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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REI’s Co-op Business Model Produces Record Results

Posting record financial results for 2014, REI’s co-op business model is also delivering more in the way of social and environmental dividends. Besides paying out $168 million in cash dividends, REI will invest around $8 million in nonprofit community projects that promote outdoor life.

the social profit handbook

From Nonprofit to Social Profit: Exploring Assessment For Social Good

Imagine a foundation officer receiving the latest proposal from this social profit organization and re-reading the report submitted on the previous year’s grant. It says the organization served 1,200 people, a 20 percent increase from the year before. “But is that good?” she thinks. “Should it have been 30 percent? And how well were they served?” She reads the report, which says in effect that social problems are getting worse but everything is going better than ever with this organization, and the foundation should continue in its wisdom and generosity with ongoing funding. The foundation officer thinks: “This feels more like a dance than an evaluation.”

China, NRDC, Clean By Design, HM, Target, Levi Strauss, Gap, supply chain, Leon Kaye, garment industry, textiles, fashion

A Sustainable Supply Chain in the Garment Industry Saves 4 Major Companies $15M Annually

The global textile and garment industry is one of the world’s largest polluters due to its massive impacts on water, soil and of course, people. While consumers are becoming more aware that their fashion choices have on distant places such as Bangladesh, China and India, much work still needs to be done until the industry can be truly described as responsible and sustainable.

Whirlpool, Habitat for Humanity, corporate social responsibility, cause marketing, Leon Kaye, corporate citizenship

Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity Partnership: True Corporate Giving

What began with appliance donations has become one of Whirlpool’s most successful corporate social responsibility programs. It is hard to argue with the numbers: over US$85 million in donations since 1999, 8,000-plus company employees who have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and a renewed lease on life for over 100,000 families.

FedEx

FedEx Tackles Emissions: On the Ground and in the Air

Climate change is a very real threat, so it’s great when a global shipping company like FedEx does something to reduce its impact. Through programs to cut emissions from air and ground deliveries — as well as reduce indirect emissions tied to energy consumption — FedEx is shrinking its footprint one order at a time.

With its massive gold and platinum reserves – and more than 90 major protests over basic services through 2014 – South Africa provides an ecosystem of case studies.

Mining: Inclusive Investment for a New Triple Bottom Line

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in mineral extraction itself is relatively new – even newer is the risk mitigation that drives institutional investment decisions, particularly among larger European banks, insurers and pension funds. Yet despite its dire need, systematic, proactive financial engagement remains elusive – even as successful examples abound worldwide.

Denim, blue jeans, California drought, water scarcity, fashion, Levi Strauss, Leon Kaye, supply chain

California Drought Threatens Los Angeles Denim Industry

About 80 percent of California’s water sustains agriculture, but Sacramento is putting the onus on the state’s businesses and residents to find even more ways to conserve this precious resource. One sector scrambling to find even more ways to conserve water is Los Angeles’ denim industry.

Philip Morris, smoking, tobacco, smoking bans, tobacco, Uruguay, Gates Foundation, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, ICSID, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Leon Kaye

Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Anti-Smoking Campaign

One can surmise the many things tobacco companies have in common with fast food corporations, including the fact they must expand their business abroad while sales stagnate on both sides of the Atlantic. The result is that the World Health Organization estimates that 70 percent of the 8.4 million deaths that will be attributed tobacco use in 2020 will occur in developing countries. One country that has long run an aggressive anti-smoking campaign is Uruguay, but its laws are under threat by a lawsuit filed by Philip Morris International.

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3 Easy Steps to Bust Computer Clutter

Employees waste an estimated 15 to 25 percent of their time at work trying to locate information they need to do their job — that equates to roughly six weeks of work. In our ever-evolving economy productivity is key, and wasting time trying to sort through computer clutter can push deadlines, create duplicate work and ultimately cost an employer money.

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3p Weekend: 5 Cities and States That Are Ending Homelessness

Although study after study has shown that it costs states and cities more money to leave homeless people on the street than it does to give them a place to stay, few localities have done anything with this data. But a select few are leading the charge and showing that it is indeed possible to end homelessness.

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Recycling Technology Keeps Sustainable Fashion in the Loop

Swedish retail giant H&M is teaming up with Puma to trial an innovative new textile-to textile recycling technology. Although the technology is still in test mode, it is expected to be ready for commercial use in a couple of years, the companies said.

Image of Microsoft Volunteers in Kenya

How to Pilot an International Corporate Volunteering Program

While existing international corporate volunteering (ICV) programs, like Pfizer’s Global Health Fellows Program, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, Intel’s Education Service Corp, SAP’s Social Sabbatical and Microsoft’s MySkills4Afrika Program are the most frequently cited, your company doesn’t need something as far-reaching or broad, at least to start with. Here are seven tips to get a skills-based volunteering program started at your company.

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Supply Chain Sustainability Needs a Fresh Viewpoint

Recent history has presented many examples of reputed organizations, such as Apple, Walmart, Target, Primark and Tesco, facing the ire of customers, investors and governments due to unwarranted incidents in their supply chains. It is increasingly becoming clear that unsustainable supply chains can have negative reputational as well as financial implications. As a result, sustainability of supply chains is getting renewed attention from organizations worldwide. Unfortunately, the approach for achieving sustainable supply chains has become stereotyped, and most organizations end up only meeting compliance.

YesWeCode, computer science, hackathons, social enterprise, Leon Kaye, coding, STEM, STEM inclusion, Detroit, SAP, Twitter Chat, Twitter

The STEM Jobs Gap and Minority Youth Engagement

#YesWeCode, led by Van Jones, advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) inclusion and wider access to computer science education for minority students across the country.