By Sarah Coles
The collapse of the factory building in Bangladesh three weeks ago that killed more than 1,100 workers is a tragic reminder of what we in the Western world take for granted - access to fashionable and affordable clothes.
But while some might be quick to blame the garment industry, or government, or consumers themselves, it’s difficult to point fingers in such a complex situation. While the factory collapse in Bangladesh is considered to be the deadliest garment-factory ...
By Stefan Crets, Executive Director, CSR Europe
CSR Europe made strides to move from conversation and debate to collaborative action at the launch of our European Business Campaign ‘Skills for Jobs’ on April 18, 2013.
As Microsoft's Lori Harnick and Intel's Dr. Thomas Osburg explained in recent posts, we want to enhance corporate efforts on the skills and employment agenda in Europe through workplace innovation, entrepreneurship support, and boosting skills for employabil...
By Katie Kerr, BLab
What would our world be like without electricity? Most of us have experienced at least one power-cut and had a glimpse of living without light and power for a few hours or even days. But for 1.5 billion rural people in the developing world, this is their reality, day in, day out.
Affected communities are often extremely isolated, requiring hours of travel through difficult terrain on under-developed roads, meaning that utility companies are unwilling to make the large in...
By Joanne Bauer
Does human rights language matter? This question comes up with alarming regularity in discussions of business and human rights. Yes, we now have the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which set out standards for corporate conduct with respect to human rights and delineate government duties to ensure corporate accountability for violations.
But, the argument goes, in many situations human rights are considered sensitive, and invoking them can shut down ...
By Aman Singh
The finance sector continues to ride on the coattails of what started as a severe decline in trust, market performance and profits in 2008. And Royal Bank of Scotland [RBS] was no exception, facing its own share of customer distrust and instability as well as a government bailout.
However, in its most recent CSR Report, the bank – as compared to its contemporaries – makes a marked effort to address these concerns and makes a public promise to examine its "fin...
by Joe Sibilia
If human activities contribute to climate change, what can humans do to manage their impact on the environment?
That was the central question for Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set up by the United Nations and a vocal researcher and commentator on "Man Made Climate Change" as he led the inaugural symposium on REDD+ and global warming on Earth Day.
Sponsored by Wildlife Works and CSRwire, the event was held in Sausal...
By Les Leopold
Raj Rajaratnam sits slightly slumped and rumpled in his chair next to his tallish, white-haired, high-priced defense attorney. The man next to me in the overflowing courtroom gallery says, “It sure looks like he had a restless night.”
He will have many more.
The Raj, as he likes to be called, is a barrel-shaped 54-year-old man with a very round face and a dark complexion. He’s nearly six feet tall and well over 200 pounds. He also is, or at least was, a big...
By Marc Choyt
As outlined in my first post, the Kimberley Process Certification (KP) is failing to ensure the conflict-free status of the diamonds it certifies. I believe it was destined to fail because, in context to the blood diamond issue, there has not been, in the jewelry sector, significant or meaningful public accountability. The death of millions of Africans in the conflict diamond wars has become a marketing problem, or merely “a statistic.”
Instead, what we now see is ...
by Marc Choyt
The big family secret in the jewelry sector is that the Kimberley Process Certification (KP), which created a system to prevent blood diamonds from entering the supply chain, now certifies blood diamonds as “conflict free.”
Yet, jewelers continue to rely on this now discredited system as an assurance of ethical diamond sourcing. This is an unacceptable practice and its time for KP to be abandoned by jewelers and the public, now.
Just two years ago, no...
The world is getting a little smaller. And Efficiency Exchange [EEx] hopes that so can supply chains. Or at least simpler.
As CEO Taryn Sullivan explains, creating efficiency can often be inefficient. If workers have to fill out cumbersome surveys and complicated applications throughout the day, it can really drag production into the red. So instead EEx is building applications on site in China to help companies analyze and create better supply chains.
Rather than weigh them down with ob...
By Roshan Paul
When you ask the average person about higher education, the need for a new approach resonates with their intuition and personal experiences. Why? Several influential institutions have tried to analyze our collective intuition.
A Market Failure
An Economist Special Report in September 2011 titled The Great Mismatch explains how “globalization and technological innovation are bringing about long-term changes in the world economy that are altering the structure of the lab...
by Danielle Lanyard
Yes, you read that right. I’m the most positive person I know, and yet, I have to say it because I have realized after working in the social enterprise sector for over a decade that none of the current social enterprises alone, mine included, will save us from our current growth model and reliance on fossil fuels.
It’s a sobering thought, but one that I’ve come to time and again as I work on taking my startup to financial and societal impact ‘succ...
By Katie Schmitz Eulitt and Marisa Mackey, SASB
Is the info in CSR reports truly not useful to investors or does it need to be put into a different language or source document?
This was one of the many questions that came up repeatedly during a recent webinar/tweetchat, titled Materiality Matters, co-hosted by CSRwire and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board [SASB]. The session discussed how sustainability fits into the legal definition of materiality (under U.S. securities law) an...
By Francesca Rheannon
Blessed with a flat roof with a broad southerly orientation, my late mother’s house on Long Island, where I (mostly) live, is a prime candidate for solar energy. But three years ago, when she was still alive, we concluded that it was still too pricey – about $30,000 for a modest system.
Renewable Costs Plummeting As Technology Advances
A lot has changed since then.
If a homeowner wants to own a solar system outright, it’s never been cheaper –...
By Joe Sibilia
The Social Venture Network [SVN] is one of the most underrated value propositions operating in the new economy. SVN has spawned so many organizations that trying to identify and qualify all the Network's contributions to the movement toward a more economically just and environmentally sustainable society almost always leads to immense debate.
The number of enterprises that have germinated at SVN – and scaled their missions successfully since – would certainly qual...