CSR Blogs

The Challenge of Translating Sustainability

Let’s face it: sustainability can be a challenging topic for many people to understand.

For example, when you hear someone on the news or in business talk about alternative energy or cap and trade policy, can you honestly say you understand it all?

Advertising Firm Ogilvy's CEO on Corporate Responsibility: "No one has the RIGHT to a reputation"

Yesterday, I discussed the PR perspective on corporate responsibility as presented by Edelman's Edelman's EVP for CSR-New York, Michael Holland. Here now is the final post on the CSR Forum organized by the Better Business Bureau, New York. The last panel of the day was represented by advertising, marketing and public relations giant Ogilvy's Global CEO Christopher Graves, and advertising columnist from the New York Times Stuart Elliot.

The PR Take on CSR: "Corporate Responsibility Is Not Public Relations"

How is the public relations and advertising world handling all the buzz being created by corporate responsibility? This was the issue at hand at the BBB CSR Forum III: Good Business 2010 organized by the Better Business Bureau earlier this week. Yesterday I highlighted some of the key quotes from Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley's keynote address.

The Thrill is Gone

It used to be that indifferent wealth building and outsized risk was sexy. For thirty years, the world of high rolling high finance was the object of admiration and envy. The chants of “Wall Street sucks” some ten thousand strong in front of City Hall last week signify that the days of glamour and greed are over. Inarticulate and ineffectual as that phrase might be, it reveals the increasing rage building against Wall Street titans. In the wake of the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression, economic hardship has become too real for too many.

Wanted: Self-Promoting Narcissist Blowhards. Besides Men.

Oh the gender divide. How that riles us up. Recently, the ombudsman for National Public Radio (NPR), Alicia Shepard asked why there were significantly fewer women being used for sources, expertise and commentary on NPR. Although her methods were highly unscientific, she felt she was onto something.

The New CSR Frontier: Integrating Sustainability and Community Investment

Ten Things You Must Know Before You Join A Nonprofit Board

You certainly want to join the board of an organization where you find the mission meaningful. But be careful not to wind up in a situation that you will soon regret. You can save yourself and the nonprofit from a bad match by taking a few steps before committing to join a board.

Here are the ten things you need to know and do: 

Financial Reform Just A Subway Ride From Wall Street

Five years ago, Bishop Mitchell Taylor had a vision that many people thought was impossibly audacious. Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City presided over the realization of that dream.

Survey: Salaries Increased by An Average of 10% for CSR Professionals Amid Downturn

Believe it or not, the downturn has had its benefits for some. According to a new survey conducted by Acre Resources, a recruitment firm that focuses on sustainability, corporate responsibility and the environment sectors, estimates that most professionals in the CSR field actually saw an improvement in their salaries and job security in 2009.

The Most Important Part of Your CSR Plan (And You Might Be Missing It)

Take a look at your CSR program. You've got a green plan: check. Volunteer program: check. Philanthropy: check. But what is your company doing to invest in good leadership? Leadership for the sustainability and betterment of the communities where your employees and customers live and work, and leadership for the future of your company?

The Next Generation of Responsible Business Leaders

Recently, I hosted a group of graduate students from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.  I also spoke to a group of undergraduates at George Mason University.  I was struck by the questions they asked me and their responses to the questions I asked of them.  They wanted to know about the linkages between ethics and business performance; they asked about the risk management dimensions of social and environmental responsibility; and they hold crystal clear points of view on corporate reputation, respect for customers, and the value and impact of

Of the Banks, by the Banks, for the Banks…

So much for democracy…

There isn’t even democracy among bankers these days. Community and regional banks are being shuttered around the country by the FDIC to the tune of 218 since 2007. Any bank that levered more than its fair share of capital, suffered losses due to bad subprime, and generally managed their money poorly dies a quick painful death as it is swallowed up by the government “safe banking” machine.

Any bank that is except for the Supersized Big Bailout Six…

Earth Day Career Special: An Interview with Jeffrey Hollender

Today we're celebrating two triumphs. One, of course, is Earth Day's 40th anniversary. And to commemorate the day, here is the final chapter of the lineup we prepared leading to today. To refresh, last week, I discussed why this year Earth Day is important for your career beyond just recycling.

