Junk food companies say they’re trying to do good. A new book raises doubts

2 02 2023

As soda consumption has dropped in the West, companies are making an effort to woo new customers in other places. This Coke bottle ad is in Mozambique. Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

By Pien Huang from NPR • Posted: February 1, 2023

So how do you get people to drink more soda?

That’s a question Coca-Cola and other soda makers are wrestling with as soda drinking has waned in U.S. and European markets.

In the 2010s, Coke made a big push into rural parts of lower income countries to sell more soda. So they made smaller, more durable bottles – a 1-cup serving size that could be sold more cheaply and last longer on the shelves.

They built solar-powered coolers that allowed sellers to keep Coke bottles cold in places off the electrical grid – and offer mobile phone-charging to their customers.

And they launched “splash bars” – small businesses run by women that sold shots of Coke, Fanta and other Coca-Cola products for as low as 7 U.S. cents a serving to make the beverage affordable to everyone.

Eduardo J. Gómez is the author of the new book Junk Food Politics: How Beverage and Fast Food Industries Are Reshaping Emerging Economies.
Eduardo J. Gómez is the author of the new book Junk Food Politics: How Beverage and Fast Food Industries Are Reshaping Emerging Economies. Photo: Eduardo J. Gómez

The company presented this strategy as a win-win – they benefited because their product was becoming more available in remote areas and female entrepreneurs had a new way to earn a living.

That’s a story that Eduardo J. Gómez tells in his new book. As he points out, Coke’s characterization of a win-win isn’t universally embraced.

Gómez, director of the Institute of Health Policy and Politics at Lehigh University, says Coca-Cola is one of many junk food companies – fast-food giants like McDonald’s and KFC – who are targeting “emerging economies” – countries where income is on the rise along with trade with wealthier nations.

In these countries, many people see the ability to buy so-called junk food – not just soda but packaged chips and candies and fast food from chains – as a sign they’re made it. And the junk food manufacturers try to put a positive face on their campaigns to expand their audience. They forge partnerships with local governments to fight hunger and poverty – even as the rising consumption of junk food leads to soaring rates of obesity and diabetes.

In his new book, Junk Food Politics: How Beverage and Fast Food Industries Are Reshaping Emerging Economies, Gómez describes a two-way street, where industry and political leaders work together to launch well-meaning social programs – but also skirt regulations that would harm industry’s profits. The result, Gómez says, is that junk food industries thrive in low resource countries at the expense of children and the poor, who develop long-term health problems from consuming sugar-laden, ultra-processed foods.

NPR spoke with Gómez about junk food barges, soda taxes and why healthy eating campaigns aren’t cutting it against ads for candy and fried chicken. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity:

Let’s start with an easy question. What is junk food?

The new book Junk Food Politics.
Johns Hopkins University Press

I define junk food as highly ultra-processed fast foods, from KFC to burgers, candies, confectionery, ice cream. Junk food is also Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew – high-sugar, carbonated soda drinks.

What role does junk food play in lower- and middle-income countries? 

There’s a proliferation of these junk foods now, not only in cities but in rural communities in India, in Mexico, even into the Brazilian Amazon.

In the emerging economies, these foods that were not [previously] accessible suddenly became very accessible in the 1990s or early 2000s.

We’re seeing [a vast and rapid] infiltration of these foods because of what I call “fear and opportunity.” “Fear” that industries have of losing market [share] in Western nations, and “opportunity” because there’s a [growing] middle class in these emerging economies that are eager to purchase them.

What is junk food politics?

Junk food politics is a two-way street. It’s when [junk food] industries influence politics and society so they can avoid regulations that will impact their profitability, such as taxes on junk foods and regulations on marketing and sales.

We often think industry is to blame. But governments are also to blame [because political leaders partner with industry on their own political agendas – which gives industry clout to undermine policies that would cut their profits].

What’s a good example of junk food politics in action?

In Brazil, for example, you have the rise of industry groups, [like the Brazilian Food Industry Association] that were very, very influential in lobbying the congress and infiltrating national agencies that are working on regulations [like advertising restrictions for junk food]. They’re engaging in partnerships [with governments and communities where] they can be perceived as a solution to the problems [of obesity and diabetes] by, for instance, helping to improve the [sharing] of nutritional information. They’re building legitimacy and avoiding costly regulations.

