Category Archives: Corporate Social Responsibility

Ensures active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms.

CHANGE = THREAT

Innovation is just fancy word for change that should take place in order to improve a situation or process. 

 

But in our minds, this is what we instinctively think: “CHANGE = THREAT”

 Why can’t we make small changes in our daily habits that move in a circular consumer pattern? Why is it so hard to make a conscience choice as a consumer? The old liner economic description of our purchasing habits is in the process of renovation and we must be aware of how and why! 

 

MAKE – TAKE- THROW system is the existing Linear Economic Model. Did you know that the average person in the U.S. throws away approximately 4.5 pounds of trash per person every day. And actually we have become much better at recycling in the last years! There has been a approximately a 34% increase in recycling since 1990’s. That is great news! 

 

So we are beginning to accept the idea and the importance of recycling. But sad to say this is not enough. There has to be revolutionary changes in the way we design, package, purchase and dispose of products. New ideas in the design of the actual products and their packaging is vital. A wise person once told me, “We can not keep doing the same things but expect a different result!”  This is where we can find advancements in the consumer waste dilemma. Cradle to Cradle (read more here) innovation and product design offers a new approach to the Linear product model. The idea focuses on changing the way we design our products so they do not have a negative environmental impact. Redesign, renovation and reduction of waste! 

 

Mountains of Trash

“Every year, Americans throw away the equivalent of 50 Great Pyramids worth of “trash.” The products and packaging that we discard represent staggering amounts of natural resources, including oil and other energy sources required to manufacture products from virgin materials. The health impacts of toxic chemicals used in everyday products threaten our health and the environment, and there is a disproportionate impact on low-income communities from the improper management of these materials

Circular Economics is the change that we are looking for! Here you see a diagram of the concept:

Circular Economy

Next a focus on food waste.

Circular Economy

What is this?

The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is producing no waste and pollution, by design or intention, and in which material flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to reenter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality in the production system without entering the biosphere.

It is sometimes explained as closing the loop of the product lifecyle. For me it represents a plan to change how the world designs, merchandises, and disposes of a product. It changes every aspect of the product lifecycle. I would like to spend more time researching the concept of the circular economy and plan on sharing as much information on the subject that I can find. I would like to start off by sharing a video from the Ellen MacArther Foundation that is leading the way for promoting the new economic paradigm.

Be prepared! It is a whole new way of looking at how our world works today and how it could improve!

Click her to watch the video.

The Three As – Awareness, Acceptance and Action

Acceptance can be empowering because it makes choice possible.

Upon reading my daily inspiration I came across today’s post on change which I felt was very appropriate for my blog. Throughout my blog, there is a strong focus on our ability for awareness of our actions on our environment and interaction with others. I strongly feel that we have a responsibility for improvement, to ourselves and our society. Whether it is setting personal goals for small achievements or large scale opportunities for awareness, it will all require a mindset for change.

"For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead"

Here is a partial excerpt from my reading:

“In dealing with change, a problem, or a discovery, awareness is often followed by a period of acceptance before we can take action. This process is sometimes referred to as the “Three As”- Awareness, Acceptance and Action.

Coping with a new awareness can be extremely awkward and most of us are eager to spare ourselves pain or discomfort. Yet, until we accept the reality with which we have been face, we probably won’t be capable of taking effective action with confidence.

Still, we may hesitate to accept an unpleasant reality because we feel that by accepting, we condone something that is intolerable. But this is not the case.  As it says so eloquently in “One Day at a Time…”, “Acceptance does not mean submission to a degrading situation. I means accepting the fact of a situation, then deciding what we will do about it.” Acceptance can be empowering because it makes choice possible.”

TESLA GOES OPEN SOURCE!

This is not ground breaking proceedure for a company to release patent protection, but for a leader in innovation it sends a strong message. Tesla explains their decision in their blog just recently.

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

Open source is a term that has gained familiarity regarding technology that has a higher priority on innovation than that of protectionism. I first heard about the concept while studying 3D animation. I heard a story about a disillusioned “inventor/coder” that sold his life work to a company only to find that the product would be misrepresented in an undesirable fashion. He felt so strongly about his convictions that he took the source code and put it on the internet to be used an improved by all who were interest and found that the software advanced by drastic improvements in a very short time frame. Now, that’s passion for you! Isn’t there a saying that, “if you love something, let it go…”?

What do you think Tesla was thinking when they chose such drastic options?

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Eldre mennesker sitter inne i kokende hus

Kjenner du et eldre menneske som sitter inne alene? Få dem ut i frisk luft isteden for å sitte inne i et hus eller leilighet som har lite eller dårlig ventilasjon. Temperatur stiger iløpet av dagene og blir værst ved ettermiddagene.

