Around the world there is a growing consensus that a company’s social role goes beyond meeting legal requirements, complying with ethical standards, creating jobs and paying taxes. People everywhere now expect companies to act as social leaders, using their business expertise to lead social change.In response to people’s changing expectations, the world’s most innovative companies are building social value right into their core business strategies, not only to address poverty and other problems in their communities, but also to improve workplace relations, gain market advantages and grow profits faster.
There was a lot of discussion last week at SB’15 London around the so-called ‘aspirational generation’ - a rising generation of millennials with higher sustainability expectations of brands whose products they buy, as well as for those they work for. How to attract and retain a motivated workforce (younger and older, alike) with more stringent demands for positive purpose and impact was the core theme of Tuesday afternoon’s breakout session.
In the past few weeks we talked about what purpose is, how it’s affected the economy, and why it’s so important from a psychological perspective. We ended the last post by beginning to understand the differences between Humans and Econs [Humans being real people in the real world, and Econs being our theoretical version that economics is based upon] and the unfortunate truth that most companies are, unlike us, Econs.
Walmart employees’ low wages make it difficult for them to meet ends meet, and many go hungry or require assistance from local programs and food banks, according to OUR Walmart - a worker-led organization focused on pressuring the world’s largest retailer to pay its workers $15 an hour and extend full-time employment. To bring the issue to the attention of the Walton family leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, OUR Walmart has launched a “Fast for 15” initiative.
After spending much of her childhood in landfills near Mexico City, 22-year-old Sandy Yazmin Colohua Gomez is now one of the women who has gained financial independence and confidence through The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative. The company has released a short film, 5by20: Meet the Artisans, to share the global impact of the initiative through stories such as Sandy’s.
To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI is taking a bold stand against the chaotic caricature of capitalism that is Black Friday by closing its doors and paying its employees to live the company ethos — by spending the day enjoying the great outdoors with their loved ones.In an email sent to customers on Monday, the co-op announced that it’s closing all 143 of its stores on Black Friday.
This summer, JetBlue announced New York City-based Hot Bread Kitchen — a social enterprise that builds lasting economic security for foreign-born and low-income women by introducing them to professional opportunities in the culinary industry - as the first winner of its “BlueBud" business mentoring program.
During the last decade or so, human resource management has been essentially flipped on its head. What was once a decidedly employer-centered market has become one driven by the needs and concerns of the employee. Despite still relatively high competition for jobs in a recovering global economy, more and more companies that require a skilled workforce find themselves competing for the people they need to get the job done. As the human capital gurus over at Deloitte so succinctly put it in its Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, “Employees are now like customers; companies have to consider them volunteers, not just workers.”
The world’s most innovative leaders know that social businesses are more profitable businessesConsumers around the world, from Vancouver and Toronto to Shanghai and New York, believe that a company’s social role goes beyond simply meeting legal requirements, complying with ethical standards, creating jobs and paying taxes. Research shows that consumers everywhere expect companies to act as social leaders, using their business expertise to lead social change.
“Women challenge the status quo because we never are it.”Addressing a (thankfully) diverse audience of sustainability professionals in London, UK, last month at an event hosted by The Crowd, Cindy Gallop -– a global activist for the gender equality movement -– pulled no punches in reminding business leaders why women are essential to making corporations fit for a better world.
Gaming, hotel and resort company Caesars Entertainment Corporation released its sixth annual Corporate Citizenship Report, Inspiring Citizenship, this week. The company achieved most of its 2015 targets early and has established new interim targets for 2020 in accordance with their goals for 2025.Highlights of environmental progress include:
Starbucks UK has announced it is going beyond government recommendations for the National Living Wage and will be the first private company to implement housing and homelessness charity Shelter’s Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme, to help its employees manage the cost of living.“There are now 11 million private renters in England, and as housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home," said Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb.
Paris is getting ready to host the United Nations international conference on Climate Change (COP21). For businesses, COP21 seems a good opportunity to communicate to their stakeholders. But what to say and to whom? And what are the risks of communicating on climate change during this fraught period of time?
Several dozen companies that endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests at 2014’s United Nations Climate Summit are taking concrete steps to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains, according to a new report from Supply Change – a project convened by Washington D.C.-based non-profit Forest Trends.
Reputation Institute has released its annual Global CSR RepTrak® 100, which highlights the companies that have the best reputations for corporate social responsibility (CSR) among the general public in 15 countries. Google tops the ranking for the second year in a row, with a significant lead over all other companies in the ranking.
The need for reputable corporate leadership has never been more acute. We are grappling with large-scale global challenges - climate change, social dislocation, economic inequality, financial uncertainty - that require a new type of leadership from global entities.
Sustainability conversations are changing. Just look at the National Association for Environmental Management’s (NAEM’s) thorough “Planning for a Sustainable Future” report released this week: EHS and sustainability leaders are quickly solving operational questions of compliance, measurement & metrics, and target-setting. Now, they’re being called to convene organizational leaders in the face of changing climate, consumers, supply chains, and competitors — three forces that challenge the traditional near-term planning processes endemic to businesses. They’re even grappling with reframing corporate business models for people and environmental stewardship.