CSR Blogs

Context in context

This post a response to Mark McElroy and Henk Hadders. Both have been urging me to "pronounce" on the subject of context, or lack of it, in sustainability reports, in particular following  my outline of the way the


International Women's Day: Women's Leadership on Nonprofit Boards

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s honor the women who provide volunteer leadership through their service on global, national, and regional nonprofit boards. And let’s recognize the unique opportunity for younger generations of women to develop and contribute as leaders through nonprofit board service.

Boards have...

Ceres: SEC Climate Change Disclosures Need More Work

Last year the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued interpretative guidance on what public companies should disclose to investors concerning risks related toclimate change.  While the interpretive release did not create any new legal requirements, it provided SEC registrants a framework by which they could outline climate change-


Defragging Cause Marketing

Ever feel like cause marketing is starting to feel a little cluttered?  Everywhere you turn, there’s another cash register ask, cause-branded product, digital cause campaigns beckoning you to “Like” them, location based donations to unlock…each benefitting a different, and potentially unfamiliar cause.

Remember when you could “defrag” on your computer (oh…sorry, PC users, do you still do that?) to increase the efficiency and functionality of your hard drive?  Well it’s time we defrag cause marketing.

Easier said than done, right?...

Taming the Tiger: GE Manages China Supply Chain Sustainability Issues with Education & Collaboration

Many of my prior posts have highlighted the critical needs for increased supply chain collaboration among the world’s largest manufacturers. This is especially evident for large worldwide manufacturers operating subcontractor arrangements in developing nations and “tiger economies”, such as India, Mexico and China (and the rest of Southeast Asia). I have stressed how the most successful greening efforts in supply chains are based on value creation through the sharing of intelligence and know-how about environmental and emerging regulatory issues and...

Sure, let's call HFCS what it really is

From Marion Nestle, I learned this week that the FDA is taking comments through this week on the Corn Refiners Association request to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to corn sugar.

Previously, she says, she didn't oppose the move, on the grounds that it didn't matter, except, of course to the corn refiners, since HFCS has come under suspicion as a particular cause of the nation's obesity...

Rev. Peter J. Gomes: A Message for Millennials About a Good Life Well Lived

"In this generation the search for goodness, both institutional and personal, has reappeared as a defining characteristic in young people's renewed search for the good life." Rev. Peter J. Gomeswas referring to the Millennial Generation in his book ...

Privacy is Dead. Long Live Privacy!

The Queen of England joined Facebook late last year. I signed up early last month. It was a New Year’s resolution and I was officially out of excuses. If, at age 83, Her Majesty could do it, then I certainly could. I had my reasons for waiting so long, much to the surprise, chagrin and teasing of friends and family. First, the time crunch. I’ve seen how so many friends and colleagues practically live on the site, and how much it consumes some of them. But, more than


Consumer Sustainability Thinking: Making Stuff Last

In the category of sustainability “hidden in plain sight,” I spy another example.  According to a New York Times article by Matt Richtel, consumers are found to be holding onto – get this – even their cellphones and TVs(!) a little longer these days.

Do pigs now fly?

Not the last time I checked, but the numbers mentioned in Richtel’s piece are intriguing:

But in some important categories there are


No more glowing press coverage for green?

Glowing coverage of corporate greening initiatives is coming to an end, pens Kate Galbraith in the International Herald Tribune. Galbraith, Energy and environment reporter for the Texas Tribune, writes:

Journalists are a little less wide-eyed, and a little more picky. The cutting-edge coverage today does not typically revolve around the greening of fill-in-the-blank company. Instead, topics like “Who’s not going green?” and “What are the difficulties of going green?” are being...

The Devil's in the Details with Federal Budget Cuts: Life Without City Year Would be a Real Devil

“Students who exhibit at least one of three off-track indicators – poor attendance, unsatisfactory behavior, course failure in math and English – as early as the 6th grade - have less than a 25% chance of graduating from high school. Fifty per cent of our nation’s dropouts come from 12% (2,000) of our nation’s high schools.” These findings are from ...

Campbell’s Nourish: Authentic Social Purpose or Smart Marketing

As reported by Jessica Leeder in today’s Globe and MailCampbell Canada‘s new Six Grain Vegetable formulation, branded Nourish, is the first Canadian private-sector, not-for-profit product tailored to address the growing problem of world hunger. According to the Globe, Nourish was developed by socially conscious Campbell staffers and will only be distributed to food banks


Review: Radisson Hotel Varanasi

Early one smog-enshrouded morning in VaranasiIndia, my pollution-spewing tuk-tuk 3-wheel taxi zooms across the cow-and-car congested city streets and delivers me to the sparkling 5-star Radisson.

To say the least, this is one of Varanasi’s top hotels. The accommodations are flawless–from immaculately clean, tasteful rooms and reliable WiFi, to excellent fitness, spa and dining facilities. My own reaction is...

Opening the Pod Bay Doors to Possibility: The Distinctly Human Applications of IBM's Watson

After trouncing its carbon-based competitors in Jeopardy, it seems Watson can answer nearly every question except one: "Where does Watson go from here?" To borrow a phrase from HAL 9000: I'm sorry, readers--I'm afraid it can't do that.

