Did you know that Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Clif Bar each invest millions in social enterprises through their investment management funds? I didn’t, until SOCAP 2015 this month in San Francisco.
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.
Last week, Harvard Business Review (HBR) issued its 2015 list of the world’s top CEOs. This year, for the first time, HBR inserted additional criteria on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. It was enough, in some cases, to reshuffle the deck quite a bit. Of particular note was the fact that Jeff Bezos of Amazon fell spectacularly from the No. 1 spot last year, all the way down to No. 87. Taking No. 1 was a very deserving Lars Rebien Sørensen of Novo Nordisk.
A sustainable economy will depend on policies that will help advance change on a societal level. Here are three important policies that can do that.
I’ve known a lot of visionaries in my life, but none have understood how big dreams lead to unbridled achievement like Kailash Satyarthi, co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Kailash might not be a businessman by trade, but we business leaders have much to learn from his compassion, dedication and imagination.
Each of the SDGs requires business to get involved in some shape or form if they are to be achieved. And if the world wants businesses to get involved, we have to recognize that they are businesses and that they need to behave as businesses. Good businesses for sure, but businesses all the same, which means making a commercial return on their activities. We all need to recognize that, and businesses need to be comfortable with admitting that, to themselves and to their stakeholders.
There are more than 160,000 gas stations in the U. S., more than three times the number of supermarkets. Yet when 350.org founder Bill McKibben set up his one-man protest outside an Exxon gas station in Vermont and forced it to close, he did more than get arrested. Months-old news about a simmering accusation of cover-up is once more back in the headlines and in front of lawmakers.
SPECIAL SERIES: The Problem with Food Waste
It’s a never-ending cycle: An over-plentiful food production that exists to satiate our needs and preferences — and which, in its abundance, also feeds landfills instead of families in economic need … all the while creating increasing fuel for climate change. We speak with Mathy Stanislaus of the EPA to get the straight skinny on this burgeoning problem and what the U.S. government, businesses and consumers are doing to help break the cycle.
A few months ago, it seemed inevitable that the world’s most pristine ocean would be drilled. Today, after a massive, months-long grassroots and social media mobilization, the Arctic will be preserved, from now to the foreseeable future.
Now you can look at companies through an objective lens that compares their climate impact relative to others in their same line of business. Companies at the top of that list are not only behaving responsibly, but are also consistently outperforming their peers when it comes to financial returns.
If you think you’re buying basmati rice, think again. “Most of the rice sold as basmati in the United States is not the traditional variety,” said Caryl Levine, co-owner of Lotus Foods, which recently announced a plan to import organic, heirloom basmati to promote rice biodiversity.
Writing out a few company creeds won’t get you on track to driving real profits. To incite real change — internally and externally — employees and consumers need to get behind your values.
Food recalls are still highly prevalent in America, causing many consumers to be hospitalized. In severe cases, some even lose their lives to foodborne illnesses as a result. Here are some key methods to help food production companies provide safer products for their consumers.
Sustainability helps to create a more positive brand and increases a company’s leadership role within the industry. These five companies are well-known for training their employees to care about sustainability — creating this key engagement point into bottom-line results.
SPECIAL SERIES: The Future of Fair Trade
Fair Trade Month is a time to spread the word about who and where our products come from. This means putting the spotlight on challenges like child labor in cocoa and slavery in seafood, and also celebrating the farms, factories, brands and retailers that are doing things differently. As we dive into the second half of October, there are three important things to know about Fair Trade Month.