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.


The Seven Obsessions Behind Method

Method emerged as a strong competitor to established CPG giants in 10 years. From scrappy startup to a $100 million brand, Method grown due to seven obsessions.


Ads on SF Commuter Line Promote Driving

While riding San Francisco’s commuter train (BART) the other day, I was struck by the seeming incongruousness of the signs on adjacent walls. Closest to the door was the brightly painted “Bike Space,” BART’s designated bike priority area where even strollers and luggage take a backseat to cyclists. Just a few seats over was a huge poster advertising a nearby mall, which to its credit made clear it was accessible by BART, but also attempted to lure shoppers with a free $15 gas card as a reward for spending “$150 or more within seven days!”


Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organic and Six Reasons To Buy Local Food

Buy Local is an emerging American mega-trend driven by consumers discovering how their purchasing power can create local jobs and community solutions. The farmer’s market is the tip of the spear of the Buy Local movement. The USDA reports that the number of farmer markets has exploded from less than 2,000 in 1994 to over … Continued


Patagonia Asks Its Customers to ‘Buy Less’ and Boosts Customer Base

Asking your customers to buy less of your product is never a good sales strategy but that is exactly what Patagonia is doing. As the California-based company opens its first flagship store in London‘s Covent Gardens it has also teamed up with eBay to create the Common Threads Initiative. This campaign aims to encourage customers … Continued


Is Less More? New Marketing Metrics in the Age of Environmentalism

Interestingly, according to Robert Putnam, Harvard professor of public policy, happiness is determined by social interactions. Putnam reports for various reasons a person with less social connections has more chances of dying or being locked in a poverty trap.  As social animals, people crave context and acceptance, and without it we’re miserable.

Aftermath by Lawrence E. Joseph

Marketing 2012 = Global Disaster or Sustainable Opportunity?

In the wake of the sobering ten-year anniversary of 9/11, I am reminded of what can shift because of a  global tragedy.  Ironically, unintended positives arose from the burning ashes of southern Manhattan.  Our national nightmare united many among the world and helped unify a divided nation in an unprecedented outpouring of compassion and support.


Is US Manufacturing Ramping Up Again?

A recent article in Harvard Business Review suggests that the stage is being set for a resurgence of manufacturing in the US. This is primarily due to rising Chinese wages. This pattern has played out around the globe with Japan for example, which used to be the low cost supplier, giving way to Mexico, which … Continued


The Next Generation of Eco-Labels: Finally Influencing the Purchasing Decision

If you’re car shopping next month, you may come across the most user-friendly and informative eco-label ever designed. For 2012 model year cars, carmakers will have the option to place the EPA’s new Fuel Economy and Environment labels in car windows. Then starting next year, labels will be required on all 2013 model year vehicles.

google lego

Google Investing in Low-income Housing – Good Cause, Bad CSR?

As a former resident of Allston, MA, I was happy to read in the Boston Globe that Google is investing $28 million to help construct 240 housing units at the Charlesview Residences in Allston. I guess the developers are happy to have Google on their list of investors and according to the article it’s also a … Continued


Training for the Sustainable Supply Chain

By Stephen Huie, MBA 2012 In recent years, organizations have developed increasingly creative and large scale supply chain initiatives to deal with increasing energy costs, a recessionary environment, and consumer demand for sustainable processes. To capitalize on this evolution in practice, academic institutions must also make a conscious effort to train the next generation of … Continued

GE’s 2010 Citizenship Report: Are They Doing Their Share?

GE’s 2010 Corporate Citizenship  Report makes the following statement early on: “GE businesses depend on the infrastructure, skills and institutions of stable, prosperous societies and healthy environments. To succeed as a global business, we need to be a part of building these societies where we operate. We do this through the products and services we … Continued


Eleven Social Games to Promote Wellness

“One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”   But prevention is difficult, because it requires behavior changes, which is difficult.  That’s why wellness through gaming, gamification and social mobile apps is heating up.  It’s easy to change behavior when engaged through a game or working towards the goal with a group of friends.  … Continued


Storytelling is Key to the “Access Economy”

The meteoric rise of collaborative consumption start-ups, such as AirBnB, GoGrubly, Getaround, thredUp, and SnapGoods, to name a few, is arguably due to social media and the people-powered networks that support them. This marketplace is quickly evolving into a robust open-source business platform. Known as the access economy, it not only reduces society’s footprint by connecting people to shared resources, but increases society’s net worth.

The Good Guys Debate the Bad Guys About the Business Case for CSR

Is CSR good or bad for business? That question was at the center of the debate that took place last week in New York as part of the COMMIT! Forum. Usually, at such conferences you have the chance to hear only one side – the one supporting CSR, naturally.  This made the debate not just … Continued