CSR Blogs

CGI University Gets Involved: Microscholarships, Hens For Haiti, WaterWheels, And More

How many students does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? Tony Anderson, Morehouse College ’08, can answer that.

Together with college friend Marcus Penny, they founded Retrofit A Million (LRAM) for the purpose of capturing and replacing 1 million incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs in homes in low-income neighborhoods. So far, 1,000 student volunteers from several universities have screwed in 40,000 bulbs.

The bonus is that these student volunteers have also installed water-...

The Long Tail of CSR: When Smaller is Bigger

By Wayne Visser

Part 8 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

Is bigger always better or can we still say ‘small is beautiful’, as the pioneering economist E.F. Schumacher argued way back in 1973? Certainly, the ‘muesli-eating, sandal-wearing’ New Age approach to small-is-beautiful has been rather more of an advert for ‘small is...

The Single Best Way To Develop Leadership Skills

You might learn a great deal in school, but it’s doubtful that you’ll actually develop as a leader by reading a book or taking a course. The military is right about experiential development: People grow and become leaders by making a commitment to a cause, and having personal responsibility and accountability.

For those of us in civilian life, there are also ways for us to develop as leaders through experience: through volunteer service. There are myriad nonprofit missions from which...

Bracket This: March Madness To Save The World

Whether or not you filled out your NCAA basketball tournement brackets, you have a chance to fill out an even more important bracket for another competition of talented college students. This bracket features 16 student Commitments to Action that will be presented at the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will be held at George Washington University in Washington D.C., March 30-April 1. President Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart will announce the winner on March 31....

Nature vs. Nurture: Are Social Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

By Wayne Visser

Part 6 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

What do Taddy Blecher, Anurag Gupta, Wang Chuan-Fu and all of the other social entrepreneurs have in common? Is this a special breed of human being? Are social entrepreneurs born or can they be made? In the academic literature, there is an interesting thread of research that is around the...

What Would Impact Investing At Scale Look Like? $20 Trillion for Good

Recently, I interviewed Ben Thornley of InSight and author of a new study on impact investing, which demonstrates that institutional investors, such as pension funds and endowments that invest for social and environmental outcomes are also earning a competitive rate of financial return. Launched a few weeks ago in New York by InSight at Pacific Community Ventures and the Initiative for Responsible Investment...

Telling the Whole Story

More jobs and cheaper energy. In the lead up to this week’s Super Tuesday primaries, these have been constant refrains from the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. They have also been central messages from President Obama.  No doubt, they will continue to be among the key themes repeated between now and November 6.

Almost as if on cue, comes a new study by Deutsche Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. The report suggests that a renewed emphasis on energy...

A Call to the Man Behind Europe's CSR Strategy

It's been four months since the EU launched its 2011 - 2014 strategy for CSR and Tom Dodd, CSR Policy Adviser at the European Commission, was one of the key players in delivering the updated definition and overall document. In a project that would have to manage the expectations of an incredibly varied stakeholder group, I believe Tom and his colleagues have done a sterling job in producing such a concise document in the relatively short time period of only 10 months in practical terms. An impressive accomplishment for a process you would expect to be a bureaucratic nightmare.

A...

The Role of Business in a Global Society: Progress or Protect?

The concept of 'The Butterfly Effect' explains that even small actions can have far reaching and unintended consequences. This presents a unique problem for businesses operating in a global context because any business working across cultures must face the fact that -- no matter how they conduct their business -- they are going to have some impacts that will cause some stakeholder to question their actions.

To be sure, global standards such as...

Four Ways to Make Mining More Responsible

“Wanting to be socially responsible is different than having to be socially responsible,” says Juan Pablo Duque, CEO of Four Points Mining, a Colombian-British company devoted to the exploitation and exploration of gold and silver in Colombia.

I’ve spent the last two days participating in the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Annual International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange – the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral exploration industry. I 

...

CSR 2.0 as a New DNA for Business

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 6 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

By May 2008, it was clear to me that the evolutionary concept of Web 2.0 held many lessons for CSR, and I began to develop my thinking around CSR 2.0. It quickly became clear, however, that a metaphor can only take you so far. What was needed was a set of principles against...

Investing in Women--And Not Just in the Abstract

You can probably name the CEOs of many global corporations--but you might not be able to name the people who serve on the boards. Nor might you be able to say how many women serve on the boards. 

And yet, corporate boards make decisions that affect shareholder value, company brand and reputation, global economies and industries, employment, the environment, human rights, the fortunes of suppliers and

...

Ten Ways for Mining Companies to Work Better with Indigenous People

Why is there such a big gap between what’s important to indigenous people and how mining companies are addressing their priorities?

