Mallen Baker's CSR blog
Can addictive products help you to know your limits?
The gambling industry in the UK has launched a new code of conduct that will require that players of gaming machines will be able to set limits on the amount of time and money they spend. The move has come as a response to the problems some people have with gambling - particularly with high-speed betting terminals that can be highly addictive to some.
Posted on: 3 Mar 2014 - Read full post
The practical process of integrating sustainability
The most effective companies manage to find a balance between having smart, senior and credible sustainability practitioners to drive change and the reality of shared ownership for the issues across the business. It's easy to say, but tremendously difficult to do.
Posted on: 27 Feb 2014 - Read full post
Google's tax bill shows where power really lies
Apparently, Google doubled the amount of tax that it paid outside of America last year. One might reasonably suppose this to be the consequence of the multiple tax rows about how much it, and other internet companies such as Amazon and Facebook, have been paying in the countries where they do business.
Posted on: 15 Feb 2014 - Read full post
Is pandering to greed the way to encourage better values?
Business in the Community put a spotlight at its recent conference on the idea that senior business executives should have part of their bonuses paid for long-term 'responsible behaviour' not just financial targets.
Posted on: 7 Feb 2014 - Read full post
Ikea and the drive for better cotton
Ikea has announced that it has doubled its use of more sustainable cotton - on course to meet its target for sourcing all its cotton this way by 2015. Ikea used 150,000 tonnes of cotton in 2012 - 0.8% of cotton produced worldwide - so this is a considerable landmark.
Posted on: 6 Feb 2014 - Read full post
Burberry makes quality and sustainability natural bedfellows
I've always believed that the luxury market sectors had the most to gain by paying attention to sustainability. Half of the battle is to get efficiency in performance and cleanliness in manufacture to become one of the true indicators of quality.
Posted on: 30 Jan 2014 - Read full post
Never mind how hard you worked - what did you achieve?
When I review companies' sustainability or CSR reports, I still see a lot of measures that are related to process, not outcome. You know the sort of thing. The company sets itself targets such as 'create a new policy on anti-corruption'. It then reports that this target has been achieved, and gives itself a big tick. Another common one is 'carry out environmental / bribery / whatever training for xx number of staff'. Tick.
Posted on: 24 Jan 2014 - Read full post
Should a web design company have an ethical policy?
I was involved in a brief twitter discussion recently around the idea that a digital agency might create an ethical policy - one which explicitly states what kind of clients the firm will decline to work with.
Posted on: 4 Dec 2013 - Read full post
The 9 most common mistakes made by CR / sustainability reports
This video is the first in a series of three looking at the main - easily fixable - mistakes made in CR reporting.
Posted on: 28 Oct 2013 - Read full post
Getting your CEO video introduction to inspire and inform
In the last post, I talked about the six reasons why the CEO video introduction to your sustainability report is boring. I promised that I'd put forward some ways you could begin to address those problems.
Posted on: 10 Sep 2013 - Read full post
Six reasons why your CEO video introduction is boring
One of the things we know is essential about any credible sustainability report or website is evidence of top level commitment. Usually this is demonstrated by having the chief executive of the company providing an introduction - written for printed reports, but increasingly video for websites. The one problem with this excellent demonstration of top-level commitment? The CEO talking heads videos on the majority of report sites are just excruciatingly dull.
Posted on: 22 Aug 2013 - Read full post
Marketers who sell more by deliberately offending people
I read an article recently about 'Hyundai's failed ad' - the one that was pulled from YouTube recently when there was a huge controversy because it depicted a suicide attempt. The interesting thing is, it's perfectly likely that isn't a failed ad at all, and that the controversy, the withdrawal and the apology was all part of the plan.
Posted on: 6 Jul 2013 - Read full post
Don't fall for junk research
I don't know about you, but I think the whole process of corporate responsibility and sustainability is pretty important. It's worth spending most of my waking time promoting in some shape or form, after all. And that's because I believe that there's everything to play for. If we win the arguments, there can be a powerful force for change. If we don't, well things will be notably poorer.
Posted on: 2 Jun 2013 - Read full post
Corporate theft is not the way to go
In the week that the Cyprus government sought to address some of its problems by snatching up to 40% of depositors' bank savings, Laura Ashley performed a similar smash-and-grab on its suppliers, announcing that it is asking its suppliers to give it a 10 per cent discount - including on orders already accepted.
Posted on: 27 May 2013 - Read full post
People ignore product recalls - that's a system design issue
In the last couple of days, the Electrical Safety Council (who?) has warned that “the majority of consumers are ignoring product recalls and as a result households are using electrical goods that could cause a fire or electrocution.”
Posted on: 18 Apr 2013 - Read full post
Looking for your next step up in Corporate Responsibility?
There are a lot of people trying currently to get into the world of CSR. You may be one of them. Or maybe you’ve been successful at making that first step and you’re now part of a CSR team, and you’re looking at how you can use this opportunity to develop your role and progress. This post is for you.
Posted on: 6 Mar 2013 - Read full post
The end of the cookie monster
Posted on: 4 Feb 2013 - Read full post
AIG Executives - too stupid to be allowed to breed?
AIG, having just run an ad that thanked the American people for the bailout that saved it, is contemplating suing the US government over the terms of that bailout.
Posted on: 9 Jan 2013 - Read full post
How tax put Starbucks into a no-win position
It’s the easy and fashionable thing to simply bash Starbucks at the moment for being a dreadful tax-avoider. I occasionally reflect on how much easier my life might be if I simply went along with the easy and fashionable thing from time to time, but how boring would that be?
Posted on: 12 Dec 2012 - Read full post
Does your online CR report have the ‘X’ factor?
At the recent Ethical Corporation Reporting Conference I had the fun job again for being on the panel of judges for a 3-way X-factor style contest where the contestants were CR / sustainability reports. The panel was chaired by the excellent Toby Webb, and my other colleague was investment-minded Mike Tyrrell.
Posted on: 30 Nov 2012 - Read full post