Voices of Influence: Original and Guest Blog Posts from Around the World

These blogs provide insight into the latest issues, challenges, advances and debate around CSR and sustainability. Original and guest blog posts highlight differing perspectives and context.

3BL Blog

Working Women: Key to Promoting Energy Efficiency

How women buy and how they work/lead is big news these days – no matter what brand, category, industry or organization.  When you think about how to start to change the culture around sustainable life and business practices, women also appear to be worth serious consideration.  This is particularly the case when you examine the “household manager” role and how women keep those responsibilities in mind all the time.

Let’s connect some dots: One of the reasons people begin to think seriously...

Why Transparency Matters…Impacting Reputation


What does it mean to be a transparent organization?  While transparency includes honesty, it is more than just telling the truth when asked.    Transparency at its best involves pro-actively communicating with stakeholders (consumers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, etc) on all aspects of  business.  Being transparent does not mean one has to reveal confidential information or give away company secrets.  Rather, it can entail explaining an organization’s motives, responsibly alerting customers to potential product risks or setting


PepsiCo, sexism and “diversity”

This is PepsiCo’s SoBe brand, showcasing the actress Ashley Greene and her “zero inhibitions” in a painted-on swimsuit, as part of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit extravaganza. What better way, after all, to promote Sobe’s  “zero calorie” flavors than with a babe wearing zero clothes on your corporate website and on You Tube videos, which have attracted more than 500,000 views?

And then there is the photo, from the page about Our Commitment to Diversity on the PepsiCo website, which goes on at some length about the company’s efforts to foster a workplace of caring and candor and where everyone is treated with respect. As best as I can tell, all the PepsiCo employees in this photo appear to fully clothed, although it’s possible that some wise guy in the back isn’t wearing pants.

The company says:

Diversity isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for our business. We’ve made it our commitment to make diversity and inclusion a way of life at PepsiCo….In fact, we view diversity as a key to our future.


PepsiCo has been nationally recognized as one of the top places for women and minorities to work. We were one of the first companies to begin hiring minorities in professional positions, as far back as the 1940s. We were the first Fortune 500 company to have an African-American vice president.

The company also says that its

Multi-year strategic plans for diversity are developed with the  same vigor and goal-setting process as other business issues.

12 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Add Social Responsibility

Once you understand that a social mission is an incredible asset for your business your first question is usually “Where do I start?” Many of the pieces I write focus on what an entrepreneur or CEO should consider when building a social mission. But if you are an employee looking to implement from within, your first question might be “How do I convince my boss?”

Before tactics, I want to share a story you can cue for inspiration as you sit...

A Necessary Journey

It was an unusually quiet plane ride home. Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz and Share Our Strength Founder Bill Shore had reached the end of a life-changing journey, after having spent several days in Haiti bearing witness to the unthinkable and helping to address earthquake survivor needs.

“We finally let off our last two passengers, celebrity artist Wyclef Jean and a young orthopedic surgeon from Grand Rapids, a father of four who had been in Haiti since day three performing emergency amputations with borrowed farm equipment,” Swartz recounts. “That gave me thirty-five minutes of one-on-one time with Bill, who I never get to be alone with. But I don’t think we said a word to each other the rest of the trip.”

Swartz and Shore were likely in shock. The full-blown mental processing of what they had just endured in and around Haiti would begin later, as they assimilated back into their previous routines. As part of his re-acclamation process, Swartz wrote a series of downloads to Timberland stakeholders – including a Fast Company blog post, which summarizes his takeaways, and a personal letter to employees entitled: “Bearing Witness to Haiti,” which provides a remarkable play-by-play account of his physical and emotional experience.

“I felt I needed to get this off my chest,” says Swartz. “So I wrote about the heroism of the many doctors we saw, the heartbreak of the destruction, the inspiration I felt with Bill and Wyclef, and the indignation I felt at the world’s well-intended but inept efforts to cope with this disaster.”

The Simple Way that DISCOVER Enabled Giving to Haiti and Raised $3.1 M

It’s the simplest programs that drive action and results. Three days after Haiti was struck by the January 12 earthquake, Discover Card enacted a simple relief program that raised $3.1 million. Card members could contribute their cash back bonus points to the American Red Cross and Discover would convert this to dollars and match the donation.

In addition–and this is critical to demonstrate support–Discover made an initial gift of $100,000 and matched $1 million of card member donations. The company is also waiving merchant transaction fees for 17 organizations providing support to...

Small Business: Too-Big-To-Fail


Small business will lead us out of the recession and fuel the recovery. That is the belief among many of the nation’s economists. To understand the role Small B plays in society, here are some basic statistics.

The Small Business Association reports that from 1993-2008, 64% of new jobs were created by firms with 1-499 employees.

“Small businesses employ just over half of U.S. workers. Of 119.9 million nonfarm private sector workers in 2006, small...

CSR Trends: "Consumer Driven Aid" For Haiti

Remember Haiti? Okay, good. Just checking. While it’s been hardly 4 weeks since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Port-Au-Prince, destroying over 200,000 lives and an entire capital city, the media cycle has already seemed to move on. It’s back to health care, elections, tea parties, and the economy.

Lives have been lost, families torn apart, people displaced, and now what? As the first massive wave of relief has passed, and corporations have pledged their initial aid (over $130 million thus far),  I’m sure some might be planning their next move to help in the reconstruction...

A Smart New Way to Segment Green Consumers

When you target customers, it helps to know if they’re “dark green”, “light green” or “basic brown” in their attitudes, but, with so many green issues, products, and labels out there, it may be more relevant to your branding and communications to understand their personal green interests.

Ask: To which environmental organizations do members of our target audience belong (The Appalachian Mountain Club or Greenpeace)? Which types of vacations do they take (hiking or the beach...

Tickets for Employee LUV

Today Southwest Airlines announced a new employee volunteer program- Tickets for Time (T4T). T4T puts a unique twist on corporate volunteering programs.  Rather than simply match...