Organizational Change

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

Carbon Onsetting: A Robust Complement to - or Replacement for - Offsetting

Whether as competitive differentiation, long-term risk management, or hedging against future regulation, internal carbon fees are becoming increasingly popular with companies as varied as Shell, Microsoft and Disney.

The Social Purpose Continuum: Changing the Lens, the Focus, Everything in Our Approach to CSR

For 25 years, I’ve developed CSR strategies. And now I see that CSR is becoming business as usual.You’d think I’d be celebrating. But I’m not — because CSR has stalled.This struck me in 2012 when I developed the Qualities of a Transformational Company for Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and started tracking corporate innovation in CSR (see 38 case studies of transformation in action at CBSR’s website). That’s when I saw where we needed to be.

Independent Evaluation - A Crucial Part of Our Zero-Deforestation Journey

Today marks two years since we launched our Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) and the anniversary is particularly significant as the Rainforest Alliance is publishing its independent evaluation of our progress. I believe this may be the first time that any company attempting to implement ‘zero deforestation’ in its supply chain on such a scale has submitted its programme to independent third-party evaluation.

Shell Endorses Shareholder Resolution That 'Boldly Questions Its Own Business Model'

Last week, Royal Dutch Shell’s board of directors ratified a shareholder resolution that commits the oil giant to investing in a low-carbon future. The resolution called for the company to commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewable energy, scrap bonus systems that are associated with climate-harming activities, and base its business model risk assessment against the widely considered “safe” warming limit of 2ᵒC (as signed by 141 governments at the UN’s Copenhagen Accord).

Moving Pieces: UNC's Big-Business Approach to Sustainability Consulting

At the University of North Carolina, sustainability consulting projects have an unique way of taking shape.A marketplace type of approach to teaming up with industry partners has helped UNC’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise take aim at large-scale projects with multiple clients.

The Shared Imperative: How the Humble Pint Is Helping to Advance Sustainability Science

Last week saw the launch of a new initiative that will offer 15 post-graduate scientists from nations across Africa the opportunity to work with UK academic institutions in subject areas such as water management, sustainable farming, energy and waste.The ‘SABMiller Royal Society Exchange Programme’ is a seemingly unlikely collaboration between one of the UK’s leading science establishments and a multinational brewer. I went along to Wednesday night’s launch event at the Royal Society in London to find out how beer is helping to fund new sustainable technologies.

Why Business Culture Should Be the Ultimate Aim of Sustainability Leaders

Business schools play a critical role in society.They support the continual evolution of our economies, the industries that shape them, the people that lead them, and the thinking behind it all.But it’s not just a role. It’s also a responsibility.In today’s hotter, scarcer, and more open world (to borrow from Andrew Winston’s The Big Pivot), that responsibility is greater than ever. More than at any other time in history, humanity is collectively aware of its impact on the planet. We know that our current actions, if left unchecked, will lead to unknown disruptions of life on earth.

Delivering on Profit and Purpose – a Job for the CFO?

Back in 2012, a Deloitte study remarked how chief finance officers (CFOs) were ‘coming to the table’ in matters relating to board-level sustainability. The CFO role has evolved to the point where it is now widely perceived as an enabler for sustainable business – customers, shareholders and other key stakeholders are increasingly looking to connect corporate financial performance to social and environmental impacts, and accountability for this tends to rest at the door of the CFO.

CDP: US, Brazil, China and India Least Resilient Against Climate-Related Supply Chain Risks

Lack of preparation has left supply chains in Brazil, China, India and the United States more vulnerable to climate risks than those in Europe and Japan. However, suppliers in China and India deliver the greatest financial return on investment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrate the strongest appetite for collaboration across the value chain. This according to research released Tuesday by CDP and Accenture.

So Your Company Is Doing the Right Thing. How Can You Make People Care?