As a follow-up to the piece I wrote last week (see: Why the Future of Mining Depends on Social Change) I felt it was important to explore this question and to provide some direction for what should mining companies could do differently to improve their relationships with indigenous people.

I got  perspective on this issue

...

BASF Sets High Standards for CSR Reporting in Germany

BASF Corporation, one of Europe's leading CSR lights, recently published their latest integrated annual report.

There aren't many companies at all hitting their environmental targets, never mind hitting them nine years early, but BASF have done exactly that. There will of course be an argument hidden in the detail behind the headlines, to suggest that this may be more of weak or pessimistic goal setting than the...

50 Cent on Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

In a recent interview with American rap icon Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, we discussed his evolving philanthropic efforts, bridging business with social responsibility, and what’s next on his radar.

Rahim Kanani: What was the moment upon which you decided to become active in the philanthropic space?

50 Cent: Once I achieved success in 2003 with my first album, Get Rich or Die Trying, I quickly realized how I could use my success to make a difference. Shortly after, I launched the G Unity Foundation...

Cracking the CSR Codes Puzzle

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 5 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

Looking back, we can see that the 1990s were the decade of CSR codes – not only EMAS, ISO 14001 and SA 8000, but also the Forest Steward Council (FSC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification Schemes, Green Globe Standard (tourism sector), Corruption Perceptions Index,...

The Five Greenest Companies in the World

Green is the new black. In recent years being “green” has become more popular than ever before. With the old stigmas about green-mindedness vanquished, the citizens of the world have embraced sustainable technologies and environmentally sound innovations. As a result businesses are starting to take notice, and many are scrambling to “green up” their practices and improve their appearance and marketing techniques. In fact, according to a resource for top online doctoral programs, an increasing number of universities are even offering MBAs in...

Broken Promises: BP’s slide backwards into Promotional CSR

By Wayne Visser

Part 4 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

By 2000, John Browne, then-CEO of BP, felt the company had earned enough sustainability kudos to risk a major rebranding. The company

...

Why the Future of Mining Depends on Social Change

“CSR represents mining companies of the future. The mining industry, more than any other, is aware of the problems more than other industries and understands the impacts of the past.” –Wes Hanson, President and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd.

From March 4th – March 7th the world’s largest annual gathering of people, companies and organizations connected with mineral exploration will take place in Toronto at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s

...

Harvard President Announces $100,000 Social Entrepreneurship Prize

Last Wednesday, President Drew Gilpin Faust sent an email to the Harvard community announcing a university-wide contest on social entrepreneurship.

“The world’s most pressing problems heed no borders, and to better address them we need to work across boundaries to formulate solutions. I can think of no place better prepared to take on such challenges than Harvard,” Faust said in a statement.

The contest is sponsored by Faust and supported by the Harvard...

CSR - Letters from Europe

In case you hadn't noticed, the majority of online content and conversation in the Corporate Social Responsibility space originates in the good old US of A. Maybe that is no surprise as population size alone provides robust reasoning in addition to a more communicative culture, than many more of my reserved UK based compatriots.

In an effort to redress the balance, this is the first of a series of weekly blogs offering a focus on CSR related activity from the European side of the Atlantic, where we stumble into two immediate hurdles. We need to clarify what we mean by CSR,...

Climate Change: Good for Business?

While some see the threat of climate change as pitting the needs of the planet against those of progress and business, some brave entrepreneurs will seize the opportunity that efforts to build a more sustainable future will create.

Even those who question the scientific consensus around global warming may quickly find themselves on the wrong side of history -- arguing in favor of pollution because, in addition to water vapor, combustion exhaust includes large amounts of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It also contains carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, ozone and...

Give a Man the Means to Fish: From Paternalistic Charity to Venture Philanthropy

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 3 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

Give a man a fish and he will eat today. Teach a man to fish and he will eat tomorrow – or until his nets break. Invest in a man’s fishing business and he will feed himself and others for a long time to come. This is what it...

Nonprofit Boards: Boot Camp for Corporate Executives

With global corporations actively pursuing growth opportunities in emerging markets, Harvard Business School Professor Bill George raises the compelling leadership development challenge facing these businesses in this HBR blog. He points out how companies require entirely new approaches to prepare leaders for "aligning employees around the company's mission and values, empowering people to...

Top 5 Sustainability Trends for 2012

More than a coincidental number of people have asked me in the past couple of weeks as to what I am seeing as trends in the sustainability arena, a top 5 trends of 2012, so to speak.   So, here is what I’m seeing this year.

1) Companies are overwhelmed.
2012 continues with a depressed economy with high unemployment, tight budgets, and a great deal of uncertainty.  The rules of business of business keep changing.  Then adding to this uncertainty and over whelm is a rise of new stakeholders who are on the move and actively seeking change.   James Epstein-...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs