Connecting the Dots

In preparation for an internal meeting this week I have been reviewing some reports that are going to send me home full of optimism tonight.

The Ecosystems Markets Task Force is a key commitment from the UK Government’s Natural Environment White Paper. The task force’s November 2012 interim report states right up front in the executive summary that “business depends on nature”; not just the harder nosed ‘resources’ word that I prefer to use  in a business context, but actually on ‘nature’. Task force membership includes the Chair/CEO and CFO’s from companies such as Kingfisher, United Utilities, Unilever and Jaguar/Land Rover.

So …

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Lincoln on Finding True North

Last night I saw Lincoln, the excellent new Spielberg movie. One piece of dialogue particularly resonated with me.  In a private conversation about compromise and pragmatism Thaddeus Stevens challenges the President’s ethical grounding and his commitment to the morally correct answer.Lincoln uses the brilliant metaphor of a compass. I don’t have the specific dialogue but hopefully the spirit of my recollection is right. “A compass points to true north,” saysLincoln, “ but it gives no indication of the swamps and marshes along the way.  If you just use the compass you will get stuck, and what use is knowing true …

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Best of the Best: What’s a Corporation’s Responsibility?

Like many of you, I’m taking some time this week to give thanks for the many good and wonderful things in my life.  But, as I reflect on my personal life, it does bring up questions about what a corporation’s responsibility in sharing the wealth that is created by its activities.  This is a polarizing topic, so I don’t suggest you bring it up at the Thanksgiving table tomorrow, but let me know what you think a corporation’s responsibilities are in the comments.  


The recent debate around Mitt Romney and the role of Bain Capital in job losses …

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As One Chapter Closes, Why Not Read a Few More? CSR Perspective in an Ebook

I recently took on a new role at BT heading up our environmental sustainability strategy under the title of a program called Net Good; more about that another time.

The change has been an opportunity to take stock of what I have done with CSR Perspective over the four years I have been both writing my own posts and inviting guest posts.   Looking back I have identified some common themes and with a bit of retrospective thought, I like to think I even have a hierarchy and some logical progression.  Because of the nature of a blog, these themes and …

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Getting Serious About CSR: How Sustainability is Vital to Business and Society

Recently, I was interviewed by The Blue Marble, a new publication and online community that was launched in collaboration with Eco-Schools and Keep Britain Tidy.  The September issue focused on different aspects of sustainability from solar powered Big Belly rubbish bins to the sustainability of the world’s fisheries and how to engage teenagers in the sustainability movement.

My interview starts out with fairly typical questions about what sustainability is and why it matters to business, I was interested in the turn that the questions took towards the end, exploring some of my favorite topics related to how to balance …

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Best of the Best: A Guest Post from Ford: How IT Put a Charge in EV Infrastructure

I really thought that by the time the leaves had begun to change that I’d be sitting behind my desk writing new posts about all the exciting things I’m working on at the moment.  But alas, I’m more often in an airline seat than at my desk!  So, as I fly back from the U.K., please enjoy another one of my favorite guest posts.

A few months ago I met Nancy Gioia, Director Global Electrification at Ford Motor Company,at a sustainability meeting in DC organized by the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). Nancy’s comments at that meeting about the role

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Best of the Best: Guest Post from Kim McMann on Why CSR is Good for Business

This week the Clinton Global Initiative held its annual meeting in New York City.  Reading the reports from the conference, reminded me of this post that was first published just over a year ago.  In the post Kim McMann, BT’s President of both the US and Canada region and our newly formed Consumer Packaged Goods, talked about why CSR is good for business and BT’s decision to join the Clinton Global Initiative.  In this blog post she shares some thoughts about how she is approaching CSR in her role.

I joined BT because of our leadership in providing networked IT …

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Best of the Best: ICT in the Environment: The Sustainable Shopper

The ‘Best of the Best’ series is drawing to a close and before it ends, I thought I’d share one of my favorite video posts.  I was really pleased to be able to meet with Harriet Hentges, VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Ahold USA Inc, at one of the local Giant supermarkets to test out some green technology in the field.  My feelings at the end of the test were quite interesting!

ICT services impact our every day lives from how we work, to how we travel to how we make purchasing decisions for our daily needs. In this …

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Best of the Best: When CR and Business Objectives Conflict

This post wasn’t published all that long ago, back at the end of June, but I think it’s such an important topic, particularly at a time when businesses are under such pressure to generate profits and demonstrate success.  And, for the record, the talk at the Ethical Corporations Conference in New York went very well, it generated some interesting discussions and enabled new connections in the CSR community.

A touchy subject I know.   It is all the rage to focus on Creating Shared Value and on building momentum through identifying the positive intersection between  corporate responsibility/sustainability and business success.   But, …

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Can CR Practitioners Save American Capitalism?

Sunday’s Washington  Post contained this great article by Steven Pearlstein “Can we save American capitalism?”

Pearlstein reviewed a range of recent books on economics and, through his conclusions, I believe he also offered a litmus test of the role of our corporate responsibility field, coming at it from the economists perspective.

“What’s been lost from American capitalism” Pearlstein posits, “is any sense of a larger purpose, of how it fits into and serves society…”   He draws a common theme from some of the books reviewed,  highlighting  the lack of what is variously called ‘social capital’, ‘civic capital’ and ‘civil …

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