corporate social responsibility

Someone told me once that every penny we spend as consumers is a vote. The comodities we are buying is like casting a ballot. You give your money to companies because you stand behind their product, their vision and ethical reasoning. I know it’s not a viable option for some, and I understand that. But why the outrage when I say that once we’ve established the reasoning above, we should stop buying clothes at fast-fashion mega corporations that refuse to have an ounce of corporate social responsiblity? These billion dollar industries refuse their workers decent wages and the right to organize themselves, why is there such a disconnect? It’s like we’re not even aware of the power behind our money. We can make drastic change if we started investing in companies that aren’t just doing lip service and actually have solid sustainable visions and good corporate social responsibilty. Also companies hate being defaced…they’ll do anything to sell themselves as better than they are, because losing consumers is suicide. We should publically shame companies with bad work and sustainability ethics.

I’ll go first: What’s good, H&M?

Good Tea: Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility for Tea Lovers

Otherwise know as because one doesn’t exist yet and so I can brain something that can help change the world

Back of Booklet Blurb

So you want to drink a cuppa that doesn’t involve child labor or paying people too little for their work and you want it to be good for the environment. You check the box of tea and see a variety of stamps of corporate social responsibility initiatives. You check another and it has another variety of stamps. Where do you begin? What do all these stamps and symbols mean?

This booklet will introduce you to major types of voluntary sustainability standard, what they all mean, and which teas companies are subscribed to which initiatives to allow you to get your cuppa while being both good to the people who produce your tea and the environment.

Outline:

1. Introduction to Voluntary Sustainability Standards - what are they? What does this term even mean?

2. Types of Voluntary Sustainability Standards: Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership, and others - including what is an is not covered by each initiative

3. Introduction to issues with getting information for voluntary sustainability standards - tea plantations, sourcing and getting it to your cup

4. Introduction to major tea companies

5. Which tea companies are subscribed to which vss

6. Which major tea companies have their own plantations versus which use single source and which use a variety of sources

7. How good are the vss at being able to deliver ethically sourced, sustainable tea?

8. What are the next steps towards ethical sourcing tea and getting a better cuppa

Preliminary works cited:

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

Ethical Tea Partnership

Rainforest Alliance 

Global Reporting Initiative and other similar reporting initiative website

UN Global Compact 

Tea websites

Tea Plantation websites

Human Rights websites, possible trip to view tea plantations with local human rights groups

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Who Is More Corrupt: Trump, Clinton or Obama? Surprising Answer!

How the Peoples Party Prevailed in 2020

Third parties have rarely posed much of a threat to the dominant two parties in America. So how did the People’s Party win the U.S. presidency and a majority of both houses of Congress in 2020?

It started four years before, with the election of 2016.

As you remember, Donald Trump didn’t have enough delegates to become the Republican candidate, so the GOP convention that summer was “brokered” – which meant the Party establishment took control, and nominated the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

Trump tried to incite riots but his “I deserve to be president because I’m the best person in the world!” speech incited universal scorn instead, and he slunk off the national stage (his last words, shouted as he got into his stretch limousine, were “Fu*ck you, America!”)

On the Democratic side, despite a large surge of votes for Bernie Sanders in the final months of the primaries, Hillary Clinton’s stable of wealthy donors and superdelegates put her over the top.

Both Republican and Democratic political establishments breathed palpable sighs of relief, and congratulated themselves on remaining in control of the nation’s politics.

They attributed Trump’s rise to his fanning of bigotry and xenophobia, and Sanders’s popularity to his fueling of left-wing extremism. 

They conveniently ignored the deeper anger in both camps about the arbitrariness and unfairness of the economy, and about a political system rigged in favor of the rich and privileged.

And they shut their eyes to the anti-establishment fury that had welled up among independents, young people, poor and middle-class Democrats, and white working-class Republicans.

So they went back to doing what they had been doing before. Establishment Republicans reverted to their old blather about the virtues of the “free market,” and establishment Democrats returned to their perennial call for “incremental reform.”

And Wall Street, big corporations, and a handful of billionaires resumed pulling the strings of both parties to make sure regulatory agencies didn’t have enough staff to enforce rules, and to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Establishment politicians also arranged to reduce taxes on big corporations and simultaneously increase federal subsidies to them, expand tax loopholes for the wealthy, and cut Social Security and Medicare to pay for it all. (“Sadly, we have no choice,” said the new President, who had staffed the White House and Treasury with Wall Streeters and corporate lobbyists, and filled boards and commissions with corporate executives).

