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Organizational Change

The latest creative strategies and tools helping organizations to engage their teams in building market-leading, purpose-driven brands.

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Want to Attract Star Employees? The Role of the HR Leader as the Driver of Company Value

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.

PUMA Launches Financing Program to Reward Suppliers for Sustainability Performance

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.

The Benefits of Integrating, Communicating Your Purpose Are Undeniable – Here's Why

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.

Moving Beyond Job Creation: Defining and Measuring the Creation of Quality Jobs

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.

Introducing the Systems View of Life Into Organizations

I recently took part in a Sustainable Brands webinar with Fritjof Capra, in which we discussed how to introduce systems thinking and the systems view of life into organizations. After interviewing Fritjof in January, I invited him to take part in this webinar to explore the issues in more depth, an opportunity which would also allow participants to ask questions and contribute their thoughts and ideas as well.

How LinkedIn Is Working to Connect Hard-to-Reach Job Seekers With New Opportunities

News Deeply, in partnership with Sustainable Brands, has produced a series of profiles looking at how brands are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. The goal is to examine trends and gather insights from a new wave of corporate citizenship – in an era when the private sector is increasingly expected to play a positive role in improving our lives and societies. This is the 5th article in the series.

J&J Shifts Focus to Material Impacts for People, Places, Practices in New 2020 Goals

Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the world’s sixth-largest consumer health company, has released the results from their latest set of five-year goals and announced a new set for 2020. J&J’s Citizenship & Sustainability 2020 Goals represent a shift in how the company measures impact, increasing focus on material impacts as opposed to incremental reductions and year-over-year improvements. Through seven distinct goals with a combined 15 associated targets and metrics, the company aims to help make people and places healthier while creating an internal culture of health and wellbeing.

Target Highlights Successes, Shortcomings in Ongoing Sustainability Journey

In 2015, Target wrapped up its five-year goals and built the foundation for the future of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice, which is to make wellness a way of life; pursue sustainability for products and business operations; champion a more inclusive society; and invest and engage in their communities. Summarizing their progress and capturing important projects and milestones, Target’s 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report was released this week.

Future-Fit Business: A Metamorphosis in Our Midst

Since the industrial revolution, we have achieved great feats of economic, social and technological advancement for which we can be proud. The structures and strictures of old have served us well in many material ways. But times they are a changin’. We now face increasing volatility: enter the world of commodity spikes, resource scarcity, environmental destruction, social inequality, economic turbulence, population and migrant pressure, changing demographics, the internet of things, climate change, and more.

Kimberly-Clark Concludes Successful 5-Year Program, Sets New Goals for 2022

With the release of its latest sustainability report on June 30th, Kimberly-Clark proudly announced that it had achieved or surpassed all of its 5-year sustainability goals. In anticipation of the company’s 150th anniversary, Kimberly-Clark introduced a new set of sustainability priorities and goals through 2022.

Internal Branding: How to Create an Employee Programme With Stickiness

The success of a community programme for your employees probably has more to do with branding than you first think. How can you activate purpose in employees and keep them engaged with your community programmes over the long term? Importantly, how can you create internal visibility about your programmes that withstands company change, especially in an uncertain post-Brexit world? Using examples from GSK and Patagonia we consider how their use of bold internal branding has allowed them to lead the way to creating employee programmes with that all-important ‘stickiness’ for the long term.

Global 500 Decoupling Emissions, Revenue Growth; Data Offers Hope for COP21 Targets

For the first time, data has shown a decoupling between revenue growth and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions output among the world’s 500 largest businesses (Global 500), according to a Thompson Reuters report released today. While as a group the companies are not yet reducing their emissions at a rate that follows the global scientific consensus on the risks of climate change, the slight improvement over the past five years offers a glimmer of hope.

Confessing and Celebrating Failure as a Path to Successful Sustainability Strategies

Pick up any quote book or Google ‘inspirational memes’ and “Don’t be afraid to Fail” will most likely pop up in the first few pages. The idea of failure as the key to success is not a new one and yet the discussion around failure and real-life examples, particularly in the world of sustainability, is lacking.

#BusinessCase: How Dell Saved $39.5M, Slashed Emissions, Increased Sustainable Materials by 20%

Today, Dell unveiled the significant progress it has made against the 21 goals under its 2020 Legacy of Good Plan. Based on a baseline of its Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) performance, the company aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its facilities and logistics by 50 percent, ensure 100 percent of product packaging is sourced from sustainable materials and is either recyclable or compostable, identify and quantify the environmental benefits of IT-based solutions, and much more.

Clif Bar, Kohler, Pixar, Timberland Share the 'Secret Sauce' of Employee Engagement

“If you want to get people engaged, inspire them - don’t require them ... The most lasting changes people make are the ones they make themselves.” — Daniel Alvarez, Pixar Animation Studios Research increasingly shows that purpose-driven employees are more productive and more deeply engaged, as well as more satisfied at work.

What Did You Want to Be When You Grew Up? How to Reclaim Purpose in the Workforce

Think back to when you were a child daydreaming about what you wanted to be as an adult. Did you imagine dancing across stages as a ballerina? Flying into space as an astronaut? When I was little, I daydreamed about becoming a best-selling author, just like my idols Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl. Generally, children don’t daydream about their actual future careers - as accountants, operations managers, marketing executives or business leaders. I personally never daydreamed about becoming a communications consultant! What makes these youthful daydreams about “when I grow up” different? They are purely purpose-focused. We imagine realizing our dreams – as performers or trailblazers – and in those imaginings, feel fulfilled.

A Controlled Burn: Channeling Your Passion Key to Being an Effective Change Agent

In our previous post, on supporting your CEO, we discussed some tactics sustainability change agents can employ to help shape their CEO’s decision making on sustainability. We were also curious to know what these CEOs thought about the personal characteristics of effective change agents. One theme that emerged from our conversations with over 100 CEOs, board members, and sustainability executives from a range of global companies was knowing how to challenge your CEO while keeping your passion in check.

Making It Stick Internally: Recognizing and Advancing Maturity Levels of a Sustainability Program

SB’16 San Diego kicked off strong with a morning workshop led by Kevin Wilhelm - CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting - and Kevin Hagen, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Iron Mountain. Together, they have created the Hagen-Wilhelm Matrix – a tool to help organizations not only identify what phase of sustainability they are in but how to advance their organization forward. This matrix moves away from linear sustainability phases offered by other models that map organizations’ sustainability journeys.

Wilhelms: Cultural Change Starts With Conversation

“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.

Half of Employees Won't Work for Companies That Don’t Have Strong CSR Commitments

Two-thirds of U.S. employees feel their work and personal life are becoming increasingly blended and nearly all (93 percent) want to work for a company that cares about them as an individual, according to the 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study. The study reveals an increased expectation for companies to provide not only basic benefits but also ones that allow employees to bring their passions for social and environmental issues to the workplace.


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