We’ve just witnessed the member countries of the U.N. agree to 17 Global Goals that will, all going well, transform our world by 2030. No one individual, organization or government is able to tackle the SDGs. But effective partnerships can.
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.
As the world turns its attention to Paris in advance of the United Nations climate negotiations in December, hundreds of thousands of people are also unifying around a common cause: kicking the very polluters that have caused the climate crisis out of those negotiations.
On Oct. 21, the Center for Environmental Health planned to join with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in national demonstrations outside of Macy’s stores. Their beef? The department-store chain has been too slow to offer home furnishings made without toxic flame retardants. But the demonstrations were replaced with a victory celebration.
Caterina Camerani, a sustainability expert at AkzoNobel, recently attended the New Metrics’15 conference in Boston, where she gave a keynote address and presented results from a unique pilot project called 4-D reporting. This article represents her observations of the state of sustainability reporting in the corporate world, the value of such reporting and the difficulties companies have with measurement along the entire value chain.
SPECIAL SERIES: In Our Sights: a Signed Climate Commitment in Paris
We speak with Joe Madden, CEO and co-founder of EOS Climate, about the complex process of carbon pricing, and why some believe that establishing a market-driven model will be the most effective in reducing carbon emissions.
SPECIAL SERIES: The Future of 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.
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.
Did you know that Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Clif Bar each invest millions in social enterprises through their investment management funds? I didn’t, until SOCAP 2015 this month in San Francisco.
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.
A sustainable economy will depend on policies that will help advance change on a societal level. Here are three important policies that can do that.
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.
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.
There are more than 160,000 gas stations in the U. S., more than three times the number of supermarkets. Yet when 350.org 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.
SPECIAL SERIES: The Problem with Food Waste
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.