By Dave Armon For corporate responsibility professionals who want to show the positive impact of their work, video is often the medium of choice. But hold off on powdering your CEO’s nose and firing up the teleprompter. Authenticity suffers when those appearing on camera look like they’ve just completed Media Training 101, says Vern Oakley, a veteran filmmaker who founded Tribe Pictures in 1986. Oakley will lead a session aimed at helping CSR and sustainability pros tell better stories using video during COMMIT!Forum, Oct. 11-12. “While media training prepares you for some specific situations, it can suck all the authenticity out of you and leave nothing but a corporate taking head,” warns Oakley in his new book, Leadership in Focus. “It teaches people to pivot, to avoid, to squirm, and to dodge. Media training helps people go on Fox News or sit with Charlie Rose or get in a good quip at the debate, but what happens in media training is the total opposite of what it takes to be you on camera.
To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Tom Schueneman Today is Earth Overshoot Day. As of today, the year is done for planet Earth, she has given a year's worth of natural resources. It may seem counter-intuitive at first. Obviously, we aren’t done with 2017 yet. How can we take more than the Earth makes, for decades on end? Have you ever run out of money before running out of month? If not, pat yourself on the back. You know how to consistently manage your resources. For the rest of us, we borrow against our future ability to fill in the gaps, keep things flowing. What about running out of Earth before running out of year? We all do that.
To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Gina-Marie Cheeseman There are over seven billion people in the world and every one of them needs to eat to live. Feeding a growing world population means that crop yields have to be improved. Fertilizers are important to improve crop yields in order to feed a growing global population. As the world population grows, the demand for food will continue to grow while the amount of cultivated land will not significantly increase, making methods to improve crop production important. American farmers are the most productive in the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The U.S. is a big producer of fertilizers for both domestic use and to be exported. The USGS maintains that applying mineral fertilizers in “increased quantities...is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve soil fertility.
To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Gina-Marie Cheeseman Our pork chop and bacon habits require a lot of pigs. Which means those in the pork business are in the pregnant sow business. Unfortunately, industry standard "gestation crates" are pretty miserable due to their tiny size. Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog producer, is committed to transitioning all pregnant sows on company-owned farms to group housing systems by the end of 2017. The company is well on its way to meet the goal. As of the end of last year, 87 percent of its company-owned farms house pregnant sows in group systems. Smithfield recommends that all of its contract sow grocers in the U.S. transition to group housing by the end of 2022. Although it is only a recommendation, the company states in its latest sustainability report that “if growers choose not to participate, their current contracts will remain unchanged, although extensions are less likely.
At the recent Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit, CR Magazine spoke with Brian Lakamp, Founder and CEO at Totem Power. Totem's smart hub combines modern communications, advanced energy, and distributed intelligence into a single, powerful platform for modern campuses, retail centers, commercial facilities, cities and more. We spoke with him about being a practitioner in the clean energy space. CRMag:As a practitioner, how does telling the Corporate Responsibility (CR) story feel different from everyday sales & marketing? Brian Lakamp: Totem is the first smart city platform that is dedicated to telling its CR story through its core offering. Totem was founded to grow and connect responsible and resilient communities– and that is at the heart of the company. Corporations are missing out on massive opportunities to leverage their CR and sustainability investments beyond their PR and company messaging. By installing Totem into their campuses or parking lots, corporations can breed awareness and engagement with corporate sustainability commitments across customers and employees in ways that that haven’t been available previously.
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While in Detroit for Sustainable Brands, CR Magazine spoke with Michele Bartolini, Marketing Director at Rolland Paper. Bartolini oversees marketing for the premium paper company, which puts reuse at the center of its business model. CRMag: As a marketer, does telling the Corporate Responsibility (CR) story feel different from everyday sales & marketing? Michele Bartolini Rolland’s CR story and our marketing story are really one and the same – there’s no dividing line. This story is all about corporate responsibility, on the part of Rolland and our customers: Our objective is to make the best recycled paper, and maintain the smallest environmental footprint, to help our customers maintain sustainable supply chains. This is tied into our values, our actions, and what we stand for as a company – and our sales people tell this story every day. In brief, CR is business-as-usual for Rolland. CRMag: How has your understanding of CR — within your company or sector and as a general matter — evolved over time? MB: As society in general has become more sensitized to environmental concerns, purchasing patterns have evolved and that has spurred demand for recycled paper – a responsible product.
While in Detroit for Sustainable Brands, CR Magazine spoke with Robert Zimmerman, director of WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) products for Kohler. Rob leads Kohler's efforts to develop water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) products and services for underserved markets globally. CRMag: As a practitioner, how does telling the Corporate Responsibility (CR) story feel different from everyday sales & marketing? Robert Zimmerman: We look at communicating Kohler’s corporate responsibility program (what we call our “Believing in Better” focus) as a long-term relationship-building strategy with our customers and key stakeholders. It’s the story behind our products: The community stewardship and environmental sustainability aspects that are a legacy of the company. Our customers expect us to do the right thing, that’s what it comes down to, and it’s important that we let them know what we are doing to preserve the environment and support our communities.
To gain practical skills to boost stakeholder and employee engagement, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Jan Lee Companies are under increasing pressure from stakeholders to demonstrate their commitment to social and environmental initiatives. Whether it’s providing shelter or meals for homeless families, increasing funding for educational programs or lobbying for change in Washington about issues that affect their businesses, consumers, clients and investors want to know that the companies they invest in aren’t afraid to engage in social initiatives. According to a recent survey by the Public Affairs Council, 60 percent of corporate respondents said their stakeholders expect the company to engage socially in their communities. More than 70 percent of those respondents also said they expect that demand from stakeholders to increase, not decrease, in the coming years. That’s because social programs are also helping to drive consumer behavior.
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