Meanwhile, most Americans continued to lose ground. 

Even before the recession of 2018, most families were earning less than they’d earned in 2000, adjusted for inflation. Businesses continued to shift most employees off their payrolls and into “on demand” contracts so workers had no idea what they’d be earning from week to week. And the ranks of the working poor continued to swell.

At the same time, CEO pay packages grew even larger, Wall Street bonus pools got fatter, and a record number of billionaires were becoming multi-billionaires.

Then, of course, came the recession, along with bank losses requiring another round of bailouts. The Treasury Secretary, a former managing director of Morgan Stanley, expressed shock and outrage, explaining the nation had no choice and vowing to “get tough” on the banks once the crisis was over.

Politics abhors a vacuum. In 2019, the People’s Party filled it.

Its platform called for getting big money out of politics, ending “crony capitalism,” abolishing corporate welfare, stopping the revolving door between government and the private sector, and busting up the big Wall Street banks and corporate monopolies.

The People’s Party also pledged to revoke the Trans Pacific Partnership, hike taxes on the rich to pay for a wage subsidy (a vastly expanded Earned Income Tax Credit) for everyone earning below the median, and raise taxes on corporations that outsource jobs abroad or pay their executives more than 100 times the pay of typical Americans.

Americans rallied to the cause. Millions who called themselves conservatives and Tea Partiers joined with millions who called themselves liberals and progressives against a political establishment that had shown itself incapable of hearing what they had been demanding for years.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fact: More and more consumers are demanding socially responsible products.

Since 1993, Americans’ enthusiasm to shop with a conscience has sky-rocketed. Increasing more than 20 percentage points during the last 20 years, U.S. consumer likelihood to opt for brands associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality, has jumped from two-thirds of the population in 1993 to nearly the entire population in 2013.

This trend will undoubtedly continue with the coming of age of Millenials, the first generation of Americans who have grown up alongside cause marketing. Numbering more than 80 million Americans, they are the largest cohort the U.S. has ever seen – and an undeniable force. Millennials are hyperaware of, and have high expectations for, corporate social responsibility efforts to make the world a better place – for themselves and broader society.

Source: Cone Communications, 2013 Social Impact Report

KILLING BABIES

A consumer boycott of the Swiss-based Nestle Corporation began in the 1970s because Nestle aggressively marketed its infant formula product in the Third World. They told poor mothers that modern, Western women use Nestle’s formula rather than nursing and then gave them enough formula samples to make them stop lactating. Though their traditional breast feeding was far healthier for their babies, now they were dependent on infant formula. Without access to clean water, mothers were forced to mix their Nestle’s formula in water which made their babies sick and die. Die by the MILLIONS. This boycott continues.

More recently, Nestle has become a global leader in the privatized water market. Whether through Third World government compliance or World Bank and IMF compulsion, Third World communities are forced to see their local water supply privatized, resulting in higher prices and people now being unable to afford the water which is essential to health and life.

You want to put a face on corporate evil? Try Nestle, and count the MILLIONS of babies they have directly and directly killed over the last 50 years.

Have you seen a film called Jesus Camp? It’s about the nationwide, fundamentalist Christian subculture in America which truly hates our society (and liberals) in large part because of babies killed by abortion. In one scene, eager children have their hands “washed clean” of the American sin of abortion – and the adult leader pouring this cleansing water over these little hands is using a bottle of Nestle’s water.

No doubt this “pro life” Christian camp leader had no clue how the company whose product she purchased has killed MILLIONS of babies in the Third World.

So how “pro life” and “pro baby” are these militant culture warriors, anyway? As for all of you godless liberals, find out the numerous brand names under which Nestle sells chocolate, water and everything else – and stop buying them.

5

Crown Princess Victoria on her third day in Japan started her morning visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, which is the biggest wholesale market for seafood in the world. 

Afterwards she went to the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo. She met with the winners of a video contest that the Embassy organized. The contest was aimed at young people and teachers with the focus on the UN’s global sustainability. The humanoid robot Pepper was also there. Pepper is designed to mimic the human body through a computer system the artificial intelligence and can think, reason, and understand information.