When it comes to corporate transparency, times are changing. Gone are the days when a company could be considered a leader simply by publishing an annual report. Today’s stakeholders want to truly engage with your company’s story, especially when it comes to sustainability — and they want to do it on their own terms, with clickable, personalized information.

Next-Gen ERP: Managing … and Saving the Panda Bears?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an impressive concept. It covers everything from business operations to corporate governance. It includes streamlining and automating corporations; making all business processes highly efficient, cost-effective and fully automated; all resource use fully planned, controlled and understood. ERP today provides an integrated view of core business processes across various departments, ranging from sourcing, manufacturing and sales to accounting and payroll.

For Clifford, Hope Springs Eternal for 'The Greening of Asia'

Mark Clifford’s forthcoming book, The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia’s Environmental Emergency (Columbia Business School Publishing, March 2015), offers a hopeful take on major trends in the region, such as entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies working together to generate solutions in energy, land and water conservation that are efficient and sustainable.

Now Is the Time for Action to Preserve Our Precious Ecosystems

Paul Polman is CEO of Unilever, a member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Lead Group and Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This is his observation following his involvement at Lima COP 20.

Sustainability Managers Bring More to the Table Than Environmental Expertise

Many companies today view sustainable business practices as an integral part of their overall strategy — and much more than an opportunity to enhance their brand image. A natural extension of this trend is increased demand for experienced executives who can help companies meet their environmental goals. According to a 2014 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, approximately 625,000 ‘green’ jobs were created in the renewable energy sector alone in the United States last year. In many cases, these are well-paying positions requiring higher education and/or specialized training.

Project Peanut Butter Now Producing Life-Saving Therapeutic Food in Ghana, with a Little Help from Hershey

The Hershey Company, in partnership with Project Peanut Butter (PPB) — a project aimed at ending child malnutrition across sub-Saharan Africa — has announced that the Project’s newest manufacturing facility (in Kumasi, Ghana) is now beginning full operation. Thanks to a nearly $1 million investment from Hershey, the new plant will produce PPB’s peanut-based Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs), which the organization calls the world’s most effective treatment for severe childhood malnutrition.

Now You Can Peer Into McDonald's – But Do You See Customers?

McDonald’s unprecedented corporate-transparency marketing campaign, “Our Food. Your questions,” is the fast food giant’s attempt to reduce the impact of one major aspect of its brand and operations — low prices and massive amounts of highly processed foods have led to questions about what exactly is in its food, whether it is all safe for human consumption and how integral various aspects of sustainability are to its supply chain.

Punks, Wonks & Breakout Strategies for Sustainability Innovation

Innovation. We love it! Especially in the trending world of sustainability.And rightly so: The potential impact and influence of sustainability innovation in the shaping of a more positive human existence is immutable and immeasurable.Innovation’s role in reinventing and reimagining the way the domestic, private and public sectors use, reuse and replenish the limited resources we have at our disposal is critical to our survival as a race. So anything that inspires us to escalate our ability to innovate, whether that might be of the incremental, process or radical kind, deserves all the help it can get. We cannot really afford for sustainability innovation to stall or fail — but it does so, all too often.

Can Hallway Theater Be the Missing Link in Employee Engagement?

How do you engage corporate employees to focus their determination and creativity in working toward business goals? Sparking and capturing the imagination, and dedication, of employees is a core issue for any company — particularly for those focused on sustainability issues.

Unleash the Radical Intrapreneurs!

John Meynard Keynes once said: “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” I think most business leaders would scoff at the idea that an economist guides their business decisions, but a step back in time might challenge their skepticism.

#SB14London: A Lesson in Successful Cross-Sector Partnership from HP & Kiva

Karen Little, Director of Development at Kiva, and Ann Ewasechko, Global Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation in Education at HP, discussed the great success of their joint social campaign “Matter to a Million” during a Wednesday afternoon session. Matter to a Million is a 5-year global partnership between HP and Kiva aiming to support 1 million entrepreneurs around the world through microlending and, as Ewasechko said, to empower employees to make an impact and a difference.


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