Sustainability News Review – Where are the Social Topics?

It is Sunday again and this means that whenever I have time I will give an update on the Sustainability / CSR news items  which I found interesting during the past 7 days.

This week was an interesting week in the sense that the news items were again dominated by environmental news. It seems to me that there are fewer and fewer companies reporting on interesting social topics providing stories of real value to the reader. The result is that environmental topics dominate the Sustainability news agenda, and that social topics have lesser attention these days – suprising in times of credit crunch…..
I would identify  a valuable Sustainability / CSR  news item as something with a clear message, relevant substance and not just the message that “Company XYZ has cut its CO2 emissions by x percent and introduced a new Sustainability management program”.

In my opinion, that’s pure corporate spin. However amongst the majority of ordinary news here are some truly interesting news items  – happy browsing!

Investor Groups Point Finger at Climate Laggards: Exxon, Massey and Others
Intersting article on GreenBiz on the unveiling of the list of the companies that are lagging on environmental action.

Uptime Institute names ‘Global Green 100′
he US-based Uptime Institute this week announced its list of “Global Green 100,” the top corporations to demonstrate “significant energy efficiency achievements” at their data centres.

Brits call for less free carrier bags
More than 80% of people in Britain believe that retailers should stop giving away free plastic bags to their customers.

Five features of great socially responsible leadership
Great article from Mallen Baker.

Picture Credit: Pragmagraphr

No Comments

  1. Excellent and incisive comment, Fabian. Although it's no silver bullet, companies have to remember John Elkington's triple bottom line of "People, Planet & Profits".

    Where is the people side of this? It's virtually non existent. I recently reviewed the CSR content of Alliance Trust's Annual Report. This is the only purely investment focussed company in the FTSE 100 — a real biggie. Part of their people based CSR activity included changing the trustees of their employees pension scheme. Umm… I'm lost as to the CSR nature of such an action.

    Similarly, the People section of Microsoft's CSR report a year or so ago included the fact their software had been translated into hundreds of languages. This blithely ignores the fact that this would have been done to boost sales in any case.

    Where focus is given on the people side it is often laughable greenwash, and you're right to give this focus.

    Anyone reading this may be interested in hearing an interview with James Lovelock from the Today programme this morning. He basically agrees with Fabian, saying that there is too much emphasis on the environmental and not enough on the social. However, what he advocates is chillingly optimistic. You can hear it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_79050

  2. Author

    Hello Chris. Thanks for the comment. Really useful. I will have to listen to the James Lovelock interview.

  3. Hello Chris. Thanks for the comment. Really useful. I will have to listen to the James Lovelock interview.

  4. Excellent and incisive comment, Fabian. Although it's no silver bullet, companies have to remember John Elkington's triple bottom line of "People, Planet & Profits".

    Where is the people side of this? It's virtually non existent. I recently reviewed the CSR content of Alliance Trust's Annual Report. This is the only purely investment focussed company in the FTSE 100 — a real biggie. Part of their people based CSR activity included changing the trustees of their employees pension scheme. Umm… I'm lost as to the CSR nature of such an action.

    Similarly, the People section of Microsoft's CSR report a year or so ago included the fact their software had been translated into hundreds of languages. This blithely ignores the fact that this would have been done to boost sales in any case.

    Where focus is given on the people side it is often laughable greenwash, and you're right to give this focus.

    Anyone reading this may be interested in hearing an interview with James Lovelock from the Today programme this morning. He basically agrees with Fabian, saying that there is too much emphasis on the environmental and not enough on the social. However, what he advocates is chillingly optimistic. You can hear it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_79050

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.