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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Rethinking the Role of the Sustainability Executive

For too long, sustainability executives have been focused on external stakeholders — selling their company’s story in order to build reputation and fill polished social responsibility reports.Now, according to a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article by George Mason University’s Gregory Unruh, sustainability managers have had enough. They’re turning their gaze inward, to the functional managers and line employees who control the management tools — budget, staffing, incentives, etc. — to make change happen.

Global Team Engagement Key to Success of Microsoft's Carbon Fee Program

Political deadlock in Washington might be stifling any hope of a national carbon program, but it isn’t preventing companies from establishing their own initiatives. Take Microsoft, which has implemented a carbon fee program aimed at incorporating the cost of carbon pollution, both internal and external, into the financial structure of the company.First implemented at the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year (July 1, 2012), Microsoft’s Carbon Fee Program is a financial model that puts an incremental fee on the carbon emissions associated with the company’s operations.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: With Great Power Comes Great (Environmental) Responsibility

Sony Pictures’ upcoming blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man 2 weaves an exciting web of action onscreen, combined with environmental consciousness and responsibility behind the screen. According to the studio, the physical production of the film, hailed as “the most eco-friendly blockbuster in the history of the studio” by Hannah Minghella, president of Production at Sony Pictures, was entirely carbon-neutral, thanks to attention to a variety of pertinent and easily modifiable details.

At Red Lion, Sustainability Requires an 'Every Employee, Every Day' Approach

Because sustainability impacts occur in the hands of decision makers and front-line employees across an organization, a successful approach to sustainability requires that managing or acting sustainably be a job function for every employee, every day. This means everyone is responsible and no one is exempt from managing and acting with sustainability in mind.

Introducing Sustainability Pay: Compensation for Holistic Corporate Performance

When I was a director of a financial institution in the 1990s, we struggled in vain to get top executives to pay attention to the Board’s sustainability priorities. To no avail. Then we stumbled upon the idea of rewarding the CEO for long-term sustainability performance. The result? We saw a dramatic improvement in the company’s sustainability performance from then on (financial performance, too!). Once we realized the impact of this simple measure, the board quickly embedded the principle in its compensation philosophy, which, in turn, spread the concept throughout the management ranks.Investor scrutiny of “pay for breathing” practices shows results

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Write Your Brand's Obituary

What would happen if your company ceased to exist? Would journalists write headlines heralding your past achievements, or would their stories simply add you to a list of bygones? Would analysts express disappointment or would they point to indicators that made your death predictable? Would employees wonder how it could have ended, or would they have known it was inevitable? Would customers mourn your passing, or would the demise of your brand go unnoticed?

Savitz: How HR Is Helping Top Brands Embed Sustainability Throughout Life of Workforce

In part one of our review of Andrew Savitz’s book Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line, we explored why human resource managers should be involved in a brand’s sustainability initiatives. Now, we’ll look at how companies can leverage HR to achieve sustainable growth throughout the entire workforce lifecycle, starting from employee selection all the way to retirement.

Talent, Transformation and the Triple Bottom Line: Andrew Savitz on the Sustainability-HR Nexus

Once considered strange bedfellows, sustainability and human resource management are being increasingly recognized as an ideal match. Andrew Savitz’s book Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line: How Companies Can Leverage Human Resources to Achieve Sustainable Growth compellingly demonstrates why HR leaders are uniquely well-positioned to aid in sustainability efforts and why they need to be included in any brand’s successful transition to embedded sustainability. Here are a few of Savitz’s reasons why:

Brand Leaders Join SB Collaboratory to Address Employee Engagement

Less than a year ago at Sustainable Brands ‘13, leading brand innovators from around the world came together in San Diego for the seventh year to address some of their biggest sustainability challenges. These innovators realize that no brand is an island and many challenges they face are shared by their peers, competitors, suppliers and customers. In order to support shared learning and collaboration beyond the conference itself, members of the SB advisory board designed a new structure — the SB Collaboratory — to provide a forum for these professionals to come together to share experiences, ask questions, learn from each other and brainstorm a path forward.

How O2's Think Big Program Has Delivered £3.8 Million in Business Benefits

Last year, I posted a blog on 2degrees about the Think Big program, and how we have helped people from across our business (Telefonica UK, O2 and partners) to get involved with Think Big, directly delivering sustainability benefits.

