BT’s New Better Future Report – Just Out

The 2013 BT Better Future report is out and we are all very happy (and a little relieved too if truth be told).    It takes a lot of work from people across the business to collect all the data together,  validate it, decide how best to structure the report, design the web site to present it, create an executive  summary, create the input to the annual financial report and have all the data and the words externally validated.   This year we announced our new Better Future programme at the same time, so we also have a new web site

read more

Threading the Needle: How BT Integrates Climate Stabilization with Economic Prosperity

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Bill Baue on behalf of Sustainable Brands about my role at BT and, in turn, the role that BT plays as an industry leader in the realm of environmental sustainability and sustainable business.

Bill was particularly interested in BT’s Climate Stabilization Intensity methodology (CSI) which “has set a precedent by linking greenhouse gas reduction targets to climate stabilization scenarios from the scientific community.”   Most businesses seek to do one or both of reduce their absolute emissions or reduce emissions as a unit of production , otherwise known …

read more


ROI of Sustainability – Painting Ourselves into a Corner

Every six months or so one of the big news publications, the FT, WSJ, Economist……. predictably surprises all of us CR&S practitioners with a piece that restates the argument that the business of business is profit and all our efforts on CR&S are, at best, misguided. By my reckoning the next one is due in the spring of 2011.   

We react indignantly with the expected rebuttals. We present the arguments that CR&S isn’t just about doing good. We discuss how it is in a company’s longer term interest to behave responsibly, we present the value of risk reduction, we provide evidence …

read more

Guest Post: GE Corporation

CSR and Making Money

By Frank Mantero

Frank Mantero is the Director, Corporate Citizenship Programs, for GE Corporation. He  is responsible for coordinating the company’s global citizenship efforts, developing and managing the company’s Citizenship Report, monitoring the company’s engagement with the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and being the lead communicator for GE-sponsored disaster relief efforts.

Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have reinvigorated the debate about whether corporate social responsibility, or as we call it at GE, corporate citizenship, can create value for business as well as for society. While in many ways this is …

read more

Should Non-Profits Compete with For Profits?

Some time ago I found an excuse to bring together my passion for antiquarian books and my passion for CR in a post ‘Why Running a Company is Like Owning and Old Book”.

I wasn’t expecting another intersection between the two, but on my recent trip to the UK I became aware of an ongoing dispute between antiquarian & used booksellers and Oxfam UK “a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering.” Oxfam is a particularly well known institution in the UK especially through its extensive chain of street front stores that sell donated second …

read more

Spending Money to Solve Systemic Problems

In Speaking of Faith on NPR this past weekend, Jacqueline Novogratz, talked about a third way for development, somewhere in between charity and business. She pointed out that despite having the largest population of NGOs per capita, Haiti has made limited advances. Traditional quarterly returns driven capitalism doesn’t help much either in the poorest economies.

Novogratz describes the market as one of the best listening devices we have on the planet. As she puts it, “if I give you a gift you would be highly unlikely to tell me what is wrong with it – when I come visit, you

read more

Philanthropcapitalism

Last month, I attended a workshop for the US launch of 2 Degrees, a mission driven ‘for profit’ organization in the environmental sustainability space. A few years back I launched an employee charity match program at BT with the help of a small ‘for profit’ but likewise mission driven start up, then called Create Hope, now Truist.

I just read an interesting article ‘Saying Something Different’ by Matthew Bishop in Alliance Magazine. He writes compellingly about social enterprise and what he calls “philanthrocapitalism”. He also addresses how for profits and non-profits have a lot to learn from each …

read more

Cost/ROI – A Double Edged Sword

In June of this year we surveyed IT professionals on their attitudes towards, and action on, environment and climate change. You can read the full survey results here. In some forthcoming posts I will draw out conclusions that I think are of particular interest to sustainability practitioners. Let’s start with this.

At a headline level 81% of respondents identified lowering cost as a major goal of their green IT initiatives. A much lower 47% identified reducing the negative impact of company activities on the environment and 22% specifically identified climate change. We are more likely to see Green IT

read more

Paradigms for Sustainable Consumer Products

I have written before on the need for companies to develop new paradigms for doing business. I came close to one yesterday in my life as a consumer.

I have an up-market compact digital camera from Canon that died. I called Canon and as an alternative to an expensive repair they offered me an upgrade to a newer model at a good discount off the retail price. Part of the deal for the upgrade discount is that I return the broken camera to them for recycling the parts. I get to keep all my old accessories (including the battery and

read more