Does ethics have an image problem?

Yes, argues Katherine Bradshaw of the Institute of Business Ethics. She offers some solutions in this guest post.This week’s results of EY’s 2015 Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Fraud Survey show that while nearly half of UK survey respondents said regulation in their sector had increased, only 15% said this had resulted in…

15 tips on speaking at business events

I have an confession to make.  OK, an admission.  I’ve been responsible for about 100 conferences, maybe more, in the last 15 years. Scary, but manageable Sorry.  I know conferences sometimes (often?) have a bad reputation.  Many are dull. I get that. In my defence, I’ve always tried to make mine interesting.  Generally I hope…

Does jargon numb us against reality in sustainable and responsible business?

An email at the weekend from someone who inspired me to work in this odd area of responsible business made me think. Why, he asked, are we using such vapid and meaningless terms to describe what matters to us? Why do we talk about ‘natural capital’ when we perhaps might also, alongside, use terms like…

Six important things to remember about sustainable branding

No doubt worth reading Henk Campher has a new short eBook out called “Creating a Sustainable Brand: A Guide to Growing the Sustainability Top Line”. I posed five questions for him, the responses are below. 1) Briefly, what’s the book about? The changes experienced in sustainability over the last ten years or so have been…

If your business has no purpose beyond money, it won't last

Authenticity is everything. It really is.  We’ve all heard people, including me, claim this before. Purpose – and authenticity – is everything. It’s also true that many purpose-driven companies have gone bust and disappeared, alongside those who only cared for cash. But we are at the stage today when having a purpose that is only…

Top tips on how to manage business risk through reputation

True cliche Last week I organised and hosted a roundtable event at the Royal Society of Arts in London on the difficult subject of how to better manage business risk through reputation. It was an off-the-record executive discussion, kindly sponsored by RiiЯ (Risk2Reputation). Their thoughtful CEO Tom Vesey took part alongside 16 senior executives from…

Standard Chartered Africa impact report shows the evolution of a new reporting trend

Seeing companies producing socio-economic impact reports is not a new phenomena. Quite a few companies now do this. From Heineken to Imperial Tobacco to Nestle, to SAB Miller to Standard Chartered, I believe these kinds of reports represent a growing trend. Looking at the news on tax and disclosure over the last few days (here’s…

  • Feb 24, 2014
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CR Report reading for dummies, five rules

In a guest post below, Mallen Baker considers some fundamental questions concerning CR and sustainability reporting. Most companies can learn about reporting from Nike Marc Gunther (who writes an excellent business sustainability blog) recently wrote an article titled ‘how to read a sustainability report‘. It was full of eminent good sense, but at the same…

11 effective ways to engage "opinion formers" on CSR/sustainability

Because I write this blog and founded/publish a business magazine, Ethical Corporation, and perhaps due to the fact that I try to teach CR at a university, I think I’ve been pigeonholed as some kind of minor “opinion former” of some sort. (is there a worse term? Perhaps “thought leader”, the saying or reading of…

  • Aug 23, 2013
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Why companies fear transparency – and how to overcome it

Why is authenticity in communications so hard? “Is there anything in your sustainability report that demonstrates you are less than perfect?“ That’s a question all companies struggle with, and have done in the years since it was first asked by a journalist at the launch of a corporate responsibility report a decade or so ago….

  • Aug 21, 2013
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Sustainability communications: How NOT to engage stakeholders via email

Stakeholder engagement, as we know, is as much an art as a science. It is as much about relationships, (in fact more) than it is about process. Email is a lazy way to engage your stakeholders. But many companies use it. I can understand why. Email is still effective as a communications tool. Quite how…

  • Aug 7, 2013
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A few thoughts on what’s driving sustainability/CR and the role of communicators

Here’s a short ten minute speech below which I made last night to a group of around 40 senior corporate communicators. Some readers may find parts of it of some vague interest. “Sustainability and communications, now and soon It was apparently Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher who died in 1662, who first coined…

  • Jul 16, 2013
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Skanska USA: A good example of progressive CEO communications

Companies have been speaking out on social and environmental issues for a long time. The problem is, not often enough. At last in the positive, truly progressive sense. There’s been a (partly) understandable reticence for CEOs to do this. Who wants to make that career-limiting speech that later comes back to haunt you? Look at…

  • Jul 5, 2013
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Tesco and Bangladesh: 10 points about improving corporate responsibility communications

Here’s a statement from Tesco from around a month ago concerning Bangladesh. Many of you will be aware of the tragic building collapse there at the end of April. Tesco had no connection with that incident, but given Tesco is a large company that sources from the country, they felt the need to say something….

  • Jun 18, 2013
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