This category is about corporate social responsibility (CSR), a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.


Defining Corporate Purpose is the Only Way Forward

The future of sustainable development is being shaped by events such as the U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights held earlier this month in Geneva, the Climate Change Conference in December, and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September. Considering that many corporations have greater turnover than the GDP of several countries and that 500 transnational corporations control roughly 80 percent of world trade, it is clear that we need business on board. The way these corporations are governed is essential for either positive or negative change of the system as a whole, depending on the chosen stewardship, which takes us to the central question: What is the purpose of the corporation?

Specialty Outdoor Retailer REI announces Black Friday closure at 143 stores nationwide with unveiling at Seattle flagship store as part of #OptOutside initiative.

Forget Black Friday — Head Outside Instead

After Thanksgiving, nearly 100 million Americans spend the following day in stores and malls, racing against time and one another for Black Friday deals. How did Black Friday become a tradition for Americans? What retailer in its right mind would lobby against a rite of passage that profits them? What better alternative do we have aside from mass consumerism?


Is CSR Dead? Oh No, Not That Question Again …

The opportunity to attend a recent Barclays debate at the British Library in London entitled “Is CSR Dead” seemed just too good an opportunity to miss. So along I went, naively expecting to have this evergreen question answered and put to bed once and for all. But truth be told, my hopes were dashed.


Google to Invest in Africa’s Largest Wind Farm

Last month, Google announced that it will invest in Africa’s largest wind power farm, on the heels of the company’s $12 million investment in the largest solar project on the continent.


Upcycling: An Old Idea with Renewed Vitality

Upcycling isn’t new, but the term is. It’s a way of repurposing what we have, to create an even better or higher purpose use than originally intended. Our grandparents grew up in households that looked for the usefulness in available materials and tried not to waste anything. Thankfully, upcycling is experiencing a resurgence, and many companies are beginning to see it as a mainstay for running a business.


3p Weekend: 10 Stores Staying Closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a pretty disturbing trend — retailers are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, in an attempt to lure shoppers from their tryptophan-induced comas with the promise of rock-bottom deals. But a growing number of forward-thinking companies are taking a stand against the overconsumption that has long held American Thanksgiving hostage.

Levi Strauss, Goodwill, social enterprise, Give Back Box, recycling, Leon Kaye, waste diversion

Levi’s Making It Easy to Donate Clothing This Holiday Season

This week Levi’s announced a partnership with Give Back Box in an effort to raise up to $50,000 for Goodwill. For every box shipped, Levi’s will donate $5 to Goodwill, and the iconic apparel maker has promised to donate at least $25,000 to the charity during this campaign.


Is Zero Waste Attainable in Commercial Properties?

Imagine a building that, like a forest, leaves no material unused and extracts the deepest value from all its parts. That same building can also wow tenants, investors and the public alike with its sustainability and business savvy. Now, let’s check that zero waste vision against reality: Is it possible for an office building, mixed-use facility or worksite to avoid sending any waste to incineration or into a landfill? And is it worth the cost to find out?

Some future-focused global companies have begun to think so.

Kevala, CALCef, Volkswagen, emissions scandal, electric vehicles, Leon Kaye,

Interactive Map Shows Volkswagen Scandal’s Impact in California

As the Volkswagen emissions scandal continues to unfold, a new interactive map offers a visualization of the environmental effects in California resulting from the automaker’s shenanigans. This map was released just days before VW is set to offer a plan to the California Air Resources Board to compensate consumers who purchased the models under question over the past several years.


Toilets for 2.4 Billion – the Business Opportunity of the Decade

It is unacceptable that, in 2015, 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to a safe and hygienic toilet. The Toilet Board Coalition seeks to prove that sanitation can be delivered profitably to underserved communities. Building a coordinated sanitation ecosystem aligning businesses, utilities, governments and civil society, will catalyze the impact we all want to see.

Grain, Brazil, land grab, TIAA-CREF, Leon Kaye, transparency, corporate social responsibility

American Financial Services Giant Attacked for Role in Brazilian Land Grab

According to Grain, a small NGO that supports small farmers and social equality movements, the financial services giant TIAA-CREF has had a central role in a scheme that has acquired vast amounts of farmland across Brazil—even though the country has strict laws covering foreign investments in farmland.