Following the embassy she made a stop at the Hama Rikyu Gardens, a traditional Japanese garden and public park.

In the afternoon the Crown Princess attended a seminar about Doing Sustainable Business the Swedish Way. Swedish companies talked about how they work with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), followed by a panel discussion between Swedish and Japanese companies. Her day ended with a reception at the Swedish Residence for the seminar participants and representatives of the Swedish business community in Japan.

Where Each MBTI Type Best Fits in a Corporation

ENTJ – CEO/Executive Suite

ENTJs are natural workhorses that are able to look at the big picture when it is time to make difficult decisions. They complete tasks efficiently and quickly, making them naturally apt to take over a corporation and lead the charge for their teams.

INTJ – Board of Directors/Risk Analysts

INTJs have a natural affinity for the long-term vision. They can see where the future opportunities are for the most profit, making them excellent for being in the board of directors seat. They can also see where the future risks are, making them apt to assess the risks for a corporation.

ENTP – Creative Projects/ Independent Contractor/ Lawyer

If it’s a creative project, the ENTP will love it because it gives them so much autonomy to choose how they will get it done (similar to ENFP). It’s hard to pinpoint a single job that an ENTP would like though, because they really would like to do alot of different things (ENFP as well).

ENTPs are one of the types to start their own company, so it would not be uncommon for them to be performing a service through their own firm as an independent contractor. Finally, they would be great lawyers, as most personality websites would tell you.


INTP – R&D (Research and Development)

INTPs are the type to tinker on their own in labs with a set goal in mind till they invent some totally amazing and simple product. When it comes to their work, they prefer to be left alone, and once they are away from the politics and bureaucracy of the corporation, that’s when they can really shine.

ISTJ – Analysts/Accountants

ISTJs are dependable people who can be counted on to masterfully execute the project with their subject expertise. They can be counted on to provide the product/service when it’s assigned and you won’t have to second-guess whether it will be done. They are loyal, hardworking and you can expect that they won’t be making anyone elses lives more difficult, unlike some of the other types.

ESTJ – Middle Managers

ESTJs are reliable people that will always do their best to make sure that the products are being created with the expected standards. They can be totally dedicated workaholics, and will often go the extra mile to be one of the best workers, which often allows them to rise very high within a corporation.

ESTP – Sales

ESTPs are natural salespeople that know the product and they know how to influence people with their easy-going nature, knowledgeability and charisma. If you averaged out the amount of enjoyment and money being made by each type, this type would probably be very high up there on that calculation.

ENFP – Marketing

ENFPs have an amazing capacity to generate enthusiasm with the flair they can feel from inside their own hearts. They would enjoy producing content such as articles and Q&A Forum discussions to build the corporation’s brand value, while also coming up with their own innovative ways to “get the word out”.

INFP – Mediators/Corporate Social Responsibility

INFPs have a natural ability to consider other people’s feelings because of their deep connection to their own feelings. As a result, when they are in leadership positions that they naturally aspire for, they tend to have very democratic teams where they try to make sure that everyone is happy, almost to a fault.

INFPs would be most happy in places where they feel they are adding a valuable contribution, such as corporate social responsibility, promoting social benefits using the company’s profits and boosting its reputation at the same time.

ESFJ – Human Resources Recruiting/Sales

ESFJs have arguably the best pragmatic people skills out of all the types, which would make them extremely able to make the recruiting process very comfortable for the candidates being considered. Their ability to get along with most personality types, makes them extremely apt to rising the corporate ranks, and having loads of satisfaction while they’re at it.

ENFJ – Human Resources Development/Coaching

ENFJs are natural trainers. They love the feeling of knowing they have helped people become better than they were before. This interest and talent would extend naturally to Human Resources Development, where they would help co-workers develop new skills and insights to become even better.

ISFP – Interior Designers/Photographers

ISFPs are essentially free spirits with a taste for the aesthetic aspects of life. They would be perfect for designing the office spaces inside and taking pictures while they are at it.

ISFJ – Secretary/Analysts/Accountants

ISFJs are faithful assistants who can always be depended on to get the job done. Their natural understanding of how others are feeling, and their ability to support others in a human way, are the life and blood on which most large organizations run.

INFJ – Counselor

INFJs have so many demons inside of them that when they deal with the internal issues that other people have, it is a breeze. They have a natural inclination to listen first and will use their powerful intuition to help people deal with their personal issues.

