My name is Sanjay Verma, and I am from a city that weathered one of the world’s worst industrial disasters – Bhopal, India. I was six months old when more than 80,000 pounds of toxic gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal. On the night of December 2, 1984, my 9-year-old sister, wrapped me in a blanket and ran away with me and my 13-year-old brother from the poisonous clouds. The rest of my family did not survive.
The Confederate flag’s prevalence and availability in mainstream culture is waning. Along with top lawmakers from multiple states, multiple companies are taking steps to stop peddling the Stars and Bars.
Employees will be valuing CSR credibility more and more.
By Dr. John Izzo
There is growing evidence consumers care about CSR when it comes to whom they buy from and survey evidence suggests employees like to work for companies that are good citizens. As someone who has spent over 20 years advising companies on their brand image and how to create highly engaged workforces, I am often asked by my clients if CSR really matters to employees. Even though surveys show employees rank it as a high factor for choosing an employer, it is almost never cited as the reason people leave companies, nor is it often cited as a prime reason for taking new employment. It raises an interesting and important question: How important is CSR to workers?
William K. Bowes, Jr. Fellow position, DC or Boston
Employer: Environmental Defense Fund
Job Title: William K. Bowes, Jr. Fellow (3-year position)
Job Location: Washington, DC, or Boston, MA
With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program has a 20-year history of working with leading companies – McDonald’s, Citigroup, FedEx, Walmart, and others – to demonstrate that good environmental strategy is synonymous with good business strategy. EDF works with business to create environmental innovations and best practices with environmental and business benefits, and to take them to scale across entire industries. Our goal is to create a “green” race to the top, with companies competing on both environmental and financial performance. Website: www.edf.org/partnerships
Job Description The Bowes Fellowship seeks recent graduates of advanced degree programs in business or environmental management for a three-year Project Manager position with EDF. The Fellow will support EDF’s work in three ways. First, the Fellow will play a lead role in developing new partnerships that address fertilizer use and runoff in the agricultural sector. Second, the Fellow will assist on “rapid response” efforts to work with leading corporations on short-term projects designed to test the potential for impact and industry-level change. Finally, the Fellow will contribute to the Corporate Partnership program’s overall strategy, planning and fundraising. The Fellowship is designed to allow EDF to launch and execute high-leverage projects that achieve environmental results today, while providing the Fellow with valuable experience that will help him or her to bridge the divide between theory and practice from graduate school into the working world. The Bowes Fellow will work under the direction of the Managing Director, Corporate Partnerships. Please see the full job description at http://www.edf.org/jobs/fellow-william-k-bowes-jr-fellowship.
Please compose a thoughtful cover letter that describes your commitment to the mission of Environmental Defense Fund and how your experience satisfies the following:
· 3-5 years of work experience
· Professional experience in business, especially in the agricultural sector, preferred
· Demonstrated ability to lead an initiative and produce measurable results
· A working knowledge of the current theory and practice of corporate environmental management
· A broad understanding of environmental issues including the basic statutory and regulatory structure in the US and lifecycle assessment
· Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work with colleagues and partners of varied backgrounds and experience
· Strong analytical skills and experience in performing rigorous analysis in support of highly visible work;
· An ability to work both independently and as a member of small teams in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment
· MBA or an advanced degree in environmental studies, public administration or economics where relevant business experience is also present
Preferred Start Date: March 1, 2012
Compensation: Competitive, based on experience
AA/EOE. No phone calls, please. Submit your application online at
There’s perhaps no other animal on Earth so synonymous with all things diminutive as the modestly framed shrimp – but, as it turns out, not everything about those famed crustaceans is small. Biologists say that common shrimp farming methods across Asia are so devastating to fragile ecosystems as to make ordering a simple shrimp cocktail one of the worst things you could do for the environment in the name of grabbing some grub.
Some of the most powerful and sophisticated actors on the world stage are companies, not governments. In 2011 alone, oil and gas behemoth ExxonMobil generated revenues of US$467 billion—the size of Norway’s entire economy. Walmart, the world’s third-largest employer with more than 2 million workers, has a workforce that trails only the militaries of the United States and China in size.
Many global businesses are run with consideration for the well-being of the people whose lives they touch. But others—whether through incompetence or by design—seriously harm the communities around them, their workers, and even the governments under which they work.
When it comes to customers, Apple is a bold innovator that leads the industry into new directions and forces others to follow. However, when it comes to the management of its supply chain and treatment of workers in the Chinese factories that make its products, it hides behind the constraints of prevailing industry practices. What is even more disconcerting is the fact that these practices are in violation of not only local and national laws, but also of Apple’s own voluntary self-imposed code of conduct. It is important to note that this voluntary code of conduct breaks no new ground. It is at best a modest attempt to ensure that workers will be treated fairly and provided with a safe work environment.