At the same time, [Brazil’s] President Lula [in his prior term] had a famous anti-hunger campaign. And Lula worked with Nestlé to strengthen this program and went as far as creating an office within his presidential palace to partner with industries that wanted to contribute to this anti-hunger program. And so that was a strategic, two-way partnership that benefited industry and benefited the government.

Of course, President Lula’s intentions were admirable in alleviating hunger. But perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to partner with companies that produce a lot of these ultra-processed foods, because it indirectly legitimizes the company. It amplifies the popularity of their products and their harmful consequences to health.

As low-resource countries rise in wealth, rates of obesity and diabetes also tend to rise. What is the scope of the problem? Why does it happen?

The incidence of childhood obesity is growing much faster in developing countries [than in the West]. [Rates of] type 2 diabetes among adolescents are extremely high in India and China and Mexico.

The rural poor are also becoming obese and getting diabetes. This is something we don’t normally assume. In India, for example, in the 1990s and early 2000s, obesity was seen as a “disease of luxury.” It was perceived that only people with status and money that could go to fast food establishments were having this problem. For many years the government didn’t do anything because they perceived [growing rates of diabetes and obesity] as affecting a small minority of the population.

But now, it’s become a general issue because of the increased access to junk foods.

How has access increased? How did junk foods go from being concentrated in cities to being common food items in rural places?

[Junk food distribution] started in cities, and over time they [expand] out to other areas of the country. In Brazil, for a while, Nestlé had these large blue Nestlé boats that traveled throughout the Amazon and distributed candy and cookies throughout the Amazon. [The “junk food barges,” as critics called them, have stopped]. In rural India, there are shops where people pay for one small shot of Coca-Cola while getting their phones charged.

In every country, junk food is something that’s voluntarily bought. It’s voluntarily eaten. So why are programs that encourage healthy eating and daily exercise and nutrition labeling not enough to convince people to avoid it? 

Of course we want people to have nutritional information – we want people to know more, and we want them to know what they’re eating. And there’s growing commitment and success on better food labels. Chile, for example, has introduced more effective food labels – on products high in salt, sugar and fat, they have adopted these black octagon images that are on the food products – that have rippled out through the Americas.

But people are always flooded with marketing and access [to processed foods]. Even when you have this knowledge, there are incentives for you to eat these products that are readily available and less healthy.

What I hear you saying is that healthy eating and exercise campaigns focus on the individual, but poor health and nutrition are rooted in bigger, systemic problems.

Yes, absolutely. Nutritional information is very important, but it’s insufficient. We need to address socioeconomic factors, marketing factors, all these things that play into [making junk foods an easy, accessible choice].

You say governments in low-resource countries have made some progress on taxing junk foods and improving the labeling. What else do you think needs to happen? 

None of these governments have committed to restricting advertising. [Countries have, instead, relied on voluntary pledges from companies to refrain from marketing unhealthy foods to children.] In a lot of these countries, there are no firm laws on what can be sold in schools. And even when they have laws or rules that prohibit the sale of junk foods in schools, they are not effectively being enforced.

There’s a paradox: While countries [such as Mexico, Brazil, India and Indonesia] have done a great job of increasing nutritional awareness, obesity and diabetes is still skyrocketing. And that’s because governments are doing a little bit on the fringes but not really getting to the heart of the problem. They’re not taking on these industries through regulations to sales and advertising.

What does junk food politics cost society?

There’s an extremely high cost to society, mainly from the health consequences. If you develop type 2 diabetes as a consequence of high sugar intake, it has a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Argentina, for example, has seen a crisis in the affordability of insulin. In the context of global universal health care, we don’t pay enough attention to ensuring that the poor do not go broke in getting the medicines that they need to address their high blood pressure, their [blood] sugar.

What’s the solution? What can cut into the influence that junk food politics has on public health?

The solution is having a government that is committed to ensuring the health of all of society. One that provides activists and communities with a voice that is equal to, or exceeds, the voice of industries within government. One that has no fear of taking on the powerful industries and creating regulations that protect vulnerable populations – especially children and the poor – over the interests of major corporations.

