As the sustainability ‘industry’ fragments, the real action is all in emerging markets

Ghana: Where responsible business can have a real impact As I mentioned in my previous post, we’re seeing some genuinely interesting collaboration today as big companies realise they have to play the major role in driving progressive change around global environmental, social and yes, even governance issues. As they do so, we’re seeing increasingly specialised…

Six basic principles for successful B2B sustainability collaboration

Can B2B collaboration make cars like the BMW i3 seriously profitable? Everywhere you look these days, some kind of potentially system-changing B2B sustainability collaboration is taking place. I say potentially because these are nascent, early-stage groupings in all cases. From apparel design to factory safety, to palm oil basics and innovation, these groups are emerging…

  • Apr 4, 2014
  • NGOs
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Good summary of where the extractive industries revenue transparency debate is at

Oil & Gas revenue transparency has lessons for other sectors Here’s a useful speech by Claire Short, chair of EITI, on progress to date with regard to extractive industries revenue transparency. It’s not very long, and provides a useful overview of progress to date.  The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative matters not just for the extractive industry,…

Seven sustainability/CSR trends for 2014, and some personal plans

Big year for companies and forests ahead This year I won’t offer my own summary of 2013, given what we published on Ethicalcorp.com and in the print edition, did the job rather well. You can read it here. In a general business sense you can also read the 2014 preview here. Here’s a few quick…

  • Dec 31, 2013
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Some thoughts on corporate responsibility and sustainability in Mexico

How realistic this is, I am not sure… I’ve just spent five intensive days in Guadalajara, Mexico with a variety of fascinating academics from Technologico de Monterrey. (the Mexican equivalent of MIT or Cambridge) I spoke to a large student audience and spent several days with a variety of professors, who were fascinating company and…

  • Sep 25, 2013
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How can a large company become involved, ethically, in global politics?

This is probably the most fundamental question facing really large companies in the next twenty years. At least, those large companies with a commitment to ethics and sustainability. Which, among the really big ones, is most of them. In the last fifteen years we’ve seen many large businesses begin to dip their toes in the…

  • Aug 6, 2013
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Collaboration ain’t just about you

I can’t tell you the number of completely one-sided proposals for ‘collaboration’ I’ve seen over the years. As a Brit, and therefore a self appointed (and no doubt occasionally pompous) guardian of the term irony, I don’t throw the word around lightly. But it is somewhat ironic that folks who purport to work in the…

Sustainability as a commercial partnerships catalyst

Here’s my forthcoming column for Ethical Corporation’s September edition. Ambitious heads of corporate responsibility will help create the cooperation deals of the future, suggests Toby Webb Sustainable bedfellows? Here’s a prediction for you. Sustainable business strategy will one day soon incorporate brand to brand partnerships that incorporate the needs of society with social and environmental…

Rio+20, some brief company and policy highlights

Whilst I argued in a previous post that Rio+20 might have been better delayed until 2013/14, now it’s happened, we have to consider the positive aspects. Yes, CARE, a large development NGO, called it “nothing more than a political charade”. Whilst Greenpeace said it was “nothing more than a failure of epic proportions”. But in…

Business transparency alone may do more harm than good

It seems a bit odd to be suggesting that transparency can be a bad thing. Just to be totally clear, I’m not. But business transparency alone, without institutional reform, could end up doing more harm than good. Let me explain what I mean. Let’s say you are fictional oil company PBChevEX. Let’s say you are…