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.

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Craig Newmark on Doing Well by Doing Good

Craig Newmark is a self-professed nerd, an ingenious, committed philanthropist and a wry savant. He founded craigslist in 1995 as an email distribution list for friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area. The service became web-based a year later; it fast expanded into other classified categories and U.S. cities. Today, it covers … Continued

Mexico’s First Integrated Solar System Now Online

The border city of Mexicali will be home to Mexico’s first integrated solar power system and manufacturing plant, Baja Sun Energy SRL announced Monday The company will invest more than $500 million over the next four years to build a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) manufacturing plant, itself powered by a 10-megawatt (MW) solar farm.

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Big Retailers Help Organic Cotton Market Surge 20%

A new market report estimates that the global organic cotton market will increase 20 percent in 2011 to an estimated US$6.2 billion value. That total will increase to US$7.4 billion next year.

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Despite CSR Weaknesses, H&M is Biggest Buyer of Organic Cotton

H&M has recently overtaken Walmart as the biggest buyer of organic cotton. The global market for organic cotton grew by 20% and H&M used more than 15,000 tonnes of it in 2010 – an increase of 77% compared to 2009. This is great news for organic cotton, but H&M needs to make many more improvements … Continued

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7 Hot Topics from SOCAP 2011

As SOCAP 2011 – a conference focused on “accelerating the flow of capital to social good” – drew to a close last Friday in San Francisco, there was a prevailing sense of optimism and opportunity. Here are 7 hot topics people were discussing in the halls and along the breezy Bay side Fort Mason conference … Continued

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Five Trends Shaping the NGO Sector

By Ayesha Barenblat, Dir, Stakeholder Collaboration, BSR Over the past decade, NGO activity has been shaped by the spread of democracy and the rise of the internet opening up societies. This spurred an expansion of all types of NGOs that enjoyed support from northern governments and unfettered trust from the public. In particular, we saw the … Continued

Mission-driven entrepreneur business plan competition–deadline October 12th

An upcoming business plan competition hosted by The William James Foundation provides mission-driven entrepreneurs an opportunity to compete for investment dollars, as well as many other prizes. Exclusively for mission-driven entrepreneurs, the competition’s volunteer judges (including yours truly!) provide feedback on entrants’ business plans. The William James Foundation’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition offers a total … Continued

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man’s Green Complexion

A week ago, the renowned Burning Man festival raged in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. More than 50,000 people from all over the world gathered as a community and built a city for a week. The prevailing spirit of the event is self-reliance, civic responsibility, creativity and a purposeful absence of commerce. The very … Continued

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Molson Coors Launches Water Stewardship Campaign

Water stewardship has become an important CSR focus for many companies. Good water stewardship is especially important to beverage companies like Pepsico,and Coca-Cola where water makes up large quantities of the actual product they produce. The same also goes for alcoholic beverages. Brewing packs a walloping carbon as well as water footprint. It takes 58 gallons … Continued

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Allstate Cutting Paper Use Drastically, Saving Both Trees and Money

The insurance company Allstate uses a lot of paper – in 2009 it used approximately 3.7 billion sheets, equal to approximately 450,000 trees. So it’s not surprising that the company identified paper reduction as one of its top environmental priorities, setting a goal of reducing overall office paper use by 25 percent by 2010. In … Continued

Jeff Hollender, co-founder Commonwise, co-foudner & former CEO, Seventh Generation

SOCAP11: Jeffrey Hollender on his Encore to Seventh Generation

Jeffrey Hollender co-founded Seventh Generation Inc., the country’s largest distributor of non-toxic, all natural cleaning, paper and personal care products. Seventh Generation pioneered a new category of cleaning products, growing exponentially as it’s primary retail partner, Whole Foods, ascended. He served as CEO and Executive Chair until his abrupt departure last year. Hollender is also … Continued

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Dell Swaps Carbon Neutrality for Energy Efficiency

Dell has stopped purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, central to its promise of becoming a “carbon-neutral” company, according to its 2011 corporate responsibility report.

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B Corp and a Benefit Corporation are Not Created Equal

B Corp is just short hand for a Benefit Corporation, right? Not quite. Although there are similarities between the two in name, and in spirit, there is a crucial difference. B Corp is a certification and a Benefit Corp is a legal entity. Let me explain. The Confusion Between B Corp and Benefit Corporations First … Continued

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Puma, Nike and Adidas Run Towards Toxin-Free Products With Greenpeace

Did you know that your running shoes contains hazardous chemicals, some that get released every time you go out for a run? No matter how fancy the shoe, it probably contains three components that don’t biodegrade. The decorative upper of the shoe consists of nylon, plastic or synthetic leather. The sole is more often than not, … Continued