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.

McDonald's

McDonald’s Needs More Than a Pay Raise to Win Over Millennials

You’ve probably heard the good news, and if you didn’t let me repeat it: McDonald’s will raise wages by more than 10 percent and offer new benefits to 90,000 employees working in the 1,500 U.S. restaurants it operates. Will it help win over millennials? We have our doubts.

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Who Owns Private Prisons? Most Likely, You!

Some foundations have been criticized for investing in corrections facilities, but it is not always easy to know what is hidden in large opaque investment vehicles. In fact, anyone with broad passive exposure to the U.S. equity market through his or her pension or 401(k) plan is likely to have ownership of America’s largest private prison companies.

Jerry Brown, drought, conservation, California, Leon Kaye, California Department of Water Resources, water conservation, water technology

California Imposes Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions

Yesterday Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order that he said is necessary in order to make California drought-resistant after the lowest snowpack on record. The executive order calls for increased water conservation, increased enforcement, a streamlined state government response and investment in new water technologies.

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Pressure Builds on Holdouts as More Companies Ditch ALEC

SourceWatch lists a total of over 100 companies and nonprofits that have now withdrawn from the American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly known as ALEC. As more companies break ties with the organization, pressure builds on holdouts like Exxon-Mobil and Peabody Energy to reconsider their positions.

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Food Supply Chains and Data: Starting Sustainability Conversations

The smartest food supply chain conversations today begin with data. Author Andrea Learned recently talked with Good Company sustainability consultants Justin Overdevest and Kelly Hoell about how their small- and medium-sized food industry clients manage for operational efficiencies. As they see it, one key in the evolution of these businesses over recent years has been the ability to select customized data points that matter to their specific business model.

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Walmart Showcases Women-Owned Companies

Retail giant Walmart zeros in on highlighting products from women-owned businesses through the use of a newly polished label. The “Women-Owned” initiative will provide access to over 3,000 products in an online marketplace and within Walmart retail stores across the country.

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Educate Refugees or Lose a Generation

Education is often among the first casualties of sustained conflict, and all too often, the international focus simply moves on to the next conflict, leaving a massive skills and knowledge void in its wake. Pearson’s CEO John Fallon explains why educating refugees is crucial.

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ESG Disclosure: Investors’ New Obsession

Are you ready to bare it all? In a major shift in attitudes toward sustainability and the role of business in society, environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure is now a major focus for investors and businesses alike. Businesses who know how to monitor and report ESG results — and investors who know how to interpret them — will come first in global a race for greater transparency.

ADM, Green Century Capital Management, New York State Common Retirement Fund, shareholder activism, shareholder proposals, palm oil, responsible palm oil, soy, responsible soy, Leon Kaye, climate change, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, deforestation

ADM Bows to Shareholder Pressure, Commits to New Deforestation Policy

Food and commodities giant ADM, which has reached over US$80 billion in revenues, says it will develop a no-deforestation policy in a move to source soy and palm oil more responsibly. The change occurred after a shareholder proposal, submitted by Green Century Capital Management and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, requested that ADM set quantitative goals for a reduction in supply chain impacts from deforestation.

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Why Making an Impact is Good for Recruitment, Retention and Production

The new crop of millennials looking for jobs have a different vision of what they want in a career than the jobseekers who came before them: They want their work to make a difference in the world. Reaching this new generation of employees and consumers requires businesses to think about how they can build their purpose into the ethos of their business to bring employees in the door, keep them around and grow them into tomorrow’s leaders.

REI, National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Find Your Park, Leon Kaye, national parks

REI Launches Celebration of National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary

REI has announced that it will support the National Park Service through a partnership with the National Park Foundation. No word on whether Sally Jewell, the Secretary of Interior who was previously the CEO of REI, had any involvement in this campaign, but the timing is excellent nonetheless.

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Building a Socially Responsible Company: From the CEO to the Front Desk

What do a union advocate, a freelancer and an ex-convict have in common? There’s no punch line here — they’re all successful leaders and social entrepreneurs. The most impressive leaders understand that social responsibility is more than donating profits to a cause or doing business with higher ethical standards. While those practices are admirable, they are only the beginning of what social entrepreneurship can achieve.