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  • Tea Party Accelerates Efficient Light Bulb Rollback

    So, the CSR skeptics in the US decry the private sector’s role in market failures arguing that only the government has the capacity and the purview to solve (or at least mitigate) externalities like poor energy efficiency. The recent chicanery surrounding energy/climate reform and now light bulbs are illuminating examples of why we cannot sit […] More

  • Business As Usual Will Not Feed Nine Billion People By 2050

    With the world’s population still forecast to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050 (all of a sudden 39 years doesn’t seem so far away) despite the 2008 global recession, The Economist has a special report on the state of the world’s food supply chain in its February 26 issue. As food commodity prices […] More

  • Social Business Good, Corporate Social Responsibility “Largely Nonsense”

    A New York Times business feature on PepsiCo’s support of Mexican corn farmers has thrust a glowing light on the firm’s business practices, while simultaneously beating the anachronistic drum against the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Reporter Stephanie Strom provides an interesting overview of how over 300 poor farmers in San Gabriel, Mexico have […] More

  • Whole Foods Announces Animal Welfare Rating System

    Today, Whole Foods has announced in a press release the adoption of a five-step animal welfare rating system in partnership with the NGO Global Animal Partnership. The system is designed to provide consumers with incentives to purchase animal proteins from sources that are constantly committed to improving the conditions of farmed and ranched animals. The […] More

  • The Failure of Google’s “Do No Evil” Approach to Social Innovation

    Yesterday’s extensive feature in The New York Times business section on’s failure to match its own lofty social innovation goals is a must read for anyone interested in the intersection of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and information technology. The piece chronicles Google’s philanthropic endeavors since the firm issued its inaugural IPO in 2004 when […] More

  • Obama Administration Tacking on Climate Change Strategy

    It’s been three days since the State of the Union, and while myriad pundits have already weighed in on the substance (the President averaged a C+) and style (B) of the address, a key issue that was once a campaign promise has evaporated into the cold Washington night: climate change policy. Mr. Obama did indeed […] More

  • Has Wal-Mart Become More Influential than the FDA?

    UPDATED — 10:59am CT… Michelle Obama has now officially endorsed Wal-Mart’s plan. Today, Wal-Mart has made yet another strident announcement, this time trumpeting a five-year strategy to increase the volume of healthy foods sold in its stores. The nation’s largest grocery retailer will aim to reduce the levels of sugar, salt and fats in thousands […] More

  • Where Carbon Footprint Reporting Meets Greenwashing

    As we forge deeper into 2011, the number of CSR reports from fiscal 2009 and 2010 that cross my desk with headlines boasting corporate enterprise carbon footprint reductions in the 5%-12% range is astounding. Here’s a quick sample: Reckitt Benckiser (RB) plc (2010): Reduction of 11% KPMG (2009) : Reduction of 7% While it’s certainly […] More

  • Are Corporate Social Responsibility Executives Becoming Mainstream Power Brokers?

    The week’s news has been dominated by the staff shuffling in the Obama White House. In today’s New York Times analysis, we learn that new Chief of Staff William M. Daley formerly oversaw global corporate social responsibility at JP Morgan Chase. The article implies that the former lawyer and investment banker’s rise to chief CSR […] More

  • End the Witch Hunt for Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Microfinance

    There’s no doubt that the news from Andhra Pradesh, India about indebtedness crippling microfinance clients is troubling. SKS, India’s largest microfinance bank, raised cash last year by selling shares at 95 times their initial value. And now comes an increased chorus from politicians in Andhra Pradesh about fraud, corruption and impoverishment linked to SKS — […] More

  • Will 2011 Bring the Great CFL Light Bulb Backlash?

    Happy 2011. While the slate is clear of a catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill and Fortune firms either have or are about to report sparkling sustainability performance spikes (mainly due to flat or diminished revenue growth), hope springs eternal for an interesting year of (hopefully) inspired economic activity. However, a less than promising trend […] More

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