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EY: In an Uncertain Global Economy, Communicating Purpose Is Key
EY: In an Uncertain Global Economy, Communicating Purpose Is Key

MARKETING AND COMMS - A majority of business leaders believe in the value of a strong corporate purpose and only a minority say their company’s main purpose is to maximize shareholder value says a new report by EY. Based on a survey of 1,470 global leaders representing companies across various industries in developed and emerging markets around the world, the report reveals that purpose, not profit, is the key to success amid a turbulent global economy.

New Benchmark Finds M&S, Nestlé, Unilever Leading on Human Rights
New Benchmark Finds M&S, Nestlé, Unilever Leading on Human Rights

SUPPLY CHAIN - The first-ever public ranking of corporate human rights performance launched today, seeking to highlight the moral and commercial advantages for companies with a strong human rights record.

Deloitte Seeking to Increase Board Diversity by Highlighting the Lack of It
Deloitte Seeking to Increase Board Diversity by Highlighting the Lack of It

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Can new information incite change? Deloitte is hoping so. The firm is focusing on diversity in corporate boardrooms, with the intent of helping executives understand just how important it is to include women and minorities in the boardroom picture. As part of the Alliance for Board Diversity, one of Deloitte’s aims is to increase board diversity to 40 percent representation from women and minorities, combined, by 2020. At the current rate, it looks like that won’t happen until 2026.

Is it Time to Add Morality to the Business Case for Sustainability?
Is it Time to Add Morality to the Business Case for Sustainability?

NEW METRICS - Every manager (or consultant) who has pitched an initiative under the banner of “sustainability” has faced the same question nearly every time: What’s the business case? On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with the question. Business is all about allocating some form of capital, be it financial, human or organizational. So it’s not unfair to wonder what the return on the investment might be. But usually, when executives pose the question about sustainability initiatives, they’re asking about the business case in the narrowest sense: Does this thing pay back, in cash, within some short payback period (1 or 2 years)?

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Enriched Pro Bono Services Improving Employee Motivation at Japanese Consultancies
Enriched Pro Bono Services Improving Employee Motivation at Japanese Consultancies

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Leading Japanese consulting companies including Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting (DTC) and Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting (MURC) are actively enhancing their pro bono businesses. Rather than it being simply voluntary work, their aim is to use their employees’ specialized skills to help social businesses and the NPO/NGO sector, thereby increasing their employees’ positive motivations and, as a side effect, enhancing their companies’ social reputations.

thinkstep and T1 Partners Help SFO on its Path to Becoming the Most Sustainable Airport in the World
thinkstep and T1 Partners Help SFO on its Path to Becoming the Most Sustainable Airport in the World

PRESS RELEASE -   SoFi Software enables sustainability performance management for multiple projects and provides insight into success 

For World's Most Purposeful Brands, Collaboration Is Key for Putting Purpose Into Practice
For World's Most Purposeful Brands, Collaboration Is Key for Putting Purpose Into Practice

COLLABORATION - British creative consultancy Radley Yeldar (RY) has launched the 2016 Fit for Purpose index, ranking the world’s most socially, environmentally and economically purposeful companies. The overall trend that surfaced in this year’s index was collaborative thinking; the top purposeful brands are collaborating with stakeholders and partners within and outside the company to embed purpose in authentic and meaningful ways.

GSK, GE, Nestlé, Nike, Novozymes Among Companies ‘Changing the World’
GSK, GE, Nestlé, Nike, Novozymes Among Companies ‘Changing the World’

LEADERSHIP - Fortune has published the second edition of its “Change the World” list of the top 50 companies that are delivering positive social impact. Once again developed in partnership with Mark Kramer and Michael Porter’s non-profit social impact consulting firm FSG and their Shared Value Initiative, a platform for organizations seeking business solutions to social challenges, this year’s ranking focused on businesses that created shared value through activities that were also part of the companies’ core business strategy.

thinkstep and Anthesis Form Strategic Alliance: Companies join forces to expand sales and marketing opportunities
thinkstep and Anthesis Form Strategic Alliance: Companies join forces to expand sales and marketing opportunities

PRESS RELEASE -   Stuttgart/London/Boston, July 14, 2016 – thinkstep and Anthesis, two leading, global sustainability solutions and services providers, today announced a strategic alliance to pursue joint marketing, sales and consulting opportunities. Together the companies will work to expand market access to both organizations’ global clients through sustainability strategy and software implementation.   The alliance will benefit businesses that are committed to making sustainability an integral part of their overall strategy. Initially, the two will work together to further market adoption of thinkstep’s SoFi ts enterprise sustainability software platform. The companies plan to expand their agreement to include the GaBi software suite in the near future.

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Wilhelms: Cultural Change Starts With Conversation
Wilhelms: Cultural Change Starts With Conversation

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - “Our goal is to make the intangible tangible, which is what we have to do with culture,” said Pamela Wilhelms, founder of Wilhelms Consulting Group, during a Monday workshop at SB'16 San Diego. The workshop, “Understanding and Measuring Cultural and Systems-Change Dimensions within Companies,” focused on how forward-thinking companies can initiate cultural shifts toward sustainability — and how to measure success. As the world moves toward a more sustainable economy, leading brands will be those capable of identifying and measuring healthy cultural dynamics. But culture often is too subjective and intangible to measure.

