“Focus” is having a great run these days. Daniel Goleman’s book on it is excellent. People with focus are able to capture more information, complete tasks sooner, become skilled in a discipline earlier. Malcolm Gladwell has written eloquently about the need to spend 10,000 hours in order to truly master a subject. There’s a lot to be said for single-mindedness.
A few years ago, my ad agency was acquired by Maddock Douglas, an innovation agency based in Chicago. For a year, I worked with the team at MD, honing a green innovation process for their clients.I learned a number of incredibly useful things from my friends at MD, but one has served me particularly well in the business of building futureproof brands: the power of a global expert network.A global expert network is, as the name implies, a network of smart, specialized idea people you can call upon to guide your thinking. In my case, they’re C-suite level, generally entrepreneurial, with strong brand experience.
Five major organizations active in the social investment market — the Big Lottery Fund, Citi, Big Society Capital, the City of London Corporation and the Cabinet Office — have come together to launch the Social Investment Research Council (SIRC), which aims to “generate powerful and practical insights for the benefit of social sector organizations and investors.”The research body will seek to maximize the benefits for socially motivated investors by enhancing knowledge within the sector, the founders say. During the organization’s first year of operation, it will focus on better understanding the investment products currently on the market and the kind of investors they seek to attract.
Walmart now has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation or development around the world and generates 89 megawatts (MW) of solar across 215 locations, according to a report last week by the Solar Energy Industries Association. This is enough to power 22,250 U.S. homes and is more than is produced in 38 U.S. states. Earlier in 2013, Walmart partnered with SolarCity to install solar on another 60 stores in California, part if the company’s goal to have solar power on 75 percent of its stores in the state. The company also is testing other projects, such as micro wind, large-scale wind farms, solar water heating and solar thermal to maximize the renewable energy potential of each location.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
A factor critical to the development of any mission-driven brand is the nature of the ecosystem to which it belongs. A community that holistically embraces the philosophies of sustainable development offers ideal grounds for development of the business ideologies, spirit and camaraderie vital for propagation of any sustainable brand.The metropolitan Chicago area, also known as Chicagoland, is proving to be one such community in the U.S. Driven towards creating a sustainable economy and region, these considerations are taking center stage in the region’s regulatory, business and community development policies and strategies.
On October 5, the One Young World conference, which convenes young people around the world to create positive change, gathered several leaders in the sustainability world to discuss the future of the integration of the environment and the economy. Known as “The B Team,” members Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group; PUMA chairman Jochen Zeitz; Arianna Huffington, president of The Huffington Post Media Group Paul Polman; Prof.
The number of women directors who now sit on the boards of the United Kingdom’s largest companies, the FTSE-100, has risen from 12.5 percent to 19 percent since 2011, according to a recent report by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.Former British Trade Minister Lord Davies founded Women on Boards in 2011 to track progress towards the UK’s goal of having 25 percent of board positions being held by women by 2015. According to the recent numbers, FTSE-100 companies must appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years to meet the target.The report also shows that the number of all-male boards on the FTSE-100 index has fallen to 6 companies, down from 21 companies in 2010.
Senior leadership is the most critical driver of sustainability within a business and nearly half of businesses (44 percent) believe engagement with business leaders will be the most important factor in successfully implementing a sustainability strategy over the next three years, according to a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).Sustainability Insights: Learning from Business Leaders, commissioned by Coca-Cola Enterprises, is based on a survey of more than 300 European business executives; it explores how businesses’ sustainability strategies have performed in recent years and identifies the key drivers for future success.
The topic of the value of getting more women in the top echelons of corporate leadership has garnered a great deal of coverage as of late. Credit Suisse published a report in 2012 stating that their research shows that having more women on corporate boards increased both the share price — particularly in volatile markets — and the return on equity (ROE) of companies. Norway, the first country to have instituted a quota of 40% on boards in 2003, now says that this presence of women in leadership has made boards and companies more professional and more global, as they had to search outside of the borders of Norway for women to serve. To date, France, Malaysia, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have followed suit to break this glass ceiling.
More and more companies are realizing the universal importance of sustainability in business strategy. However, the examples that are usually trotted out — companies such as Walmart, 3M, Toyota or Johnson & Johnson — are almost always western companies (usually large multinationals) headquartered in the US, Europe or Japan. Even well-informed observers could easily form the impression that sustainability is relevant primarily for well-resourced businesses in advanced economies.
Net Impact, a nonprofit inspiring a new generation of students to work for a sustainable future, has released its 2013 edition of Business as UNusual: The Student Guide to Graduate Programs. Key findings suggest that social and environmental issues have become a mainstream necessity in MBA programs, driven in part by overwhelming student demand.
Four female executives at the top of their respective fields will come together next month for a “Presidents panel” at the Women’s Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.The panel will include Carol Evans, President of Working Mother Magazine; Kathleen (K.C.) Ciaramello, President of National Foodservice & On-Premise at Coca-Cola Refreshments; Cindy Kiser Murphey, President and COO of New York-New York Hotel & Casino; and Gail Becker, Chair of Canada, Latin America and U.S. Western Region, Edelman Communications.
Last year, aspiring artist Jonathan Harris visited Bhutan to learn about why this country is so imbued with happiness. Bhutan is noted for measuring its Gross Happiness Product, rather than what we do in western cultures, which is to measure our Gross National Product. This model cares more about social and spiritual well-being than financial well-being. Jonathan's project, Balloons for Bhutan, documents his effort to capture “a portrait of happiness in the last Himalayan kingdom.”
President Obama’s National Climate Action Plan, released on June 25th, calls for strong action to protect remaining tropical forests through a commitment to lead international initiatives in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).But Obama is not the first to acknowledge the vital role that forests play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Nor is he the only one currently calling for urgent action on tropical forest conservation.
Cross-Posted from Behavior Change.
Consumer behaviour change is the challenge of our time. An effective response will require increased capacity and capability across the sector: more skills, different skills and more people with those skills. If we are to achieve this, we need cross-sector collaboration with strong, independent leadership.
The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which represents more than 165,000 businesses nationwide and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors, has thrown its support behind President Obama’s recent announcement to introduce new limits to carbon emissions from power plants and other pro-environment measures.ASBC applauded President Obama’s plans to address greenhouse gas emissions and the growing economic uncertainties posed by climate change. The organization says climate change poses a serious threat to American businesses, such as disruptions to supply chains, increasing insurance premiums, structural damage from extreme weather events and rising energy and health care costs.
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and PUMA Chairman Jochen Zeitz have launched a new non-profit call “The B Team,” which aims to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritizes people and planet alongside profit — a "Plan B" for businesses the world over.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at the D: All Things Digital conference this weekthat he has hired former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chief Lisa Jackson to head up the technology company’s environmental activities.
In response to the growing effects of climate change on winter recreation, some 108 ski areas from around the United States have joined with 40 other businesses in signing the Climate Declaration, which calls upon federal policymakers to take advantage of the economic opportunities of addressing climate change.