ESFP – Sales/Customer Service Representatives

ESFPs are like ESTPs but they have a more human touch. This makes them potentially more likely to be killer at sales, where having marginally better people skills can be a huge difference maker in clinching the sale. Because of their people focus, they are able to create a science out of customer service as well.

ISTP – Consultants

ISTPs are the type to build very specialized knowledge, using what they know to create extremely pragmatic solutions. They like independence quite a bit as well as variety within their workplaces, which makes them very inclined to enjoy jobs like consulting, where they will be able to use their specialized knowledge in many different settings.

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westbrookwestbooks  asked:

Hi Sam! Hope you're keeping warm in Chicago! I don't k ow of you'd be able to answer this, but I got curious when you mentioned the Avengers asking for donations: would Tony/SI be able to write off the Avengers as a tax exemption? I don't think that they qualify as a charitable organization, though they do save the world, and I don't really think that Tony/SI would have equipped/outfitted the team, Tower and Compound at cost. But I'm unsure of that. Have a good day!

I think it depends on how the Avengers are structured. If they incorporated as a tax-exempt organization, sure, SI could write off all money that goes to them as a charitable donation. In theory there’s no reason that the Avengers wouldn’t qualify as a non-profit; they provide a public service and there’s no point to structuring them as a business since they don’t charge for their services. And several of them, at least during CACW, visibly have day jobs (Steve and Natasha work for SHIELD, presumably Clint does also, Sam works at the VA, Tony is…Tony), so they would be either part-time compensated, paid a stipend, or considered volunteers as Avengers. And as a non-profit, they would have certain legitimacy in doing work overseas, as well as providing shelter, training, and support to Wanda, who is essentially a foreign refugee.  

And in fact, since the Maria Stark Foundation is already in place, the Avengers could be rolled into a Stark Foundation initiative – they could simply be absorbed by Tony’s pre-existing charitable foundation. Or they could be part of the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Stark Industries – most big businesses have a CSR office, usually a separate but funded-by-the-company nonprofit entity, which does Good Works to make the company look good.

Where it gets a little dicey is that the Avengers are actually kind of a Stark Industries PR nightmare, because they are, essentially, a militia. They’re a group of private citizens who engage in violent armed conflict on American soil, which means that legally they occupy a space that’s actually a couple of steps to the right of, say, the guys who dress up in camo and patrol the Mexican border in their spare time (because those guys aren’t allowed to engage directly except in self-defense). And what that translates to in the media is “Tony Stark has his own private army, funded and supplied solely by his company” which is some Blackwater-level shit. Americans don’t usually take kindly to companies having their own army, but they really don’t like it when that army is resident on American soil. Which would actually have made more sense than what happened in the MCU, in terms of why Tony might want the Avengers to fall under UN command instead of his, since that would legitimize both his funding of them and his membership on the team while alleviating the issue of him basically building himself a standing army. 

But yeah, I mean, when you get down to it, the Avengers as a non-profit organization is the most sensible way to go, at least in the MCU. (In the comics they were actually their own sovereign nation for a while, but that caused its own issues.) The only other option I can think of would be if the Avengers were defense contractors, which is REALLY some Blackwater-level shit, and I don’t think Steve or Sam would stand for that, and Tony doesn’t have the kind of social capital with the Defense community anymore to make it happen. 

Why the new Snickers ad is the very opposite of feminist

By now you’ve probably seen (or at least heard about) the new Snickers ad which depicts builders shouting “loud empowering statements” at passing women. It’s been praised in a number of places on the web as being demonstrative of a positive move towards better acceptance of feminism within public consciousness (amongst other things).

Three comments on this ad and the reaction to it:

1) The ad states - very clearly - that this is “what happens when builders aren’t themselves” and that “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” If you think this ad does anything other than reenforcing very well-worn stereotypes about men engaging in street harassment, you’re deluding yourself. The take-home message is that you should buy Snickers so you can achieve some desired outcome: in this case, returning to your cat-calling self. Showing something progressive in a negative light is almost as bad as showing something which supports the status quo in a positive light, and this ad manages to throw in a good dose of mocking feminism just for good measure. The fact that they’ve managed to satirise pro-woman sentiments and STILL get praised by feminists is a massive coup d'état by the Mars PR team.

