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CR Roundup

Big savings on packaging for Dell

By Bill Hatton
At Sustainable Brands San Diego, I spoke to Bruno Sarda, the director of global sustainability operations for Dell. It was a wide-ranging discussion on Dell’s sustainability programs, but one area of particular interest was sustainable packaging. Dell has made significant savings through more sustainable packaging using a three-fold process called the three Cs: cube, content, and curb, a program initially launched in 2008 and that has been increasingly innovative ever since. Here’s an outline of it:
1. “Cube is how do you make the packaging smaller— not just because of the products become smaller—in proportion to the product,” explains Sarda. This means using different techniques of compression and shock absorption, so you can have a smaller envelope (i.e., shipping container). That in turn means using fewer packing materials, and that produces benefits when it comes to shipping.

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From floodwaters to marathons

IBM's Robert Andrews is one in a quarter million

By Lorri Lewis
Rampaging floodwaters have destroyed all roads leading into a Denver neighborhood. Residents are cut off from the rest of the world. And all lines of communication are down.
A helicopter hovers over this scene, carrying an essential package. It’s a satellite system—a mobile communications set-up that will connect residents to their loved ones.
The man responsible for getting the stranded families reconnected is Robert Andrews, a security consultant with the lab services team at IBM. Along with his position at IBM, Andrews also serves as a Disaster Service Technology volunteer and a National Emergency Response Professional with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Andrews managed the entire communications infrastructure during the disaster response in the 2013 Colorado flooding.

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CRA companies taking the initiative on diversity, community impact and CR reporting

 CRA companies taking the initiative on diversity, community impact and CR reporting


By Allie Williams
The advisory board of the Corporate Responsibility Association is made up of industry thought leaders with a passion for CSR, Sustainability and responsible supply chain management. Here is a quick roundup of some of the current CR initiatives these companies are working on:
1. MGM Resorts International will host the ninth annual Women’s Leadership Conference at MGM Grand Las Vegas, July 13 and 14. The two-day conference is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. The purpose of WLC is to provide women professionals with the tools and networking opportunities they need to further develop and advance their careers. But it serves a dual purpose: all proceeds of the conference, after costs, are donated through the MGM Resorts Foundation to a nonprofit agency dedicated to the welfare, protection or development of women and girls.

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Empowering Children

When life deals a rough hand to young people, Hasbro employees step up


By Lorri Lewis
Children and toys go together, like peanut butter and jelly. But for some kids waiting to be adopted and for those in foster care, it’s not that simple. “For so many of these youth, the concept of childhood is very different than it is for most children,” says Karen Davis, senior vice president of Global Philanthropy and Social Impact at Hasbro. “Many of the programs we support in this area help provide these children with opportunities and experiences they might otherwise miss out on as a result of the hand life has dealt them.”
That’s why the toy manufacturer places strategic priority on children. Specifically, they assist children in state care who are waiting for placement, and those in foster care. Hasbro works with charitable organizations with the goal of helping to empower children through its philanthropic work, including toy and game distributions, financial support and employee volunteerism.

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CRA companies taking the initiative on diversity, community impact and CR reporting

CRA companies taking the initiative on diversity, community impact and CR reporting


By Allie Williams
The advisory board of the Corporate Responsibility Association is made up of industry thought leaders with a passion for CSR, Sustainability and responsible supply chain management. Here is a quick roundup of some of the current CR initiatives these companies are working on:
1. MGM Resorts International will host the ninth annual Women’s Leadership Conference at MGM Grand Las Vegas, July 13 and 14. The two-day conference is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. The purpose of WLC is to provide women professionals with the tools and networking opportunities they need to further develop and advance their careers. But it serves a dual purpose: all proceeds of the conference, after costs, are donated through the MGM Resorts Foundation to a nonprofit agency dedicated to the welfare, protection or development of women and girls.

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What we’re not talking about when we talk about employee engagement

What we’re not talking about when we talk about employee engagement


By Ryan Scott
Corporate America is obsessed with employee engagement. And perhaps it should be. Gallup’s annual reports on employee engagement tell us that engaged employees give approximately 57% more effort and are 87% less likely to resign. Organizations with above average levels of employee engagement reap 147% higher earnings per share. When both customer and employee engagement are above average, they experience a 240% jump in performance-related business outcomes.
Given these tantalizing numbers, company leaders are naturally scrambling to figure out why less than one third of employees are engaged these days. Only one in five employees trust business leaders to tell the truth on difficult issues. Fifty percent of employees would not recommend their employer to peers.

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Generation Food

What happens when opposing stakeholders discuss problems and solutions


By Richard Crespin
When I asked the nearly 100 student, non-profit, government, and business leaders gathered on the campus of UC Davis, “What stands between us and being able to nourish nine billion people?” one student answered, “We have to look at all these water-intensive crops. I mean we’re in the middle of a drought and we’re still planting almonds!” To which I suggested, “Perhaps you should talk that over with the almond grower sitting at the next table.”
Over the next few hours of our #Nourish9B SolutionLab – a joint initiative between CollaborateUp and Net Impact – we explored how we can produce more and more nutritious food with less waste and better land conservation.

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Do the benefits of LEED buildings pay off?

Pre-planning, trial-and-error required to get it right


By Larry Alton
In major cities and thriving business centers, you can hardly look in any direction without seeing a LEED certified building. It’s as if they’re being thrown up faster than older buildings are taken down. But why exactly are businesses pursuing these eco-friendly alternatives to traditional buildings, and do the benefits extend beyond cost-savings? Additionally, once these buildings are built, are they meeting expectations?
The Proliferation of LEED Buildings
Achieving LEED certification is currently one of the top sustainable goals for private and public organizations of all sizes, with 675.9 million square feet becoming certified last year alone. In total, there’s more than 3.6 billion square feet of LEED certified building space in the US.

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Free is very expensive

Pricing nature’s services reduces business risk and benefits society


By Meghna Tare and R. Paul Herman
When you breathe the air, smell the flowers, or pluck a fish from the ocean, the price is free.
Yet nature’s services, evolved over 4.5 billion years, are priceless. No MasterCard needed to benefit from earth, bees, and oceans – priced less than they are worth. In fact, what nature provides is worth at least twice the value of what is counted as revenue and Gross Domestic Product. That is right, for every revenue dollar of your company and our economy, Nature has granted at least twice the value of the top-line.
Back in 1997, a team of scientists estimated the value provided by 16 environmental ecosystems, from forests and trees cleaning the air as Earth’s lungs, to bees fertilizing flowers across gardens and farms.

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The Future of Moneyball Management May Be Rooted in CR

The Future of Moneyball Management May Be Rooted in CR
By Stephen Jordan and Steve Rochlin
The basic goal of every financial investor is to identify “alpha” investing opportunities. Alpha is gained when an investment generates a higher rate of return than its risk profile would suggest that it generate. Historically, alpha has often been linked to technology breakthroughs, new discoveries, superior insight, and better management practices. Our thesis is that some investors will find alpha by applying “Moneyball” techniques to what used to be seen as the domain of corporate responsibility managers – sustainability and social capital.
The great legends of business management – Frederick Taylor, Ben Graham, Peter Drucker, and Edward Deming all tended to focus on “black boxes” -- aspects of business that were seen as mysteries or unruly or difficult to understand, and they were able to successfully analyze them and give them structure and create processes to replicate successful practices around them.

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