S. Prakash Sethi, Professor, Baruch College, and President, International Center for Corporate Accountability. Carnagie Council, Two Faces of Apple
Sethi writes that the Apple brand is divided with its hyperfocus on the finished product but lazy glance factory conditions.
iPhones, iPads, iMacs and Powerbooks are innovative works of wonder. Operations at suppliers like Foxconn? Lowest common denominator.
Sethi challenges Apple CEO Tim Cook to change the company’s split culture.
“This would call for Apple to play a leadership role and thereby solidify its reputation not only as a leading corporate innovator, but also as a leading socially responsible corporate citizen,” he writes.
“One hopes that Apple will once again astonish the world by showing a new approach to building better bridges between private profit and public good.”
Research Roundup: Responsibility reports from Foxconn clients besides Apple
The New York Times recently renewed the conversation about working conditions in factories that make products for the tech industry. Even though less than a quarter of Foxconn’s one million employees make stuff for Apple, the New York Times focused on Apple for the twostories it wrote, probably because Apple is the buzz-worthy company right now.
Another likely deciding factor was that tech companies make their corporate, supplier, and environmental responsibility reports really, super, double-extra hard to find. I figured I’d lend a hand in case anyone wanted to follow up and broaden the scope on what is definitely an important and complex issue.
Below are responsibility reports for some of Foxconn’s largest clients, a list that now includes over 25 companies. Some were easy to find, others not as much (anyone have Amazon’s?). Knock yourselves out, tech press.
Acer - (note: the latest is 2010; 2011 isn’t out yet)
BEIJING, China — As the rest of the world waxes nostalgic with tributes and accoladesfor Apple’s retiring CEO Steve Jobs, the factory workers in China who got sick while making Apple’s touchscreens remain unmoved.
Six months ago, factory workers in Suzhou poisoned two years ago by toxic chemicals at the factory wrote to Jobs directly, asking for his help in getting medical care and compensation for their illnesses and lost work time.
They never got an answer from Jobs. Two years after the chemical exposure and many months of medical treatment later, they still say they’ve never heard from anyone at Apple directly.
While McDonald’s has been making significant efforts in improving the quality of its food, health professionals have yet to make peace with the fast food restaurant. In fact, the Wall Street Journal has reported that 550 health professionals and organizations have signed a letter asking McDonald’s to “stop marketing junk food to kids and retire Ronald McDonald.”
Sustainability pioneer John Elkington reports back from sustainability’s new frontier.
By John Elkington
When I recently had dinner in San Francisco with Joel Makower of GreenBiz, he blamed me for pulling him into the sustainability space over 20 years ago. (In the late 1980s, he translated our best-selling Green Consumer Guide into the American version.) Having just attended the London version of Joel’s brainchild VERGE, a rolling, invitation-only roundtable forum that kicked off in Shanghai and ended in San Francisco the following day, I feel quite proud. This was one of the most interesting events I have been to in a while – spotlighting key trends and opportunities at the intersection between energy, information, buildings and vehicles.
The nonprofit Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s (CECP) mission is to lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Co-founded in 1999 by civic leaders including Academy-Award-winning actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and Former Deputy Secretary of State and Co-Chair of Goldman Sachs John C. Whitehead, the organization has grown to prominence with an invitation-only membership of more than 180 CEOs and chairpersons of Global 500 firms. CECP advances best practices in corporate community engagement by: publishing in-depth thought leadership and research reports; providing forums for members to discuss emerging trends and implementation strategies; and working with national media outlets to spotlight exceptional corporate social engagement initiatives. Members of CECP’s highly engaged Board of Directors include the current CEOs of Alcoa, Bloomberg, Deloitte, Holsman International, Interpublic Group, KPMG, McGraw-Hill, PNC Financial Services, salesforce.com, Sempra, and State Farm. CEOs in the CECP membership represent companies including: Best Buy, Dow Chemical, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Target, Time Warner, Verizon, and Xerox. Website: www.CorporatePhilanthropy.org
The Manager, Communications and Marketing will employ new and traditional media and marketing tools to inspire and equip its member companies to realize the full potential of their community engagement initiatives, and to advocate for the positive role of corporate involvement in solving societal problems. Reporting to the Director, s/he will advance the Committee’s reputation among external constituents and promote CECP’s resources to the Committee’s CEO and giving officer communities. The incoming Manager will be responsible for media outreach, content development, and the integrated use of various electronic and print communications channels. This is an exciting opportunity for a driven, creative professional to build CECP’s communications strategy and to own the organization’s voice and brand to both its members and to outside constituents. Please review the full description before applying: http://www.cgcareers.org/jobs/detail/communications-and-marketing/
· 5+ years of experience developing and leading comprehensive communications, media relations, and marketing strategies to advance an organization’s mission and goals.
· Exceptional written, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with CECP’s Board of Directors, CEO members, corporate giving professionals, and staff.
