The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Strategic CSR - Beer pipeline

The article in the url below presents an innovative approach to reducing congestion in Bruges, Belgium:
"Xavier Vanneste, heir to a dynasty of beer brewers in this medieval city, had a pipe dream. When he woke up and looked out of his window one spring morning, he saw workers on the street laying underground utility cables in front of his house, situated on the same ancient square as the brewery he runs. 'I immediately realized this was the solution,' Mr. Vanneste said. The brewery's truck fleet had been bottling up the city's narrow, cobblestone streets. Matters had been getting worse since 2010, when the brewery moved its bottling facility out of town. His brain wave? A beer pipeline."
Four years after he first imagined it, the pipeline is no longer a dream. It opened this summer:
"It stretches 2 miles from the brewery, De Halve Maan, or The Half Moon, in the city center to the bottling plant in an industrial area. It will be able to carry 1,500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph. Hundreds of truck trips a year will no longer be necessary."
In addition to the innovative means of distribution, the project was funded via a creative, ground-up financing model:
"The citywide attention gave Mr. Vanneste another idea. He'd partly fund the €4 million ($4.5 million) investment by offering lifetime supplies of beer. Attracted by the liquid returns, brew-lovers sank some €300,000 into the project. They were offered three options. The most expensive 'gold' membership, which costs €7,500, entitles the holder to an 11-ounce bottle of Brugse Zot beer (retail price, €1.70) every day for life, along with 18 personalized glasses."
I see more beer bonds in our future, as well as a beer pipeline in every major city! All, of course, in the interests of reducing traffic congestion:
"The city of Bruges, which last year attracted 6.6 million tourists, has long been looking for solutions to reduce traffic in its historic center—a Unesco World Heritage site known for its canals and medieval architecture. 'The pipeline is a breakthrough,' said Renaat Landuyt, mayor of Bruges, which was the economic capital of Northern Europe between 1200 and 1400. Mr. Landuyt said he would even consider constructing pipelines for other goods, including chocolate, one of Belgium's other precious commodities."
Take care
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Brewery Builds a Pipeline, Sending Beer Lovers Into a Froth
By Matthias Verbergt
May 5, 2016
The Wall Street Journal

Friday, August 26, 2016

Strategic CSR - Facebook

The article in the url below raises a fascinating question about our increasingly virtual and shared lives:
"That photo of your toddler running around in a nappy or having a temper tantrum? Think before you post it on Facebook. That's the advice from French authorities, which have warned parents in France they could face fines of up to €45,000 (£35,000) and a year in prison for publishing intimate photos of their children on social media without permission, as part of the country's strict privacy laws."
Given the extent of the problem, it is not hard to imagine a scenario where some children seek redress for photos that subsequently are deemed too embarrassing and, potentially, a constraint on their lives once they become adults (e.g., affecting employment possibilities, dating even?):
"A 2015 study by internet company Nominet found parents in the UK post nearly 200 photos of their under fives online every year, meaning a child will feature in around 1,000 online photos before their fifth birthday."
Something that should create pause for thought before your next online post:
"'Your favourite picture of your child sitting on the potty for the first time may not be their favourite picture of themselves when they're 13,' says author and child psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair."
Have a good weekend
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Could children one day sue parents for posting baby pics on Facebook?
By Nicole Kobie
May 8, 2016
The Guardian

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Strategic CSR - Welcome back!

Welcome back to the Strategic CSR Newsletter!
The first CSR Newsletter of the Fall semester is below.
As always, your comments and ideas are welcome.
The Newsletters this semester begin with the article in the url below, which contains a stunning number that emerged over the summer:
"BP PLC said its costs from the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would rise by an additional $5.2 billion and ultimately cost $61.6 billion to put one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history behind it."
Acting according to the expectations of stakeholders is a surprisingly difficult message to convey to large corporations. But, if there is ever a compelling argument to focus on building an ethical organizational culture that encourages investment in the short-term in order to create broad-based value over the medium to long-term, BP would seem to be it:
"The British oil giant said on Thursday the pretax charge for its second quarter likely would be the last from the Deepwater Horizon accident to have a 'material impact' on its financial performance, signaling an end to six years of mounting costs that humbled one of the world's largest energy companies."
To put this number of $61.6 billion into some kind of context:
"BP's costs are much larger than the fines levied on individual banks involved in the subprime mortgage crisis last decade or the 1989 Exxon-Valdez spill, which cost the U.S. company $4.3 billion."
The graphic accompanying the article ( compares BP's penalty to those of other firms that caused environmental disasters in the US. While these fines are not inflation-adjusted, the contrast remains striking:
- Three Mile Island (1979): $1 billion
- Hudson River PCB contamination (1970s): $1.6 billion
- Exxon-Valdez oil spill (1989): $4.3 billion
- Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010): $61.6 billion
Hope you all have a good semester.
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BP's Gulf-spill Tab Hits $62 Billion
By Michael Amon and Tapan Panchal
July 15, 2016
The Wall Street Journal
Late Edition – Final