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Corporate Citizens: Meet Consumer Citizens

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Mountain Khakis Partners with Fair Trade USA on Responsible Manufacturing Program

Mountain Khakis, a leading mountain-inspired lifestyle apparel brand, announces today that it will offer Fair Trade Certified™ apparel beginning with its Spring 2016 collections for men and women.

Mountain Khakis joins an elite group of outdoor and apparel brands partnering with Fair Trade USA, including Patagonia® and PrAna®.  The partnership gives workers a voice, and ensures rigorous standards that improve worker […]

5 Apps To Help People Live More Sustainably

The killer combination of technology and sustainability has led to the creation of the following apps that help people live a more sustainable life.
1. iRecycle
Reduce, reuse and recycle with iRecycle. This application is a go-to resource for recycling. It tells you how, where and when to recycle using your current location.

2. HowGood
HowGood is an app that lets you scan a […]

Chipotle Helps Refugees Replant Their Roots

Chipotle, primarily known for its Food with Integrity campaign, has been a quiet supporter of refugees who are creating new roots in the U.S. For the past few years, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation has provided grants to support the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) New Roots Program, and is currently in the midst of a two-year commitment to finance the program’s […]

Lego Saying ‘No’ To Plastic, Invests Millions Into Search For ‘Sustainable’ Material

The toy company announced this week that it plans to invest 1 billion Danish Krone (or about $150 million) over the next 15 years in a program to develop new “sustainable” materials which will eventually replace the plastic currently used to make its iconic building blocks. Lego also plans to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly.

The move is a testament to […]

Four Multinationals Shifting Their Business Models for Sustainability

Although NRG’s portfolio still includes 30% coal-generated power, it is repositioning itself and its business model to guide energy users from a grid-based power system to a distributed generation system. It’s also developing products and services related to electric vehicles, rooftop solar and home energy efficiency.

As business leaders begin to see themselves as part of a larger system that is […]

Four Banks Plead Guilty To Foreign Exchange Collusion, UBS Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

Five banks will pay the Department of Justice nearly $3 billion in fines and penalties for their manipulation of U.S. dollar and Euro exchange rates, which the DoJ characterized as occurring “almost every day for five years” through private chat rooms, benefiting their trading positions but harming countless consumers and investors around the world. Separately, the Federal Reserve said on […]

Cancer Charities Accused of Stealing $187 Million from Donors

Four charities that claimed to be helping cancer patients were actually lining the pockets of their executives, the Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint filed against the Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, the Breast Cancer Society, and Cancer Support Services.

In one of the largest charity fraud cases ever filed, the executives stand accused of stealing […]

Philanthropy Starts After Profits Are Tallied

Foundations are the new Birkin bags. Everyone who is anyone has one. Giving is now chic. Far from being in denial about it, many wealthy people fret over rising inequality these days, in public and in private.

When they do, giving invariably comes up — whether traditional charity, multiple-bottom-line investing or corporate social responsibility.

What is less fashionable to talk about is […]

Shareholder Activism: Storming The Corporate Castle

These are strange days indeed for shareholder activism. By some measures it’s experiencing a surge. Progressive groups have used the strategy since the early 1970s, but the past few years have seen an increase in its frequency, sophistication and success.

 

In December, for example, the defense contractor Northrop Grumman announced that it would immediately end its membership in the American Legislative […]

A Good Corporate Reputation Requires A Good Social Reputation

Over the last decade, in unprecedented terms, the dramatic escalation and expansion of risk has complicated the global business environment. Both the speed of this transformation and the new categories of risk that have emerged threaten the durability of most global companies as well as their license to operate.
Corporate Reputaton

To remain competitive and even to survive in this complex and […]

How Social Ventures Can Advance Public Health And Social Care

As the recent party conferences and Scottish referendum have proved, health and social care are at the centre of political attention – and will be crucial in general election campaigns. This is with good reason: we are in a period of challenges where health services are concerned. Many NHS trusts are already significantly in deficit, and the strain is beginning to show across the country.

What […]

3 Steps Boomers Can Take To Narrow The Employment Gap

Boomers are sending a very clear signal to the new economy: we are not “moving over” any time soon to cede our careers to younger generations. Traditional retirement at 65 is either unaffordable or irrelevant to a generation that either must keep working to survive, and/or wants to keep working to serve a meaningful and purposeful life. This is not a call to intergenerational competition. […]

UPS Becomes One of USA’s Largest User of Renewable Natural Gas

New Agreement with Clean Energy Will Help Grow Market for Use of Methane Gas from Landfills As Fuel
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) for its delivery vehicle fleet from Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE). The deal signifies UPS’s plan to significantly expand its use of renewable natural gas for […]

You Shouldn’t Recycle Pizza Boxes After All

Recycling is good for the environment, unless you’re recycling the wrong things – like pizza boxes. According to The Atlantic’s CityLab, that’s one thing you’re going to have to throw out. The truth is in the cheese.

