Has Volkswagen's cheating brought the CSR movement into disrepute?

(25 Sep 2015) A few years ago, I made a prediction that some time in the following five years, a CSR champion – probably a sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – would "suffer a scandal serious enough to add weight to the CSR sceptics". Arguably, that has now happened with the revelation that people at Volkswagen deliberately cheated emissions tests so their vehicles could pollute more heavily than legally permitted and thereby damage people's health..
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Can the mere fact of reporting on carbon save you money?

(19 Aug 2015) They say you don't fatten a pig by weighing it. But apparently, according to a new report, reporting your company's carbon footprint can save you $1.5 million a year..
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Will the new UN development goals help or hinder business sustainability?

(26 Jun 2015) The original UN Millenium Development Goals expire this year. You may recall, these were framed at the turn of the century and identified eight key areas for action to move us towards sustainable development..
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What if action on climate change is impossible in a democracy?

(8 Jun 2015) A recent YouGov survey has highlighted the fact that in the US and UK there is a significant percentage of people who "do not agree to any international agreement that addresses climate change." In China, the position was quite different, with negligible numbers thinking the same. This was reported in the Independent as "UK and US main barriers to addressing climate change" which really doesn't get us to the heart of what's going on here..
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Is it your boss's job to tell you what to eat and how much to exercise?

(27 May 2015) It is one of the most common clichés in the corporate world - when companies describe their workforce as "their greatest asset." A few years ago, socially responsible companies began to ask an important question: if that is really the case, why do we take less care of our people than we do our purely financial assets? As a result, a strong trend has emerged for companies to take an interest in wellness programmes..
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Ecomagination's 10th birthday marks GE's progress from polluter to pioneer

(12 May 2015) On the 10th anniversary of the launch of GE's Ecomagination initiative, it has been a part of the business landscape for such a long time that it would be easy to forget how big a gamble it represented back in 2005..
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The ethical dilemma of ‘pay to stay’

(2 Mar 2015) In recent days, highly regarded corporate responsibility champion B&Q has been attacked for what is described as a “pay to stay” request of its suppliers. It makes the company the latest that has been exposed indulging in what some describe as bullying - a fact that is all the more remarkable because its parent group Kingfisher had signed up to initiatives focusing on fair play for suppliers..
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Are we too dazzled by the sustainability leaders?

(30 Apr 2014) When people think about business and corporate responsibility, they tend to see it in terms of a one-way progression..
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Should CSR be made compulsory after all?

(17 Apr 2014) During the first decade of the 21st century, it was pretty much a consensus amongst all but the anti-corporate campaigners that CSR was best if it was voluntary. Legislation is there to enforce minimum standards, but CSR is about creating best practice, and doing so in a way that finds the best wins for both the company and society..
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Will the debate on corporate lobbying grow up?

(22 Mar 2014) The Guardian newspaper recently carried an article that was absolutely typical of where the debate on corporate lobbying has been for the past decade. "Ten ways", it screamed, "big business controls government". And what followed was a list of various lobbying tactics and approaches that have had some track record of success in influencing debate..
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Are businesses mad dogs that must be controlled?

(2 Mar 2014) Sometimes I think we've moved on from the stale business good-or-bad debates of the last couple of decades. There are more business - NGO partnerships taking place, even with formerly controversial companies such as Asia Pulp & Paper. But the ideological tensions remain - and it's not as thought the problems feeding them are going to go away any time soon..
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Have we found the route toward socially responsible tobacco?

(20 Feb 2014) For quite a few years now, I've enjoyed posing the question to audiences - if you woke up tomorrow and found that you were the CEO of a global tobacco company - what would you do?.
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Focus is key to effectiveness in CSR

(4 Feb 2014) Some companies become particularly recognised for their social responsibility. It becomes part of what makes them famous. And the benefits of being numbered within these ranks are obvious. If you can inspire people with your achievements on the cutting edge between business and society, people will trust you more. You will bank some serious goodwill for when you need it..
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Be careful whose example you follow

(22 Jan 2014) Back at the turn of the century, all the talk in business circles was of 'the war for talent'. Indeed, for those of us that were involved in the promotion of corporate social responsibility, the war was particularly interesting - since if the 'talent' concerned was committed to values not just to money, then the adoption of CSR could easily fit into this new mindset and gain strength from it..
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Will we really share our stuff in the name of sustainability?

