This post examines the state of Corporate Responsibility (CR) curriculum with a constructive criticism viewpoint. Does the current curriculum really fulfill on the potential of CR to equip companies to not just comply with society’s mandates but actually take a leadership role in helping to bring about a better world. The post goes on to examine five ways in which CR professional curriculum could be improved in order to help CR professionals have a wider impact on the affairs of the corporations they are helping to lead.
This post looks at a real world case, the Gai Building in Orlando Florida that was built to LEED Silver standards and uses this to talk about some of the reasons the developer chose to go with the LEED Silver standard. It uses this example to address some of the advantages of building green and a few of the shortcomings of the LEED certification standards. It makes the case that only when a developer can determine that a proposed sustainable project is economically viable and will give the developer a definable market advantage will these projects get built in practice.
Numerous consumer polls proclaim increased spending on green products, but they fail to provide much insight into the actual purchase trends or specific decision drivers behind consumer choices. Instead of relying solely on such generalized market surveys, adoption of a strategic market research process will help businesses boost their revenue, reputation and competitive advantage from sustainability.
The disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reopened the debate over the direction the United States’ energy future is headed. Now more than any other time in history, citizens are beginning to understand the necessity to evolve past our love affair with oil. An economy that is dependent on a non-renewable, quickly fleeting resource can only move towards instability if alternative fuels are not found. The Congressional Budget Office is beginning to analyze how energy policies and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will affect employment in an economy that is trying to pull itself out of a recession. Democrats are pushing for a comprehensive energy bill that will enhance the production of clean energy technologies, put a price on emitting carbon, reduce greenhouse gases by a significant amount over the next 20 years, and influence entry into a range of new renewable energy industries. Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman are due to present their energy bill in the Senate next week. This bill, The American Power Act will be hard-pressed for passage without strong republican backing. The loss of republican Senator Lindsay Graham as a cosponsor of this bill is devastating. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, “the oil spill showed drilling alone would not solve U.S. energy problems and that higher summer fuel prices will heighten consumers’ views that the country must move more aggressively into alternatives.” (Cowan & Gardner, 2010) If the country decides to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this will have many significant implications for employment in our country.
Your company has been progressing nicely up the sustainability curve from compliance to cost savings. The next logical step is reputation and revenue generation, and itʼs here that many sustainability pros hit a roadblock. Without a CEO mandate, business units usually have little incentive to deviate from whatʼs been working in the past. Sustainability and CSR initiatives have safely been tucked away behind the scenes, dealing with internal and supply chain issues that reduce risk and cost to the business. Objections to customer-facing sustainability initiatives range from “Why put our neck out and riskgreenwashing charges?” to “Itʼs still a niche market” and “Why would we promote our values for commercial ends? Weʼre doing this because it’s right, not to make money from it.”
Throughout the years, I have encountered many people who wanted to go green, but couldn’t sell the eco approach to the executive team. I believe most managers are simply not aware of what green marketing is, and why it’s better than traditional, non-green marketing.
The Pew Charitable Trusts has conducted the first-ever hard count across all 50 states of the actual jobs, companies and venture capital investments that supply the growing market demand for environmentally friendly products and services. The study, entitled The CleanEconomy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America, revealed that the number of jobs in America’s emerging clean energy economy grew nearly two and a half times faster than overall jobs between 1998 and 2007.