And they won't change to becoming sustainability leaders overnight, either. It's a process that requires a shift in business culture.
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Sustainable investments now dominate the stock market.
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happen to believe that airports have a unique opportunity to engage those around us and welcome newcomers to the neighbourhood. After all, our surrounding communities rely on one another to grow and thrive, and without one, we do not have the other.
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It seems incredibly naïve to think that a profit-dependent, commercial venture is the final bastion of democratic values. Yet, in an age when companies are capitalizing on social responsibility, are brands unwittingly turning themselves into moral pedestals?
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Engaging staff in a cause that matters to them is a win-win for both company and employees. Companies with high employee engagement report more productivity and lower absenteeism and turnover.
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As the end of the year comes to a close, industry leaders are already preparing for what's next and refining their 2016 strategies to stay on top of the market. With baby boomers retiring and millennials being the most studied generation to date, market leaders can gain insight from the next generation, Generation Z.
These companies have already touched your life. Beyond the big names like Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Patagonia clothing, Etsy, or Kickstarter, there are impact-driven business leaders making significant money while making an amazing difference in communities all around us.
Earth Day is an important date on the calendar that puts the spotlight back on the planet. However, as we all grow more interconnected around the world with a greater ability to have an impact -- both positive and negative -- it's equally important to recognize that the principles of Earth Day can't be ignored the other 364 days of the year.
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In central Burma, where minerals, community upheaval and foreign investment have collided since political reforms four years ago, the Letpadaung copper mine epitomizes anti-Chinese feelings. A 2012 cr...
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No challenge derails managers from the goal of sustainability more than understanding what it means for an organization to really be sustainable. Some people think sustainability is all about environmental issues. Others see it in terms of the bottom line. And then, of course, there are people who use the term synonymously with corporate social responsibility and shared value. Business sustainability is none of these things. Rather, it is about time.
The next time you feel overwhelmed at the office, try Googling the name Steinthór Pálsson for a bit of perspective therapy. Few business leaders will ever confront the challenges Pálsson faced as the new CEO of Landsbankinn, Iceland's oldest full-service financial institution.
The elephant in the room is that while sustainability will continue to be relevant to the business operations of retailers and product manufactures, management has utterly failed to make sustainability a material or even a well understood concept for front-line employees, customers and most product brands, except during times of crisis.
Earlier this fall I participated in a panel at the Toronto Board of Trade about "Achieving a sustainable and responsible global sourcing policy." Given their supply chain power, companies must continually advance more sustainable practices and must be reinforced by benchmarking transparency standards. In practice, what does this mean?
"Imagine if companies started thinking about the social impact they wanted to create in the world and tied it to bottom line performance. The potential impact could be incredible," explained Mr. Haid. As an example, he cites TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes for each one purchased or Warby Parker, which runs a similar model but for sunglasses.
At the risk of sounding a bit existential, B Corps are businesses, fundamentally bent toward a greater purpose. They recognize that degrees of intentionality go a long way when it comes to making employees' lives a little bit better.
I recently served on a governance awards judging panel assembled by the Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries (CSCS). Winners of the awards were announced at this organization's annual conference in Halifax last month. I participated in a plenary discussion to discuss some of the winning practices.
B Corp Certification honours visionary business leaders that are coming together to use the power of business as a force for good. Through a completely transparent and fully measurable process, B Corp offers an umbrella of "trust" that has proven to be attractive to both entrepreneurs and consumers alike.
Ultimately, creating a Corporate Social Responsibility policy may seem like a daunting, distant proposition. But if your company is committed to upholding far-reaching and long-term sustainability standards, it's best to be clear about what that means and demonstrate that commitment by weaving it into your corporate DNA early on.
So I ask: How can the government champion one bill that promotes corporate accountability abroad while simultaneously opposing another, when both have the capacity to positively impact the way our companies conduct business? I cannot reconcile this disparity easily. Perhaps it lies with the simple fact that C-474 is not a Conservative bill.
In my work as a business management consultant, I find that addressing "environmental issues" is most often not a person's "day job." When starting out, many managers don't know where to turn for advice or are confounded by the information that is sometimes contradictory. Certainly, there is a lot of information out there, and some of it is misinformation -- from suppliers, to consultants, to so-called "environmental" organizations.
Some businesses have demonstrated that they can implement and scale the environmental benefits far better traditional approaches to "saving the environment" while also delivering shareholder value. How successful will business be in influencing Canada's approach to environmental issues?
I once witnessed a bar fight in Ottawa where a seemingly docile civil servant and a mild-mannered professor were reduced to fisticuffs over their contradictory alliances. True story. But, incidentally, I'm not talking about hockey here folks. I'm talking about the airline carriers across our fair northern nation.
Businesses need to be specific in how they deal with ethical issues, but at the same time, cut-and-paste methods that focus solely on legal compliance are not enough -- "we follow laws" is the bare minimum. And for all of us who are in it for the long-haul: good ethics is good business. Period.