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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Friday, February 1, 2013

Strategic CSR - 2012

As the article in the url below reminds us, when there are so many reasons to criticize, you can sometimes lose sight of all the good things that are happening in CSR:

“It’s easy, amid the daily churn of downer headlines, to lose sight of the good stuff, the developments that signifies a marker for progress.”

With this in mind, here are a selection of the fifteen highlights of the best that happened in terms of sustainability in 2012 (according to
  • Marks & Spencer announced that it had sold one billion sustainable products. Over a third of the items it sells now boast some form of sustainability credential.
  • The U.K. government said it will introduce mandatory carbon reporting rules requiring around 1,800 of the country's largest listed companies to report annually on their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Whole Foods became the first major North American retailer to stop selling unsustainable, or red-listed, seafood, a determination by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute that the fish species is being overfished or that current fishing methods harm non-target marine life or habitats. 
  • Nike’s adopted a waterless dyeing technology that uses recycled carbon dioxide to color synthetic textiles. The process could eliminate the use of countless billions of gallons of polluted discharges into waterways near manufacturing plants in Asia.
  • Puma published a detailed environmental profit & loss statement for 2010, valuing the costs to the planet incurred by its operations across its supply chain.
This list reminds me again that for-profit firms are central to the kind of society that we want to construct. They are the best way that we have found to organize and distribute scarce resources in the most efficient and socially constructive way. For-profit firms need to be a big part of the solution, which is why the business school is such an important part of a university education.

Take care

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2012 was the year that …
By Joel Makower
December 31, 2012