Tag Archive for ‘Sustainability’
John Elkington thinks that if busy people insist on getting all their knowledge in 20-second sound-bites, they are unlikely to be open to the sort of deep conversations that the sustainability agenda requires. The path to great leadership, he suggests, may involve what one executive calls “constructive discomfort.”
A new study by researchers at Harvard Business School and London Business School concludes that companies which have voluntarily embraced sustainable business cultures with a substantial number of environmental and social policies “significantly outperform their counterparts over the long-term, both in terms of stock market and accounting performance.”
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.
A sustainability advocate argues that it is illogical – and quite myopic – that many large institutional investors refer to shareholder resolutions on climate change and other material issues as “special interest,” “non-routine” or involving “special circumstances.” The opposite is true, she says: if companies aren’t addressing sustainability they won’t be producing long-term value for their shareholders.
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.”
A new working paper by researchers at the London Business School and Harvard Business School finds that requiring companies to report on their environmental, social and governance initiatives leads to broad improvement in socially responsible management practices.
With the environment now high atop the public agenda, green jobs are more popular than ever. Defined by eco.org (a leading green jobs website) as any job in any company where the primary focus is on reducing the impacts of our activities or products on the environment, green jobs serve to maximize efficient use of resources while minimizing degradation of the planet from pollution and waste.
Managing the corporate social responsibility program for one of the world’s biggest and best-known brands is no simple task. Bob Langert, the man who has that job at McDonald’s – which serves more than 64 million people in 117 countries each day – offers his Top Ten list of observations about what’s involved in trying to be a good corporate citizen.
A KPMG International study of executives released April 18 said that, “nearly 55 per cent of US executives say their organization has a formal sustainability strategy in place… Another 12 per cent say they are working on a strategy and an additional 19 percent expect to eventually develop a formal plan… Asked to identify the top three benefits from their sustainability program, the respondents most often chose: better or more efficient business processes and practices; increased profitability or shareholder value; and the ability to attract or retain new or existing customers… ”
Sustainability initiatives are most successful when they’re on the agenda of the board of directors. Alice Korngold examines how that’s being handled at consumer goods giant Kimberly-Clark, where the board has not only endorsed an ambitious Sustainability 2015 plan but has also asked how the plan can be accelerated.