Darby Hoover, a senior resource specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Atlantic that the box “ends up suffering the most from getting […]

Pregnant Supermodel Stands in Solidarity with Orphaned Whales

Marisa Miller put herself in the position of captive orca whales in a PETA campaign protesting SeaWorld.

 
The supermodel, who is pregnant with her second child, posed nude in an empty bathtub to bring awareness to mother orcas who are separated from their calves, which are taken to separate parks and ultimately confined to tanks.

“Being a mom and seeing [the SeaWorld-critical […]

Pennsylvania’s Fracked-Up Water Wells

A new study has found that shale drilling and fracking contaminated drinking water wells in Pennsylvania. The study represents the first peer-reviewed paper confirming that fracking can and does contaminate drinking water supplies.

The study discovered that the whitish foam seeping from the faucets and hoses in Bradford county homes was the drilling chemical 2-BE a “foaming agent” known to cause […]

A Big-Hearted Man Manufacturing Tiny Houses for Oakland’s Homeless

To date, Kloehn has built 35 miniature homes for the homeless in Oakland and San Francisco. All construction materials (except for the wheels and a few other odds and ends), are sourced from garbage. He also runs workshops and gives lectures, teaching other artists and handypeople the tricks of the trade. Following his lead, other builders have made homes for […]

Urban Farms Now Produce One Fifth of The World’s Food

Leadley is a key player in Detroit’s vibrant communal and commercial farming community, which in 2014 produced nearly 400,000 pounds of produce — enough to feed more than 600 people — in its more than 1,300 community, market, family and school gardens.

Other farms in postindustrial cities are also prolific: In 2008, Philadelphia’s 226 community and squatter gardens grew roughly 2 […]

Miley Cyrus’ New Nonprofit Helps Homeless, LGBT Youth

When Miley Cyrus wears pasties or posts photos of her pink armpits, it’s not to be a provocateur. The 22-year-old says she’s just being herself, and she wants all young people to have that same opportunity.

That’s why she’s launching the Happy Hippie Foundation to help homeless and LGBT youth, adding that not all her past relationships were “straight, heterosexual” ones. […]

Six Years, Many Lessons: Scaling Impact with Ashoka

Why don’t great ideas that are useful and working effectively to solve some of the most pressing social challenges “travel” as well as business ideas do? Why aren’t they able to scale to solve similar social challenges happening in other parts of the world? What is preventing our Ashoka Fellows from scaling their work better and faster? With these questions […]

Tufts Students Go On Hunger Strike Over Janitor Layoffs

MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – Five students at Tufts University began a hunger strike Sunday over the university’s plans to cut about 35 janitorial jobs at the end of May.

More than 80 students, janitors and families of the staff gathered outside the main administrative building to mark the start of the strike, The Boston Globe reported (http://bit.ly/1AzmdVC). About a dozen tents […]

Op-Ed: “The Inhuman Relations Awards”

It’s not often that I am moved to present the less-than coveted Inhuman Relations Award to companies who establish a new low in employee abuse.

I understand that there’s a never-ending tug-of-war between working folks who feel overworked and underappreciated and management which considers its employees a temporary nuisance, to be replaced much as you would change the oil in your […]

Removing Human Antibiotics from American Chicken

Tyson Foods Inc. has joined what’s becoming a growing list of food companies in the U.S. that are revising existing products in the wake of escalating health concerns. The Springdale, Ark.-based meat-producing giant announced on April 28 that it plans to halt the use of human antibiotics from its broiler chicken production. Tyson’s goal is for its U.S. broiler flocks […]

The Evolution of Corporate Citizenship in The States

Large corporations do not enjoy a good reputation with the public. A recent study by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Boston Herald found that 71 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of big business.

We read about BP’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and about the scandals at Wall Street brokerage firms. But beyond the […]

JetBlue Releases “The Blue Review”

JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today released its seventh responsibility report – The Blue Review: Environmental, Social and Business Responsibility – outlining progress the airline made in 2014. This report highlights major developments made by the airline in 2014, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1.65 to 1.54 metric tons CO2e per 1,000 revenue ton miles from 2013 to 2014, a […]

Infographic: The Carbon Footprint of the Internet

CO2 Emissions from Emails, Searches, and Cloud Storage

With 2.5 billion people connected to the Internet worldwide, the Internet’s energy and carbon footprint are estimated to exceed air travel. From manufacturing and shipping of computers to data use—the Internet is less green than you’d think. Learn about how the Internet is impacting the environment and what you can do to lessen […]

Factory vs. Fair Trade: New Businesses Battle to Revolutionize The Fashion Industry

With 98% of clothing purchased in the United States imported from overseas, some entrepreneurs are going straight to the source to reform the industry. They are offering improved conditions and pay for the people in developing countries who produce clothing and accessories for the West, but even laying the right groundwork for the new, ethical standard can take time.

