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Blog Archives: June 2011

June 28, 2011

Redefining Sustainability in a Time of Austerity

Aron Cramer , President and CEO

A generation ago, the modern corporate responsibility movement emerged just as globalization took hold of the world’s economy and captured our imagination. With the significant exception of the 2008-09 recession, we’ve since experienced a period of relative prosperity in the Western economies and fast-growing economies in much of the rest of the world. During that time, CSR often focused on ways Western companies could improve environmental and labor practices in emerging economies. Read more 

Topics: Strategy & Integration, Sustainable Consumption

June 24, 2011

Staff Spotlight: Celine Suarez

Celine Suarez, Former Manager, Advisory Services

Our staff spotlight on Celine Suarez. Read more 

Topics: Financial Services, Human Rights, Travel & Tourism

June 24, 2011

How to Create Financial Inclusion for Workers in the Supply Chain

Chhavi Ghuliani , Manager, Partnership Development and Research

We recently hosted a virtual roundtable on the topic of financial inclusion in the supply chain. Funded by Citi Foundation and co-hosted by Microfinance Opportunities, a non-profit that focuses on financial education, the two-hour event provided participants with an opportunity to share case studies, ask questions, and discuss challenges on bringing formal savings and remittances, among other vital financial services, to low-income workers in the supply chain. Read more 

Topics: Financial Services, Supply Chain

June 22, 2011

Five Powerful Ways Your Company Can Lead the Sustainability Revolution

Melanie Janin , Managing Director, Communications

Earlier today, I was invigorated and inspired by the words of Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A at Marks and Spencer. Speaking at our webinar with BSR’s Aron Cramer and the Guardian’s Jo Confino on redefining leadership in 2011 and beyond, Gillies referred to the “Sustainability Revolution” that will transform our global society in the decades to come. Like the Industrial Revolution and the Computer Revolution that followed, Gillies noted the Sustainability Revolution will be observed and experienced by many but led by few. Read more 

Topics: Strategy & Integration

June 20, 2011

Lose the Bus

Ted Howes, Former Director, Advisory Services

Contributor’s note:  I love thinking about organizations, leadership, and sustainability. This is the first in a series of posts on "Leadership Next" for sustainability. Step One: Lose the Bus. We’ve all been on the wrong team (or been the wrong teammate) at one point or another and recognize the continuing value of Jim Collins’ Good to Great adage, “Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off.” In sustainability, businesses often have the wrong bus altogether.  They create CSR or sustainability departments to understand and act on the strategic imperative of sustainability.  This is well meaning but ultimately flawed. By putting sustainability in an organizational box, three things can happen.   Read more 

Topics: Strategy & Integration

June 20, 2011

A Quick Guide to the HERproject Toolbuilder

Elissa Goldenberg , Associate, Advisory Services

Recently, I traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, to unveil BSR’s HERproject Toolbuilder, a web-based application that helps global health educators create culturally relevant training tools for factory- and farm-based health education in developing countries. The Toolbuilder includes a collection of more than 200 images on seven different health topics. Read more 

Topics: Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, Human Rights, Women & Sustainability

June 16, 2011

UN Human Rights Council Endorses Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Faris Natour , Director, Human Rights

Today marks a significant milestone for human rights: The UN Human Rights Council has endorsed the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights proposed by UN Special Representative John Ruggie. We want to congratulate Professor Ruggie and his team on this significant accomplishment. Read more 

Topics: Human Rights, Strategy & Integration

June 15, 2011

Global HERproject Partners Gather in Indonesia for Annual Convening and Country Launch

Racheal Meiers (née Yeager) , Director, HERproject

Global HERproject Partners Gather in Indonesia for Annual Convening and Country Launch

Last week in Jakarta, Indonesia, HERproject partners from around the world gathered with more than 40 participants from Indonesian factories and NGOs and HERproject participating companies to discuss workplace women’s health solutions and kick off the initiative in the country. At the meeting, we shared HERproject impact stories and data from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam; explored challenges and solutions to workplace interventions; and discussed methods to sustain and replicate successful programs. Read more 

Topics: Supply Chain, Women & Sustainability

June 9, 2011

Five Tips for Corporate Social (Media) Responsibility Communications

With sustainability reporting season in high gear, more company leaders are thinking about how social media plays into their overall reporting communications strategy. Whether you’re using social media now or plan to in the future, consider these five tips. Read more 

Topics: New Media, Reporting & Communications, Stakeholder Engagement

June 9, 2011

Staff Spotlight: Vijay Kanal

Vijay Kanal, Former Director, Information and Communications Technology Practice, Advisory Services

As part of a new series of BSR staff spotlights, our Information and Communication Technology Director Vijay Kanal offers his insights on the greatest opportunities and challenges for the industry. Read more 

Topics: Climate Change, Conflict Minerals, Human Rights, Information & Communications Technology

June 8, 2011

Responsible Private Equity?

Laura Gitman , Vice President

Stakeholder expectations, labor unions, conflict minerals, energy reduction, water scarcity. These terms are all commonplace in most of the sustainability or CSR events that I attend, but they are not the concepts usually discussed at a meeting for private equity firms–an industry which has historically been criticized for being ruthless, breaking up companies, and saddling others with debt. Yet last week, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the Responsible Investment Forum in New York hosted by the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and Private Equity International.  There were more than 300 delegates in attendance, most of whom were either general partners (GPs) or limited partners (LPs) in major global private equity firms. More remarkable: most are actively engaged in ESG issues. Read more 

Topics: Investor Perspective

June 7, 2011

BSR Report 2010: ‘Redefining Leadership’

Eva Dienel , Associate Director, Communications

Today we are launching the BSR Report 2010, “Redefining Leadership,” which highlights our work over the past year helping global companies define and implement comprehensive sustainability strategies. Read more 

Topics: Strategy & Integration

June 7, 2011

Finding Hidden Opportunities in the Supply Chain

Daniel Hsu, Former Manager, Advisory Services

Last month’s headlines in China included a deadly accident at Foxconn, a product recall that took Little Sheep meatballs off retailer shelves, and chemically induced “exploding” watermelons that cast doubts on produce quality in Jiangsu Province. For Apple, Yum! Brands, and many other firms that source from China, stories such as these are constant reminders of the many risks inherent to complex supply chains. Given this, it is not surprising that most companies take a risk-management approach to their supply chains. Read more 

Topics: Supply Chain

June 3, 2011

GBC Health’s 10th Anniversary: Time to Look at the Big Picture

Aron Cramer , President and CEO

I spoke yesterday at the morning plenary of GBC Health (formerly the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria), along with business leaders like AngloAmerican CEO Cynthia Carroll, Conservation International Founder Peter Seligman, and Sarah Brown, health care activist and wife of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  Read more 

Topics: Climate Change, Environment, Strategy & Integration

June 3, 2011

How the Next Generation Views Business and Human Rights

Faris Natour , Director, Human Rights

One of the benefits of teaching is the opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas and share experiences between the worlds of CSR practice and academia. When it comes to business and human rights, the need for this exchange seems particularly great. Read more 

Topics: Human Rights, Reporting & Communications

June 2, 2011

Sustainable Entrepreneurship Underway in the Middle East and North Africa

Guy Morgan , Director, Advisory Services

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a session on financing sustainable entrepreneurship during a unique “un”-Conference in Cologne, Germany, on future lifestyles and sustainable entrepreneurship. I joined experts from the socially responsible investment world, impact investors, and serial entrepreneurs to talk about availability of funds and how to mobilize more capital for the creation of new sustainable enterprises. Read more 

Topics: Investor Perspective



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