Tag Archives: csr

Keep the spotlight on the the true hero – 3 tips for telling your sustainability story.

Hero

It’s tempting enough for brands to want to talk about themselves – even truer when they are doing something good.

In today’s radically transparent social business marketplace, the reputation of a company extends way beyond its marketing to include its supply chain, manufacturing processes, employee treatment and customer engagement.

Likewise, full circle sustainability requires that companies overhaul how they source their ingredients, manufacture and distribute their products, and manage the waste they generate. Both of these realities place higher demands on time-poor executives and entrepreneurs, yet too many fail to recoup the costs of such efforts because they don’t share their sustainability story effectively.

In fact, almost all companies are guilty of three key mistakes that mean these investments of time, money and energy never build their brand or bottom line.

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Another Radical Sustainability Idea: Pay Employees at Least a Fair Living Wage

fair wageHere is another breakthrough corporate CSR idea; How about paying employees at least a fair living wage? My last blog suggested A Wild and Crazy Corporate CSR Idea: Pay Your Taxes.

At the risk of being overly innovative by simply stating the obvious, I humbly suggest a second breakthrough corporate social responsibility (CSR) program: pay all employees at least a Living Wage. Otherwise, corporations may be setting themselves up for public embarrassment, like the report that went viral last October about how McDonald’s US pays its workers below-poverty-line wages while its “McResource” employee help line encourages them to use food stamps and government assistance to make ends meet. That is, McDonald’s wants the government (a.k.a. tax-paying citizens) to top up their paltry workers’ wages. Awkward. McDonald’s has since discontinued its McResource.

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Mr. Muscle is pushing the envelope on lean manufacturing. But is SC Johnson really a sustainable business?

Tom Idle takes a tour of SC Johnson’s Amsterdam Plant.  The plant has been zero-landfill for more than a decade, and recycled almost 800 tons of its waste in 2013. SC Johnson is clearly very proud of it.

sc joihnson

Pronto, one of many SC Johnson products coming off the production line at Europlant in Amsterdam.

Recently, SC Johnson announced that its plant in Manaus, Brazil had become its eighth zero-landfill facility, putting it well on track towards meeting a 2016 target of cutting manufacturing waste from its facilities across the world by 70%.

Its other zero-landfill facilities – defined as being achieved without incineration – include two in China and one each in Pakistan, the Netherlands, the US, Poland and Canada. In 2012, ten of the company’s 20 sites achieved waste diversion rates of at least 90%.

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Pay your damn taxes! Are Sustainability Rankings Missing Something?

Bob WillardNo one enjoys paying taxes. You don’t. I don’t. Companies don’t either. But it’s our civic duty. Without tax revenues, governments cannot provide us with the health, education, safety, security, and infrastructure services that are vital to our well-being in a flourishing society. Taxes are a necessary and a good thing. Corporate taxes are vital. However, over the past 50 years, the share of tax revenue coming to the federal government from business has collapsed. According to the U.S. Tax Policy Center, corporate taxes represented 32% of U.S. federal government revenues in 1953; 23% in 1966; 12% in 1998; and 9% in 2010. There seems to be trend.

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Can the “Shared Value” promise resonate with the ‘square people’?

Porter at SV SummitEarlier this month Thomas Friedman wrote on the New York Times about two very different groups trying to shape the economic environment worldwide.

The first was Davos men–the “transnational, cosmopolitan elite drawn from high-tech, finance, multinationals, academics and NGOs,” who regularly attend the Davos World Economic Forum.

The second group was the “square people”–according to Friedman, it includes mostly young people, who are aspiring to a higher standard of living and more liberty, seeking either reform or revolution in their country (depending on their existing government) and “demanding a new social contract.”

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