Summary presentation of “No Deforestation” progress, challenges and opportunities for companies

This morning I gave a presentation to the Quebec Forestry association about ‘No Deforestation’ commitments by companies. I tried to look at the drivers, the companies, the NGOs, the responses, challenges and opportunities. It’s very visually oriented and took me about two days to put together. I hope readers find it of some use. Here’s…

  • May 14, 2015
  • Deforestation
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NGO ‘accountability’, or at least performance, under the microscope

NGO accountability is a dance as old as time itself (a phrase used regularly, at least the last part, on the excellent Bugle podcast) Accountability as a word is a bit like transparency. Unless we get really quite specific it’s hard to know what it can actually mean that’s any use. And now there seems…

  • May 12, 2015
  • Measurement
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What does “zero deforestation” really mean?

A couple of weeks ago we debated this point with 160 company, NGOs and other experts in Washington D.C.  A brief summary of some key points from that meeting is here. The point was raised by Tensie Whelan of the Rainforest Alliance.  Mongabay.com has published an article looking at the term, and the problems with…

Deforestation: Greenpeace picks on Santander in campaign against APRIL

A casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that the NGO campaigner battle against large companies on deforestation has been won.Charts like the below from the excellent Mongabay.com are clearly great cause for optimism. However, whilst many of the large brands and their big suppliers formerly accused of deforestation are now trying to implement policy…

  • Feb 17, 2015
  • Deforestation
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Lecture four – campaigning NGOs, their role and trends for business

Here’s my latest slide deck, this time on campaigning NGOs. I am using these in my teaching at Birkbeck, University of London and at King’s College London. This year I have 160 students, from undergraduates to mature business students / working executives, who are studying for a variety of Master’s degrees. This is probably my…

  • Jan 30, 2015
  • NGOs
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Greenpeace vs. Lego, was the outcome worth the effort?

News that Lego firmly rejects the Greenpeace campaign against it working with Shell emerged the other day. See: here for the CEO statement. The real upshot?  Lego won’t work with Shell to promote Lego products to kids beyond the current deal. That suits both Greenpeace and Lego.  GP claims ‘victory’, whilst Lego says it hasn’t given…

Oxfam and Amnesty on human rights regulation and risks for companies

This neutrally-titled piece on the Amnesty International website “European companies allowed to reap rewards from deadly conflict mineral trade” shows a possible direction of travel for EU based or EU trading companies with regard to proving they ‘do no harm’ via their operations, relationships and sourcing. “The European Union is failing to stifle a deadly…

  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Human Rights
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Free management briefing on what business can do to tackle deforestation

Here’s our new management briefing on what companies can do to minimise their deforestation footprints, work with NGOs and manage legal and reputational risk. It features contributions from Greenpeace, TFT, Marks & Spencer, Neste Oil, Canopy, Robertsbridge and many others. There’s some really useful insight in there into how to deal with risk, manage transparency,…

  • Sep 15, 2014
  • Deforestation
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Sustainable business: “the problem with 2020 targets is that they’re just way too distant” – Guest post by Scott Poynton

Scott Poynton gives a personal view on why the deforestation debate should focus on action now and not targets for future improvement Poynton: Has ‘sustainability’ become meaningless? I have seen many bad things, close up and personal, over the last 20+ years working on deforestation issues. I believe that our path to survival lies through…

  • Aug 19, 2014
  • Measurement
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Business and human rights, back on the UN agenda

Where paragons of human rights virtue gather Well, well, here we are again. Global regulation for multi-national companies on human rights. Sounds familiar? It should. We’ve been here quite a few times before. But that was back when “emerging markets” (was there ever such a disconcertingly vague term?) had less power, less desire and less…

Two reasons companies need campaigning NGOs, and how they can support them when under attack

Campaigning social and environmental NGOs are increasingly under attack around the world. From the well-known example of Russia, to Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh, campaigners are seen by some as threats to growth, the status quo, overall development, state power and even democracy itself. As emerging/frontier markets become richer and more confident, business and political…

  • Jul 11, 2014
  • NGOs
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Are businesses mad dogs that must be controlled?

John Hilary, War on Want. Not a CSR fan A guest post from Mallen Baker. Sometimes I think we’ve moved on from the stale business good-or-bad debates of the last couple of decades.  There are more business – NGO partnerships taking place, even with formerly controversial companies such as Asia Pulp & Paper. But the…

  • Mar 7, 2014
  • NGOs
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My six most popular CSR/Sustainable business presentations on slideshare this year

I usually post public presentations from regular speeches on slideshare.net. Mostly I do talks about sustainability trends, strategy, history and company performance, both good and bad.Here’s a few links to popular 2013 presentations which may be of some interest. They are all available for download:  CSR trends, strategy, ethics and the business case Social issues…

Ten tips for activists when engaging companies

A guest post by Danna Pfahl and Erik Wohlgemuth from the Future500.  Listening matters Activists provide the critical checks and balances on the corporate sector, serving as one of the core drivers of progress across the globe. Holding companies  accountable for their social and environmental footprint is critical in addressing some of the greatest challenges…