Volcanoes, Business, and Sustainability

Funny thing about the planet - we often forget that it is much bigger than we are and often has a mind of its own. Take, for example, the chaos being created by the volcanic ash cloud over Europe this week.

The recent eruptions of Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano are disrupting business systems on a global scale. We have been reminded once again of nature's brute force and primordial beauty. The continuing volcanic ash cloud is having holistic and systematic repercussions.  Starting with air travel disruption, the impact is now ricocheting across international business and global supply chains.

"BMW in Germany and Nissan and Japan have both temporarily shut down plants due to supply chain disruption. . . Kenya, which exports 1,000 tons a day of fresh goods, threw away 10 million flowers, mostly roses, since the eruption began April 14 . . . One Boeing 747 with 110 tons of fish destined for Europe sat on the tarmac in the Middle East, among some 2,000 tons of other disrupted shipments." Associated Press

What will happen if the volcano repeats it's last (1821) eruption cycle of on-and-off spewing of ash for 13 months?
What impact will it have on the long-term viability and sustainability of companies in the region and around the world?

CSR and the Coming Talent Wars

Why do talented employees leave companies, often despite good salaries??

I keep hearing this question uttered by talent agents to news casters.  They are saying this because, despite the ugly job market, people are jumping ship.

Beyond the typical reasons of bad management, poor working environment, and lack of stimulus – I would say that the top talent are fundamentally looking for something else.

HealthRight International: Building Sustainable Solutions That Appeal To Business Investors

Today's philanthropists struggle to balance crisis contributions with investments in longer term, lasting solutions.  HealthRight International exemplifies a nonprofit that leverages relatively small resources for a significant and sustainable impact in underserved communities around the world. And business investors love it.

A Salary Cap for the Non-Profit Sector

Within the community investment community there’s still too much thinking about the money that goes in and not enough about what’s coming out the other end in terms of social capital.  In Canada, a good illustration is the recent debate about salaries for executives in non-profit organizations.

Do You Need a Corporate Responsibility Expert?

If you do, don’t bother calling me. Unfortunately, I’m just a beginner and wouldn’t be much use to a company that needs someone who really knows what they’re talking about. The good news for you, however, is that there now an extraordinary number of corporate responsibility experts, authorities, advisors, and consultants.

Your Board. Your Story.

Most of the time when we meet someone, socially or professionally, one of the first questions that comes up is "What do you do, and where do you work?" The response to that question often defines us. I thought about that when I read "BRAND OR DIE," Nick Nanton's and JW Dicks' great new blogpost.

Class of 2010—Show me an offer or show me your values?

Millennials have been touted as a distinct generation who have high-expectations of their future employers.  Significant research has been conducted regarding the need for companies to adjust traditional management styles and corporate policies to better align with the needs and desires of this new generation of employees.

Employee Engagement Rethought

The post I wrote on Sunday about the institutionalization of corporate responsibility and the need for more innovation seems to have struck a chord. It’s also made me think more about how specific aspect of corporate responsibility have become ubiquitous and, as a result, may have lost a degree of meaning and impact.

Book Review: In a Changing Corporate Consciousness, Are You A Willing Outlier?

I have to be honest. I don't read self-help books. And the reasoning is simple: they all tout the same advice differently. However, when I heard about Jeffrey Hollender's latest book (co-authored with Bill Breen, co-founder of Fast Company and editorial director at Seventh Generation), I was more than a little curious. The title The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win didn't sermonize and instead, conveyed the conviction of the authors on the future of business, sounding almost too smug to me.

Beyond Green: Winning Over Consumers by Putting Primary Benefits First

Greener products are now available within every industry and are a part of our everyday lives. But they didn’t get to be so ubiquitous just because they are better for the planet. Whether they were promoted as such or not, sales of green products grew because they were appreciated by a growing chorus of consumers for the value they provide—expressed as safety, comfort, good taste, or simply convenience.

Princeton University: A New Era in Social Economics

Last Friday, April 9, 2010, something wonderful happened at Princeton University.

David W. Miller, Director of Princeton’s Faith & Work Initiative, attempted to tackle the monumental job of “civilizing” the economy. No small task for anyone let alone the unusually courageous and innovative Miller. Formerly the Executive Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, Miller also taught a popular course in the Management School, “Business Ethics: Succeeding without Selling Your Soul.”


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