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Blog Archives: March 2011

March 31, 2011

What Conflict Minerals Regulation Means on the Ground

Amaya Gorostiaga, Former Manager, Advisory Services

I recently returned from a trip to Kigali, Rwanda, where I attended a regional conference on mineral certification—an effort to create responsible supply chains for “conflict minerals” mined from the African Great Lakes Region. Through the discussions, I learned where the region stands on promoting transparency and good governance in the artisanal and small-scale mining sectors, and the implications that recent legislative efforts would have on companies operating in, or sourcing from, the region. Read more 

Topics: Conflict Minerals, Consumer Products, Human Rights, Information & Communications Technology, Extractives & Mining, Reporting & Communications, Supply Chain

March 31, 2011

The Consumer Behavior Gap: Lessons from 3CS Conference

Virginia Terry, Former Director, Advisory Services

According to the Corporate & College Collaborative for Sustainability (3CS), millennials—the demographic ranging from late teens to late twenties—will make up 50 percent of the workforce in just four years.  With a mission of leveraging the role of millennials as future leaders of more sustainable business, 3CS focuses on enhancing sustainability curriculum in undergraduate education. Read more 

Topics: Consumer Products, Sustainable Consumption

March 22, 2011

Addressing Food Waste: Low-Hanging Fruit?

Guy Morgan , Director, Advisory Services

There is enough food to feed the world. But 30 percent of all food grown worldwide (approximately US$48.3 billion) is either lost or wasted before it reaches the consumer. If you then factor in the amount of waste that occurs once the food gets to the consumer, then it’s clear we have  a global, "farm-to-fork" issue. In our new research brief on food waste—the first in a series exploring different elements of sustainable consumption—we look at how tackling this problem can help us begin to face up to current and emerging food security concerns. Read more 

Topics: Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Food Waste, Sustainable Consumption

March 18, 2011

Bringing Energy Efficiency to Inland China

Last week, I traveled to Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province for a two-day meeting on energy efficiency and carbon reduction with representatives from the Guangdong and Hubei provinces and the British Embassy. Wuhan has approximately 9 million people, three city centers, and is sprawled across several rivers and lakes—but more importantly, the city is currently in the middle of a major modernization effort. Read more 

Topics: Climate Change, Environment, Supply Chain

March 15, 2011

Human Tragedy in Japan, YouTube Moments, and Energy Policy

Aron Cramer , President and CEO

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have been a stunning disaster and a terrible human tragedy. We don’t yet know precisely how many lives will be lost or shattered, but the numbers will be immense. My thoughts, like those of people around the world, are with Japan and its people. Read more 

Topics: Climate Change, Energy

March 12, 2011

Experiencing the 8.9 Japan Quake—and the Power of Collective Action

Jesse Nishinaga , Manager, Advisory Services

A little more than 24 hours ago, an unimaginable 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan, unleashing a series of powerful tsunamis that have engulfed entire towns along the eastern coast of this island nation. By morning, early reports indicate that hundreds are dead, hundreds more are missing, tens of thousands are displaced, and millions are still without basic services. Read more 

Topics: Strategy & Integration

March 7, 2011

HERproject Takes to the Field in Kenya

Jennifer Schappert, Former Manager, Partnership Development and Research

During my most recent trip for HERproject with colleague Ryan Flaherty, the term "fieldwork" took on a whole new meaning—we found ourselves suiting up in boots and smelling roses. Ryan and I traveled to Naivasha (an hour northwest of Nairobi) to lay the groundwork for expanding HERproject into the cut-flower and food-processing industries in Kenya. Traditionally, BSR’s HERproject—a factory-based program that provides peer-to-peer health education to female workers—has operated in factories in the garment and information technology (IT) sectors. Read more 

Topics: Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Information & Communications Technology, Supply Chain, Women & Sustainability

March 3, 2011

Debating the Future of Sustainability at the IFC

Julia Nelson, Former Manager, Advisory Services

This week marks the close of the third and final public consultation period for the review of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Sustainability Framework. The policies, standards, and guidance notes in the Framework set expectations on social and environmental performance for the financial institutions and companies who receive funds from the IFC (the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group). Read more 

Topics: Local Sustainable Performance, Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, Human Rights, Investor Perspective, Water

March 2, 2011

Migration in the Middle East: The Case of Oman

Guy Morgan , Director, Advisory Services

Before leading a workshop on migrant worker issues for the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Muscat last weekend, I sat down with Beate Andrees from the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labor (which sponsored the event) to consider, “What would success look like?” In a country whose labor force is largely composed of semi- and unskilled expatriate workers (around 80 percent of whom hail from India), we concluded that just having a workshop that got business representatives in the sultanate to engage in a discussion—any discussion—about this topic would be a major achievement. Read more 

Topics: Human Rights, Labor Migration

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