Eldre mennesker tåler ikke varmen like lett som de ynger. Flere helserisiko oppstå på grunn av sommervarmen.

Vennligst ring en du kjenner som trenger å komme ut og få avkjølte seg idag!

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What’s happening in the real world?

I sometimes wonder if CSR (corporate social responsibility) is just a passing trend? The terminology/jargon has been spreading like wildfire over the last few years. Here is an article that I would like to share. I have copied and linked from the Education Post. Please visit the website for more interesting business related topics.

The rise of CSR in business education

In little over a decade, businesses have gone from seeing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes and environmental stewardship as, at best, desirable add-ons to regarding them as central to strategic planning.

Linda Livingstone

“Early on, this movement was probably very much driven by individuals who had a personal passion,” says Linda Livingstone, dean of the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University, and vice chair of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. “Some of them created their own companies around that passion, whereas others brought it into the companies they were part of. But I think as it has developed and become more widespread, companies began to realise it can also be good for business and it can be profitable.” Some businesses are still accused of “greenwashing” – misleading PR exercises where they spend more on advertising their environmental friendliness than on actual sound practices. Such deceptions, though, are increasingly counter-productive.

Raymond Fisman

“There is a paradox here,” says Raymond Fisman, director of the social enterprise programme at Columbia Business School. “If consumers and/or employees get the sense that it is just about making more money, CSR loses its efficacy in bolstering the company’s image – and its profits.” As organisations and consumers get wiser to the benefits of genuine initiatives in this area, business schools are also recognising this development in their MBA programmes. “There was no social enterprise programme when I arrived at Columbia a dozen or so years ago,” says Fisman. “Now it is a major presence at the school. That should give you a sense of how attitudes have changed.”

Nikolai Sobolev

Nikolai Sobolev, a recent MBA graduate at Pepperdine University, focused on entrepreneurship and took the certificate in socially, ethically and environmentally responsible (SEER) business. He was already committed to social responsibility and sustainability, but wanted to lean more from the best, in this case Dr Michael Crooke, the former CEO of Patagonia who leads the university’s SEER programme. It focuses on profitability and quality products along with CSR and environmental stewardship

“I had seen CSR as stand-alone, one-off initiatives such as charitable contributions and didn’t see social or environmental initiatives as part of an overall business strategy,” Sobolev says. “Obviously, I knew about companies where a social mission is embedded in the fabric of their business, but I didn’t know that companies which build their business strategy on a foundation of corporate social responsibility can strategise better in a competitive market place.” However, integrating all these elements into an effective business plan is no simple task. “The closer you can get to the sweet spot, where these components come together, the better off you’re going to be in the long run,” Livingstone says. “But we teach students about the trade-off. For long-term sustainability, in financial terms and in other ways, you really need to think about all of those elements. We see it as an integrated strategy; you really can’t think about them independent of one another anymore.”

Since the SEER programme first began at Pepperdine, there are clear signs that student concern about concepts like environmental sustainability has grown substantially. “In the last five years or so, issues around sustainability and a global perspective have become much more important to our students,” Livingstone says. “They have really pushed us to do more within our programme. They are very proactive.” Fisman echoes those views, having noticed a major change in the way students entering MBA programmes think about “green” goals and how business can benefit society. “But there is still an awful lot of fuzzy talk about doing good in the corporate world,” Fisman says. “I really think people [want to see] companies that can show them a clear case of combining social progress with business.”

Recent changes to the AACSB’s core values and guiding principles for business programmes have added a commitment to environmental sustainability and CSR to the criteria. Currently, the association has more than 670 accredited institutions in nearly 50 countries and territories. “It is a natural progression given the trend [in the business world] in the last five years or so,” says Eileen Peacock, senior vice president and chief officer of AACSB Asia. “The Enron disaster had an impact and, following the financial crisis, we saw the major schools looking at their MBA programmes and wondering is this our fault or is it inbred in people to start with.”

Peacock Eileen

Because of business schools’ differing goals, Peacock sees the changes in eligibility standards as a background requirement rather than a demand to make specific amendments to curriculum content or policies. Though Pepperdine may in some ways be ahead of this curve, Livingstone does think changes in the AACSB standards will have an effect. “The mission in our business school is to develop value-centred business leaders and to advance responsible business practice,” she says. “So, to some extent, these standards are embedded in who we are. But I do think the standards will make us think a bit more systematically about what we are doing. No matter what we teach our students, in three to five years from now much of that will be obsolete. So passing on knowledge isn’t as important as teaching them how to think and of the need to continually learn.”JOHN BRENNAN
JUNE 7, 2013