Momentum de-clutters and de-mystifies the vast array of corporate sustainability and … Read More
Saturday the 26th of March was Earth Hour – a social marketing phenomenon that started in Australia in 2007 and is now known around the world. The high visibility of switching off lights makes Earth Hour a corporate responsibility dream. In just 5 short years it has captured the imagination of a global audience with its initial intend to
” make a bold symbolic statement about the critical issue of climate change and to engage Australians in taking action”.
This rapid growth must make it one of the most successful social marketing campaigns globally.
I have been an Earth Hour sceptic since its inception, wondering how on earth switching the lights off for one hour could possibly assist in moving us towards a sustainable lifestyle – although I did switch off our lights on Saturday at 8.30pm. I do, however, recognise Earth Hour’s potential to build on its success and speed up positive social change.
My main concern is that this ‘bold symbolic statement’ let’s us off the hook, offers an easy way out. [Read more…]
Integrated Reporting for Corporates by Terence Jeyaretnam & Amanda Nuttall
I have spent a significant part of my life focusing on how corporate reporting could be expanded from traditional financial accounts to non-financial (environmental, social and economic metrics). I have not been alone on this path. Happily, a number of us recently convened at the Harvard Business School (HBS) in Boston to talk about the future of corporate reporting; that is to pave a vision forward for a framework for Integrated Reporting.
“Integrated reporting” is a term that is generating excitement in sustainability circles.
The idea that sustainability issues should be fully integrated into business strategy and reporting seems like a no-brainer. [Read more…]
There are few if any internationally recognised rights that businesses cannot impact.
Why should business care about human rights?
There are few if any internationally recognised rights business cannot impact – or be perceived to impact – in some manner. Therefore, companies should consider all such rights.” Professor John Ruggie, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights, April 2008.
So now that’s clear, what are we doing about it? And how do much covetted corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives fit into the business and human rights agenda? [Read more…]
When most people think Girl Guides they probably don’t think of progressive girls and young women who play a significant advocacy role in local and global issues?
Well, think again everybody!
This is precisely what the 10 million members of the world’s largest volunteer organisation for girls and young women do, with memberships across 145 countries including Australia.
As their Global Action Theme, girls worldwide say: “Together we can change our world”. This theme is based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). An activity pack supports the curriculum and helps children and young women to learn about the MDG’s and, most importantly, to take action on the issues that affect them and their communities. [Read more…]
On the 8 March 2011 we are celebrating the centennary of International Women’s Day – a good occasion to remind us of the plight of girls around the world.
Did you realise that currently:
- women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half the world’s food, and yet earn only 10 % of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property?
- women make up 70% of the worlds 1.3 billion people who live in poverty?
- women over the age of 15 in the least developed countries are twice as likely to be illiterate than men.
The solution? [Read more…]
In keeping with our recent focus on consumption I was struck by the call of a Sri Lankan scientist to assist “rich countries to curb their climate-damaging consumption habits through a set of consumption goals – in the same way the poor have ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (MDG’s) to get them out of poverty”.
What a brilliant idea! His reasoning is obvious: 20% of the worlds richest people are responsible for 80% of consumption.
And of course, the always impressive team at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington responded to the call with a first draft: [Read more…]
How to turn half the world vegetarian in an instant!
Experts have warned of the climate implications of meat production for several years now and beef is particularly damaging. Decaying manure and flatulent cows release methane, a greenhouse gas. In addition, the production of only 1kg of meat requires 15 kg or grain and 30 kg of forage. Grain in turn needs to be fertilised which requires further energy. Continue Reading
The beginning of a new year offers an opportunity for a fresh start full of good intentions.
2010 marked the beginning of a new decade with great hopes for sustainable development including biodiversity – BUT it was not a good year for global sustainable development. It was marked and marred by an entirely preventable, highly publicised, major environmental disaster and, in the main, a “business as usual” approach.
It was also marked by increased calls for true sustainability versus the rhetoric of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its various incarnations. So what kind of year will 2011 become and be remembered for? Will it become known as the year where we galavanise into positive action? Will it be remembered for a substantial swing towards long term planning? 2012 will mark the 25th anniversary of the 1987 Brundtland Commission report, Our Common Future – what do we have to show after 25 years of mainstreaming sustainable development ? Not much I am afraid.
BUT, there is hope yet.
There are many excellent initiatives aiming to deliver a sustainable lifestyle for all. What can we do to accellerate positive change? Among many other things we need to highlight and promote the work of entrepreneurs who drive worldchanging intiatives, small and large, wherever they may be. It has long been a passion of mine to build on existing achievements and I adore Derek Siver’s simple but compelling TED video below on how to start a movement which brings home the importance of courage to go against the tide, team work and puts a smile on ones’ face!
Check out these articles and intiatives for further stimulation and I look forward to your comments!
‘Splashing around in the citizenship shallows‘ by John Elkington
The Transition Decade for a safe climate future 2010 – 2020
Christmas and New Year are just around the corner and product advertising is rampant. Among the many voices competing for our attention is an emerging call for a greener Christmas. For obvious reasons: while Christmas is a time for generosity it is also a time for great excess. The amount of waste that goes to landfill in Australia over the festive season is higher than any other time of the year. So is the amount of energy consumed in households.
BUT: We can have a good time at Christmas and New Year AND do something good for the planet. Here are three of my favorites and a list of hyperlinked resources for further exploration:
1. Go nowhere. Transport is the 2nd largest contributor to climate change. In addition to saving greenhouse gas emissions you also gain time to relax, and spend less time packing bags, on the road and setting up at the destination. If you absolutely have to go somewhere to join family and friends, take the bike, train or bus.
I recently attended the inaugural ”Social Return Forum” put together by a colleague of mine, Oliver Wagg of New Climate for the 3 Pillars Network.
Concepts like social investment, social return on investment and a social investment market are much talked about lately by social investors, social entrepreneurs, those generating social profits and intermediaries alike and seem to have gone mainstream – and for good reasons:
- We all want and need to know if our efforts are making a difference to the issues we are trying to address.
- This evidence base to inform further investment has been missing in large parts of the social sector.
- Evidence of social returns is instrumental for those investing funds in social issues and who are convincing others of the merit of these investment.
To state the obvious and track back a little – we are hungry for alternative approaches to welfare funding and need evidence about whether approaches work or not. [Read more…]