The Chief Sustainability Officer is a crucial position within any business, working at the very core of a company’s sustainability strategy. When Nissan decided to appoint its first CSO, CEO Carlos Ghosn personally chose SVP Hitoshi Kawaguchi for the job. We spoke to Kawaguchi about Nissan’s approach to CSR and CSV (Creating Shared Value) and the role each plays in working towards a society of sustainable mobility.
Giving back to the communities that supply your business with labor and raw materials isn’t just a matter of ethics or public relations; it’s also a wise business practice to adopt for its own sake. Taking care of the people who live and work in your company’s shadow ensures the long-term sustainability of your supply chain and improves the quality of the talent pool that may someday produce your best and brightest employees.
The health and wellbeing of a company’s workforce is integral to building a sustainable brand and retaining top talent. Because of this, the millennial workforce has pushed companies to alter office spaces to better fit their needs. One-third of office workers said the design of an office would affect their decision to work for a company; given this, brands are choosing to renovate or move to new spaces in an effort to improve the way their employees work and attract new talent.
Modern global nutritional problems derive from food excess as well as food shortage. Traditionally a first-world problem, obesity is now spreading to developing countries. Individual countries and companies are responding to the Sustainable Development Goal to improve nutrition. One unique employee cafeteria has sparked a huge movement to improve nutrition in Japan.
Domestic migrant workers make up a substantial percentage of the workforce in China's manufacturing industry. Latest figures estimate that there are 247 million migrant workers in the country. These workers often originate from towns and villages hundreds or thousands of miles away from the factories where they work. The majority of these workers are parents, and due to childcare needs and the Hukou system – a household register that has tied people's access to social services to their hometowns, making it difficult for millions of domestic migrant workers to take their children with them.
“Business Humanizer?” the client read out loud from my business card. “And what does a Business Humanizer do?” she asked, light-heartedly. It always triggers a question. What does business humanizing have to do with brands, organizations and more meaningful growth?
Teams and organizations more often apply business sense to humans, rather than applying human sense to business. And yet, human sense and empathy are essential drivers for both business results and positive societal impact by brands and companies.
Humanizing business means putting people and our role in society at the heart of our brands and cherishing this behaviour as an engine for growth. Can you create the difference in your organization?
Three-quarters (76 percent) of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, according to the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study. The study reveals that meaningful engagement around CSR is a business – and bottom line – imperative, impacting a company’s ability to appeal to, retain and inspire Millennial talent (that’s a business case if we ever heard one).
Marking the 25th anniversary of its industry-changing supplier code of conduct, called Terms of Engagement, Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) announced a new commitment to expand the company’s pioneering Worker Wellbeing initiative – both within and outside the company. By 2025, the company aims to:
Business leaders who embrace ‘purpose beyond profit’ can transform the fortunes of their organisations, but they can’t do it alone. A company’s purpose only truly comes to life if all employees are both inspired and equipped to put purpose into action.
This means that purposeful leaders need to have a firm grasp on how purpose flows and moves within an organisation: how it inspires and enrols people, how it must be mapped and translated across different parts of the business, how it encounters resistance and how it unlocks new approaches to problem-solving.
Above all, business leaders must understand that truly effective purpose serves as an invitation to co-create. What does this mean in practice? Here are five key steps to help you learn how to go with the flow:
“What comes to mind when you think of millennials in the workplace?” Bethan Harris, strategist and collaborator at Collectively and the League of Intrapreneurs (LI), asked during her Tuesday afternoon session at SB’16 Copenhagen.
Have you ever been thankful the cashier didn’t ask if you want a receipt, because you’re tired of the paper piling up? You do your best to recycle receipts, but there’re still those that slip through the cracks into the trash. Have you ever wondered why we still have paper receipts in a digital world?
Your annoyance is well-placed. According to mobile payments juggernaut Square, these little paper slips inflict the following damage on the environment per year:
“Our organization is totally supportive of sustainability as long as nothing else comes up or it doesn’t interfere with something the Executive wants to do!”
Hands up if you have heard this before. Many organizations find that after the long process of building and adopting a sustainability policy or strategy, they stall. Sure, implementing and embedding sustainability into the business and day-to-day operational decisions is hard work, but that’s not the only thing holding up changes. Often, the environmental management or sustainability plan becomes siloed within the organization, resulting in delays and disorganization. As well, functional leaders don’t always understand the plan’s relevance to their area.
In 2011, Target set a goal for its entire fresh and frozen seafood assortment to be sustainable, traceable, or in a time-bound improvement process by the end of 2015. Through a partnership with consultancy FishWise, the retailer met the goal for 100% of its owned-brand seafood products, and 97% of its full seafood assortment. The remaining products are expected to achieve full compliance by the end of this year.
On Black Friday of 2011, Patagonia released a now-famous New York Times advertisement with a picture of a jacket and a simple plea: “Don’t buy this jacket.” The response, ironically, was a surge in sales. Some analysts deemed the whole thing a cheap trick. But the underlying message was clear.
Your company’s sustainability commitments help attract the best and the brightest, reduce turnover and enhance productivity. That’s the substance of consistent and compelling research that shows the power of embedding sustainability into corporate culture and its relationship to the bottom line. HR leaders can use this knowledge to create powerful recruitment, engagement and retention strategies.
Sports company PUMA is offering its suppliers in select emerging markets with a new financing program in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The program is expected to incentivize improvements to suppliers’ social, environmental and health and safety standards, and is a first-of-its-kind financing structure for the apparel industry.
At the core of the most successful and attractive companies is a singular, authentic purpose that defines how it creates value.
Purpose directs business decisions that determine the way value is created and guides how the company engages its stakeholders. It also enables organisations to unify their staff and focus on a common goal.
When a company finds its purpose and embraces its authentic nature it can enhance its reputation, build trust and create value, not only for the business but also for society.
In most parts of the country, we don’t have an unemployment problem anymore. Our problem is a lack of good job opportunities for most Americans. While millions of jobs have been created since the Great Recession, the fastest job growth has occurred in places such as strip malls and fast food restaurants, where jobs provide people a means of subsistence but not an opportunity to achieve financial security and advance a career. Averaged across all occupations, real wages have not only remained stagnant but have dropped, building on a decades-long trend where workers and their families increasingly cannot afford the basic goods and services they need to get by.