2) This ad still depicts women being harassed. Even if you're accosting women on the street with ‘empowering’ messages, you’re still accosting women. There’s a very strong emphasis here on the 'right’ that the patriarchy affords men to aggressively impose themselves on women in public spaces.

3) This is an advertisement. Advertising is there to sell you things you don’t need. Snickers bars are not good for you, they’re not good for workers, they’re not good for people who pick cocoa pods, they’re not good for dairy cows, they’re not good for the orang-utans whose natural habitat is being cleared to make way for plantations which grow the palm oil Mars uses in their products. Advertising a friend to women and feminism. No matter how many (sometimes even genuine!) progressive messages an advertising campaign may contain, corporate advertising still exists solely to support the patriarchal social structure of capitalism. Capitalism, like the patriarchy, is premised on exploitation, social domination, and privileging and rewarding 'male’ qualities such as power, strength, ruthlessness, detached rationality and destruction. Male control of economic capital is often even greater than male control of social capital. Capitalism thrives on social inequality. No great leaps towards the liberation of women (or any other unprivileged social group) will come from capitalism.

Mars is one of the largest and least socially responsible corporations in the world. You shouldn’t for a second believe that they care even the slightest about empowering women. This ad is nothing more than the leveraging of the new 'trend’ for superficial expressions of feminism in order to sell chocolate bars.

The Girl Effect was born amid an urgent PR crisis two decades ago, when Vietnamese Nike workers spoke to labor advocates and journalists about being routinely beaten by their managers; dozens of other news stories exposed negative working conditions in overseas factories making products for Nike. Under public pressure to take responsibility for its supply chain, then-CEO Phil Knight admitted that the company had become “synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime, and arbitrary abuse.” He promised to not only transform Nike’s supply chain but to lead the entire apparel industry into a new era of corporate social responsibility. Soon after, Nike employed two women, Maria Eitel and Hannah Jones, to overhaul the company’s image. Both had extensive media experience; Eitel had served as a media adviser to President George H.W. Bush.

The for-profit company has invested millions in the Nike Foundation and its Girl Effect campaign, led by Eitel, who is president and CEO of the Nike Foundation. The campaign had early seed funding from the NoVo Foundation as well as support from the United Nations Foundation and the United Kingdom. (The Girl Effect was spun off into its own organization in 2015, with Eitel as its chairwoman.) Today Nike’s profits, brand value, and corporate responsibility image are all in top-form.

But what effect has the Girl Effect had on Nike’s own supply chain? Of the estimated million-plus workers who cut, stitch, sew, glue, label, and package shoes, sports fashion, and collegiate apparel for Nike contractors (including for Nike brands Converse and Hurley), almost a third work in Vietnam, the single largest host to Nike manufacturing in the world. With at least 75 contracted factories there, Nike is a major driver of employment in the country. About 80 percent of workers in Nike’s Vietnam factories are women and girls; some may be as young as 16, the minimum age for certain factory work in Nike’s Code of Conduct. Many migrate from poor rural areas in the central and northern provinces of the country to industrial parks in the south. According to Nike, they are often “the first women in their family to work in the formal economy.”

Over four weeks in January, I interviewed 18 women, 23 to 55 years old, who currently or recently produced, labeled, and packaged Nike shoes and apparel at five different factories within 30 miles of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. These plants are listed on Nike’s site as employing more than 61,000 female line workers, and Nike sends inspectors to the sites to monitor working conditions and compliance with the company’s Code of Conduct. Nike wouldn’t put me in touch with employees of its contract factories, so I contacted an underground workers’ rights organization and an independent researcher who specializes in women’s issues. The women they introduced me to live in squalid conditions near the factories, where they mostly share single rooms with two to five family members. Joined by translators, I visited their homes, met some of their daughters and families, listened to their stories, and collected documents including company policies and pay slips.

Although they may be unfamiliar with Nike’s global campaign, the goal of the women I spoke with sounds a lot like the Girl Effect—to raise themselves and their families out of poverty. Each of the 18 women, however, reported pay so low they could not even meet the basic needs of their families, let alone save money or contribute to their communities. (Four had been laid off less than three months before we met, after their factory building burnt down; they spoke only about their wages and child care, cautious of giving critiques that might jeopardize their chances of getting hired back.) They told me that they would need to earn between three to four times their current salaries to offer their families a basic level of economic security. The average monthly wage for manufacturing in Vietnam was $200 in 2015. Their stories highlighted something the Girl Effect campaign is silent about: the importance of a living wage.