From quality […]

Five Ways Social Media Is Driving Corporate Social Responsibility

With key sustainability credentials often hidden deep within long annual reports, businesses are increasingly embracing the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate directly with their customer base.

Global brands have long purported to place sustainability at the heart of their business plans, but actually getting customers on your side over big sustainability issues has become crucial for business survival […]

What the Advertisements Aren’t Telling you About Natural Gas

Natural gas has been touted as a clean, green alternative to coal and oil, especially in recent advertisements such as the America’s Natural Gas Alliance’s “Think About It” campaign with TV ads that feature the Denver International Airport, L.A. transit and TOTE container ships as being “green” and “environmentally sustainable” because they are powered by natural gas. However, there is […]

Corporate Social Responsibility’s Relationship to Social Enterprise

We did not delve into the efficacy of the initiatives. But from the description, most of the initiatives seem like one of projects which do not necessarily have an impact sustainable over the longer term.

I believe that with the push from the government, corporations big and small have an opportunity to make a phenomenal difference to our society and environment, […]

Shell and High Water: Seattle Takes a Stand

The Port of Seattle has accused citizen groups of playing politics for opposing a plan to use Seattle’s waterfront as a homeport for Shell’s Arctic oil drilling fleet.

Do they mean that this is “political” in the same sense that science-denying reactionaries suggest that global warming is a liberal conspiracy – a stalking horse for big government, limiting freedoms, social engineering, […]

Female Eco-Activists Are Not Dumb Sluts

It is not an uncommon phenomena for media to appeal to our stereotypes for the sake of positive effect and laughs.

I get it! If you don’t like a good joke about stereotypes and generalizations, well then you’re probably semi-dead inside. I love to laugh (seriously, it’s good for the soul) and, for whatever reason, stereotypes are often hilarious. We all […]

Wells Fargo Donates $1.1 Billion to Nonprofits Over the Past Four Years

In 2011, Wells Fargo set a goal to donate $1 billion to nonprofit groups by 2017. The company achieved that goal three years early.

“Caring for our communities and helping individuals and families is one of the most important things we do at Wells Fargo and is a strong part of our culture,” said Jon Campbell, head of Wells Fargo Government […]

Beyond Corporate Citizenship

The concept of Corporate Citizenship – the positive roll of a company in the community and society in general has been evolving over the years.In the past, being a good corporate citizen was about environmental issues and green initiatives. Not anymore. Today good corporate citizenship is much more holistic and integrated into the company culture and includes not only environmental […]

Why It’s Cool to Invest in Girls

Could positive investments in girls be game-changing?

We think so. Harnessing the power and potential of girls is the aim of SPRING, a new project from the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), Nike Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). SPRING will accelerate early to mid-stage ventures with products and services that improve the lives of girls in […]

Helping Smallholders Become Financially Secure through Mobile-powered Tools

David Opio, one of the finalists in Unilever’s Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, heads up Ensibuuko, a social enterprise which empowers rural farmers and increases their financial wellbeing.

Opio, now 27, is the founder of Ensibuuko, a social enterprise that is not only introducing farmers to reliable buyers – cutting out the middle man – but also addressing one of the […]

These Five Corporations Are Making Millions From Mass Incarceration

Likely the most well-known prison profiteers in the United States are the Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group. Between them, these two firms pulled in about $3.3 billion last year running scores of private prisons and immigration detention centers.

However, these two firms are not alone feasting at the trough of corrections expenditure. Many other companies, most of them […]

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 […]

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 […]

Amazon Finally Buys Some Renewable Energy

“Long criticized for its disinterest in lowering emissions or using clean energy, Amazon.com is finally taking steps in that direction…

Amazon Web Services Wind Farm expands Fowler Ridge, one of the largest wind farms in the world. Spread across 50,000 acres, so far it has 355 turbines and 499.8 MW of capacity.”

(Source: sustainablebusiness.com) […]

An Approach to Ending Poverty That Works

“Ending extreme poverty by 2030 is the BHAG – the big, hairy audacious goal – of our generation. While skepticism abounds, momentum is on our side, with poverty rates falling in every region of world.

Unfortunately, these trends still have little to no impact on the lives of a critical and chronically marginalized subset of the extreme poor around the world, those living […]

U.N. Global Compact Expels Hundreds for Non-Compliance

2014 was a mixed year for the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) initiative, which has been working to increase the adoption of sustainable practices in the global business sector.

The organization announced last week that it had expelled 372 companies in the last half of 2014 for not submitting their Communication of Progress (COP) reports, which members are required to submit […]

Global Brands Urged to Invest CSR Budgets in Education

“According to a new study (the world’s first) on global corporate education CSR spending, Fortune 500 companies only spent $2.6bn (13%) of their total $19.9 billion corporate social responsibility budgets on education-related activities…

In one promising sign, the New York Times reports that Silicon Valley is increasingly turning its eye to education, with funding of ed-tech companies rising to nearly $1.87 billion last year, […]