This category is about the relation between business economies and sustainability and CSR. Company economies have great impact on how much effort they put into their CSR strategy and incorporating green strategies can have an effect on company growth.

Economics
Conscious Capitalism
B-Corps
Business Models
Circular Economy
Sharing Economy

Kiln operator at Horsehead Corp.

Reinventing Industries to Bring Green Jobs to the Rural South

Many rural southern communities were hit hard by the economic downtown. In seeking to rebuild, instead of returning to traditional manufacturing, these three communities found growth in taking a greener approach to product and job creation.

Etsy

Is the Public Etsy Still Part of the Sharing Economy?

Etsy’s IPO took Wall Street by storm last week. The conversation was peppered with questions about whether or not a company that claims to be “a mindful, transparent and humane business” could succeed on Wall Street, a space where these adjectives are rarely used. Yet, this is not the question I’ll ask today. Instead, I’ll focus on is whether or not Etsy, the person-to-person online marketplace for all things handmade, is still part of the sharing economy.

6848822477_11c5a7dfab_z

6 Steps to Finance Your New Social Enterprise

While for-profit social enterprises should ultimately be self-sustaining, they rarely begin that way. Instead, different types of fundraising are needed at different stages as the business grows. In this post Lisa Curtis, founder of the social enterprise Kuli Kuli, shares what worked for her.

Women-owned nonprofit Untapped Shores provides an opportunity for travelers to make a difference by carrying and delivering a life-saving business-in-a-box to a woman or a family in need.

What’s Behind the Boom in Women Entrepreneurs?

In the past 15 years, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 54 percent. There are now 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Together they employ more people than McDonald’s, IBM and Wal-Mart combined, and their revenue of $1.3 trillion exceeds the market capitalization of Apple, Microsoft, GE, Google and Sony. What is behind this trend? How have women managed to achieve this in business, which has traditionally been a man’s world? Is this something that women are inherently better at, or is it simply part of a larger trend?

15224480227_ddbb53e0d1_z

Solar is Getting Weird

The California solar homeowners I work with are acting pretty “weird” compared to the rest of America. This summer when the rest of America will keep their thermostats set at higher-than-desired levels to avoid the dreaded high monthly electric bill, the solar customers I know will be running their homes at a pleasant 72 degrees with no fear of receiving a huge electric utility bill.

april15-Pax

Why Gender Matters to Investors

Despite the powerful business case for women’s advancement, gender inequality stubbornly persists. Today only 12 percent of board seats and 11 percent of senior management positions globally are held by women. Joseph F. Keefe, president and CEO of Pax World Funds, and Sallie L. Krawcheck, chair of Pax Ellevate Management, explain why gender diversity should really matter to investors.

6848823919_724f516a05_z

Culture vs. the Ethical Bank

So long as banks are solely focused on short-term interests and are rooted in maximizing profit, there is no intrinsic motivation for change. But there is a lesser-known model of banking that is based around a different premise: values-based banking. It takes a long-tail view of banking and finance, and includes all stakeholders.

Pioneering municipalities can use traditional financial tools to preserve natural assets.

Moving Natural Assets from the Drawing Board to the Board Room

Making an environmental case for preserving natural assets is straightforward, but explaining their value within financial and management strategies takes real innovation. A handful of pioneering municipalities are testing new approaches to integrate natural assets such as rivers, forests and foreshores into the core of urban management.

AmyDomini-photo1

Reflections from Career Investor Amy Domini

The feminist in me struggles with the topic of “women in investing.” The suggestion of a special category implies a difference, and a difference, when it comes to women, tends to mean a weakness. Women and the sciences, women and sports, the debates about women’s powers make me, as a woman, uncomfortable. But then I review my own story. I manage assets for people who are interested in socially responsible investing, and over 60 percent of the money I manage belongs to women.

fp1

Cradle-to-Cradle Tackles the Fashion Industry

Launched in 2014, Fashion Positive aims to retool the entire global fashion supply chain and help create more sustainable materials, processes and products. Already, the initiative is collaborating with brands such as Stella McCartney, G-Star RAW, Bionic Yarn, Loomstate and Belk department stores. While most of the sustainability conversation in the fashion industry focuses on going to zero – zero waste, zero water, zero energy, zero toxins – Fashion Positive wants to create more good instead of just less bad.

Recycling, plastic, oil prices, Leon Kaye, plastic recycling, PET, sustainability

Plastic Recycling Suffers from Lingering Low Oil Price

While solar and wind power continue to become more competitive in price to fossil fuels, the same is not holding true for plastics. The sudden drop in fossil fuel prices over the last several months have sent plastic recyclers scrambling to save their businesses. From China to Quebec, recycling companies have been struggling to stay in the black, even though more municipalities are mandating recycling for either waste diversion purposes or to stay compliant with a local sustainability plan.

MellodyH-photo2

Women and the Future of Investing

Women are the largest emerging market in the world – twice as big as India and China combined – with over $5 trillion in growth since 2009. As a result, women are poised to have a massive impact on the investment and financial services spheres in the coming decades. And as such, conversations have moved away from stark gender comparisons toward discussions that focus on how the investing world must adapt and embrace women in their own right.

What if we embraced sharing electronics the same way we did sharing cars?

It’s Certified Pre-Owned: No, Not the Car, the iPad

An estimated 140 million cell phones end up in landfills each year. With those cell phones go 4.7 tons of gold (worth $56 million) and 49 tons of silver (worth $8.4 million). And don’t forget the 80,000 pounds of lead, a known neurotoxin, that leach from landfilled electronics into drinking water each year. If we get into certified pre-owned gadgets like we’re getting into car sharing, what could the impact be?

14795733321_0b2939ae49_z

Is It Innovation If It Has Been Done Before?

When I joined the World Bank five years ago, I remember someone telling me that we love innovation as long as it’s been done before. Having been hired to manage an innovation practice, I was puzzled. Wasn’t innovation about risk and venturing into the unknown? But as counter-intuitive as it sounds, I’ve come to understand the spirit of the idea and recognize that any innovation ecosystem needs early adopters and scalers.