I also found evidence that Nike’s contract factories breach basic Girl Effect tenets of freedom from exploitation and harassment, security, safety, and Nike’s own Code of Conduct, put in place to prohibit, among other things, harassment, abuse, and nonconsensual overtime. Women who worked in different factories told remarkably similar stories of being subjected to arbitrary punishments—such as financial penalties and threats of dismissal for making manufacturing mistakes, not working quickly enough, or coming in late, along with intimidation and ongoing humiliation by managers.

Finally, although the Girl Effect champions the importance of women protecting and empowering their own children, the women in Vietnam explained to me why their low wages make it impossible for them to ensure their children’s safety. The 10 mothers with young children whom I spoke with either send their children to unlicensed child care services they consider underqualified or dangerous or they leave them with family in home villages they are able to visit only once or twice a year.

Nike’s talk of empowerment notwithstanding, these women feel helpless in the face of these conditions. “We have voices,” a 32-year-old pregnant worker, who receives a small hazardous work bonus for her work in the gluing section and fears the effects of chemicals on her unborn baby, told me. “But we can’t really speak.”

cont’d at http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_grind/2016/08/nike_s_supply_chain_doesn_t_live_up_to_the_ideals_of_its_girl_effect_campaign.html

vimeo

Did you know “.green” is coming online soon? And it’s more than a domain, it’s a community of like-minded people.

CSR: genuine, or a PR tool?

Ah, corporate social responsibility.

This buzzword, which used to be referred to as “corporate philanthropy”, is important in today’s business world, because businesses and big corporations are now under scrutiny like never before.

We had a lecture last week in our public relations seminar class where the professor made us think “Is CSR a PR stunt, or is the company genuine?”

Well, can’t it be both?

Take Starbucks, for example. I’m using Starbucks because I just finished writing a 6 (now 8, oops) page essay on their branding, CSR, customer loyalty, etc. and I loved writing the paper – I got down and dirty, felt proud when I found six – six!!! – academic articles in journals about the oh-so-famous, white girl loving company.

(Yes, I went there. Starbucks is a white girl company. I am a white girl. I admit to this.)

So this company – Starbucks – is massive, you can’t deny. It has thousands of locations and what seems like one on every second block – that’s not an exaggeration – in the city where I am going to school. I’m not going to say which city, because I’d like to remain anonymous.

When I was in high school, I worked in an airport, as the international airport in the province that I grew up in was less than 15 minutes away from my house. I started off working at a fast food joint in the airport and when a Starbucks opened up in the airport, I begged my management to transfer, as the company owned it.

The store I worked for was Starbucks but at the same time it wasn’t Starbucks. It was a licensed store, meaning it wasn’t owned by Starbucks itself. The rules were a bit different: we didn’t get the same rigorous training that corporate stores did, nor did we get the free coffee every week and various discounts.

When I started second year of university, I landed a job at a corporate Starbucks – finally! – and it was eye opening at how much the company cares.

From a first person perspective, I can say that Starbucks cares. It really, really does. The pay rate starts at above minimum wage, which is unusual for huge companies. Employees get a global 30% discount at all Starbucks stores (corporate, that is). A free “markout” a week – either a box of tea, bag of coffee, or 12 pack of K-cups. That’s some serious revenue the company is losing out on.

The company has a brilliant CSR plan. We’re planning to be completely fair-trade by 2020. No, Starbucks is not fair trade now. Smart marketing, isn’t it? We only have one fair trade coffee, and that’s our Italian roast, which we only brewed once that I could remember in the two plus years I’ve worked at a Starbucks.

Basically, that’s the downside of CSR. I include Starbucks in this. The company is smart. It has good public relations. How many people knew that Starbucks isn’t all fair trade?

I thought it was until I started working for the company.

How much does it plaster over the stores – “environmental stewardship, ethically sourcing” – sounds like words that don’t mean anything. I don’t even know what they mean and I work for the company.

So yes, I think that public relations is a public relations stunt. Sure, a company will have good intentions, but there’s always that background motive to let everyone – absolutely everyone – know about the good deeds that the company is doing.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, does it make a sound?

If a company has a wonderful CSR program and doesn’t market it, does it even exist?

Alas, it’s a pr stunt.