Business and Sustainability

Project ROI: Corporate responsibility efforts boost more than just reputation

A new study finds that well-designed CSR programs lift sales, increase shareholder value and improve employee productivity.

Corporate responsibility programs boost sales, shareholder value and employee productivity, according to a study by IO Sustainability and Babson College, which set out to “fill a knowledge gap” around the real impact of improved sustainability performance on business.

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Kevin Brady: We need to shift from concentrated power to power sharing

Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to provide opening remarks on the second day of the CSR Upmanship Conference in Toronto, organised by the great people at EthicsScan. I had planned to talk about CSR strategy and then a couple of days before the conference something happened that changed my views on CSR completely. See the speech I delivered below and please let me know what you think of what I am proposing.

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Also posted in Capitalism2.0, Featured Articles, new economy, systemic change, The Hub, Thought Leader | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 truths about the current discourse on Volkswagen and CSR

The fact that people break the law is a fact. It’s not always preventable. That’s not about sustainability. Sometimes it’s just breaking the law.

It’s just incredible how everyone is jumping down the throat of sustainability and sustainability reporting as a result of the Volkswagen crimes against emissions. Is the sustainability movement so fragile that the deliberate fraudulent behavior of one corporation can disrupt the credibility of thousands of corporations that are making genuine efforts to act ethically, responsibly and … wow, even legally? The first thing many people are saying now that Volkswagen is down the tubes is: “Aha, vindicated at last, that’s the end of CSR. Just look at Volkswagen’s last Sustainability Report. What a waste of paper. This just proves that CSR is all a big waste of time. It’s about time we started refocusing on business and leaving out the sustainability PR stuff.”

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Also posted in Carbon Reduction, Communication, CSR Reporting, Ethics, Organizational Culture, pollution, Sustainability Reporting, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The French propose new laws to hold companies accountable for supply chain abuses.


Companies would be wise to ensure that all suppliers have gone through due diligence before signing a contract.

Recently, a Toronto-based law firm filed a class action lawsuit of $2 billion in damages against a major retailer in Canada in relation to the 2013 Rana Plaza Bangladesh garment factory collapse, in which over 1,000 people lost their lives and over 2,500 were gravely injured.

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Also posted in Retail and Supply Chain, Social and Environmental Impacts, Sustainable Supply Chain, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bob Willard: “I’m Screwing Up as a Sustainability Champion.”

[Strong words from one of the most effective change agents in Sustainability]

“I’m screwing up as a sustainability champion. Going forward I’ve decided to change tactics and lead with a “burning platform” of environmental and social risks rather than the “carrot” of business opportunities.”


For fifteen years, I have been writing and speaking about how corporations can capture the 4 carrots of emerging business opportunities, while reducing their negative environmental and social footprints.  The good news is that, for whatever reasons, some businesses are making incremental progress on their sustainability agendas. The bad news is that not enough firms are making enough progress, fast enough, to get to where they need to be―and to where my kids and my grandsons need them to be. I’ve decided to click into a different gear and to lead with a “burning platform” of environmental and social risks―the stick―that businesses must mitigate if they want to be fit for the future. There are 5 reasons that it’s time for me―and perhaps other frustrated sustainability champions―to change tactics.

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Also posted in Culture and Leadership, Featured Articles, Leadership, Organizational Change, Risk Management, sustainability trends, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed
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