At the Gathering of Leaders conference, Carol L. Cone, global chief strategist for business and social purpose at Edelman, spotted these five ‘big bets’ social entrepreneurs are making to tackle global challenges. From revolutionizing pediatrics to creating “the next generation of peacemakers,” these stories are sure to inspire.
Category: Corporate Responsibility
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.
Incorporating sustainable practices into warehouse and distribution center design has proven to be a winning strategy for business. Sustainable warehouses earn respect from customers and community members. They also boost security and workplace wellbeing, lower a company’s operating costs and, ultimately, improve a company’s profit margins.
The polarized debate over fracking is getting us nowhere. Voluntary standards for responsible practices offer a new, productive middle ground.
STEM for girls still seems like a bit of a vague concept in schools — even the ones that claim to offer the very best opportunities for young women. That’s a bit alarming, given that our star-date is well into the 21st century. Mr. Spock, who defined the objective, unemotional epitome of scientific grandeur, wouldn’t be the only one displeased.
Tax filing is a headache, and that’s why some 80 million Americans invest in professional tax preparation. But it doesn’t have to be that way, points out the nonpartisan organization Maplight. The research group did some digging and found that there are big names and big money standing in the way of a bill to simplify the tax filing system. The pockets are deep: to the tune of $35 million. And several top politicians own stock in the companies most fiercely opposed to tax filing reform.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Now in its second year, the Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign seeks to donate up to $3 million to Feeding America and secure 75 million meals for food banks across the country during a critical time: when donations significantly decrease post-holiday season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.