(9 Jan 2014) In a recent interview, the green-minded CEO of Kingfisher (parent group of the B&Q do-it-yourself home improvement chain) Ian Cheshire, said that an area that the company wanted to focus more on in future is 'collaborative consumption'. The example he gave was getting customers sharing tools with clusters of friends. "It's a more sustainable model than simply using tools and then disposing of them", he said..
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CR Report reading for dummies

(23 Sep 2013) Marc Gunther (who writes an excellent business sustainability blog) recently wrote an article titled 'how to read a sustainability report'. It was full of eminent good sense, but at the same time highlighted exactly why the state of the art is so immature..
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Supply chain integrity - life or death for your business

(27 Mar 2013) Supply chains have, in one way or another, been much in the news recently. The wave of shock in a number of European companies on the revelations of horse meat contamination was one. In the UK, right now, people are fretting about the longer-than-usual cold spell resulting in possibly running out of gas. Oh, and as a side show profitable Laura Ashley have told its suppliers to pony up 10% of the value of any contracts with them to bolster those profits even further..
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Four emerging trends in corporate social responsibility

(8 Oct 2012) By any count, the world is changing faster than ever before. Human numbers are growing faster, and the impact of our activities is being felt in more and more ways. This change has profound implications for business, and means that the world of CSR - or how businesses respond to society's expectations - is at the forefront of this change. So it's worth looking for what are the current trends and where are they heading..
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The Global Reporting Initiative is growing up

(25 Jul 2012) Regular readers will know that even though I have been a strong advocate of CSR / sustainability reporting I have been a GRI-sceptic for as long as it has existed. Why? Well, in the early days the indicator range was a poorly conceived hotch-potch of measures that really didn't tell you very much. .
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Why your CSR report should be immersive

