When CR and Business Objectives Conflict (contd)

I am on my way home from an excellent conference run by The Ethical Corporation in New York. As I described in my post yesterday, we had a great discussion on the topic of when CR and business objectives conflict. We split up into table groups to share some of our more challenging experiences and examples in a safe space. While in the spirit of the safe space we created I am not going to share any examples that are not already public knowledge, I identified some common categories of action from the examples discussed:

 

1) Grasp the nettle/bite

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Chinese Urged to Spend More…….and Less !

The juxtaposition  of two articles in the Washington Post this Saturday says everything about our the most important dilemma we face in sustainability.

Chinese urged to spend more, save less

This article on page A11 calls on  the Chinese to spend more and increase consumption in an effort to spur the global economy.

“Indeed, Batson suggests that the present slowdown could promote a much-heralded rebalancing of China’s economy, away from reliance on increasingly unproductive investment to a healthier consumption-driven model.”

U.S. cut its carbon emissions in 2011 — but China erased the gains

And only a few pages later in …

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Connecting the Dots – Cities and Sustainability

My last post referred to the workshop I attended at Verge DC to discuss the recent Citystates paper from SustainAbility and GreenBiz.

Environment once meant something we went to visit on a weekend hike to a national park. But that type of thinking is counterproductive.  It separates the daily actions of the majority of people, who live in urban environments, from the environment.    This interview with Harvard economist Edward Glaeser addresses why urbanization could be a solution to many intractable sustainability problems:

It is somewhat counterintuitive but all that is leafy is not necessarily green – living around

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Facing Similar Challenges in Business and Local Government

Earlier this month I attended a workshop at Verge DC to discuss the recent Citystates paper by SustainAbility and GreenBiz and sponsored by Ford.

It was a fascinating discussion, including a number of city sustainability practitioners from across in the wider DC metropolitan area.

What struck me the most were the similarities between the challenges faced by city managers and the challenges faced in business.  Here are a few examples:

1)      Short term thinking.  Some of the city representatives referred to the challenges of planning cycles that, at best, align with the time between elections.  Of course we have similar …

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My Misrepresentation of Bruntland’s Definition of Sustainability

The commonly used definition of sustainability that comes from the Bruntland Commission is predominantly inter-generational; “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

I recently considered the apparent unfairness that future generations are covered without mentioning the needs of the overwhelming numbers of people in today’s population who don’t have enough.  I wondered what ethical approach created this prioritization.

However, I just read Wikipedia’s description of the Bruntland Commission and see that the commission intended two key concepts, the other of which is “in particular the …

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The Pharma Equivalent of Climate Change?

I read an interesting article while I was in the UK last week.   Before I get into the article, I want to share two standard definitions;

  • Corporate Social Responsibility – everything good a company contributes to society beyond the need to deliver a short term profit and follow the law
  • Sustainability – meetings today’s needs without compromising the needs of future generations.

According to an article in The Independent, Professor Peter Hawkey, chair of the UK  Government’s antibiotic resistance working group, reports that our use of antibiotics today is creating resistant organisms that threaten to turn common infections into …

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Forget the Informed Consumer – Make the Sustainable Decision the Easy Decision

There are a number of apps that provide information that will help us be more sustainable.  I looked at one recently that had won awards and would help me determine the financial savings of a CFL compared to an incandescent bulb.  There are apps that let you switch your home devices on and off from your hotel, check the charge on your EV from the living room, and assess the sustainability credentials of a product while in the store.

I have written and even made videos about some of these.

But I am increasingly of the opinion that they …

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ICT in the Environment: The Connected Car

ICT in the Environment: The Connected Car from Kevin Moss on Vimeo.
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.

The 6th episode in this series focuses on the connected car.  At this week’s Green Monday panel  Dr Thomas Becker of BMW described the prototype Rolls Royce Phantom EV.   The Phantom EV wasn’t at the …

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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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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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