Do you understand the ‘freight footprint’?

footprint Reducing it is crucial to leading a sustainable supply chain By Karl Simon It’s hard not to notice the 18-wheelers with which we share the roads on our work commutes and family trips. We drive alongside these big-rigs often on our way to the store to buy the very products these trucks are delivering. Trucking and freight transportation is vital to our communities and a cornerstone of our economy, bringing us the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Without our consciously thinking how, the goods we need reach us every day – reliably, conveniently and cost-effectively. Our reliance upon this critical economic sector is perhaps invisible to many, but not to business leaders. Business depends on efficient transportation supply chains, especially in key industries such as retail, manufacturing, consumer products and food and beverage. Smart executives recognize that freight transportation – via truck, rail, air or marine cargo – is a key strategic area for CR managers and decision makers.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

Stevia’s Sustainability Impact

3 ways stevia’s selling itself in the food & beverage supply chain

The blockbuster television series Breaking Bad had a plotline that centered on the natural sweetener stevia – there was one character who was both the perpetrator and victim of murder plots and she liked to put stevia in her tea. (She met an untimely end when her sweetener was poisoned, which won’t happen to you – we promise.)
For many people in the United States, that’s the first time they’d heard of stevia, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that’s grown from a tropical plant. More recently, Coca- Cola and Pepsico have introduced stevia-sweetened versions of their products, called Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True, complete with green product containers to signal its sustainability-friendly nature.
To learn more about sustainability impacts of this new sweetener, CR Magazine spoke with Ajay Chandran, Global Key Account and Corporate Sustainability Director, PureCircle, Oak Brook, IL, a manufacturer of stevia which supplies many of the biggest players in the food and beverage market.

Continue reading →

Who’s Who in Sustainability Education

Leading CSR course offerings to consider

Following is our annual list of sustainability education programs. The programs on this list all have one thing in common: educating students on how to do well by doing good. From Canada to the Philippines, from Portland to Florida, these business programs offer opportunities for people to strengthen their professional skills.

Course offerings range from Sustainable Business to Ethics to Social Responsibility degrees
– the chosen limitation of focus is up to the individual. It’s never too late to go back to school, whether it be for an MBA or just a quick CSR seminar. Once potential CR leaders begin to have academic background from these programs, there’s no telling what the future of CR holds.

Click here for the list.

Sustainable Buyer’s Guide: Most Responsible Companies by Sector

The most transparent large-cap companies

By The Editors

This is CR Magazine’s annual set of “Industry Sector Best Corporate Citizens” lists. It serves as a buyer’s guide for establishing that your supply chain/value chain is comprised of the most responsible, sustainable and transparent companies—and this guide helps ensure you are creating shared value when strategic opportunities arise.
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.

For the “Industry Sector Best Corporate Citizens” lists, we identify the industry sectors with high representation among the Russell 1000, our starting universe for our database.

Continue reading →

Reductions despite rapid growth

Biogen Idec’s Hector Rodriguez explains the company’s approach to sustainability, and its success in reducing energy use, carbon emissions, and water usage

By Bill Hatton

Biogen Idec, a leading bio-technology firm, recently announced its 2013 Corporate Citizenship Report. Among the reductions it announced were cutting water-intensity, greenhouse-gas intensity, and energy intensity, by factors of between 57 percent and 66 percent since 2006. CR Magazine discussed the company’s sustainability program and some factors that lead to success with the Biogen Idec’s senior director of Global EHS & Sustainability, Hector Rodriguez.

CR: What triggered your sustainability program?

Hector Rodriguez: As a company, in early ’09, we really decided that we should start formalizing our efforts around sustainability management. The main reason for that was a request from an investor company’s advisor.

Continue reading →

Editor’s Letter: Things are moving fast

Editor's Letter: Things are moving fast
By Bill Hatton
Editorial Director

This issue contains an extra dose of interviews—experts talking about what their companies are doing in terms of CR, sustainability and shared value, and how they’re doing it. We’ve got a stellar lineup of executives telling us their stories:

  • Saatchi & Saatchi S’s CEO Annie Longsworth delves into the communication issues surrounding sustainability and branding. Ms. Longsworth sat down with CR Magazine at the Sustainable Brands conference in June, and we followed up from there. See the CEO Interview on P. 10 for the results.
  • Fiona Pelham, managing director of Sustainable Events, Ltd., explains what it takes to pull off a sustainable event that is memorable and reinforces you business strategy. See Event Planning of P. 28 for key principles and action steps.

Continue reading →

Looking Up

Saatchi & Saatchi S’s CEO Annie Longsworth on green-muting, finding purpose, and making sustainability irresistible

By Bill Hatton

Saatchi & Saatchi S is the sustainability arm of the global advertising agency. Founded in 2007 when Saatchi & Saatchi acquired Adam Werbach’s Act Now Productions, Saatchi & Saatchi S provides sustainability strategy, engagement and communication services, as well as traditional PR functions such as article placement and social media. Its clients include some of the largest global companies and pioneers in sustainability, including Walmart, The Coca-Cola Company and AT&T. CEO Annie Longsworth recently sat down with CR Magazine to dig deeper into issues of sustainability, communications and purpose. She is planning to speak at our magazine’s annual event, the COMMIT!Forum, in October.

Continue reading →

Do your events reinforce—or undercut—your sustainability message?

Best practices for sending the right signals

By Bill Hatton

If you’re looking for a way to maximize the wow factor of your company’s next big meeting—plus impress attendees and put a gold star next to your company’s image—consider make it a “sustainable event.”

What steps do you need to take to get there?
CR Magazine put that question to Fiona Pelham, who is managing director of Sustainable Events Ltd, a U.K.-based organization dedicated to creating a sustainable event industry. She holds the same position at Positive Impact, a non-profit provider of educational materials on sustainable events. (“We have over 22 people trained around the world to be able to lead workshops, to create and implement sustainability strategies,” she explains.)

Here are her suggestions:


Continue reading →

The Sustainability Anti-Hero

How the people in the middle can generate change

By Richard Crespin

The big epiphany. The deathbed revelation. The big aha moment. In the CEO-as-hero stories that we get spoon-fed so often, these have become regular parts of the sustainability narrative. The CEO who suddenly realizes that her company is choking the planet and decides to radically up-end her business with a massive overhaul. S/he may or may not have been dying or on a spiritual walkabout, but the story is largely the same: Big Bang approaches led from the top.

But what about the rest of us? Those of us in companies without CEOs on a vision quest but who nonetheless want to see their companies go from doing less bad to doing more good. What do we do? What does an incremental approach to integration look like and can it have the same or better results than the Big Bang?

From our research, the answer is yes.

Continue reading →