Thousands of workers took to the streets of Phnom Penh, in Cambodia, last week to protest for a near-doubling of the minimum wage for retailer workers there to US$177 (£110) a month. It seems their calls for fairer pay have sparked a response from the fashion industry, as eight leading retailers have now pledged to pay more for clothes produced there, according to the Guardian.
All businesses value consumer and employee loyalty and the opportunity to shape the playing field in which they operate. Mission-driven businesses such as B Corps Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry’s are finding that having an authentic purpose that resonates with their customers opens the door to exciting approaches to activism that engage their base in powerful ways. The union of company and employee passions not only boosts loyalty but also can lead to successful advocacy for shared causes. Conventional companies seeking to emulate their successes should follow three key steps:1. Build a mission that is relevant for your consumers
On Sept. 30, supply chain education will take a major step into the digital age with the start of SCx, an online educational program developed by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) for thousands of professionals across the globe.The SCx curriculum is part of the MITx initiative, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s selection of massive open online courses (MOOCs). SCx is one of the first “XSeries” offerings that award certificates for successful completion of an entire sequence of courses.MIT says more than 9,000 individuals have already signed up for the first course of the three-course program — CTL.SC1x Supply Chain and Logistics Fundamentals.
In conjunction with the release of its 2013-2014 Corporate Responsibility Report and hot on the heels of a new commitment to sustainable seafood, Hyatt Hotels has unveiled a set of the ever-popular 2020 environmental goals — the hotel chain says the goals are “designed to strengthen Hyatt’s collective ability to collaborate, inspire and further its commitment to environmental stewardship.”Hyatt says it is significantly expanding the scope of its existing sustainability initiatives and will continue to focus strongly on measuring and reporting progress.
Microsoft has announced that it is ending its relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative public-policy lobbying group. The decision was apparently made in response to ALEC's anti-renewables lobbying efforts, including measures to repeal renewable energy standards and block the disclosure of chemicals in fracking.
Today, EnerNOC, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based energy intelligence software (EIS), announced that it has made a strategic investment in Boston-based WeSpire, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that enables businesses to measure and track the positive business impacts of engaging employees in sustainability through technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, EnerNOC has exclusive rights in the EIS space to market a white-labeled version of WeSpire’s employee-engagement application, customized for enterprise and utility customers. By offering the WeSpire application, EnerNOC further enhances its ability to help businesses take a holistic approach to energy management.
General Motors’ Global Headquarters, a multi-office tower complex that the automaker announced in December had achieved zero-waste status, now composts food scraps from its various Renaissance Center restaurant kitchens for use in urban farming initiatives throughout the city.Local composting startup Detroit Dirt collects coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable pieces and mixes them with herbivore manure, some of which ends up in a rooftop garden at the complex.
Hospitals deliver life-saving care to individuals, but their substantial environmental footprint can be detrimental to environmental and community health, according to a newly released book by Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente's environmental stewardship officer.The book, Greening Health Care: How Hospitals Can Heal the Planet, says hospitals contribute 8 percent of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced in the United States. Gerwig argues the healthcare sector has an obligation to reduce its environmental impact and usher in a new industry standard for healthcare delivery — one that embraces environmental stewardship.
Timberland is calling for entries for its inaugural Timberland Serv-a-palooza Challenge – a sponsored volunteerism competition hosted in partnership with charitable fundraising platform, CrowdRise, founded by actor Edward Norton. The six-week challenge aims to encourage consumers to volunteer for a cause of their choice in return for chances to win prizes for themselves, along with donations for the nonprofits they choose to support.
Only 30% of employees are engaged, costing $450 to $550 billion every year in lost productivity. Yet research shows that companies with strong sustainability and social responsibility programs have much higher engagement rates.
This post is part of a series written by MBA and MPA candidates in Presidio Graduate School’s Managerial Marketing course, examining the role of communication in advancing sustainability across all sectors.China’s thick haze and severe water pollution have led to increased public awareness of environmental issues in recent years, and Greenpeace’s Detox campaign has exposed links between Chinese textile manufacturing facilities and pollution of local waterways.
Last month we held our fifth annual Sedex conference in Shanghai. With tickets sold-out weeks before the event it was our biggest China conference yet, filling the room with over 200 delegates from businesses across China and further afield. But what struck me about the conference wasn’t the size of it, but the way conversations about workers are changing.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what we need from business leaders. And by business leaders, I mean everyone who is actively making (or influencing) business decisions. We know there are myriad problems that we need to deal with and that we have a limited amount of time with which to right the ship. As such, we have to rethink the way we do business, but I think there’s a growing cabal of folks who can help get us where we need to go. I call them Radical Intrapreneurs.I know the word “radical” tends to make folks fret, so let’s try to uncoil that reaction with a few definitions.
Symantec, one of the world's largest security software companies, has announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind program, the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3), to address the global workforce gap in cybersecurity and provide new career opportunities for young adults who may not be college-bound. The program was announced as a Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Symantec’s executive director of the program, Aled Miles.
What if 100 percent of your employees were engaged in your business? According to Gallup, that would translate to an increase of anywhere from $450-550B in increased revenue for US companies alone. Those are daunting numbers in the macro. But what matters is how it translates to your business. Even if it were only 1 percent of your revenue, wouldn’t you want to know?
Environmental not-for-profit Canopy is today heralding North American printing giant RR Donnelley for unveiling its paper purchasing sustainability practices on its corporate website.Canopy, which has been working with the printing sector for 10 years, says the public unveiling of RR Donnelley’s sustainable purchasing principles provides further transparency into the company’s ongoing efforts to support its customers’ initiatives to eliminate unwanted or contentious fibers from its supply chain.
McDonald’s Canada has announced that 100 percent of the fish it serves in its Filet-O-Fish sandwich is now certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The Canadian arm of the fast food chain is following in the footsteps of its US counterpart, which committed to serving only MSC-certified fish in January 2013.McDonald’s Canada has purchased fish from MSC-certified fisheries for nearly a decade and recently completed MSC’s third-party Chain of Custody process to further solidify the company’s commitment to maintaining the health of the world’s oceans by supporting sustainable fishing practices.
WeSpire, the cloud-based engagement platform for engaging employees in environmental, social and other positive corporate initiatives, has released survey results regarding employee engagement trends in sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Campbell Soup Company has announced that it is re-evaluating its production processes in order to reduce by 50 percent of its operational water use per ton of food produced by 2020.The company says it has achieved a 20.7 percent reduction in operational water use in 2013, against a 2008 baseline. Last year Campbell’s reduced water use by 2.6 percent per ton of food produced, and since 2008, total cumulative water savings have been around 4.8 billion gallons.Campbell’s says it wants to continue making progress by standardizing its most water-intensive operations, primarily those facilities that produce soup, sauce and juice products, making them more energy-efficient in the process.
There has been much talk lately about the need to find a replacement for the term “sustainability.” Critics claim it’s too vague and takes attention away from what should be a more forward-thinking message focused on good business. Others argue that eliminating the term would cause some to miss the point because it has yet to become engrained enough in the dominant business culture. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard argues that “responsible” is a more accurate term since there is no such thing as a truly “sustainable” company. Other companies have embraced the term “corporate social responsibility” (CSR).