When Executives Speak Out

A fair number of prominent business people have taken leadership positions on issues of sustainability and societal responsibility. Of course there are the examples we know and love to quote: Paul Polman of Unilever, Ian Cheshire of Kingfisher and Jochen Zeitz of Puma.

But what about when the pronouncements are more controversial?  I will never forget  the audible intake of breath at the BSR conference in San Francisco in 2010.   Aron Cramer was interviewing Zhang Yue, a prominent CEO from China running an energy efficiency business and displaying impeccable employee/human rights credentials. Taking everyone off guard he proclaimed that …

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Serving the Corporate Responsibility Profession

Back in April 2009, I was a founding member of the governing board of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association.  In a short post I wrote at the time I noted my aspiration “that one of the things the CROA will be able to contribute to will be increasing the structure and recognition of the role and in so doing, will enhance the professional standing of practitioners.”  In fact I made such a big thing of this at the governing board meetings that I was asked to set up a new committee of the association to address exactly this. (What I …

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