CSR Blogs

Warren Buffett on Sustainability. Not.

The UK sees no need in a CSR Minister anymore

Inhance Sustainability

Big Oil, God and Money

Who knew until just a few weeks ago that Big Oil had a contract with God? BP, the self-proclaimed poster child for corporate social responsibility, got their right to dig one mile below the surface of the sea direct from above.

Yup, that is just the way it is. Nothing any of us can do about it. Because if God gave them the right to drill baby drill, who are we mere mortals to question their authority? 

How else would the American government, the international maritime agencies, and oil industry regulators have allowed this one profit-driven company...

Hooters Girls Donate Pantyhose to Clean Up Oil in the Gulf of Mexico

What are Hooters Girls famous for? Their shiny pantyhose, of course. And now, the girls are shedding their said pantyhose for a good cause… to help clean up the Gulf Coast. I guess, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

It’s true. This isn’t fodder for Late Night TV (may be it should be) or a skit from the Daily Show with John Stewart. The lovely ladies of Hooters plan to donate over 100,000 pairs of pantyhose through an effort dubbed… wait for it… Project Pantyhose.

Once laundered, the pantyhose will be...

Arguing For an Integrated Annual Report: Too Much Data, Too much Irrelevance?

Yesterday, the Conference Board hosted a webcast on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Future of Integrated Reporting. The panel included Mike Wallace, the director of the sustainability reporting framework with GRI; Intel's Director of CSR Strategy and Communications, Suzanne Fallender; Doug Kangos, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers' National Professional Services unit; and Rina Levy, an environmental and social governance (ESG) analyst with Bloomberg. The topic: the future of integrated reporting, and how much data is too much? (For those unfamiliar with GRI and...

Microsoft’s Noblest Cause

Child pornography is the Internet’s most severe social problem. In recent years it has exploded as countless illicit images are circulated online – viewed by pedophiles and passed around from predator to predator. Since 2003, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has reviewed and analyzed almost 30 million of these images. It projects that an additional nine million images will be examined in the coming year. NCMEC also acknowledges that the scope of the child porn...

The Other 99%

There are 4.9 million commercial buildings in the US.

In 2009, more than 275 projects achieved LEED-EBOM certification. Compare that with only 12 certified projects in 2004, 11 in 2005, 17 in 2006, and 27 in 2007. (Stats taken from the Center for Sustainable Systems) For me it's very hard to hold those numbers in my head at the same time. And while I know it's not really a fair comparison to pit the entire commercial building stock of the US against a program that's only 6 years old, I hope I'm...

Corporate Boards: You Can Navigate Away From Deepwater

Just 10 days before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion marked the beginning of the devastation wrought by BP's oil spill, Cone completed its new "Shared Responsibility Study," entitled: "Companies Fail to Engage Consumers on Environmental and Social Issues."

According to Cone, 84% of consumers indicate that "by listening to my feedback and ideas, I...

It’s a Miracle: Financial Reform

Do you believe in miracles? Well, brace yourself. We may have another one coming down the pike. Financial reform bills have been passed by both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers are currently working on the final version. We just might see the most sweeping financial reform since the Great Depression within our lifetime. Considering the aggressive and well-funded lobbying by banks, financial institutions, large corporations, and highly placed politicians, this would truly be a miracle.

Why didn’t we have financial reform before this, you may wonder? Because… “The markets can...

CSR Corporate Leadership Meeting 2010: What They Said

BP Removed from Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes

Another nail in BP’s coffin. The oil company responsible for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history was removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) effective May 31, 2010.

The DJSI are the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. Socially responsible investors use the DJSI to help them determine where their investing dollars should go. Many of us have 401(k) or IRA accounts, and we can...

A Little Fabric Shop...

I love walking around my neighborhood (Astoria, Queens) because it's one of those areas of NYC where you get a true cross section of the population. There are some upper middle class, middle class, and working class folks of every ethnic and religious denomination. You're as likely to run into a white out-of-work actor as you are 2nd generation land owner leaving his local mosque. The other great thing about Astoria is that it's a great case study for small business environments, especially retail. Raquel and I were walking home when she decided to stop into the fabric shop along the way. The place was full of patches, brightly colored yarns, sewings kits, and bolts of fabric. It had the potential to be so exciting a place, so welcoming an envrionment, yet it wasn't. It was, instead this cold grey pall was cast over what should have been a vibrant visual array of fabric and supplies.

CSR: Everything you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask...

Regardless of how you view corporate responsibility, there is no denying that it has been increasingly grabbing more news space in mainstream and alternative media than ever before. Especially in the wake of the ongoing BP oil spill fiasco, there remain some core questions regarding the extent, criteria and involvement of CSR that could use some honest answering. Whether you ask these questions as involved consumers or informed professionals, the answers remain central to the heart of our daily decision making: How do personal accountability and responsible actions extend to the brand I...

