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  • What is Sustainability?

    Any business, any person, can understand sustainability.  It’s not difficult, in fact it’s remarkably easy.  It’s all about give and take, and making sure you give more than you take. Is that such a terrible thing to say, to say that a business ought to create more than it absorbs?  Not just in terms of […] More

  • The Greatest Invention: Planned Obsolescence – Part 1

    His thinking, while simple in concept, was absolutely radical, especially during the hard times of the Great Depression. If at the beginning of a factory year, General Motors were to introduce new products that might be perceived as upgrades for car-driving consumers, and if these upgrades represented something consumers might feel were essential as they climbed the economic ladder – something they needed to buy – then Sloan and his design engineers would have bet on the winning racehorse. More

  • RISI Seminar Tackles Tough Paper Industry Questions

    Earlier this month in my post “A Cynical Eye on Sprint’s ECO-mittment,” I got razzed a bit by a commenter about my ties to the printing and publishing industry. Do I have a bias towards paper and away from e-media? (I do, but not because I’m involved in the industry. It’s because I think e-media […] More

  • Motorola Getting Proactive in the Conflict Mineral Debate

    I’ve written a number of articles regarding the complexities of “conflict minerals” and the trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (you can find a few here and here). And campaigns undertaken by a number of advocacy groups have really put the issue on the map. So much so that a controversial rider was […] More

  • Worker Treatment at Nike Twenty Years Later

    In the early 1990’s Nike was unwittingly responsible for bringing factory worker treatment and supply chain issues to the forefront. This was of course many years before the “CSR movement” gained a foothold within corporate operations. And while I would not go as far as to say that it gave birth to the modern CSR […] More

  • Zimbabwe Diamonds and the Kimberley Process: Round Something

    For many years now, developing countries bestowed great amounts of natural resources were thought to be on a path to development based on the wealth of these resources, which are prized throughout the West.  Such resources have included oil, minerals, metals and of course diamonds.  However, almost exclusively, this potentially game-changing situation has lead to […] More

  • Wal-Mart Enters Africa

    Although Wal-Mart has had a checkered past when it comes to entering foreign markets, a deal was announced at the end of May that the company has purchased a majority stake in the South African company, Massmart. While the $2.4 billion investment doesn’t raise too many eyebrows considering the company has a market cap north […] More

  • Responsibilities of the Alcohol Industry

    There has been increasing discussion recently as to the role of corporate social responsibility throughout the alcohol industry. Of course CSR policies can and should be applied to companies throughout the private sector although my guess is that most people’s first thoughts don’t shoot to the beer, wine and spirits industry. Whether policies in that […] More

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