(9 Jul 2012) The vast majority of companies are missing a huge trick on the online communication of their social responsibility. They make a major investment in collecting the data of what they are doing, and then completely fail to get the value from that effort with the stakeholders that are most important to them..
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European voters choose nice things not nasty ones - 7 May 2012
The tricky task of measuring a reputation - 21 Feb 2012
Health and Safety - reframed as a term of abuse - 17 Jan 2012
Making the sustainable supply chain puzzle simpler - five ways to start - 14 Nov 2011
What can we learn from the dying throes of the Kimberley Process? - 25 Oct 2011
The truth and illusion of integrated reporting - 3 Oct 2011
Can companies like Starbucks heal America's broken leadership? - 12 Sep 2011
What should companies do when the riots break out? - 10 Aug 2011
The limits of sustainability reporting - 8 Jun 2011
Is sustainable growth a contradiction in terms for the ethical company? - 17 Feb 2011
The ever-changing currency of trust - 25 Jan 2011
2011 - This is the scale of the challenge - 12 Jan 2011
Five ways for a head of CSR to break in a new CEO - 9 Nov 2010
Integrated Reporting - The gulf between theory and practice - 21 Oct 2010
Reply to the Case Against CSR - The Latest Version - 26 Aug 2010
How good companies create bad outcomes in the supply chain - 2 Aug 2010
In defence of Tony Hayward - 12 Jul 2010
Spotting responsible companies - blink and you might miss it - 10 May 2010
Marks & Spencer - how do its new promises shape up? - 12 Mar 2010
Why even some of the best companies fail to keep cool in a crisis - 16 Feb 2010
Four factors that create irresponsible businesses - 25 Jan 2010
Is it time to change the ownership of our best companies? - 12 Jan 2010
A case study of a different approach to reporting - 16 Nov 2009
Are global CSR leaders failing to use the web effectively? - 2 Nov 2009
How do we know whether our economy is healthy or sick? - 28 Sep 2009
Bhopal - 25 years later the echoes are still loud - 18 Aug 2009
What Wal-Mart's Sustainability Index is ... and isn't - 21 Jul 2009
Four common marketing mistakes that destroy trust - 30 Jun 2009
Can the green consumer single-handedly save the planet? - 15 Jun 2009
How the campaign groups now lag behind business and need to catch up - 2 Jun 2009
Toyota launches a faster horse - 18 May 2009
Three key trends for companies responding to climate change - 4 May 2009
What companies tell the Global Compact they are doing - 20 Apr 2009
Procter & Gamble - how far does the sustainable product revolution go? - 24 Mar 2009
The Top 100 Corporate Citizens List - or is it? - 16 Mar 2009
Leo Martin: The lessons from eight years of GoodCorporation - 2 Mar 2009
Every CEO should write letters like Buffet - 2 Mar 2009
Five features of great socially responsible leadership - 16 Feb 2009
What's the real value of a good business? - 2 Feb 2009
When is a monopolist not a monopolist? - 19 Jan 2009
So what did we learn in 2008 that we can use in 2009? - 5 Jan 2009
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice - 22 Dec 2008
A new resource on corporate social responsibility in Europe. - 8 Dec 2008
Looking for a book to read over the holidays? - 8 Dec 2008
What point the story with no plot? - 24 Nov 2008
How do you sell respect to roadhogs? - 10 Nov 2008
Arguments against corporate social responsibility - redoubled - 26 Oct 2008
All senior bankers are stupid and greedy - discuss - 12 Oct 2008
Learning from chaos - 29 Sep 2008
The end of the Chad experiment - 14 Sep 2008
Can you conduct business with integrity in Zimbabwe? - 31 Aug 2008
How can companies resolve the dilemma of GM crops? - 17 Aug 2008
So what's the real impact of your business? - 3 Aug 2008
Making employees into allies - 20 Jul 2008
Can you have social responsibility without ethics? - 20 Jul 2008
What makes for leadership in CSR? - 5 Jul 2008
Storming the marketing bastille - 22 Jun 2008
How to make friends and influence customers - 10 Jun 2008
The marketing that dare not speak its name - 16 May 2008
Playing games with the Olympic sponsors - 11 May 2008
Getting to small companies through the supply chain - 27 Apr 2008
Cutting out the fat - 13 Apr 2008
Will banks ever treat customers fairly? - 31 Mar 2008
Getting the guilt out of sustainability - 16 Mar 2008
In search of tomorrow's citizen and consumer - 2 Mar 2008
When the competent become the enemy of the good - 17 Feb 2008
Reduced harm tobacco - is it just smoke and mirrors? - 3 Feb 2008
Innovation for sustainability - can we meet the challenge? - 20 Jan 2008
Predicting a Riot - Looking five years forward and back - 6 Jan 2008
2007: A review of the year - 23 Dec 2007
Crying over spilt milk - 9 Dec 2007
The unnecessary suicide of the organic food movement - 28 Oct 2007
Climate change: A frontier made of cement and steel - 14 Oct 2007
So what is the state of responsible business in the world today? - 30 Sep 2007
Child labour in India A moral red line set in stone - 1 Sep 2007
The invisible problem - 8 Jul 2007
How to keep your honour if not your job - 1 Jun 2007
Private equity - Agents or destroyers of responsible business? - 13 May 2007
Buying into carbon reduction - 18 Mar 2007
