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.

Weinreb Group Report: The Rise of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)

The title of Chief Sustainability Officer is a relatively new one—the first CSO of a publicly traded company, Linda Fisher of DuPont, was appointed in 2004. It was two more years until Ed Fox became CSO at Pinnacle West in 2006. Out of roughly 7,000 publicly traded companies found on NYSE or NASDAQ, only 29 … Continued

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Hershey’s Needs to ‘Raise the Bar’ to Meet Fair Labor Practices

The Hershey Company has been accused of using child labor before. It’s rather ironic for a candy company but after they issued their first ever CSR report last year, it looked like the company was trying to turn over a new leaf. However, a new report shows that Hershey is falling behind in upholding its commitment to protect … Continued

Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit

The U.S. Military’s Plans to Assure Energy Independence

George Kai’iliwai, Director, Resources and Assessment, of the U.S. Pacific Command, recently spoke at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo, addressing the role of the military in helping solve the world’s energy challenges. According to Ka’iliwai, military technologies are potential game-changers in the energy world. This talk is especially relevant in Hawaii, given … Continued

Food Deserts

Drugstores Selling Produce in Food Deserts: This Has to Work, Right?

We have all heard about food deserts: those dreary, downtrodden, typically inner-city places where it is easier to buy hard drugs than a fresh apple. Grocery stores won’t locate there and corner stores stick to what they know best: junk food, alcohol, and other not-so-fresh dietary items. Residents in these communities must range far and wide for anything fresh and ultimately find themselves giving in to the convenience of locally available canned and fast-food more often than they should.

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H&M Detoxes its Supply Chain

Add H&M to apparel manufacturers including Adidas, Nike, and PUMA that are promising to eliminate toxins from their products while they clean up their supply chains.

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Conservation and Alternative Investment Groups Team Up to Back Forest Conservation Bond Market

WWF has joined the Global Canopy Program and the Climate Bonds Initiative in calling on governments help foster growth of a forest conservation bond market. Thirty billion dollars a year invested in forest conservation bonds would cut deforestation rates in half, thereby assuring that the world’s forests will continue to function as sinks that soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they assert.

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Toilet to Tap: A Tough Concept to Swallow?

August 10, 2011 was an exciting day for the wastewater reuse industry.  Sparked by a drought of epic proportions that has gripped much of the state of Texas this year, two separate articles published by CNN and the Associated Press respectively pointed the lens of the national media on one West Texas municipality’s plans to break ground on a $13 million treatment facility that would turn the community’s wastewater into drinking water.

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Video Interview: E+Co on Solar and Rural Electrification in Developing World

Renewable energy is a thriving industry for entrepreneurship in developing countries.  In this interview, Meredith Elliott of E+Co discusses her experience investing in energy solutions in over 22 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.  E+Co is a non-profit that focuses exclusively on energy projects in developing countries in order to bring entrepreneurs up the … Continued

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EDF Climate Corps Fellows Find $650 Million Worth of Operational Cost Savings

This summer, 96 MBA and MPA students placed in 78 companies, cities and universities through the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps. They found $650 million worth of savings in net operational costs through energy efficiency projects and carbon dioxide reductions. These efficiency opportunities in lighting, computer equipment and heating and cooling systems, if implemented, … Continued

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Greening for Survival, And the Bottom Line

By Ashok Kamal For decades, it has been clear that a better understanding of sustainability is necessary to ensure humanity’s survival. Now the green imperative has expanded from environmental activists to boardroom executives. The business community is confronting both a call to action and stark ultimatum: embrace sustainability or risk becoming obsolete. The evidence in … Continued

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Sungevity: Jump-Starting the Sustainable Marketing Revolution?

Every time I turn on the radio these days, I hear Sungevity advertisements that, “Solar is not just for environmentalists anymore!” Instead, the Oakland-based photovoltaic leasing company invites prospective customers to “Join the Rooftop Revolution” by saving money, not the earth.

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Building the Case for Building Trust: A Historical and Current Perspective

Trust is thought of as a form of social capital, which can be considered the emotional or psychological equivalent of financial capital. When trust is abundant and we invest our time and efforts in continually building it, we can gain great emotional and financial returns. However, when trust and confidence are nonexistent and our relationships are emotionally bankrupt, the results can be catastrophic.

Image courtesy of Karen Honeycutt

Quantifying the Shark Fin Market: A Perspective on Wiping Out a Species

Having just returned from a diving trip to the Galapagos Islands, the news that California may soon join Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon in banning shark fin soup was a pleasant surprise. The Galapagos are the site of some of the earliest research about evolution and they are also a designated a protected marine reserve (although … Continued

Haute-Couture CSR: The True Cost of Luxury is Not on the Price Tag

London Fashion week kicked off last Friday and the New York Fashion week is going on this week. Every designer that matters is showing off their fall/winter collection and every critic, celebrity and retailer is taking note of runway trends within this tiny microcosm. It might be tiny but this mostly ethically callous microcosm is … Continued