With this in mind, the company convened a group of experts yesterday at IBM's campus outside New York City. The aim was to provide "input on how the public and private sectors can harness technology for societal advancement," in order to "explore the ways in which IBM's Watson computing system...

Planters Goes Nuts for Sustainability With Oscar Week Announcements

Oscar week in Los Angeles is usually dominated by glitzy brands that get to drop those coveted luxury items into those swanky swag bags.  No word on whether Planter snack mixes will be included with Gucci clasps or Prada accessories, but the Omega-3-rich division of Kraft Foods has nonetheless been busy in La-La-Land.

Led by Mr. Peanut, the most impressive celebrity to come from the ground since Mr. Potato Head, Planters added to the Pre-Oscar week fun with its announcement of two sustainability initiatives:  an investment in...

Four CSR Challenges for Sustainable Businesses

Written by Chris Milton

We have become so used to the way business has been done for the last 50 years or so it's often difficult to break out of the mindset and look at what is unsustainable and how we can fix it.

Four pieces of news from the past few weeks have set me thinking, and below are my conclusions. These I offer up as four challenges for CSR businesses, ways in which they can truely change the paradigm of business to a more sustainable model.

Challenge 1 : Change...

Campbell's Soup Does M'm...M'm Good!

“Business at its best: Maximizing long-term profitability and societal impact.” That’s the topic at the 6th Annual Board of Boards CEO Conference that will be held by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) in NYC later this month. ...

NYC Closer to Turning Sewage into Energy

New York City is the only city in the US that never sleeps.  It is also one city that often smells, especially in the summer.  One reason is the city’s aging sewage system, to which the city’s 8 million residents contribute 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater daily.

All that wastewater goes through several processes until it is reduced to a daily amount of 1200 tons of sludge.  For 50 years until the late 1980s, that sludge was treated as a waste product and...

Bernie Madoff, Richard Feynman, and the Financial Crisis

Interviewed in prison, Bernie Madoff asserted that banks and hedge funds were “complicit” in his elaborate fraud. Diana Henriques, writing in the NY Times, 2/15/11, (here) said ”Madoff described as ‘willful blindness’ their failure to examine discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information,” Quoting Madoff, “They had to know. But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.’ ”...

Cause Marketing Goes to the Movies

My team and I have had some luck working with movie theaters here in Boston. But we have yet to find the right partner to execute the large transactional cause marketing program that raises a lot of money.

The movie theater cause marketing program of note in my city benefits The Jimmy Fund. It’s been around since the late 1940′s and last year it raised $530,000.

Ushers or volunteers collect the change and bills in canisters after moviegoers watch a short...

Jimmy Stewart, cults, and a lot of broken glass: Remembering Straus Family Creamery’s opening day

Straus Family Creamery recently turned 17, and I started thinking back to those crazy times.

In 1989, my older brother Albert, who’d been managing the farm and doing some pretty innovative things — including feeding our cows leftovers from a local sake factory … but that’s another story — decided to convert the farm to organic. He wanted to bottle his own milk, make ice cream, and make enough money to support the farm without having to either grow bigger (one major trend) or go out of business (the other major trend). California had already


Can Apple Redeem Itself on Supply Chain Sustainability? Taking a Cue on Accountability from Nike’s Playbook

NOTE: Portions of this piece originally appeared as a guest column in Sustainable Business Oregon

Last week, on the way to a business meeting in downtown Portland I tuned into the local sports radio station.  Nationally syndicated sports commentator Dan Patrick (“DP”) was providing his one minute Above the Noise segment.  The focus was on if, how and when sports icons that have fallen from grace (due to an off the field indiscretion) they could ever redeem themselves in the public court of opinion...

A place for NGOs to share & learn from failures

Failure is an important part of learning, most educators would agree, yet few of us do more than rush to put our failures behind us. Admitting Failure is a new site that aims to help charities around the globe share, reflect upon and learn from the mistakes they've made.

Launched last month by Engineers Without Borders Canada, Toronto-based Admitting Failure is intended to be “a collaboration between like-minded NGOs, governments, donors and those in the private sector,” in the site's own words. 


The Big Bluff: Wall Street Traders Burn Down The House

 Readers Note:

GoodB Executive Director Monika Mitchell will be on writing sabbatical until March to finish her new manuscript on The World of Wall Street Finance  due out in ebook in June and print in Fall 2011.


Lately I have been hearing a lot about how Wall Street mortgage market makers who brought the global economies to their knees were “stupid.” MIT Quants, Berkeley physicists, Harvard, Stanford and...

Groupon’s Fumble Gives Causes Chance to Score Big

Enough people have registered their opinion to confirm this deal-breaker for everyone:Groupon’s Superbowl ads Sunday night were ill-conceived and offensive. Goodwill earned from this promotion: 0%.

As of this printing, Groupon should have apologized (they haven’t), pulled the ads (saw one last night), fired their agency (standing shoulder to shoulder) and donated a boatload of money to the causes they offended (Umm…nope).

But while the ads may have been a disaster



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