HBR: Companies need to improve sustainability communications

In their Harvard Business Review article, The Sustainability Imperative, David A. Lubin and Daniel C. Esty say that companies need to get better at communicating sustainability. In the article, the authors identify sustainability as an emerging megatrend, similar to quality in the 1970's and IT in the 1980's.

In order for companies to gain advantage from this megatrend, they need to execute in five critical areas, one of which is reporting and communication. They write:

We see

...

FMYI Receives Innovation in Sustainability Award

Yesterday FMYI received an Innovation in Sustainability Award in the small business category at an event hosted by the Portland Business Journal and Sustainable Business Oregon. Recipients of these awards are organizations committed to pushing the envelope to provide innovative...

Microsoft’s CSR Accelerator Summit

It’s easy to forget just how pervasive Microsoft’s reach is from Xbox to Office or their effect on everybody’s lives over the past 35 years.

Ok, they may have lost market value top dog status to Apple, market share in the internet browser sector or have harbingers of doom awaiting the monster to fall as the Cloud approaches, but with competition such as Google acting like a righteous teenager, Facebook playing like a petulant child and Apple’s aspirations heading toward megalomania with their use of applications to control content, Microsoft could be said to be enjoying a...

The Top Six Reasons Board Candidates Choose One Nonprofit Over Others

Can iWork on the iPad?

Okay, so it’s impossible to shield yourself from the iPad hype. Especially for an Apple fanboy like myself. I mean, an entire episode of Modern Family revolved around it.  I’ve read the mammoth Arstechnica and

...

The Century of Women

Last week, I was invited to speak at a United Nations NGO conference on the role that women play in the changing world order. The CONGO Committee of Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns and its working group “Values and Business” presented an inspiring two-day conference. (GoodB will report on the events and speakers next week.) The first day of the conference was devoted to The Divine Feminine, Rapprochement, and the Culture of Peace...

Climate Corps Alumni Discuss Internship Struggles & Triumphs: Citing the Business Case for Sustainability Isn't Enough

Today was day two of training for the 26 of the 51 fellows selected by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) for the 2010 class of Climate Corps, a unique internship program that connects business schools students with companies who want to initiate the discussion of sustainability internally, with an emphasis on energy efficiency. The highlight of today's agenda was a panel of Climate Corps alumni who discussed their experience as well as gave practical and relevant tips to the new class of interns.

As they addressed several aspects from their individual internships—at a bunch of...

Sustainability Pledge: Walk The Talk

With a foot in both the academic and business worlds currently – I find myself intrigued that a lot of colleges/universities are taking such a lead in committing their facilities and community to new journeys in sustainability, while corporations are lagging way behind.   Some companies may be ramping up  marketing efforts, for certain, but what about the basics of first engaging the humans in their businesses with sustainability on a more personal level?   It goes beyond the recycling bin in the corner and the automatic lights in the restrooms.

Let’s learn from the many institutions of higher learning that have sustainability pledges, as they are all quite similar.  Harvard’s – which comes up first in a Google search, is a nice example.

Nothing too bold or scary here.  However, by putting such a list in front of your nose and occasionally glancing at it, you will – much more likely – stop and think a bit.  You may even start to change your own behavior.  Checklists are powerful stuff: Do you take the stairs as often as possible?  Do you unplug computers and turn off lights?  Do you walk, bike or take the subway more often than getting into a car or bus?

My question: Where are all the corporate sustainability pledges?

Consultants Talk Green: We Are Rather Friedmanite About This

Every year Vault conducts employee surveys to rank firms and companies by industry according to various standards including diversity, prestige, work/life culture, salary, etc. Last year, we added a short section on green, i.e., energy conservation, recycling, environmental friendliness and workplace safety, in the survey, hoping to get a glimpse into what companies were doing toward becoming ecologically friendly. We're currently in the middle of our 2010 Top Consulting Firms Survey.

These differ distinctly from the law community in not only their...

How to Leverage Your Advisory Board (Because Their Name Isn’t All They Can Offer)

You have your board.  Now what?

I wrote before about when and how to assemble your advisory board.  If you already have an advisory board though, what can you realistically expect from the people who comprise it and how do you best leverage their skills and commitment?

The first part–what you can realistically expect from your advisors–should be agreed on before they commit. I spoke with one enterprenenur who realized in hindsight the criticality of setting...

Remembering C.K. Prahalad

“What is needed is a better approach to help the poor, an approach that involves partnering with them to innovate and achieve sustainable win-win scenarios where the poor are actively engaged and, at the same time, the companies providing products and services to them are profitable.”

 

                 C.K. Prahalad – From The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits

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