The Anatomy of a Launch: BT’s Net Good Programme Goes Live

We have just completed the last part of the launch of BT’s Net Good programme. It has been quite a whirlwind for me and many others working on it.

The first step was a formal external launch event at the Royal Society for the Arts building in London on June 18th, in partnership with The Climate Group who had helped us with stakeholder engagement as we developed Net Good. The day commenced with a media briefing, followed with a platform event in front of a physical audience of about 130 invited guests and streamed live. Our CEO Ian …

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Employee Engagement Rules! Why Employees Are the Best Force for Change

Last week I delivered a presentation on BT’s Better Future programme at Georgetown University. My thanks to my friend and colleague Harriet Hentges who invited me in!   As always, I found it invigorating to present to a class of students, particularly students with experience under their belts.   The questions and comments that came during the session were challenging and thought provoking.    But I was sent an email from one of the students after the event that made me stop and think through where I should focus my efforts in order to best effect change.

As I see it, sustainable behavior …

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The Yahoo! Telework Brouhaha: Are We Getting All We Need From Remote Working?

I am sure everyone has seen the media coverage around Yahoo’s requirement that workers come into the office.   I read somewhere a compelling piece that telework is proven good for productivity, but coming into the office is better for collaboration and innovation and innovation is what Yahoo needs to focus on right now.

Surely there is a half way house.  Companies need both innovation and productivity. Furthermore, different roles require different amounts of each.   Seems to me there would be a way to have employees come into the office some of the time, on common days to allow for collaboration …

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Valuing Natural Capital – A Double Edged Sword

I was in London last week and attended a very stimulating Green Monday evening that got me thinking about the term ‘value.’   Value can be defined as both:

  • The regard that something is held to deserve
  • The monetary worth of something

In a roundtable session after the presentations I joined a discussion about valuing natural capital. I hold natural capital in high regard. Natural capital has a monetary worth for sure. But it has an intrinsic value in its own right –to our own and to future generations — that potentially goes beyond its monetary worth as set by …

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Pink Slime and the Downside of Consumer Movements

Stakeholder input is certainly an important part of corporate responsibility.

The prevalence of social media increases the impact of civil society and many are hopeful that consumer action will help drive sustainable behavior.

In this post, and others, I have expressed my doubts about whether consumers will put their purchasing power into action to support sustainability.

But even if they do, the activities of the last few weeks on pink slime make me question whether consumers,  on the occasions they are motivated to act for sustainability, even make the right decisions.

This blog from The Washington Post, is one …

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Keeping Shareholders at Arms Length

I participated virtually in the Green Monday conference this week and had pause for thought after hearing each of the panelists respond to a question about the impact of shareholders on sustainability.

Andrew Shapiro of Green Order mentioned the mission driven nature of Facebook.  That mission will be maintained in public ownership partly through the class A shares on the market having lower voting power than the class B shares held by a much smaller block of existing shareholders.

Karen Hamilton of Unilever described CEO Paul Polman’s action to cease providing quarterly earnings forecasts because he didn’t see the short …

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BT and Unilever Sustainability Aspirations

As I have written before in Should We Pick Our Customers, I am interested in the idea of incorporating sustainability credentials in identifying priority prospects,  and also,  in partnering with customers on their sustainability.  So I was especially excited when Unilever recently unveiled its bold sustainability plan. Marc Gunther wrote an excellent post on the plan.

BT recently won an extension to its outsourcing contract with Unilever worth around €173m (£144m).   The original contract, announced in November 2002 and worth around €1bn, was the first comprehensive, global telecoms outsource contract ever undertaken by BT and remains one of …

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Don’t Be Blinkered

I am speaking at the 4th Sustainable Supply Chain Summit in San Francisco at the end of October so I have started trying to synthesize some of my thoughts on supply chain issues in preparation for preparing my presentation.

When I first joined the CR field a few years back, I had a very enlightening conversation with the VP of Sustainability at a major retail brand. The company is recognized as a sustainability leader.

I was probing to what extent this company, as a customer of BT’s, took BT’s corporate sustainability credentials into account in vendor decisions.

In conversation …

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Procter & Gamble Makes Great Strides in CR

I have noticed a number of interesting CR initiatives from Procter &Gamble hit the press recently.  I like to watch what BT’s big customers are doing in this space, and P&G is one of our big customers!  In 2008 we signed a $650 million outsourcing deal with them.

I have a vision that in time, companies will include sustainability criteria in selecting target customers, similar to how we include them in selecting our vendors.  After all, if you believe companies that implement good sustainability practices are more likely to be around for the long haul, you would be crazy not …

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Learning to Dance: Discussing Ways to Improve Partnerships for Sustainability

“When Giants Learn To Dance” was the title of Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s classic book about how corporations can be giants and innovators. Guy Clark’s muscial advice is “You got to dance like nobody’s watchin”. But what if you are a large corporation, your dance is sustainability, and everyone is your dance partner and wants you to dance to their tune – your employees, shareholders, customers, and neighbors? This is the topic I’d like us to discuss during the 2010 Solutions Labs.

Last year I attended the DC Unconference organized by EDF, Ashoka and the Green Innovation in Business Network as …

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