And the solution, too, is our work in communities as researchers and as community members, to raise the awareness about the importance of good nutrition and exercise, and to increase awareness about the need for access to healthier foods.

And just wondering if climate change will play any role?

That’s the topic of my next book – climate change and malnutrition.

And your thesis is that with the changing climate …

… the availability of healthy foods becomes increasingly scarce.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/02/01/npr-junk-food-companies-say-theyre-trying-to-do-good-a-new-book-raises-doubts

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Minnesota is poised to require carbon-free electricity. What does that mean?

2 02 2023

Solar panels gleam in the late-afternoon light at the Sylvan solar project just west of Brainerd on Dec. 7. Minnesota Power recently built the 15.2-megawatt project and two others in Hoyt Lakes and Duluth as part of its effort to increase its solar capacity. Photo: Kirsti Marohn | MPR News

By Kirsti Marohn from Minnesota Public Radio News • February 2, 2023

A bill that would require Minnesota’s electricity to be carbon-free by 2040 is speeding through the Legislature.

The House has already passed the measure, and the Senate is set to vote on it Thursday. Here’s a closer look at the bill, and what it will mean for electric utilities and their customers.

In Minnesota, burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to produce electricity is one of the biggest sources of carbon and other greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change.

What’s prompting state lawmakers to push this through now?

It’s being driven mainly by concerns about climate change. 

It’s no longer the biggest culprit, as utilities have moved toward cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind. Transportation and agriculture are now the largest contributors of greenhouse gasses in Minnesota.

However, Gov. Tim Walz, DFL lawmakers and environmental groups want to see utilities make the transition to cleaner electricity more quickly. The carbon-free electricity measure is part of an action plan to combat climate change the Walz administration released last fall.

The proposal has been debated for a couple of years. Now that the DFL Party controls both the House and Senate, it has a real chance of passage.

What would the bill do?

It includes two separate standards for renewable and carbon-free energy.

A 2007 Minnesota law already requires utilities to get at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. The state achieved that goal early, in 2017. This bill would bump that amount up to 55 percent renewable by 2035.

It also creates a new carbon-free standard. It requires utilities that do business in Minnesota to get a percentage of their electricity from carbon-free sources — starting with 80 percent by 2030, 90 percent by 2035 and finally, 100 percent by 2040.

What’s the difference between renewable and carbon-free energy?

The bill defines renewable energy as solar, wind, hydropower, hydrogen and biomass, such as a plant that burns garbage or wood to produce electricity.

There is one exception in the bill — the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, or HERC, which burns trash for energy in downtown Minneapolis. It’s been a source of environmental justice concerns over the years because of the air pollution it emits.

HERC stacks
The HERC stacks are 215 feet tall. MPCA models show pollution disperses mostly to the north and south of the plant, with heaviest deposition between Broadway Street and Loring Park. Photo: Stephanie Hemphill | MPR 

The bill’s authors say that facility should not be considered in the same category as other renewable energy sources such as solar or wind.

Another change: Previously, only energy from small hydropower projects under 100 megawatts qualified as renewable. The bill lifts that restriction, so large, existing hydropower projects would now qualify.

That’s significant, because it would now include electricity that Minnesota Power gets from a large hydro facility on the Manitoba River in Canada, which has been controversial among some environmental and tribal groups.

What qualifies as carbon-free energy?

Carbon–free energy sources are those that don’t release any carbon dioxide, such as solar, wind, hydropower or nuclear. Under the bill, nuclear power is not considered a renewable energy source, but it is carbon free.

Minnesota has two nuclear plants, at Prairie Island and Monticello, owned by Xcel Energy. Xcel has said it plans to continue to operate those plants at least for the next couple of decades to help its carbon-free goals.

Minnesota law currently bans building new nuclear plants in the state. Some Republican lawmakers have argued that the ban should be lifted to allow new nuclear energy production, especially smaller modular technology.

Nuclear Generating Plant is seen
Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant is seen through a gate from Wakonade Drive in Prairie Island Indian Community in Welch, Minn. The plant began operating in 1973 and is located adjacent to Prairie Island Indian Community. On-site storage of nuclear waste has proven controversial, as Prairie Island is among the closest communities to a nuclear power plant in the U.S. Photo: Tom Baker for MPR News

Are utilities saying whether they will be able to meet these new standards?