Weighing the value of trust - 25 Feb 2007
Running out of road - 11 Feb 2007
The Marketplace Responsibility Principles - shifting the focus to how you make your money - 3 Dec 2006
Tackling corruption - an integral part of the responsible business agenda - 12 Nov 2006
Holding your company in trust - 8 Oct 2006
Creating the climate for change - 17 Sep 2006
Is there REALLY a fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid? - 3 Sep 2006
So what's the business case for corporate social responsibility? - 13 Aug 2006
A tool for the companies facing the worst dilemmas in the world - 30 Jul 2006
Corporate personality - does it help companies to play fair? - 16 Jul 2006
The crucial role of business in saving the planet - 2 Jul 2006
At last - an Accountabiity Charter for NGOs - 18 Jun 2006
Forest Stewardship Council - Facing a Crisis of Confidence? - 4 Jun 2006
The big supermarkets - now competing on price, quality ... and trust - 21 May 2006
Scratching a niche - 28 Apr 2006
In search of responsible market leadership - 23 Apr 2006
Measuring corporate social impact - art or science? - 7 Apr 2006
The first 100 days in the life of the responsible CEO - 1 Apr 2006
In search of the business case for responsible tax - 16 Mar 2006
Mapping out the way ahead for business and human rights - 12 Mar 2006
The Global Reporting Initiative - Leap forward or last gasp? - 9 Mar 2006
Exxon ponders the challenge of Chad - 8 Mar 2006
Google's growing pains - 11 Feb 2006
Don't buy this product! - 1 Feb 2006
If Roche sneezes, the Pharmaceutical Industry catches a cold - 30 Oct 2005
Can companies that make products that kill be socially responsible? - 18 Sep 2005
CSR Reporting faces its next challenge - 29 Jul 2005
Corporate lobbying - Rising up the CSR Agenda - 7 Jul 2005
Standards of Corporate Responsibiity - 15 Jun 2005
Corporate Social Responsibility in Kazakhstan - a reflection - 16 May 2005
Did business go too far in responding to tsunami? - 24 Jan 2005
Profitable poverty alleviation creates a new frontier for corporate responsibility - 12 Dec 2004
Corporate Social Responsibility moves centre stage - 20 Oct 2004
Is CSR a movement for change that is underachieving? - 22 Aug 2004
What's in an award? - 19 Jul 2004
Getting fat on a diet of righteous indignation - 13 Jun 2004
Finding the formula for responsible small companies - 23 May 2004
Oil on troubled waters - 18 Apr 2004
The Corporate Responsibility Index - valuing the companies that count - 14 Mar 2004
Behind the Mask: How Christian Aid got it wrong on corporate responsibility - 23 Feb 2004
Responsibility without control - 22 Feb 2004
The Media and Social Responsibility - 1 Feb 2004
The next five years of CSR - some progress - 11 Jan 2004
Corporate Social Responsibility in 2003 - A review of the year - 21 Dec 2003
Korea explores the beauty of corporate community investment - 30 Nov 2003
The accountability of NGOs - 16 Nov 2003
Buying into social responsibility - 2 Nov 2003
The inherent value of jobs - 19 Oct 2003
Managing your indirect responsibility for free choice - 1 Oct 2003
Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia - a tale of two conferences - 23 Sep 2003
In the market for business responsibility - 7 Sep 2003
Raising the heat on business over human rights - 17 Aug 2003
Doing it small - 1 Aug 2003
Redefining CSR as a process that starts at the heart of the company - 27 Jul 2003
Looking for business solutions on CSR reporting - 13 Jul 2003
Are the drugs companies just addicted to pain? - 1 Jul 2003
Corporate Community Investment in Japan - 22 Jun 2003
Bringing corporate lobbying into the light - 1 Jun 2003
Corporate accountability or public vengeance? - 1 Jun 2003
Managing CSR in the workplace - 18 May 2003
Executive remuneration and Corporate Social Responsibility - 4 May 2003
GlaxoSmithKline - Seeking a cure for public mistrust - 20 Apr 2003
A standard to build trust in company social reporting - 6 Apr 2003
Wal-Mart - From folk hero to corporate monster - 23 Mar 2003
A brief history of social reporting - 9 Mar 2003
Companies struggle with the difficulties of human rights - 23 Feb 2003
Westpac - A Case Study in Socially Responsible Banking - 9 Feb 2003
Is this the First Ever Corporate Social/Environmental Report? - 9 Feb 2003
What do the CEOs know about CSR? - 26 Jan 2003
Addressing the crisis in CSR reporting - 12 Jan 2003
The next five years of CSR - some progress - 29 Dec 2002
2002 - A Year in Corporate Social Responsibility - 15 Dec 2002
A tale of two definitions - the European Campaign for CSR - 1 Dec 2002
But is there a social case for CSR? - 17 Nov 2002
A standard for goodness - 3 Nov 2002
Environmental and Social Accountability Report - Musgrave Group 2002 - 19 Oct 2002
Do we expect business to save the world? - 4 Oct 2002
The interesting demise of the legend of Jack Welch - 22 Sep 2002
The Global Reporting Initiative - Raising the Bar too high? - 8 Sep 2002
Looking for a more mature definition of post-Enron CSR - 25 Aug 2002
AngloGold - Towards Sustainability. A social investment report 2001 / 2002 - 25 Aug 2002
South African Breweries - Corporate Accountability Report 2002 - 11 Aug 2002
CSR Does It End At Home? - 28 Jul 2002
Beyond Philanthropy - Pharmaceuticals challenged to go further - 28 Jul 2002