Will Corporate Social Responsibility Adapt or Die?

Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, described the demise of CSR in his talk at the Sustainability Science Congress in Copenhagen. However, his key argument was that leading companies are going beyond CSR by integrating sustainability into everything they do. Witness Nike’s Considered Design and Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. In short, the old-school concept of sustainability […]

7 Things To Consider before Starting An Employee Volunteer Program

The area of employee engagement is a pretty big one for the purpose-driven economy, and one of the ways employees find engagement is through company-sponsored employee volunteer programs—or EVPs. In one study, 94% of companies surveyed believed employee volunteering provides a way to raise employee morale and 66% of employees reported a greater commitment to the company as a result […]

What Do Apple, Citi and Shell Have in Common?

Everywhere you look, renewable energy is in the news this year. Corporate leaders like Apple, Google and GM are making significant new investments — blink and you may miss the latest deal. While I included falling clean energy prices as one of 2014’s biggest stories, it’s becoming clear this is a longer-term trend.

Surprisingly, players like Shell and BP are signaling […]

InHerSight Allows Women To Anonymously Rate Past and Present Employers

“We’re improving the workplace by measuring it.”

That’s the idea behind InHerSight, a platform where women can evaluate their employers and rate how female-friendly workplace environments are. The idea is that providing women a space to communicate with other women about workplace issues they care about most could have an effect on this issues themselves.

“We believe that scoring employers on their […]

Kaiser Permanente Moves Toward Top Corporate Renewable Energy Users

On the heels of Google, Apple and GM’s announcements on renewable energy buys, Kaiser Permanente says it is purchasing enough wind and solar to supply half the electricity it uses in California.

With 38 hospitals, over 600 medical offices, warehouse and administrative space, Kaiser uses nearly 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, and emits 806,000 metric tons of greenhouse […]

Animal Welfare Deficit In the U.S. Highlighted in New Report

The 2014 edition of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), a review of the world’s top global foods and their animal welfare policies, has found that animal welfare in the U.S. is “immature.”

The benchmark is aimed mainly at investors and ranks companies on their farm animal welfare management and reporting. The report is independently assembled and funded by […]

This Initiative Could Help 60,000 Poor Farmers

Farmers in the developing world will soon benefit from an effort aiming to pull their communities up the economic ladder.

The Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) could help improve the lives of as many as 60,000 local farmers throughout Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Caribbean. Over a three-year period, at least $10 million will be used to launch and […]

China and India Perform Badly in Deforestation Ranking

Just seven global companies and investors are doing enough to prevent deforestation, says a report by think tank Global Canopy Programme.

Rainforest Deforestation – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

While Latin American countries ranked highest on average, China, which is responsible for importing more than a fifth of the value of all forest risk commodities, and India, a […]

Apple Swings for The Fences with $848 Million Solar Deal

In October, Apple‘s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson told a GreenBiz audience that the Silicon Valley tech giant is “swinging for the fences” on sustainability and renewable power.

On Tuesday, Apple made good on Jackson’s promise — and then some — by announcing the largest commercial purchase of solar power ever with an $848 million deal with First Solar […]

Beyond the Politics of Climate Change

We understand the challenges facing lawmakers who must wrestle with these complex issues on Capitol Hill, but we believe the politics of climate change shouldn’t change industry’s commitment to reducing carbon intensity. At Nestlé, we are determined to take concrete, measureable and transparent action on these issues in the U.S. and all over the world no matter which way the […]

Why CSR Is Essential To Your Company’s Growth

It’s no longer enough for businesses to simply buy and sell their products and services without considering the world in which they operate. Companies must voluntarily do business in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner to be sustainable over the long term. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) will look different for each business. For outdoor apparel maker Patagonia, it means […]

How To Do Business in A World Running Out of Water

In this context of ever-rising tension over rights and access to clean water, the United Nations Global Compact and the Pacific Institute have issued a Guidance for Companies on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (PDF). The key takeaway for businesses is that water scarcity and resulting human suffering — which can turn into social turmoil reverberating through […]

Be The Change and Certify as a B Corporation

I recently participated on a panel discussion as part of a conference on creativity for MBA students. The subject veered into the territory of a corporation’s social responsibility, and a banker on the panel—a really sharp guy—said that as far as he was concerned, if you created a job, you had fulfilled a social promise.

He also admonished the audience against […]

In Search of The Hybrid Ideal

In the first large-scale, quantitative study of nascent social entrepreneurs, researchers from Harvard Business School and Echoing Green examine the rise of hybrid organizations that combine aspects of nonprofits and for-profits and the challenges hybrids face as they attempt to integrate traditionally separate organizational models.

 

We expect this hybridization movement to be slow and gradual, as existing organizations are already embedded […]

Corporate Disobedience

As global leaders converge in Davos to evaluate how best to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, I can’t help but reflect on my 10-year career at leading global corporations, and my impact on those same challenges (or lack thereof)…

In choosing to leave a successful corporate career to join the Hult Prize Foundation, for the first time, I am […]

Where Are The Women at Davos?

Social inclusion is at the top of the agenda in Davos, Switzerland, this week, where the question of the role equality plays in driving growth is being asked at every given opportunity. However, of those asking that question, an important voice is missing: women’s.

The portion of female participants at the World Economic Forum meeting is at the stunningly low level […]

Will Unilever Become The Second Publicly-Traded B Corp?

Last month, Brazil’s top cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries maker, Natura, became the largest – and first publicly traded – company to attain B Corp sustainability certification…

Jostein Solheim, chief executive of Ben & Jerry’s, has been leading negotiations with B Corp on behalf of Unilever, having become a B Corp three years ago. He said: “They are rapidly scaling up the […]

JetBlue’s Secret for Sustainability Liftoff

JetBlue started with the idea that the better you treat people, both your own and outside of the company, the better the experience, the better the product, the better the profit.

From that, JetBlue grew up with a very strong CSR in philanthropy. It grew a robust and generous program focused on community needs like literacy and the importance of play […]