The state’s largest utilities, including Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy and Duluth-based Minnesota Power, have been cautiously supportive. They already have goals of being carbon-free by 2050, so this would move up that date by a decade.

“We’re actually excited about being pushed to go faster,” said Chris Clark, Xcel’s president in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, in an interview. “We also recognize, though, that it’s a challenge.”

A big reason why major utilities aren’t opposing the bill is because it includes exemptions and ways they can meet the standard without ditching fossil fuels altogether. 

For example, a utility could buy renewable energy credits to offset electricity generated by a natural gas plant.

Also, the bill contains so-called “off ramps.” The state Public Utilities Commission could allow a utility to delay meeting the standard if doing so would have big impacts on electric rates or create reliability issues.

“It is an offset mechanism to add flexibility, and address that there is some uncertainty about how to reach a fully carbon-free electric system top to bottom,” said Allen Gleckner, clean electricity director for the nonprofit Fresh Energy. But he thinks utilities will be able to meet the standard by adding more solar and wind and adopting new technologies, such as battery storage.

Another exemption gives utilities leeway for what’s called “beneficial electrification” — for example, if a utility needs more capacity to switch people using natural gas to heat their homes to electricity.

What’s been the response of member-owned cooperatives to the bill?

Some co-ops have voiced concerns about whether they’ll be able to meet these standards while keeping their costs in check. They tend to be smaller, and often have contracts to buy power from fossil fuel plants.

As a compromise, the bill was amended to give co-ops and municipal power agencies a little more time to make the transition. 

They would need to be 60 percent carbon free by 2030, instead of 80 percent like the investor-owned utilities. But all utilities would need to reach the 100 percent standard by 2040.

Why is North Dakota involved in the debate?

North Dakota produces a lot of power from coal and gas. Top officials in that state have threatened a lawsuit over Minnesota’s bill, saying it would illegally restrict interstate commerce and hinder their ability to develop technology to capture carbon.

This isn’t the first legal spat the two states have had over the issue. 

North Dakota officials sued Minnesota over its 2007 law that essentially banned the state from importing power from new coal plants outside of the state. A federal court sided with North Dakota.

If the bill passes the Senate, what’s the next step?

The Senate will consider the same bill that passed the House. If it passes, it will go to Walz, who has said he will sign it.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/02/02/minnesota-is-poised-to-require-carbonfree-electricity-what-does-that-mean





Top Universities Fail to Prepare World Leaders for the Climate Crisis, Report Finds

1 02 2023

A graduation ceremony at Harvard University. Image credit: Christian Lendl/Unsplash

By Patrick McCarthy from triple pundit.com • February 1, 2023

The late comic George Carlin once said, “You don’t need a formal conspiracy when interests converge.” 

A recent assessment of the educational background of world leaders underscores Carlin’s quip, and it provides at least one explanation for global leaders’ consistent inaction regarding climate change: They all went to the same schools.

The new project by youth campaign group Mock COP found that the 30 top universities in the world have not fostered the leadership skills and civic engagement necessary for our world leaders to navigate the impending ecological crisis.

Entitled “1.5 Degrees,” referencing the solemn recommendation from climate scientists that the planet must not warm beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophe, the project demonstrates that current world leaders are birds of a feather — an idle feather at that.

Just as Carlin said, the converging interests of world leaders — who share common backgrounds, educations, worldviews, priorities and goals — has resulted in an informal conspiracy of inertia.

Top universities failed leaders, and leaders fail us

“The people with the privilege to study at the so-called ‘top’ universities, and go on to become key decision-makers across society, are being educated at institutions that do not act in the public good and do not ensure their graduates are prepared to lead a more just and sustainable future,” the 1.5 Degrees website reads. 

The project includes a ranking that grades the world’s top universities on how their engineering, law, economics, politics and health courses, which are traditionally chosen by decision-makers, align with the actions needed to tackle the climate crisis.

