Author name: Lane Jost

A lifelong conservationist, angler, gardener and writer, Lane is a Corporate Responsibility strategy consultant based in Chicago, where he currently works a CR consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Prior to joining PwC, Lane was a global sustainability performance and stakeholder engagement specialist for Sodexo North America. He has experience in microfinance program evaluation at Grameen Foundation. A former President of the Net Impact Chapter at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Lane has a master's in International Development Economics from the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UCSD (IR/PS) and a bachelor's in history and international studies from Kenyon College. Prior to working in the sustainable business sphere, Lane spent six years as a communications and marketing professional focusing on arts and culture in New York City, where his work included the creation of the jazz website gothamjazz.com and serving as the publicist for the New York Philharmonic.

Net Impact 2011: Keen Healthcare CEO Vail Horton Inspires the Inspired

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uigpyiEhWxY&w=560&h=315] In one of the most stunning keynote sessions I have attended over the past five Net Impact Conferences, Keen Healthcare CEO Vail Horton, who was born without legs or proper bone growth in his arms, closed yesterday morning’s “speed keynote” session to a thunderous standing ovation at the Portland Convention Center. Horton told […]

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US Takes a Step to Expand Fish Farming in Federal Waters

On Friday, the Obama administration took a major step in the long anticipated process of making it easier forΒ  commercial aquaculture firms to operate in federal waters. Currently there isn’t any fish farming — the cultivation of everything from bivalves like oysters and mussels to predators like salmon — in federal waters. Only states allow

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Is the Decline of US Wild Fish Becoming Like Peak Oil — Exaggerated?

The tumult that still trails BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, now over a year old, has fueled global concerns over wild fish stocks and the overall sustainability of world fisheries. The bluefin tuna, one the most prized (and absolutely delicious) commodities of the sea, has become a symbol of weak global fishing regulation and there’s

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M & A Spike Continues with U.S. Foodservice Buying a Waste to Energy Firm

Corporate deal-making has exploded in the past few weeks sustaining modest stock market gains despite volatile price trends in commodities like oil and food (not to mention billion-dollar war games in Libya). We’ve seen AT&T attempt to gobble up T Mobile, Proctor and Gamble dispense with Pringles for $2.35 billion, and now U.S. Foodservice has

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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

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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

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The Meat on the Bone: More Details on Whole Foods’ New Animal Welfare Label

Now that the news of Whole Foods’ adoption of the Global Animal Partnership’s animal welfare certification is a week old, it’s time to look a bit deeper at both the market demand for this new information, and what costs suppliers must pay to become certified. A few readers expressed their concerns about the economic cost

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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

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

Yesterday’s extensive feature in The New York Times business section on Google.org’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

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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

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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

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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

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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 —

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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

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Great Environmental News of 2010: Chesapeake Bay Recovering?

In a year where most mainstream media outlets have proclaimed the BP oil spill to be the country’s largest story, it was a relief to receive yesterday’s news from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that the Bay’s Blue Crab population is up modestly. The 2010 State of the Bay Report tracks environmental quality in America’s largest

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Republicans Ridicule Capitol Greening Plan — But Keep It Anyway

Our GOP fiscal deficit saviors have decided that a Democratic effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the US Capitol (and save money on utilities) will be on the chopping block come January. The Washington Post is reporting that a facilities greening led by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is unlikely to receive the public

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Deloitte Strikes Green and Hopes for Gold

Yet another blue chip US management services firm has decided to acquire its way into the sustainability services marketplace. Deloitte announced today in a press release that it had obtained the rights and services of two boutique, yet respected sustainability consulting firms, DOMANI Sustainability Consulting, LLC and ClearCarbon Consulting, Inc. Some interesting highlights from the

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Thinking Smaller in CancΓΊn — It’s Not Only About CO2 Reduction

When President Obama gave his now famous midterm election concession speech (yup, the “shellacking” address), he conceded that cap and trade was just “one way to skin the cat” with respect to failedΒ  US climate change policy. As world leaders begin the two-week UN COP16 climate change conference today in CancΓΊn, the media is awash

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Certified Organic Turkey Market Up 4,000% Since 2000

While agricultural experts and other environmental policymakers still debate the overall merits of organic produce and livestock versus their conventional counterparts, Americans are eating more organic turkeys. According to a USDA data set, certified organic acreage for turkey production was up over 4,000% between 2000-2008. Although this accounts for only 0.15% of overall turkey acreage

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Wind Power’s Greatest Enemy — The Changing Winds of Political Economy

Following the Democrats’ “shellacking” in the November midterm elections, the American conversation has now accelerated in its derision of government. After the Republicans used a belligerent cry of consumer cost escalation to defeat cap and trade — a market concept the GOP initially embraced over a carbon tax model —Β  US energy policy remains antiquated,

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Can $15 Trillion in Assets Galvanize UN Climate Talks in Cancun?

Bloomberg News is reporting that a coalition of international investors led by Deutsche Banke AG and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) are calling for global policy action at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, November 29-December 10. The statement, which is being curated by Ceres, warns that continued weak US

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