvian Oil Spill Disaster Response. On January 15th 2022, almost 12,000 barrels of crude oil from Repsol spilled in Callao, Peru. Less than three months later, we worked with Sustainable Ocean Alliance and ConCiencia Marina to interview the fishermen and merchants affected by the oil spill. For the first time in Peru’s history, a lawsuit will be heard against a transnational company for environmental damages.

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Primark: Sustainability and Ethics Report 2021-22. We spoke with more than 600 workers who completed the Sudokkho Programme, one of Primark’s flagship impact projects helping to upskill employees. Over 70% of the workers reported an increase in income because of the training.

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Most interesting articles from The Volume (according to you!)

1. We hate to be that guy, but our Off-Grid Energy Benchmarks got twice as many clicks as any other link in the Volume in 2022. We benchmarked the performance of 97 energy companies, across 27 countries, from 147 Lean Data projects, listening to over 31,000 customers. If you haven’t checked out our interactive dashboard yet, you can filter by over 17 categories to zero in on what matters to you here.

2. In the past few years ESG has gone from a wonky acronym to a hot-button issue, and we’ve got a lot to say on the topic. Many of our most clicked links this year focused on ESG critiques: ESG Investing Isn’t Designed to Save the Planet (HBR), The ESG Mirage (Bloomberg), and ESG Investing Needs to Expand Its Definition of Materiality (SSIR).

3. A UK government watchdog department revealed that many of our favorite brands are nowhere near as sustainable as they claim to be. Yes, we’re looking at you, H&M.

4. Bloomberg took aim at microfinance last summer, and our CEO Sasha Dichter responded with the data we gathered listening to nearly 18,000 borrowers across 40+ countries. Sorry—if you’re going to come after the microfinance industry without customer data, you might want to think again.

5. We’re in the business of listening to feedback, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. This candid blog by Alex Turek about How To Criticize Coworkers gave us tangible ideas about how to be better listeners and feedback-givers. No wonder it was so well-received.

6. If you had told us a year ago that Tom Adams, 60dB co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, would have landed on the front cover of a chocolate magazine, we wouldn’t have believed you (but we would have said….sweet!). The article describes our work to better understand the wellbeing of farmers in cacao supply chains, which is a big focus for us going forward. You can catch Tom speaking about the Farmer Thriving Index at Confectionery Live 2023 on January 24th (grab your free tickets here).

What some of our clients had to say about us

Ready to hit the ground running – or should we say, listening – in 2023? Reach out via the link below to see how we can help!

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