CSR Blogs

The strong voice of the CSR community

It is now exactly 7 days ago that a storm in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) world broke out over an article by Aneel Karnani published in the Wall Street Journal titled: ”The case against Corporate Social Responsibility”.

In the article he argued that the idea of companies having a duty to address social ills is not just flawed but that it also makes it more likely that we’ll ignore the real solutions to these problems.

Obama, Krishna Das, Paradise and Me

It has been a heck of a week up here in Paradise. For my usual August respite, Barack, Michelle, the kids and me all vacationed together on Martha’s Vineyard. Okay not exactly together, but only a few miles away on this small beautiful island, their hearts beat with mine. It was a sublime dream of unity.

P&G to Use Sugarcane-Based Plastic Packaging for Beauty Brands

Earlier this month, Proctor & Gamble announced plans to use renewable, sustainable, sugarcane-based plastic for packaging on its Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and Max Factor brands.

Why There Is a Case for Corporate Social Responsibility, Despite WSJ's Obituary

The cover essay in The Wall Street Journal's special Executive Advisor report yesterday attacks advocates of corporate social responsibility, calling the belief that "businesses have a responsibility to act in the public interest and will profit from doing so" ineffective and flawed.

Trust and Consequences

Why do some companies win public trust and others lose it? That’s a question more people are asking themselves, as global faith in business remains unfortunately fragile. Turns out the trust deficit, a trend on the rise for ten years now, is more than a mere wrinkle on the face of capitalism. It’s a pressing concern for every shareholder.

Can small changes lead to big ones?

How can people be convinced to significantly green their lives? To make the big changes needed to conserve natural resources and decrease energy use?

"The Economic Collapse, Fundamentally Is a Failure of Leadership"

Ann M. Charles wants senior management to realize that the economic collapse has changed the culture of leadership forever. Founder of BRANDfog and producer of the upcoming Great Leaders Conference, she firmly believes that for companies to be successful, they must embrace social media while recognizing that corporate responsibility is no longer a vague, idealistic concept.

What CSR And Nonprofit Leaders Are Reading - Part II

What CSR and Nonprofit Leaders Are Reading - Part I

Rethinking Debt: Deadbeat Creditors

It’s all in the way you think about it. Debtors or victims? Creditors or usurers?

The ancient dance of debt and credit has changed partners and its moral compass through 4000 years of recorded history. Humanity has had an ambivalent relationship to debt since civilization began. The current battle between borrowers and lenders reveals the age-old struggle shows no sign of abating.

CSR: Right On Target

Today's New York Times article, "Target's First Store in Manhattan Took a Decade of Wooing" describes how Target laid the groundwork to open a major new retail outlet in Harlem. According to the article, Target invested a decade in getting to know the community, its leaders and its residents, and its needs and interests. Not only has Target been financially generous in strengthening schools, cultural institutions, and local parks, but the company is also selling locally produced and designed merchandise.

Mandating CSR: Indian Government Demands Full Disclosure From Companies

As the US markets continue to debate whether we are still in a recession, on the road to recovery, or headed for a double recession, the Indian government is busy imposing regulations to boost corporate philanthropy and social responsibility. In an economy that continues to post steady growth despite upheavals across Europe and the U.S., India Inc. is increasingly facing scrutiny for their role—or their notable absence—in the social and environmental growth of the country.

Blogging on CSR and Nonprofit Boards: My Favorite 17 Posts

When Fast Company invited me to be an Expert blogger on Ethonomics and Leadership two years ago, I had no idea what a great adventure this would be.

PwC's CSR Leader: "I had to accept that some people weren't going to come to the table or invest in this"

In 2007, Shannon Schuyler, an executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) wrote a white paper for the company's leadership emphasizing that PwC needed someone to oversee their CR efforts and give them direction.

Do Republicans Hate Small Business?

Often politics and business mix in a big way. Small Business America is no exception. Access to credit for small business, sole proprietors and entrepreneurs in the United States is in dire straits according to every walking & talking politician out there from the Big O to the Fed Chief to elected officials from both political parties. Yet nowhere is any real and effective help forthcoming.

