CSR Blogs

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

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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. 

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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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Today’s Brand of Green Marketing Requires New Rules

Green has gone mainstream—and bringing with it new rules for reaching today’s green consumers. What used to be a fringe market has grown over the past two decades into a $290 billion industry encompassing products from natural food and pet care to hybrid cars and now plug-in cars, ecotourism and solar panels and windmills for residential rooftops.

Since 1989  Jacquelyn Ottman, founder and principal of J. Ottman Consulting, Inc.  (LINK TO http://www.greenmarketing...

Employee Giving & Volunteering - What Matters Most

For me, the question is never, “How much did you do?”

The question is, “Why does what you do matter?”

 
This perspective colors every headline I see and article I read, which is why one title particularly piqued my interest. “The Best and Worst of Corporate Giving in 2010” by Caroline Preston. Immediately, I wanted to know the criteria for measuring the “best” and “worst” when it comes to
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11 Challenges for Corporate Social Responsibility

At a recent breakfast hosted by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and NYSE Euronext, the Conference Board's David Vidal asked an insightful question: What are the top three reasons for your company's reluctance to embrace sustainability—and to adopt sustainability reporting?

The responses that came from an audience representing the glitterati of the corporate social responsibility world might surprise.

Keep in mind that a majority of

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Part II of the Top 10 Sustainability / CSR and Online / Social Media Marketing Trends for 2011

(Read Part I, Top Sustainability & CSR Trends).

At the intersection of marketing and sustainability, the most exciting trends continue in the online space. Businesses are realizing that the online “green” community is growing, active and influential. And  2011 marketing trends surveys

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Crowdsourcing: Yesterday's Corporate Philanthropy is Today's Branding and Community-Building

Old corporate giving, 10 – 20 years ago: Decisions were made behind closed doors, among a small, select, close-knit group of people. New corporate philanthropy, often part of the CSR strategy: Decisions draw on the collective wisdom of diverse groups of people of all generations and backgrounds, including members of the global community being served, social innovators, customers, employees, and others. The vehicle: Crowdsourcing. The value: Good for business,...

Tailoring a Bespoke CR Strategy: Why You Should Engage Employees

If you had a chance to take part in or review the #CSRchat on Twitter this week, you will have gleaned some key points about employee engagement in the context of corporate responsibility:  what it means; some examples of who’s doing it well; what might be required to undertake employee engagement; how it might be measured; who might be involved.  But, surprisingly, not too much was said about the benefits of undertaking employee engagement – perhaps there just wasn’t enough time!

Some of the benefits that I heard from other...

A CSR Best Practice at Barrick

According to a report released yesterday by Human Rights Watch, private security personnel employed at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been implicated in alleged gang rapes and other violent abuses. The Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mine has produced billions of dollars of gold in its twenty years of operation, and  is operated and 95 percent owned by Barrick Gold, a Canadian company that is the world’s largest gold producer.

Barrick’s response to this finding has been commendable and should...

Advice for the Shoestring Practitioner: Sustainability Mapping



Are you a Shoestring Practitioner?  A Shoestring Practitioner is someone with a passion for doing good, for doing the right thing, for doing things better, but who is working on a shoestring:  constrained in his or her efforts by a lack of resources, such as staff, time, money, or organizational support.  This post is intended for the Shoestring Practitioner, especially one who is at or near the beginning of a sustainability journey in their organization, but may also be helpful to others trying

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Social Media, Sustainability and Transparency

Two posts in less than a week? I must officially be an insomniac.

Tonight’s excuse is that I’m waiting for my laptop to painfully slowly back-up before setting off to Paris to take part in Societe Generale’s Citizen Act finale.

I was invited to take part in today’s Guardian’s Sustainable Business live online Q&A on ‘Using social media to communicate sustainability’.

If nothing else I’d...

Wanted: More Women Inventors to Save the World

With such great need around the world for clean drinking water, safe housing, renewable energy, disaster relief, biomedical devices, and so on, we need inventors to build solutions and bring them to market. Unfortunately, it turns out that we might be missing out on talented young men, and even more women, who would be--but who are not--considering careers as inventors.

