By Thomas Schueneman I had a bowl of strawberries for breakfast this morning, which sounds unremarkable, even in the middle of February. Thanks to growers in Florida, Mexico, and South America, I can sit at my breakfast table in the middle of a California winter, munching away on strawberries. But for every strawberry delighting my palate, another is lost, wasted somewhere on the long road from farm to table. Of the 1.3 billion tons of food that is wasted every year, fruits, vegetables, and tubers have the highest loss: a staggering 50 percent. Fully one-third of all food produced globally for human consumption is wasted. In the U.S. the percentage of total food waste runs as high as one-half. Something to think about while enjoying my strawberries. Lost in transportation Food waste comes in a variety of flavors, at all stages of the value chain. Wasted food is a loss at an economic, social, and environmental level. Food waste is a serious global challenge, but the particulars of how and why it happens varies from region to region, says Steve Brabbs, Global Technology Leader for Transport Protection at DuPont Protection Solutions, who spoke with CR Magazine.
By Carl Nettleton Stereotypes of the U.S. border abound, from the travails of immigrants to drug cartel excesses. However, another, future-looking story is emerging at the U.S. Mexico border where the cities of San Diego and Tijuana have become a hub for innovative approaches to health care, transportation, education, government, manufacturing and workforce development. San Diego and Tijuana are the two largest cities in the CaliBaja Bi-National MegaRegion which boasts morethan 6.5 million residents and includes San Diego County, Imperial County and Baja California in Mexico. Tijuana is home to more than 600 maquiladoras, factories in Mexico run by foreign companies who then export their products back to those countries. “These businesses have developed a new cross-border manufacturing co-creation model that involves binational collaboration in the engineering and design of products, of manufacturing processes, of software and other business functions. says Flavio Olivieri, the executive director of CaliBaja.
Thud. Another Amazon Prime package drops on the doorstep, a sound almost as common as the mailman’s steps themselves. For tens of millions of consumers, Prime is a gateway to everything from baby wipes to dinner to a quick fix for a misplaced wedding ring. Most shoppers use or have used Amazon, a fact that highlights the retailer’s power as well as its responsibility to be a good corporate citizen. At a time when trust in big business is flagging, the pioneering online retailer has an outsize presence, and any move it makes toward improving corporate responsibility promises to be a seismic shift that would influence all the industries impacted by Amazon’s meteoric growth – from food and electronics to web hosting and media. So what is the state of CR at Amazon? A CR Magazine review of its practices and strategy finds that Amazon has made significant progress in two major areas: packaging improvements and renewable energy commitments. These are both material issues for the company, a big deal from an environmental perspective, and deserve to be lauded.
By John Howell From medieval occupational guilds to today’s purpose-driven associations, professionals have gathered to share best practices, enhance professional development, and learn how their peers are addressing issues. And, of course, they join together to participate in the crucial network building of like-minded individuals and businesses that yields both insights and new business. The Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) is a state-of-the-art business association for those companies and organizations that have or desire a strong focus on CR. Founded in 2007, the CRA was acquired last year by 3BL Media, the leading distribution service for news and information about corporate responsibility and sustainability. Today, the Association is stronger than ever. Members connect in a variety of ways: at the annual COMMIT!Forum conference, through the Brands Taking Stands Newsletter and the CR magazine, and in Thought Leadership Councils, monthly meetings organized around specific subject areas within CR.
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A CR leader under fire and the alphabet soup of standards organizations By the Editors He’s the new chief executive and his 100-day anniversary was fast approaching. Many miles from the familiar trappings of his hometown, he has uprooted his family and inherited all the successes—as well as the baggage—of preceding administrations. Yet despite having more power and influence than other world leaders, critics abound. No, this is not a story about the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Rather, the man experiencing a tumultuous honeymoon as CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is Tim Mohin. Hired by the GRI’s board late last year, the longtime corporate responsibility practitioner and his wife moved from Austin, Texas, to the independent standards organization’s headquarters in Amsterdam in January. Comparisons to the Donald Trump election have been coming ever since. “I have yet to sign any executive orders,” Mohin chuckled during an interview at the annual conference of Ceres, the NGO that launched GRI in 1997.
The top corporations dedicated to sustainability in the energy category CR Magazine has put together its annual set of the “2017 Most Responsible Companies Ranked by Industry Sector” list. This list serves to help readers establish that their supply chain is comprised of the most responsible, sustainable, and transparent companies—creating shared value when strategic opportunities arise. In past years, this ranked list includes the top 12 companies in all 11 industry categories. This year, we are going to break down the list to feature one industry sector per magazine, to bring more attention to the category as a whole. In this issue we focus on “Energy.” To view the 2017 list, click here. For these compilations, we use the same methodology as the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List,” with one additional data slice. The Best Corporate Citizens database comprises publicly available data from Russell 1000 companies collected and analyzed by IW Financial, a Portland, Maine-based financial analysis firm serving the environment, social, and governance (ESG) investment community.
U.S. companies are speaking out on divisive hot button issues By Tom Idle “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” This sentence in Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address of 1981, which poured ire on the notion of ‘big government,’ has stayed with many Americans to this day. In fact, almost 70 percent of people see government intervention (or otherwise) as the greatest threat to the nation, according to the latest Gallup poll on the subject, compared with just 26 percent who think it’s big business. It is little wonder then that politicians—from both the left and right sides of the political spectrum—have long banged the anti-corporate drum in the apparent hope of shifting attention away from themselves. Questioning the role, size and influence of business in society has become the political playground game of choice.
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