Is This A Viable Alternative To Crowdsourced Social Good Campaigns?

I’m not the first to make the case that crowdsourced social good contests should retreat quickly into the night.

The Giving Pledge: A New Social Conscience

Something remarkable happened in the world of the richest men on earth. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who dedicated most of their lives to accumulating as much wealth as possible, decided to give nearly all of it away - in their lifetimes. Why? To help those who cannot help themselves. And even more than that, they have asked their peers to do the same (the Giving Pledge) – give it all away.  If you don’t see this as unusual, think again.

When Is a Board a Board? When Is It Not a Board?

What we commonly refer to as a nonprofit "board" is the governing board of a nonprofit corporation. This board is charged by law with the oversight of the nonprofit organization. Board members have a fiduciary duty and risk legal liability if they fail in their duties of care, loyalty, and obedience. The legal organization and responsibility is what makes a "board" a "board." Only the governing board has decision-making authority related to organizational strategy, budget, and the hiring of the CEO.

Walmart and Seventh Generation Join Forces to Bring Sustainable Products to the Masses

Indeed, sustainable business makes for strange bedfellows. Just this week, Seventh Generation announced it will soon offer its environmentally-friendly products in more than 1500 Walmart stores nationwide and on Walmart.com.

A Responsible BP Must Go Beyond Petroleum

As BP prepares for a major image overhaul, what can we expect from incoming CEO Robert Dudley? It wasn’t Tony Hayward's lack of management skills or inept strategizing that have led to his departure, but a realization that he is, according to a Wall Street Journal report, "no longer seen as able to address one of the company's most crucial tasks: repairing BP's reputation and restoring its credibility in the critical U.S.

LEED building complaints – are they really LEED related?

There is a great discussion on LEED apartment building tenant complaints over on the Consilience Blog. The complaints as tenant complaints go are legitimate, but have little or nothing to do with the buildings being LEED certified, rather they have to do with cost cutting and poor design, construction, and facilities maintenance.
In summary the complaints were:
  1. Inability to control Air Conditioning to a point below 73 degrees
  2. Challenged by low flow appliance and water pressure
  3. Common areas have no Air Conditioning
  4. Appear to be too few elevators and without AC and too many solar panels
  5. Time lags in underground parking illumination due to motion sensors create safety concern .
As a landlord and manager of several non-LEED buildings and as a LEED AP, I had to throw my hat into the discussion and this is what I had to say:
Every one of the complaints listed are irrespective of the building being green or LEED certified. These complaints are a result of poor building, design, and facilities management choices of the buildings not because the building is LEED.
  • Heating/Cooling complaints are universal in rental units, period. If the building earned credits for indoor air quality /climate control then these complaints are due to poor installation/design/implementation. More likely the building owner and/or contractor cut corners to cut construction costs or have implemented additional throttle controls to cut operational costs.

Help Wanted: (Nonprofit) Board Chairs

If I had a nickel for every board looking for a good board chair...

Many boards are searching for board chairs. Even some nonprofits that have supportive board members are looking outside of their boards for board chair candidates who can lead their organizations to new heights.

Why is the choice of board chair so important? Would those of you who are successful in your business enterprises want to chair a board?

Why is a good board chair so essential to the success of the nonprofit?

Better Employees, Finances and Image: Why and How to Create A Corporate Volunteer Program

Listen to the interview here.

With a poke in the chest, Chris Jarvis was asked a question on a street corner that stripped away what he knew and put him on a path to give people the opportunity to realize their full worth. Chris is responsible for helping companies attract and retain the best people. But he’s not a recruiter. He creates and implements employee volunteer programs (EVPs) for companies and nonprofits.

So You Think Your Brand is Unique... But What Do Your Employees Think?

Does your company have an HR handbook? Chances are, you're thinking yes, of course. What about a culture book for employees? Zappos does.

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