I’ve been having some great conversations recently on the theme of transformational leadership with some very amazing people, and these conversations have triggered a few thoughts I would like to share.I’d like to start by turning if I may to this metaphorical model of the four qualities of knowing — earth, water, air and fire.
H&M, Unilever, Nestlé and several other leading companies and investors have committed to reporting climate change through the Climate Change Reporting Framework or other comparable frameworks as a matter of fiduciary duty, whether or not required by current regulation.This represents an unprecedented collective commitment and a practical step capable of enabling positive change in economic and financial market activity at scale.
My first big CSR/sustainability event was the 2010 Net Impact Conference - I had been invited there to speak on a panel on intrapreneurship, which gave me the opportunity to sit in on a number inspiring and insightful talks. One of the sessions I attended was an interview with BSR CEO Aron Cramer. As I recall, much of that hopeful, engaging discussion centered on transparency — a topic that’s close to my heart.
As part of ongoing efforts to lower its carbon footprint across all phases of its business, HP has announced a goal to reduce the emissions intensity of its product portfolio(1) by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 2010 levels.(2)With this announcement, HP becomes the only global IT company to have set carbon reduction goals for all three parts of its value chain — operations, supply chain and product portfolio.
Kellogg Company has joined the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), committing to expand its global sustainability efforts by working with businesses and policymakers to enact meaningful energy and climate policies.BICEP, a project of Ceres, was launched in 2008 with a core group of five companies, including Starbucks, Nike, and Timberland. It has since expanded to 32 leading companies, such as eBay, Symantec and Jones Lang LaSalle, which represent a broad spectrum of business sectors. BICEP members have been vocal proponents of renewable energy, sustainable transportation and stricter pollution controls on power plants.
The University of California has announced it will allocate $1 billion over five years for direct investments in solutions to climate change.In addition, as part of UC President Janet Napolitano’s goal of bringing university operations to carbon neutrality by 2025, the 10-campus university system has signed agreements to secure substantial solar energy for the next 25 years.
Demonstrating a lead in corporate sustainability has become increasingly important to both businesses and their customers in recent years, as has receiving plaudits for their efforts. This week, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) released their 15th annual choices for the world’s leading companies, what many consider an important acknowledgment of their progress in this area.
On Thursday, the annual rankings of the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) will be publicly announced. Based on research by the Swiss-based investment group RobecoSAM, the Index assesses the sustainability performance of close to 90 publicly traded multinationals operating in the chemicals and coatings industries.Each company is ranked based on a detailed analysis of a range of criteria related to standard management practices and performance measures, with the top nine designated as finalists in the DJSI.
In 2013, governments and companies invested $9.6 billion in initiatives implementing nature-based solutions to sustain the world’s clean water supplies, according to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace.
How can we create a better future for everyone, together?On Sept. 9, leaders in government, business, academia and civil society will join me and other HP colleagues in an online forum to address this question at the first global HP Living Progress Exchange.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies collectively devoted more than $363 million to support community health initiatives in 2013, according to a new report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.The sixth annual Investing in America’s Health report demonstrates the 37 BCBS companies’ efforts to promote healthier communities nationwide. One in three Americans rely on these companies for access to healthcare which, according to the report, puts them in a good position to create and maintain lasting partnerships with doctors, hospitals, schools and other organizations to help create stronger, healthier communities.
Intel is the largest user of clean energy within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership for the fourth consecutive year, according to the agency’s recently updated National Top 100 Partners list.The technology company annually generates 3,102,050,000 kWh of clean energy from biogas, biomass, small-hydro, solar, and wind, EPA says. Last year, Intel produced around the same amount.
Since the release of the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) in January, we have been working diligently to get it rolled out to the industry and implemented across our own supply chain. Doing this has been a complex and challenging project for The North Face and our partners, but we believe the RDS will make some critical changes to the down supply chain to improve traceability and ethical treatment of animals.
Only 41 percent of Americans trust the federal government to solve the country’s most pressing problems, and three-quarters say it’s important for major companies to help on this front, according to the 2014 Public Affairs Pulse survey.In particular, Americans want corporations to help improve the quality of health care (66%) and education (63%), and provide community services such as food banks, free clinics and job training for the poor (65%).The majority of Americans also want corporations to weigh in on social issues such as wilderness protection (73%), and racial and gender discrimination (62%).
We all know sustainability is an important issue when it comes to the growth of a business, but what steps can we take to ensure it is fully ingrained in each and every business decision?For me, the significance of education in driving sustainability cannot be overestimated. Education is key to driving innovative, sustainable solutions to business-critical issues, and it is the responsibility of business and education providers to work together to ensure future leaders are fully equipped for the challenges they will face.
Ecolab has the best environmental management of all the companies in the Russell 3000 index, according to a new study that evaluates environmental policies and infrastructure.With a score of 91 out of 100 points, Ecolab witnessed an increase in score of 38 points (72 percent) during the past two years. Intel came in second with 89 points after two consecutive years in the top spot. Lexmark was third, increasing by 10 points from 2011, to 84 points.
CVS Caremark, in partnership with IBM, has announced a $1.5 million commitment to support the use of innovative technology in community health centers to increase patient engagement and to improve patient care and outcomes.The "Technology Solutions for Smarter Health" grants will be awarded to community health centers nationwide that are in need of advanced technology that will help people on their path to better health. The grants will enhance technology infrastructure currently in place to help centers easily communicate and share health information with patients through secure electronic messaging. The advanced technology will also provide patients with the ability to view,download and transmit their health information online.
The WWF and IKEA have released a new report highlighting the impacts of their work with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), as the organization restates its aim to make up 30 percent of global cotton production by 2020.
Previous articles in this series talked about leading businesses taking bold steps on their own for the common good — because it's the right thing to do — even if it costs the company financially in the short term.This time I want to point to the latest wave of businesses working collaboratively on the urgent, common ground issues of renewable energy and climate policy. In America's history of westward expansion and exploration, pioneer families came together in wagon trains for mutual support. In the same way, the examples below show that businesses are taking action, together, to ensure a more certain future that's good for all of us and for business.
The sustainability movement, in the last few years, has figured out that “doing less harm” is insufficient. It is based on fixed ideas to which we implicitly agree to adhere. We become attached to their ‘rightness’ and do as much as possible to adhere to them and correct anything off course – e.g. fair trade may not make a village work better, it is just less bad. I call this approach “arresting disorder,” which translates to paying a lot of attention to slowing down destructive actions.