Securing Buy-in From the Top – 7 Benefits of Integrated Thinking
Securing Buy-in From the Top – 7 Benefits of Integrated Thinking

PRESS RELEASE - In spite of recent advances, the reality of life for many CSR and sustainability officers is still pretty disheartening. Many senior executives and key internal stakeholders still think of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an afterthought – another box to check on the corporate checklist.

Alter Eco's Gone4Good™ Packaging Eliminates Plastic Pouch Problem
Alter Eco's Gone4Good™ Packaging Eliminates Plastic Pouch Problem

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - According to a 2013 study by PCI Films Consulting, 17 billion plastic pouches ended up in landfills throughout the U.S. that year and production is expected to reach 24 billion plastic pouches by 2018 — but that staggering statistic isn’t one that we have to accept. As a company deeply rooted in the food industry, Alter Eco has seen the continual evolution of food packaging, and plastic pouches have become one of the newest, convenient and most sought-after formats on grocery store shelves.

Sustainability: Separating the Talk from the Action
Sustainability: Separating the Talk from the Action

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - In 2010, I wrote a piece on sustainability. At the time, my point of view was that it’s a challenge too big and too complex for governments alone; particularly with the financial growth of nations such as China, Brazil and India, where consumers were beginning to get a taste of their newly acquired buying power. Back then I thought it would take a change in human behavior to have a real impact on business practices … people seeing the threats to their environment the way they once saw the threat of smoking to their health. So, it’s 2016, where do we stand?

New Evidence Bolsters Claims of Connectivity Between CSR and Market Caps
New Evidence Bolsters Claims of Connectivity Between CSR and Market Caps

NEW METRICS - Last August, I published an article here in which I described what, to me, is the most compelling business case for corporate sustainability or CSR extant: the fact that it literally drives the market values of publicly traded firms up or down in measurable ways. To be clear, I believe there are two fundamental business cases for CSR: an intrinsic one and an extrinsic one. The intrinsic one involves the pursuit of sustainability for its own sake; the extrinsic one involves the pursuit of sustainability for financial gain – a means to an end.

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ASU Initiatives Delivering on Mission to Solve, Educate, Engage on Sustainability
ASU Initiatives Delivering on Mission to Solve, Educate, Engage on Sustainability

LEADERSHIP - Arizona State University (ASU) has emerged as a leader in sustainability education in part due to its Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a series of programs designed to solve global sustainability problems, educate future leaders in sustainability strategies, and engage and inform the public around sustainability issues.

Countries Ranked on Sustainable Competitiveness; US and UK Score Below China, Russia
Countries Ranked on Sustainable Competitiveness; US and UK Score Below China, Russia

NEW METRICS - Think tank and sustainable management consultancy SolAbility recently released its fourth Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI), a ranking of 180 countries for “sustainable competitiveness,” defined as the ability to generate and sustain inclusive wealth and dignifying standard of life for all citizens in a globalised world of competing economies.Iceland topped the list for the second year running, followed by other Scandinavian nations. The only non-European countries in the top 20 are Japan (11), New Zealand (12), and Canada (16). The US ranked 41 and the UK ranked 48; China and Russia ranked above them at 25 and 33, respectively.

Net Positive: How to Move From Ambition to Implementation
Net Positive: How to Move From Ambition to Implementation

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Arriving a few minutes late after taking ‘the sustainable option’ and walking to the Beaumont Estate from Egham station, Forum for the Future’s Zoe Le Grand kicked off Monday morning’s Net Positive workshop. “Nature cannot continue to provide as the population grows and grows,” she asserted. “We are not going to get there by doing what we have always done or just being 10 percent more efficient. Business needs to step up the level of ambition and drive things faster and further.”So what is Net Positive?“Net Positive is about aiming to put back more than the organization takes out; with overall positive impact. This is a mindset shift that the organizations I have worked with have found very helpful.

Karma Marketing: Crossing Buddhism with Business to Tout Need for a 'Sufficiency Economy'
Karma Marketing: Crossing Buddhism with Business to Tout Need for a 'Sufficiency Economy'

BLOG - In a world dominated by the pursuit of higher short-term credit, it is not common to hear an appeal to the moderation of companies. That is why the intervention of brand and sustainability consultant Sirikul Laukaikul brought fresh air to the second edition of Sustainable Brands Buenos Aires, the conference about sustainability and brands that was held September 1-2 at La Rural with more than 70 speakers and 1,200 attendees (see her presentation from SB ’15 San Diego).

MSC Pilots Seafood Traceability Tool, Asks for Industry Feedback
MSC Pilots Seafood Traceability Tool, Asks for Industry Feedback

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is soliciting feedback on a new traceability tool that verifies seafood supply chain transactions on a global scale. A public consultation period is taking place from August 16th to September 18th, during which industry members are encouraged to offer their expertise and comments to shape the tool.

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OK ... Now What? The Future of Natural Capital Accounting Metrics
OK ... Now What? The Future of Natural Capital Accounting Metrics

NEW METRICS - Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is an emerging methodology in the private sector, aimed at measuring the dependency and impact of companies on natural systems. NCA helps in quantifying the value of usually intangible assets from nature (such as water, pollination, etc). NCA allows mitigating risks but also identifies opportunities to reduce costs, innovate and become more resilient.

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