Tag Archive for ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’
Major U.S. retail chains like Target and K-Mart are being criticized by some consumer groups for opening on Thanksgiving Day. Columnist Gael O’Brien finds she agrees with the critics. In the rush for short-term profits, she says, companies are “losing capital” with their employees and damaging their reputations as responsible corporate citizens.
Christine Bader’s new book – “The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil” – chronicles her work for oil giant BP, managing the community impacts of big projects in the developing world, and her later role as an advisor to a United Nations initiative on human rights abuses linked to business. Her hope, she says in an interview, is that someday corporate idealism “doesn’t seem like the oxymoron that it does to so many people today.”
A new initiative to develop standards for reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues by publicly-held U.S. companies has launched its first set of standards – for the health care sector – with ambitious plans to develop similar standards for more than 80 industries in 10 sectors over the next two years.
Moscow-based CSR consultant Tatiana Klimova discusses social responsibility in Russia: its historical prerequisites, current dramatic changes and further development issues.
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has long been a proponent of corporate social responsibility – and financially successful as well. Columnist Gael O’Brien reviews a new book in which Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his co-author explain how an entrepreneurial spirit is as important for achieving social and environmental goals as it is to a company’s bottom line.
Impact investing is an emerging asset class focused on the flow of capital towards companies that align market incentives with scalable impact. In other words, investing in for-profit companies that are making the world a better place. One problem: there is actually very little investment being made, especially for seed and early-stage companies.
While daily news headlines can sometimes make it easy to assume that big business is incapable of doing good in the world, contributor Christine Bader argues that there exists a “global army” of Corporate Idealists hard at work on a host of environmental and social issues. She offers the beginnings of a Manifesto to help support that army – “an outline of the principles and actions that will help us better align the interests of business and society.”
Executives responsible for sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs at large companies are overwhelmingly optimistic that those initiatives will be part of the “core strategies and operations” of global businesses in the next five years, according to a new survey. Top priorities for those companies in the year ahead are human rights and workers’ rights, climate change, and the availability and quality of water on a global basis.
In July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed a set of principles designed to address human rights abuses by business. In an interview, the man who led development of those principles – Harvard professor John Ruggie – discusses their implications and explains why he thinks the newly-coined term “human rights due diligence” has already become a permanent entry in the lexicon of international business.
Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter and his colleague Mark Kramer argue that the time has come for global businesses to adopt the principle of “shared value.” Shared value, they write, “is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success.”