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.

West Elm

West Elm Shifts Strategy Toward Fair Trade

“It was all machine-made, all very clean and simple, and all very soulless,” West Elm CEO James Brett said of the company’s product lineup when he came on-board in 2010. Over the last five years, West Elm has humanized its products, and its relationships throughout the supply chain — entering uncharted territory in the process.


How Some Long-Term Investors are Fighting for Sustainability

Last week, Ceres released an illuminating analysis of how some major companies are responding to shareholder engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. It shows that many long-term investors are fighting for sustainability — and companies are, for the most part, responding in kind.


Novo Nordisk CEO Unseats Bezos, Tops HBR 100

Last week, Harvard Business Review (HBR) issued its 2015 list of the world’s top CEOs. This year, for the first time, HBR inserted additional criteria on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. It was enough, in some cases, to reshuffle the deck quite a bit. Of particular note was the fact that Jeff Bezos of Amazon fell spectacularly from the No. 1 spot last year, all the way down to No. 87. Taking No. 1 was a very deserving Lars Rebien Sørensen of Novo Nordisk.


Dream Big and Achieve More: Lessons From a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

I’ve known a lot of visionaries in my life, but none have understood how big dreams lead to unbridled achievement like Kailash Satyarthi, co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Kailash might not be a businessman by trade, but we business leaders have much to learn from his compassion, dedication and imagination.


On SDGs, U.K. B Corps and the Future of Sustainable Business

Each of the SDGs requires business to get involved in some shape or form if they are to be achieved. And if the world wants businesses to get involved, we have to recognize that they are businesses and that they need to behave as businesses. Good businesses for sure, but businesses all the same, which means making a commercial return on their activities. We all need to recognize that, and businesses need to be comfortable with admitting that, to themselves and to their stakeholders.


Bill McKibben’s Brash One-Man-Stand Against Exxon and Climate Change

There are more than 160,000 gas stations in the U. S., more than three times the number of supermarkets. Yet when founder Bill McKibben set up his one-man protest outside an Exxon gas station in Vermont and forced it to close, he did more than get arrested. Months-old news about a simmering accusation of cover-up is once more back in the headlines and in front of lawmakers.


Why Food Waste is an Urgent Global Problem

It’s a never-ending cycle: An over-plentiful food production that exists to satiate our needs and preferences — and which, in its abundance, also feeds landfills instead of families in economic need … all the while creating increasing fuel for climate change. We speak with Mathy Stanislaus of the EPA to get the straight skinny on this burgeoning problem and what the U.S. government, businesses and consumers are doing to help break the cycle.


Victory in the Arctic: Obama Cancels Lease Sales

A few months ago, it seemed inevitable that the world’s most pristine ocean would be drilled. Today, after a massive, months-long grassroots and social media mobilization, the Arctic will be preserved, from now to the foreseeable future.


Climate Leadership Index Selects Best Performing Companies

Now you can look at companies through an objective lens that compares their climate impact relative to others in their same line of business. Companies at the top of that list are not only behaving responsibly, but are also consistently outperforming their peers when it comes to financial returns.

Rice comes in many shapes, colors and varieties. In Thailand, a girl holds sticky rice in one hand and long-grained basmati in the other.

Saving Basmati and Other Endangered Grains

If you think you’re buying basmati rice, think again. “Most of the rice sold as basmati in the United States is not the traditional variety,” said Caryl Levine, co-owner of Lotus Foods, which recently announced a plan to import organic, heirloom basmati to promote rice biodiversity.