· Experience advancing an advocacy message, presenting complex ideas clearly and in an engaging manner.
· Commitment to excellence and accuracy, with an ability to make decisions in a fast-paced environment.
· Self-starter with a sense of humor and an entrepreneurial, roll-up-your-sleeves approach.
· Experience with website management, email marketing platforms, and social media preferred.
· Interest in CECP’s mission; knowledge of key issues in corporate philanthropy.
· Advanced degree in communications, journalism, or related field preferred.
Preferred Start Date: Fall 2011
Compensation: Commensurate with experience
Sponsor International Candidates: No
AA/EOE. Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter addressed to Ms. Margaret Coady, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, at http://jobs.cgcareers.org/application.aspx?id=1810. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please direct all inquires to Commongood Careers.
Margaret Coady, Director, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy
Recently, The Marketing Store’s Global Director of Digital, Kurt Karlenzig, was invited to present Best Practices of Social Media Marketing (in relation to in-store strategies and shopper marketing) at the POPAI Masters program in Chicago.
If you are a shopper marketer or in retail, you are probably very familiar with this organization. POPAI is the Global Association for Marketing at Retail. If not, you should get to know them—their Masters program was chock full of interesting speakers (and we’re not just tooting our own horn).
Beyond our own social media panel–we had the privilege of sitting in on a few of the sessions—sessions that we thought had some key takeaways/insights that merited mention.
Sustainability: Successful Strategies for The New Normal – presented by Mike Henneghan from RockTenn
This presentation was full of notable facts, figures, and considerations around corporate responsibility and sustainability that we thought you might find useful. Here are just a few we thought were worth mention:
Retailers use sustainability as a tie-breaker: For many major retailers, sustainability is a tie-breaker between products/vendors. If there is a decision to be made between two almost-identical vendors or products, many retailers go with the provider that is “greener”, has a plan toward sustainability, or features sustainable packaging with in-roads into a green product.
Packaging has a giant impact on US waste: Within the US’s total solid waste stream—packaging is the single largest component at 29.5%.
The US has made in-roads to recovery/recycling: 47.8% of all packaging is recovered in the US according to stats from 2009. This would seem to be a good number, but when you consider European initiatives, other countries have the United States by a huge margin—the Belgians are closer to 97% recovery.
Sustainability takes a larger strategic plan. It’s not an A-B line, with this package choice, or that bottle. And it’s important to remember that corporate responsibility also means not giving up profitability. It also means that choices need to be weighted. If the package you are selecting is not protecting your product properly, the cost (and carbon footprint) of reproducing that product comes at a much higher cost to both environment and bottom line than a slightly more expensive, “less-green” package.
Weighing the Total Cost of Delivery: A realistic sustainability program consists of a series of choices to get closer to that ideal level of perfection. An example of this kind of series of choices in the supply chain, and one brand doing it well according to Henneghan, is the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. When looking at their choices to help with sustainability, they selected a slightly more expensive (to produce and ship) bottle, but made selections that offset those choices, selecting a greener transportation option—investing in trucks using bio-diesel fuel to offset the impact of heavier bottle.
Recycled fiber isn’t a no-brainer: The materials one chooses for both product and packaging should be carefully evaluated as well through the lens of sustainability. And the choices can be more complicated than a simple “how recycled is it?” Often recycled fiber is in the public mind the most sustainable—but the reality, you can’t have a package that is 100% recycled fiber—as some part of it breaks down in the recycling process. It needs to be a combination of new/old–where some plastics can be more recyclable, almost to 100%, as they maintain their sturdiness.
Reducing packaging at the cost of product is worse: This is where it’s so important to look at total lifecycle costs—again with both price and environmental impact. One example given, which was surprising—but makes sense upon consideration—is yogurt. If the packaging to your yogurt product isn’t protected, or sturdy—and the container breaks—cows (and livestock in general) have a very big environmental impact—the cost of recreating that product and to redeliver it may have a much more negative impact than a few ounces more of packaging. That’s why it’s so important that supply chain and ideally a sustainability officer, are able to evaluate all aspects along the total cost of delivery to create the least cost and least environmentally impactful plan.
Partnerships in POP for sustainability: One area that needs significant improvement and consideration that retailers and vendors need to team up to create a plan for is Point of Purchase (POP) recycling and materials choices. If you are a POP supplier, and you set up at a retailer—how do you ensure that they are properly disposing of your materials at the end of the promotion?
As a brand design and packaging company with our own stringent sustainability program, The Marketing Store and Boxer makes corporate responsibility a priority–so to have a vibrant sustainability discussion around some of the tougher points at POPAI, was not only important, but hopefully impactful to our POP partners as well.
If you’d like to see some of our own work in action, here are a few of The Marketing Store and Boxer’s packaging and brand design greatest hits. We’re betting you’ve held at least a few of these in your hot little hands.