Young Women Do Not See...

More donations to charity via rounded-up credit card purchases

The virtual ink had barely dried on our story about SwipeGood when we received word of Pennies, a like-minded UK contender. Billed as “the electronic charity box,” Pennies aims to provide an “easy, affordable, private and secure way for people to donate between 1 penny and 99 pence to UK charities, big and small, as they shop and pay by card,” in the site's own words.

Originally launched last November with the support of...

Rethinking Capitalism

If you’re interested in corporate social responsibility you need to watch Rethinking Capitalism. In this video,  Harvard Business School Professor Micheal E. Porter explains why business leaders should create products and services that benefit not only the company but also society. It’s an overview of Creating Shared Value, the subject of a recent article in...

My lessons learned: What to expect from a good CSR / Sustainability blog

I have been running this blog since early 2008 now. It started as a collection of personal thoughts and events but ever since I started to write a little more about CSR / Sustainability I also had to make sure I am listing to my readers enough to get an interesting discussion going.

The topic of this post is to provide you with some of the these lessons I learned over the past years when it comes to my blog design, the content and what my readers are looking for:

  • Post on a regular basis: At least once a week but not each day. There
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That Man and That Quote Again

 It’s 1.34am and I’m lying awake in a hotel room in London after 20 hours of travelling, meetings and an enjoyable, if whirlwind, debate entitled ‘CSR: Myth or Reality‘. I was invited to sit on the panel with Tony Needham, Head of Finance and Business from the New Economics Foundation and Clare  Woodcraft, Deputy Director of the Shell Foundation, and offer an opinion on the event title, which provided an educational, occasionally provocative (as oil companies, even their charitable arm,  tend to...

Philanthropy: Is Your Company Squandering a CSR Opportunity?

If your company is philanthropic, but you’re not matching your executives to nonprofit boards in a purposeful way, then your company is missing out. Missing out on a number of valuable opportunities, including: government and community relations, economic development, leadership development, and effective stewardship of your costly grant-making. This is particularly relevant for companies that are expanding into new markets here in the U.S. or abroad, businesses that wish to engender good will, and corporations that seek to further develop their...

Top 10 Sustainability / CSR and Online / Social Media Marketing Trends for 2011 (Part 1: Sustainability Trends)

By now, you’ve probably read some marketing and sustainability trend forecasts for 2011. Why another? Because there’s not another one out there exactly like this one!

I’ve grouped the top ten trends into two broad categories: Sustainability/CSR and Online/Social Media.

Part I. Top Sustainability and CSR Trends for 2011:

1.  A re-examination of paper versus online efficiencies. Campaigns to go paperless have been so successful that most people accept as Established Fact that online...

Why Cause Marketing is the Borg

The battleground is Europe, but it really could be anywhere in the world.

Governments are out of money, and museums, historical sites and cultural institutions are turning to the private sector and consumers to keep their doors open and visitors coming through the turnstiles.

  • Shiny electric cars sit outside one Rome museum after a business paid $110,000 for a
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Cats, Mice and Sustainable Energy




"Join me in setting a new goal. By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.”  – President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 25, 2011.



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Measuring the Strength of Your Volunteer Program

At Realized Worth, we talk to companies every week about employee volunteer programs. It doesn’t seem to matter if the company is a local business or a multi-national Fortune 500 corporation - invariably, the conversation begins with this question: "How can I get more employees to participate as volunteers?" After that, the conversations goes to how the volunteering program fits within the company and what the outcomes have been so far. Finally, we talk about metrics. What is the data saying? Usually, this brings us right back to the beginning of the...

Are You Ready for a Nonprofit Board: Ten Questions to Consider

I'm an activist when it comes to recruiting talented people to serve on nonprofit boards. My friends know that when I leave a party, a few people might be on a new path that will lead to their joining nonprofit boards. Only because I so often meet amazing people who are interested in boards but don't quite know what a board does, what will be expected of them, or how to find the right board that fits their interests and where they can add value....

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