Mallen Baker's CSR blog

Zero is the most ambitious number

Unilever have announced that all of its European factories have caught up with its plants in North America in achieving zero non-hazardous waste to landfill. That manufacturing operations that demonstrate that this can be achieved helps to raise the bar in terms of ambition for what should become a standard expectation of business process.
Posted on: 15 Apr 2014 - Read full post

The most ethical companies - maybe

The 'World's Most Ethical Companies' list has been produced once again by Ethisphere and promoted by Forbes. I've always been one to look very hard at the methodology of the various lists that get produced, and have often found them considerably less robust than they pretend. But this list is an interesting one as much because of its concept as how it's actually done.
Posted on: 25 Mar 2014 - Read full post

The big, green testosterone-fuelled machine

There are certain symbols that get environmentalists hot under the collar. One of them is anything to do with flying. But another one - less high profile in terms of its importance, but right up there in terms of its symbolism - is Formula 1 racing.
Posted on: 14 Mar 2014 - Read full post

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
(1 comment)

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
(1 comment)

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
(1 comment)

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
(1 comment)

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

If you’re a website owner, you may well be aware of the EU cookie law, which had lots of sites adding pop-up windows inviting you to smile warmly at the site’s use of cookies or, if not, doing something to block their use.
Posted on: 4 Feb 2013 - Read full post