The future of sustainable development is being shaped by events such as the U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights held earlier this month in Geneva, the Climate Change Conference in December, and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September. Considering that many corporations have greater turnover than the GDP of several countries and that 500 transnational corporations control roughly 80 percent of world trade, it is clear that we need business on board. The way these corporations are governed is essential for either positive or negative change of the system as a whole, depending on the chosen stewardship, which takes us to the central question: What is the purpose of the corporation?
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.
In 1932, E. Merrick Dodd wrote in the Harvard Law Review that the corporation is “an economic institution which has a social service as well as a profit-making function.”
After Thanksgiving, nearly 100 million Americans spend the following day in stores and malls, racing against time and one another for Black Friday deals. How did Black Friday become a tradition for Americans? What retailer in its right mind would lobby against a rite of passage that profits them? What better alternative do we have aside from mass consumerism?
The opportunity to attend a recent Barclays debate at the British Library in London entitled “Is CSR Dead” seemed just too good an opportunity to miss. So along I went, naively expecting to have this evergreen question answered and put to bed once and for all. But truth be told, my hopes were dashed.
Ensuring stable and supportive places for people to live is one of the most critical social tenets of triple-bottom-line principles that builds a foundation for everything else that matters when it comes to sustainability.
Last month, Google announced that it will invest in Africa’s largest wind power farm, on the heels of the company’s $12 million investment in the largest solar project on the continent.
Upcycling isn’t new, but the term is. It’s a way of repurposing what we have, to create an even better or higher purpose use than originally intended. Our grandparents grew up in households that looked for the usefulness in available materials and tried not to waste anything. Thankfully, upcycling is experiencing a resurgence, and many companies are beginning to see it as a mainstay for running a business.
Coming shortly before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this video serves as a useful reminder of how consumers can take a hard look at what — if any — progress their favorite brands have made toward ensuring respect for human rights.
Barcelona’s Reimagine Food gives a new meaning to disruptive technology. If we are what we eat, then this new culinary accelerator is liable to transform not just our food experience, but also the way we live.
Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a pretty disturbing trend — retailers are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, in an attempt to lure shoppers from their tryptophan-induced comas with the promise of rock-bottom deals. But a growing number of forward-thinking companies are taking a stand against the overconsumption that has long held American Thanksgiving hostage.
This week Levi’s announced a partnership with Give Back Box in an effort to raise up to $50,000 for Goodwill. For every box shipped, Levi’s will donate $5 to Goodwill, and the iconic apparel maker has promised to donate at least $25,000 to the charity during this campaign.
Imagine a building that, like a forest, leaves no material unused and extracts the deepest value from all its parts. That same building can also wow tenants, investors and the public alike with its sustainability and business savvy. Now, let’s check that zero waste vision against reality: Is it possible for an office building, mixed-use facility or worksite to avoid sending any waste to incineration or into a landfill? And is it worth the cost to find out?
Some future-focused global companies have begun to think so.
As the Volkswagen emissions scandal continues to unfold, a new interactive map offers a visualization of the environmental effects in California resulting from the automaker’s shenanigans. This map was released just days before VW is set to offer a plan to the California Air Resources Board to compensate consumers who purchased the models under question over the past several years.
It is unacceptable that, in 2015, 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to a safe and hygienic toilet. The Toilet Board Coalition seeks to prove that sanitation can be delivered profitably to underserved communities. Building a coordinated sanitation ecosystem aligning businesses, utilities, governments and civil society, will catalyze the impact we all want to see.
According to Grain, a small NGO that supports small farmers and social equality movements, the financial services giant TIAA-CREF has had a central role in a scheme that has acquired vast amounts of farmland across Brazil—even though the country has strict laws covering foreign investments in farmland.