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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Organizations across the globe are becoming increasingly focused on delivering sustainable products and services to their customer base as a way to limit their environmental footprint and to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Though these are good policies, truly sustainable business is not simply an external matter, in the sense of producing and delivering responsibly produced offerings to markets. It is also very much an internal matter, in the sense of encouraging sustainable behaviour within the organization.
In 1997, biologist Janine Benyus popularized the term “biomimicry,” with her groundbreaking book of the same name, and spearheaded the growth of the discipline dedicated to applying Nature’s designs and processes to create a healthier, more sustainable world. I recently spoke with Janine about some of her favorite biomimetic innovations, about asking more from our design interventions, and some of the yet untapped areas in which Nature’s genius could help solve our most intractable problems.
The recent launch of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the commitment last month of over 170 countries to the Paris climate agreement illustrate global consensus regarding the sustainability issues we need to tackle to put society and the planet on a secure path.
It was the mid-‘90s. The Board of Directors at Vancity – a large regional financial institution based in Vancouver, Canada – was struggling to get management’s attention on its social purpose agenda. I and the other directors believed that marrying social goals with the company’s business could create a powerful vehicle for regional prosperity: attract customers, become a force for social progress and build business. The impasse continued until our Board identified a key leverage point: incorporating our social business objectives into the CEO’s incentive pay. That turned out to be the difference-maker.
There’s an urgent challenge for human resources leaders: Ensuring their organizations anticipate and prepare for the inevitable effects of sustainability mega-forces. As globalization, shifting demographics and competition for the world’s depleting resources compel transformational change, companies will need enlightened and sustainability-savvy leadership to thrive in this brave new world. HR has a significant role to play to align talent with these emerging realities.
Home improvement company Kingfisher, which owns retail chains B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot, Screwfix and Koçtaş, is undergoing major changes within its sustainability team, reports edie. Rather than reporting to a sustainability director, Kingfisher’s sustainability team is now managed alongside its customer insights, corporate affairs and external communications divisions under the company’s newly-appointed Chief Customer Officer, Pierre Woreczek.