The ranking of top universities includes Yale, Cambridge, Oxford and Stanford Universities, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Imperial College London. No institution received a favorable grade. MIT, as well as Beijing’s Tsinghua and Peking Universities, scored the worst at preparing their graduates for a low-carbon future.

The team of young activists at Mock COP ultimately concluded that the most educated among us are often the worst enablers of climate destruction. They further found that critical courses pertaining to environmental citizenship are “influenced by large corporates working against the advice of the world’s leading climate scientists.”

By and large, leaders around the world are consistent in their approach to climate change — they don’t approach it at all. This can’t come as a surprise, though, once the common education factor is acknowledged. For example, Mock COP found that 20 current heads of state attended Harvard University. These schools shape their students’ worldviews, so if world leaders all went to the same few top universities, it is no wonder that they are acting in lockstep.

“World leaders consistently let us down at conferences like Davos, where they have the opportunity to create real, lasting change,” said Josh Tregale, a mechanical engineering student and Mock COP campaign coordinator, in a statement — referring to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting earlier this month. “Had our leading decision makers undertaken university courses which effectively taught the facts of the climate crisis and instilled sustainable thinking, then they would understand the urgency and act accordingly. Instead they are uneducated on the facts and unprepared for climate leadership.”

This all adds up to world leaders are well-meaning and inept at best — and ill-intentioned and adept at worst. Neither is very reassuring, but now that the issue has been identified, Mock COP hopes to influence change.

Youth organizers at Mock COP push for curriculum reform to tackle climate change

Mock COP hopes this project will serve to influence curriculum reform and create more of an emphasis on civic duty and environmental engagement at these top universities. If the most exclusive and accomplished institutions begin to prioritize this sort of education, the rest of academia should follow suit. 

The team expects this information to help climate-minded young people decide where to study, as many students may think twice about attending these top institutions after Mock COP’s report.

The planet is not dying from ignorant people making mistakes. It is dying from self-interested, highly educated people making deliberate decisions that prioritize profits over planet. It is time to start teaching the people who have the power to save the planet that saving the planet is not only in their best interest — it’s in their job description.

To see the original post, follow this link. https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/top-universities-failing-climate-change/765136





Installnet Launches Brand Refresh Reflecting Purpose and Mission

1 02 2023

New offerings spur rapid growth. From Installnet • February 1, 2023

With a growing roster of Fortune 1000 clients, commercial furniture solutions company Installnet today announces its brand refresh to better reflect its purpose and mission demonstrated through the company’s new offerings and development.

The company’s new wordmark reflects its modern and flexible approach to finding solutions that simplify the creation of inspired workspaces. Installnet’s self-serve platform of 350 commercial furniture installation companies, previously known as the Office Furniture Installation Alliance (OFIA), has been rebranded as Installhub.

The purpose of Installnet, founded more than 25 years ago, is to create opportunities for people and communities to thrive. The company provides a range of services, from premium project management to Ecoserv, an award-winning circular decommission program.

“Our mission is to deliver industry-leading solutions that help employees, business and communities prosper,” said Dale Ewing, founder of Installnet. “That includes zero waste to landfill through our Ecoserv program, which provides a much-needed, credible solution to companies serious about meeting their sustainability goals. Getting zero done is an audacious, but achievable goal.”

Over the last year, Installnet has served more than 50 Fortune 1000 companies. Its award-winning Ecoserv program has diverted more than 30 million pounds of waste from landfills since its founding in 2012 and served more than 1600 community groups, providing much-needed furniture, fixtures and equipment.

In 2022, Ecoserv diverted 92% more waste from landfill than the year before and donations to community groups rose 35%. Installnet and Ewing were both honored with 2022 SEAL Sustainability Awards for Ecoserv. The SEAL Sustainability Award honorees range from global brands to high-growth start-ups and scale-ups. This is the second consecutive year Installnet has received the award.

In 2022 the company completed more than 11,000 installation projects in the U.S. and Canada, helping customers create inspired workspaces. With a robust installation partner network and a proprietary web-based software, the company expects to grow 20% in 2023.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/764931-installnet-launches-brand-refresh-reflecting-purpose-and-mission





‘Climate quitting’: One-in-three young people have rejected a job over employers’ weak ESG credentials

30 01 2023

Many younger workers in the U.K. are rejecting employers that lag in ESG. Image via Shutterstock/Prostock-studio.

