Can Consumers Incite Change? My Thoughts on a Key Question

Can consumers actually motivate the companies they do business with to change their behaviour to support sustainable goals and outcomes?   This is one of the fundamental questions for CSR practitioners and a topic we weren’t afraid to tackle at the recent BT Better Future Forum.

At the event we had the opportunity to gather an incredible group of people together to dive into this topic – including Dame Ellen MacArthur, Lord Michael Hastings, and Climate Group CEO, Mark Kenber – which produced lively debate and inspired me to write up my thoughts for Business Green.

Below, is an excerpt …

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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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Where are you on the journey?

I have a penchant for simple models and frameworks.  In developing a presentation recently I used what I perceive as a three stage evolution of the corporate responsibility journey;  (1) how we give it away, (2) how we spend it and (3) how we make it.   The “it” of course is  money.

Stage 1; How we give it away. The traditional mode of corporate responsibility delivered through philanthropy, community investment and volunteering.  We make a profit and then we find ways to give it away for the good of society, sometimes referred to by the phrase ‘giving

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Guest Post: Kim McMann, President BT US & Canada – Magnifying Our Impact

In an earlier post  I talked about the role of CSR in society and how it also helps the business. I see sustainability challenges reflected increasingly in discussions both I and my leadership team have with our customers.  Our customers (and in particular those from the sector for which I am responsible, consumer packaged goods) tell us that sustainability is among their top strategic priorities. I am thrilled to be working with companies such as Unilever, Pepsi, P&G, Nestle, Mars and others who are sustainability leaders in their sectors.  And my peers in other verticals …

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Guest Post: Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

As our Americas president Kim McMann mentioned in her guest post, we recently joined, and made our commitment to, the Clinton Global Initiative.  Like me, you may have wondered what the CGI Annual Meeting is like. Other than the named member and select VIPs, the only other attendees are volunteers.  Bernie Shaw, a long time  BT colleague, has volunteered at the CGI Annual Meeting for a couple of years and kindly agreed to share her perspective on the event in this guest post.

Two weeks ago I volunteered at the CGI annual meeting in New York and it can only …

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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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