Starbucks’s Race Together: I think the naysayers reacted too fast and have it all wrong!

Rather than scowl at CEO Howard Schultz’s bold attempt to further the race dialogue, we should admire his tenacity and modern corporate leadership.

starbucks race together

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past week, you probably have heard about Starbucks’s Race Together initiative. From the Washington Post‘s “Starbucks CEO has a terrible idea to fix race relations” to The Economist‘s “Starbucks and branding: #Fail” to Ad Week‘s “The Internet Is United in Despising Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ Cup Campaign,” the media criticism has been fierce and unrelenting. A quick scan of social media doesn’t yield a much better response; the majority of comments are negative and downright cutting, declaring the campaign a major fail. Over the weekend, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said baristas would stop writing #RaceTogether on coffee cups.

Call me a contrarian, but I think the naysayers reacted too fast and have it all wrong.

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Also posted in Business for Good, Culture and Leadership, Culture Change, Ethics, Featured Articles, new economy, Organizational Culture, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Congratulations to Canada’s Top 30 under 30 Sustainability Trailblazers

They are entrepreneurs and activists; business professionals and students. Meet the Canadian Top 30 Under 30.


Today’s teenagers and young adults, a demographic cohort referred to as the Millennial Generation, make up roughly 25 per cent of the North American population and an estimated 2.5 billion global citizens. Arguably the largest living generation since the Baby Boomers, the economic and political influence of Millennials is growing as they enter or move through the workforce toward their peak spending years. Right behind them is Generation Z, the impact of which we’re just beginning to see.

For both, the Internet is an appendage, climate change is a nagging reality, mobility is just the way things are, and the weight of the future is on their shoulders. It’s for this reason the United Nations says youth from around the world must be an active part of all levels of decision-making related to sustainable development. “It affects their lives today and has implications for their futures,” the global agency says.

Kruger LogoThe Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series (TSSS) and Corporate Knights, with sponsorship support from paper-products manufacturer Kruger Products, decided it was time to shine a light on Canadian youth who have demonstrated themselves as leaders of sustainable development; an impressive collection of young entrepreneurs, activists, corporate professionals and students eager to make our world a better place. We opened nominations in February and received more than 90 candidates, which was whittled down to a list of 50. From this, a panel of five judges each submitted their Top 15 picks, which when combined shortened the list to 30.

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The rise of the energy-producing home

Imagine living in a house that contributed to society: a house that produced energy, while consuming none itself.

energy home1

The ZEB house is one example of a new type of property designed to produce surplus energy. Photograph: EVE

Well, imagine no more. After perfecting the “passivhaus”, which consumes minimal energy, engineers and architects have developed the energy positive house.

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Also posted in Built Environment, Carbon Reduction, Climate change, Energy, Cities and Climate Change, Featured Articles, Renewable Energy, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

It’s the Little Guys Who Are The Real Change Agents Towards Sustainability


When it comes to protecting the environment or improving workers’ conditions, you might think the biggest companies are making the biggest positive impact.

Multinationals like Apple and McDonald’s are so large that –just by taking a few significant steps towards sustainability– they can change vast swaths of the global marketplace.

But it turns out that the largest corporations aren’t leading on this issue. It’s the small and medium-sized businesses that are out in front on compliance with sustainability, worker safety and other standards.

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What Makes a Board Fit for the Future?

future-fit-boards-copyIn a recent webinar hosted by Helle Bank Jorgensen, a panel including the Global Chairman of Unilever, the Chair of the CSR Committee from PVH Corp. and Managing Director of BlackRock was assembled to discuss the crucial board questions of our time. A general consensus was reached that a balance must be struck between long-term goals and short-term gains. Sustainable short-term shareholder returns will result from a clear, company-wide strategy for long-term success.

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Culture and Leadership, Organizational Change, sustainability trends, The Hub | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed
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