By Stuart Stone from businessgreen.com • Reposted: January 30, 2023

A third of 18- to 24-year-olds have rejected a job offer based on the prospective employers’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance in favor of more environmentally friendly roles — fueling a growing trend dubbed “climate quitting” by KPMG.

The consultancy giant published the results of a survey of 6,000 U.K. adult office workers, students, apprentices and those who have left higher education in the past six months, which found that almost half — 46 percent — of those quizzed want the company they work for to demonstrate green credentials.

KMPG found that “climate quitting” is being driven by millennial and Gen Z job seekers who are attaching increased weight to the environmental performance of potential employers when considering new roles.

Overall, one-in five-respondents to the survey revealed they had turned down an offer from a firm whose ESG commitments were not consistent with their values, but the share of those rejecting jobs from companies with weak ESG credentials rose to one-in-three for 18- to 24-year-olds.

However, the survey revealed significant numbers of employees are assessing employers’ ESG performance when considering new roles, regardless of age.

It is the younger generations that will see the greater impacts if we fail to reach [global climate] targets, so it is unsurprising that this, and other interrelated ESG considerations, are front of mind for many.

Over half of 18- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds said they valued ESG commitments from their employer, while 48 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds said the same.

Moreover, 30 percent of respondents said they had researched a company’s ESG credentials when job hunting, rising to 45 percent among 18- to 24-year-olds.

A company’s environmental impact and living wage policies were key areas researched by over 45 percent of job seekers. Younger workers tended to be most interested in fair pay commitments, while those ages 35 to 44 were more likely to be interested in the environmental impact of a potential employer.

John McCalla-Leacy, head of ESG at KPMG, said it was little surprise that younger workers were prioritizing firms’ climate credentials.

“It is the younger generations that will see the greater impacts if we fail to reach [global climate] targets, so it is unsurprising that this, and other interrelated ESG considerations, are front of mind for many when choosing who they will work for,” he said.

“For businesses the direction of travel is clear. By 2025, 75 percent of the working population will be millennials, meaning they will need to have credible plans to address ESG if they want to continue to attract and retain this growing pool of talent.”

The results are likely to be welcomed by green businesses, which are facing significant recruitment challenges as they look to hire more people with sustainability and clean tech skills to support the delivery of their net zero targets.

The recent Salary and Recruiting Trends guide from recruitment consultancy firm Hays found that almost two-thirds of young jobseekers are on the hunt for roles in a sustainability sector that is crying out for new talent.

This story first appeared on: BusinessGreen





How supermarket freezers are heating the planet, and how they could change

30 01 2023

Grocery chains under pressure to switch from HFCs to natural refrigerants to curb climate change

Supermarket fridges and freezers leak powerful greenhouse gases called HFCs. Switching to ‘natural refrigerants’ such as CO2 could make a difference in cutting emissions. Photo: Terry Chea/AP

By Emily Chung · CBC News · Posted: January 29, 2023

Climate-conscious shoppers may buy local food and try to cut packaging waste, but those efforts could be negated by potent greenhouse gases leaking from supermarket fridges.

Refrigerants called hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs are widely used to keep food cold or frozen at grocery stores and during transport. (They’re also used for other refrigeration applications, like ice rinks and air conditioners).

They were originally brought in to replace ozone-depleting refrigerants called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were banned in a landmark 1987 agreement called the Montreal Protocol, in order to save the Earth’s protective ozone layer.

But HFCs are themselves powerful greenhouse gases.

Typically, each tonne of HFCs can trap as much heat in the atmosphere as 1,400 to 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 100 years, depending on the type of HFC.

Here’s a look at why that’s happening, what the solutions are, and how ordinary shoppers could make a difference.

How do HFCs get from supermarkets into the atmosphere?

Supermarket fridges aren’t like your fridge at home, which typically contains less than 200 grams of refrigerant. And it’s in a sealed unit that’s unlikely to leak, says Morgan Smith, spokesperson for the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council.