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Don't Let Regulation Make Your Business a Rube Goldberg Machine

I love Rube Goldberg Machines — those inefficient systems, full of convoluted twists and turns that use chain reactions to complete simple tasks.In one of my favorite examples, a tipped milk bottle releases a sword, which cuts a rope that drops a guillotine, which releases a battering ram to swing a door that wields a grass sickle while disturbing a hawk, which drops a boot that stomps on the head of an octopus, whose tentacles squeeze an orange to produce a single glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. These cartoons can give us a good laugh, but to model a business in this gratuitously complicated way would be akin to planning to fail.

How Will Campbell Soup Achieve 100% Employee Engagement in Sustainability?

Last year, Campbell Soup was ranked by media and investment research company Corporate Knights as one of the world’s most sustainable companies, with key initiatives that reduced water consumption by 13 billion liters, cut 280,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and constructed a 24-hectare, 10 mega-watt solar field.But alongside saving and yielding resources, Campbell knows that creating a work environment that encourages innovation, rewards results and embodies its values is a key strategy for maximizing shareholder value.As a result, one of its targets is to achieve 100 percent employee engagement in CSR and sustainability by 2020.

Recyclebank Announces Grant Recipients of 8th Annual Green Schools Program

Recyclebank® — the company that rewards its members with discounts and deals for making more conscious daily actions — today announced the schools selected for its 2014 Green Schools Program. Each year, the program grants money to schools to bring to life unique projects that will lead to greater sustainability in their classroom and community.

25% of Small UK Businesses Prioritizing Sustainability in 2014

One in four small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK consider sustainability one of their highest concerns for the coming year, according to a new survey by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking (LBCB).While sustainability is becoming an integral part of the business landscape, it has traditionally been much more difficult for smaller firms, who may lack the resources to make changes to company administration practices, LBCB says.Encouragingly, the survey found that three out of ten SMEs plan to invest more in sustainable business practices over the next five years, although another 42 percent said that spending on sustainability is likely to remain flat.

U.S. Green Building Council Certifies 20,000th LEED Commercial Project

The Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) plant in Knoxville, Tenn., last week became the 20,000th LEED certification for a commercial project issued by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).As the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system, LEED guides the design, construction and operation of 10.5 billion square feet of commercial and institutional space worldwide. By using less energy, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

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Apple, Ford Receive Perfect Scores in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index

Apple, Ford, HP and 10 other fortune-ranked companies recently received 100 percent ratings in the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) report, a national benchmark for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) workplace inclusion.Other fortune-ranked companies to receive perfect scores include Chevron, General Motors, GE, AT&T, Bank of America, McKesson, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, IBM and Citigroup.

greenApes Helping Companies Reward Employees, Consumers Alike for Sustainable Lifestyle Choices

Buying organic tomatoes may not be a big deal. They taste better and they’re better for both your health and the planet; enough reasons to justify paying a price premium. No wonder organic food is leading the growth of sustainable consumption.But it isn’t always that easy to make the more sustainable lifestyle choice. You may have found yourself feeling bad for using your car instead of public transportation. While staring at an organic cotton T-shirt, you may have wondered if you should buy it or go for the cheaper standard cotton version a couple racks away. It's often an uncomfortable struggle between collective and private benefits: the planet versus your wallet.

Nestlé Hoping to Alleviate Europe's Economic Crisis Through Youth Employment Initiative

Nestlé has announced a commitment to create 20,000 positions for young people across Europe over the next three years.The Nestlé needs YOUth Initiative will offer jobs to 10,000 people under the age of 30 and create 10,000 apprentice positions and traineeships by 2016."Today, one in four young people in Europe does not have a job," said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé Executive Vice-President and Zone Director for Europe, speaking at the Nestlé needs YOUth launch event in Athens, Greece, where more than half of those under the age of 25 are unemployed.

Report: Businesses Struggle to Fully Integrate Sustainability

Only one in five companies has fully integrated sustainability into business, according to the BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Survey 2013, which received responses from more than 700 corporate sustainability executives — the largest pool to date.In this year’s survey, respondents were asked for the first time to indicate the extent to which sustainability is integrated into the core of their business. Only 21 percent of respondents reported that their company is close to full integration. A majority say that their company is either about halfway to integration (51 percent), or is just getting started (22 percent).

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Sustainability in Any Company

There is no simple way to identify a leading company in sustainability. Given the proliferation of ratings, rankings, blogs and indices, there is no shortage of opinions, and often these are in direct conflict with one another. The methodologies used to calculate performance are often very opaque, or nonexistent. Even highly reputable organizations, based on a good core of data, often produce wildly divergent results from one another. And once the pundits get a hold of any ranking, they usually tear it to pieces, bringing their own criteria, opinions and biases to bear and further muddying the waters. While the debates are often fierce, no one can really agree on what sustainability itself really means.

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