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.

Book Review: The New Sustainability Advantage, by Bob Willard

Bob Willard’s 10th Anniversary book, The New Sustainability Advantage, is an update of the old with new and relevant examples. For sustainability non-believers, his book is a great first guide. It succinctly summarizes bottom-line benefits of sustainable practices in relevant business terms.

Four Types of Employee Giving Programs

Four Top Corporate Giving Programs

Did you know that thousands of companies offer corporate employee giving programs? These charitable programs are setup by corporations as a way to give back to local organizations where employees are donating either their time or money. In 2010, U.S. corporations gave $15 billion to charities with about 20-25% of that coming from employee giving programs.

NRDC Website Tracks Rio+20 Commitments

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) created a website to track the commitments made at the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

Citizens United by DonkeyHotey

Supreme Court Reaffirms Corporations’ Right to Spend Unlimited Money to Influence Elections

Montana’s Supreme Court challenged corporations’ rights to give unlimited contributions to affect elections. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned this ruling, with all five conservative justices in support, reconfirming its original ruling in the Citizens United case that corporations can enact unlimited influence over elections through financial contributions.

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National Bank of Abu Dhabi Meets Some Environmental Goals But Misses Others

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) wants to be the leading sustainable bank in the region. With 119 branches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and 51 international branches in 12 other countries, NBAD could influence other banks in the Middle East to become more sustainable. However, its recently released 2011 CSR report shows … Continued

climate change

“Rising Sea Levels” … an Inflammatory Term?

Can using comparable conservative language get environmental climate change bills passed? When results were parsed by political party, the study counted 42 percent Republicans among the “believers” in rising temperatures. Of course, that still leaves the majority of Republicans that either don’t believe or are still unsure.

Apple Store Fifth Avenue

The New McJobs – Is Apple Exploiting Its Store Employees?

A 6-page New York Times article last weekend uncovered what was known so far mostly to Apple’s current and former employees – the fact that the company pays its store employees a modest wage without commission or meaningful career opportunities. The article leaves the reader with the uncomfortable thought that just Apple has created a new version of McJobs in order to maximize profits. But is it fair to present Apple as a sort of employee exploiter, or is the New York Times picking on a company that doesn’t really behave differently from any other retailer?

carbon disclosure

5 Reasons Why the U.K.’s New Mandatory Carbon Reporting Can Be a Game Changer

The UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced in Rio that as of April 2013 all companies listed on the main London Stock Exchange (LSE) will be required to report their greenhouse gas emissions. The directive will apply to about 1,600 listed companies and might be extended to all large companies in the U.K. after it will be reviewed in 2015. First of its kind, the new reporting requirement is representing everything we hoped to see in Rio – straightforward policy with a clear timetable and vision that levels the playing field for companies. Together with the decision to make shareholders votes on executive-pay structures binding, it puts the U.K. in the forefront of sustainability regulation. Moreover, it has the potential to become a real game changer. Here are five reasons why:

Figure 2.1 Good Companies Benefit From Responsibility

What is a Good Company?

Today, Clif Bar is among the leading makers of organic energy and nutrition foods. Erickson and his wife, Kit built their company using a business model that integrates its socially responsible values into every area of the business. They’ve achieved a remarkable 10-year compounded annual growth rate of 23 percent. The company gained national acclaim for its commitment to the environment and its support for important causes such as the fight against breast cancer. It is also renowned for its treatment of employees.

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Getting to Know Van Jones and the New Economy

By Brian Back For someone who’s been accused of being a socialist, Van Jones sure does have a lot of capitalist ideas. Jones took to the stage of the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum June 14 in Seattle. He discussed the value of social capital and ways to find common ground with conservatives and libertarians around … Continued

How Business Can Respond to Rio+ 20

By Robert Girling, Ph.D. Professor of Business Strategy, Sonoma State University The world is waiting to see just how business responds to Rio+20. Will the fledgling efforts of business leaders such as Interface’s late CEO Ray Anderson who led efforts to redesign products and the way we do business hold sway? The fact is that … Continued

AT&T

AT&T’s Use of Interactivity is Promising But Not Flawless

Some companies are focused on integrated reporting, while others look for ways to make the report more user-friendly and interactive. The latest example of the latter is AT&T’s interactive 2011report, which enables visitors to explore an interactive pathway that is populated by narratives showcasing the sustainability efforts and progress of the company.