Her non-profit group has partnered with industry to help enable the transition from HFCs to more climate-friendly refrigerants because the complexity of their systems make them prone to leaking significant amounts of HFCs. 

Beneath and behind the cases of vegetables, dairy and frozen foods at a typical supermarket are kilometres of piping with thousands of valves, containing literally a tonne of refrigerant. 

“It’s so large and so complex, with so many different points of connection that those systems are inherently leaky, and so they leak about 25 per cent of their refrigerant charge every year,” said Smith.

That’s something another non-profit group called the Environmental Investigation Agency has captured on video using infrared cameras and HFC detectors in U.S. grocery stores. It also measured levels of HFCs in the store using chemical detectors.

Numbers representing refrigerant concentrations appear on digital screens of three detection meters, along with the names of the refrigerants.
Three chemical detectors show readings of HFCs at a Gristedes grocery store in New York during a survey by the Environmental Investigation Agency and 350NYC in 2022. Photo: Environmental Investigation Agency

It detected leaks at 55 per cent of the dozens of U.S. stores where it took measurements. On average, it found a single supermarket emits 875 pounds (400 kilograms) of HFCs a year, equivalent to carbon emissions from 300 cars. In the U.S. alone, it calculated supermarket HFC leaks cause as much global warming as burning 22 million tonnes of coal. 

How big a deal are these emissions really?

HFCs are such a big problem for climate change that Canada and 196 other countries have signed an international agreement, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, to reduce HFC consumption 85 per cent by 2036, relative to 2011 to 2013.

Shelie Miller, a professor who studies the environmental impact of the food system at the University of Michigan, says emissions from refrigerants may be relatively small compared to the food system emissions overall and major categories such as food waste.

“But that’s also just because the food system has such a big impact,” she said. 

On the other hand, targeting HFCs in supermarkets can be very effective at curbing emissions.

“You can make fairly small changes and have a relatively large impact just because the chemicals themselves that we’re using right now have such large global warming potentials,” Miller said.

While potent, HFCs are short-lived greenhouse gases, said Miller, lasting no more than 30 years in the atmosphere, compared to hundreds of years for CO2. Since a typical refrigeration system lasts about 30 years, decisions made now about what refrigerant to use can affect global emissions for decades.

“We need to be thinking about the sources and the hubs of where emissions are happening. And so our grocery stores are a great way to target our overall food system and reduce emissions.”

What can be used for refrigeration in place of HFCs?

The main alternatives are called “natural” refrigerants because they are all chemicals found in nature. They include:

  • CO2.
  • Ammonia.
  • Propane.

While CO2 is a greenhouse gas, its global warming potential is so much lower than that of HFCs. And propane, while it’s a fossil fuel, is not burned when used in refrigeration. In fact, all three of these chemicals are considered refrigerants with ultra-low global warming potential.

How are Canadian supermarkets progressing at switching away from HFCs?

According to Shecco, a market research firm focused on sustainable technologies, there were 340 commercial CO2 refrigeration installations in Canada as of May 2020. That was far fewer than Japan, with 6,500 and Europe with 29,000, and growing more slowly than every other region in the world listed, including the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

However, Jeffrey Gingras, president of Evapco LMP, a Laval, Que.-based company that makes CO2 refrigeration systems, said he’s seen an exponential growth in installations in the past three years, and did a record 125 installations in supermarkets, about half of them in Canada, in 2022.

The Environmental Investigation Agency has been building a global map of refrigerants used in supermarkets since it launched its Climate-Friendly Supermarkets project in 2019.

Two Canadian community groups, Drawdown Toronto and Drawdown B.C., have helped coordinate submissions to the map in their regions, and have added about 250 stores to the map. (Note: I volunteered for Drawdown Toronto while on leave from CBC News and added one store. You can read more about that in our What On Earth newsletter.)

A label inside a refrigerator shows information such as the type of refrigerant.
This is a refrigerator label from the inside of a supermarket fridge, showing the type of refrigerant used. In this case, it’s an HFC called R404A, with a global warming potential close to 4,000 times that of CO2. Image: Emily Chung/CBC News

That was enough for the EIA to issue its first ever scorecard on Canadian supermarkets last fall. It reported on the five largest food retailers in Canada: Costco, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys and