Guest Post: A Marketer’s Perspective on CSR

Neil Blakesley is a long time colleague and VP of Marketing at BT Global Services.  He was also an early supporter of my foray into social media three years ago – not something all VP’s of Marketing are comfortable with even now!  Neil recently recorded a short video interview for Shama Kabani for her Dallas TV spot “Socially Sound with Shama.”.   I spoke to him over the phone afterwards and asked him to expand on his thoughts on CSR from a marketer’s perspective for this guest post.

Well to be honest, Kevin, I could have spoken on the interview for another …

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ICT in the Environment: The Sustainable Shopper

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 video series, I examine all of these elements from inside executive offices, to transportation systems and even teleworking in my own home.

In the 5th episode of this video series, I focus on the sustainable shopper.  I joined Harriet Hentges, VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Ahold USA Inc., (owner of Giant), at a local Giant supermarket in Bethesda MD, to explore the potential for applications to help a …

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What are the Obligations of a Global Company ?

A two page article starting on the front cover of the main section of Sunday’s New York Times addresses why the US lost out on the assembly work for Apple’s iPhone. The article raises some important questions about corporate responsibility, starting with the implied responsibility of a company to create jobs in its home country. In responding to the jobs going to China,  Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the US Labor Department until last September is quoted as saying


“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice.

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Catalyst or Irritant?

I have thought long and hard about my role and how best to characterize it.   When I started in the field I made my mind up very quickly that I would not make much progress if I considered myself as having been appointed to police the activities of employees. Policing might be a very valid approach for someone in a compliance role, but in a role beyond compliance, people would simply stay below my radar screen.

As I have written before on employee engagement, I see my role as to release enthusiasm, generate momentum and then harness people’s passion …

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Guest Post: An Accountant’s Perspective on Integrated Reporting



To finish this short series I was looking for an alternative perspective on IR. I met Stathis Gould in New York at the CR Commit Forum 2011. Stathis works at the International Federation of Accountants on supporting professional accountants working in business, and is passionate about corporate responsibility.  He has also been pulling together the IFAC Accountants in Business response to the IIRC discussion paper available here. I enjoyed hearing his views from an managerial accountants’ perspective and we have met since to discuss integrated reporting from our different vantage points.   He kindly agreed to contribute

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Integrated Reporting – IIRC Approach

This is the second post in series on integrated reporting

The recent discussion paper from the International Integrated Reporting Committee  (IIRC) for which comments were due on December 14th 2011 worries me. It starts with some statements with which I wholeheartedly agree…

“Integrated Reporting brings together material information about an organization’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a way that reflects the commercial, social and environmental context within which it operates. It provides a clear and concise representation of how an organization demonstrates stewardship and how it creates and sustains value.”

 “Integrated Reports will meet the needs of a …

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Integrated Reporting – One Report or Many ?

This is the third post in a series on integrated reporting.

Does integrated reporting means a single report, or does it mean multiple reports ?

At BT, our annual sustainability report consists of a comprehensive online report of hundreds of pages of text and data supplemented by a summary PDF of about 20 pages.  Our Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) is an interactive PDF of text and data of about 180 pages.  Both our reports are externally audited.

Does integration mean combining all this into one report, or does it mean creating an integration between the content in each.

Interestingly,  …

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Integrated Reporting – The Challenge

I am interested in the concept of integrated reporting and am often asked about it at during the Q&A at conferences.   I hear many different perspectives of what exactly it is.

I think that by far the biggest challenge is going to be reconciling  the approach of the financial reporting community with the approach of the CSR/sustainability community.

The financial reporting community produces highly compliance-based reports. Compliance which in my view incentivizes a low risk, play it safe, measurement oriented, audit heavy approach. The material is laser focused on the shareholder audience interested primarily in near term measurable share value …

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The Loyal Opposition

The Loyal Opposition

I wrote an article for this month’s CR magazine on the trend I am seeing amongst CR practitioners to validate all sustainability programs within the framework of the CFO’s view of the world.   And that worries me.  The article, which came out online yesterday explores why I think this is a troubling trend.

Business looks to us to set the CR agenda.  And we need to talk the language of business.  But, far from falling into line with offering a single perspective, no matter how important it might be to operate using business tools and terms, CR …

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Sustainability Comes of Age

A couple of articles caught my attention last week. This blog post by Marc Gunther about the pros and cons of reusable shopping bags and this one in the Washington Post about the implications of the success of the Fair Trade movement.

In different ways, both indicate the need for an increasing maturity in our approach to corporate responsibility and sustainability as our programs take root and grow.    Initiatives that appear to be the right thing to do at a small scale, need to be revisited as they scale and the full implications become evident.

Marc identifies inaccuracies in the …

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