Yesterday, the nonprofit B Lab honored 92 global companies for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact with the release of its third annual “B Corp Best for the World” list. Including companies from 31 different industries, the list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10 percent of all B Corps on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment developed by B Lab that rates a company’s impact on its workers, community and the environment.
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.
Laura Noctor, Global Director of Corporate Responsibility for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), talks about her career, inspiration and recent accomplishments in our Women in CSR series.
Norway operates what is by far the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, with approximately $840 billion in assets under management, so its investment decisions are powerful. This makes the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that the fund would be investing a greater proportion of its wealth in renewable energy even more important.
Companies now face the opportunity to increase the impact of their reporting by going online, but also better target their stakeholders interests by following the G4 framework. Here’s the top 5 reasons they should be doing both at the same time.
SPECIAL SERIES: Sustainably Attired
Levi Strauss & Co. has developed a new process that will allow it to use 100 percent recycled water in parts of its jeans production process where water usage is very high. The process was piloted by one of the company’s supplier factories in China, where 100,00 pairs of women’s jeans were produced using this process — saving some 12 million liters of water.
The myth of the “free market”… So often business and its sidekick the business association use the free market as their defense against any threat of government regulations or anyone talking about the need for companies to focus a wee bit on sustainability or CSR or, the hot new favorite, shared value. Please, the concept of the “free market” is as big a lie as the urban myth that Mr. Rogers was a Navy Seal.
As I delved into the commitments these companies have made to address palm-related deforestation and peatland destruction, I was disheartened to see how little some of the brands I love are doing to address the problem.
SPECIAL SERIES: Sustainable Seafood
Indeed, each fish we encounter has a story. Where did it come from? Who caught it? How many miles has it traveled before arriving on your plate? Answering questions like these with confidence empowers stakeholders at every step of the value chain — from fishermen and farmers to buyers, restaurants and consumers — and not only offers a reason to care about ocean health, but also gives them the tools they need to make an impact.
Mars Bars, 3 Musketeer and Twix fans will be happy: Mars Inc. has heard the call for improved palm oil sourcing. It’s joined a nonprofit, revamped its criteria and set laudable benchmarks for its sustainability program. And it has big plans for 2014.
Accidents like the Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia and Dan River coal ash spill in North Carolina shine a spotlight on the potential for damage from poorly regulated toxic chemicals. But, in fact, they only hint at how poor current regulations really are for these chemicals.
Unilever rewards Paul Polman for sustainability, business guidance to the tune of $11 million, significantly above average European CEO pay.