A new challenge: CSR / Sustainability as a hobby

I have worked in the CSR / Sustainability sector for nearly 10 years now and must say that I had a great time so far. But when I talked to a CSR colleague here in Germany this week and I talked about my current work I realized that CSR / Sustainability these days for me is more like a hobby than a job. Why? Well if you are regular reader of this blog you might remember that I took over the family business PMM Services here in Germany a little then over a year ago.

The past year has been really good and I was so busy with the new challenge, family, my two dogs and two websites that there was hardly any time to keep developing my consulting business next to the family business. And for me, business without the proper business development approach and full time commitment is a hobby and not a business. This is what the past years as a businessman have taught me. Either you do something 120% or you do it as a hobby with all the consequences.

My CSR / Sustainability hobby: Blogging and TheEnvironmentSite.org 

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that this development comes at the exact right time for me and that this is actually a great chance for me to focus on my personal CSR / Sustainability communication channels. And these clearly are my two websites, FabianPattberg.com (this blog) and TheEnvironmentSite.org (my online discussion forum and blog on Sustainability and Environmental topics). The difference now is that these two sites are a hobby of mine not part of my business anymore.

I really like this new development and I am sure I will work in the CSR / Sustainability business again but not for the next years. I am now in the middle of another 5-10 year block of a new challenge in life and I am keen to imbed CSR / Sustainability topics in my new business as much as possible with the help of my two websites and my network.

Thank you for being a part of this future and please connect so that we can exchange CSR / Sustainability views and information!

TheEnvironmentSite.org is back

Some of you might have wondered where the my environmental website and discussion forum, TheEnvironmentSite.org, has been over the past weeks.

Long story, here is the short version: At the beginning of March from one day to the next, hackers attacked the site and managed to inject one of websites styles (determines how the forum looks visually) with malware and a virus which was forwarding visitors to another site away from TheEnvironmentSite.org and pretty much prohibited any participation on the site. I investigated and in the end had to close down the complete forum altogether until I had this fixed.

But it now turns out that this was a blessing in disguise. The break of 3 weeks altogether gave me the chance to update the software, cleanup  the old membership base and delete spammy threads in had overlooked in the past. Now TheEnvironmentSite.org is back and stronger then ever with a brand new forum look and much heightened security measures to ensure that any future hacker attacks will be unsuccessful.

Have you checked us out yet? TheEnvironmentSite.org Forum

Why are not more CSR / Sustainability organizations on SlideShare promoting their work?

I am a regular user of SlideShare. SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. It supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. All in all a really great resource.

Today I was just browsing some of the new interesting CSR / Sustainability uploaded items when I realized that there where hardly any CSR / Sustainability organizations present on the site. To me this seems like a wasted opportunity for these businesses working in the sector.

There where only two (!) larger organizations from the sector I was able to find without any big problems:

I really hope that more organizations working in the CSR / Sustainability sector will use this site more often in the future. It could be such a great way to share more in-depth presentations, great webinars and at the same time get useful targeted feedback by stakeholders from across the globe.

CSR / Sustainability angle of the Goldman Sachs New York Times letter

Today’s post is about a resignation letter from the former Goldman Sachs executive director, Greg Smith. This is nothing out the ordinary by itself. What is special about this resignation is the way he did this and a clear sign how much of a challenge CSR / Sustainability activities and best practice within the finance sector are. But let’s start with the way Greg Smith resigned.

This is the article in the New York Times (NYT):  Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs

It is a great but very sad read at the same time. A gripping account of how much his company but also the corporate culture has changed for the worst since he joined. If only half of his description is true then customers at Goldman Sachs are not being treated how they should be and the overall culture in the business is in need of a complete overhaul to put it mildly!

The CSR / Sustainability angle
This story has an interesting CSR / Sustainability in my view as well. It just shows how much of a mindset-change is needed within the financial sector. In this situation CSR / Sustainability practices can only be then a side-act. It seems to me that not even the basics of good business leadership exist at Goldman Sachs taking Greg Smith’s description into account. What possibilities to make a difference  does a CSR / Sustainability specialist have in this kind of business environment? NONE.
We might just witness a good example of how a business sector can be pre-CSR / Sustainability capabilities at the moment. The first rule for Goldman Sachs now can only be to get their house in order first. And when this is done, CSR / Sustainability could be back on their agenda. What a fascinating case study that will be!

Video: Why I must speak out about climate change

A very short post today with an excellent video on the topic of Climate Change. This should be required viewing in my opinion for anyone living on this planet still not believing that Climate Change is happening. But I am not sure about the hat I must say…….

Thank you Caroline Wilson for pointing me to this great TED video.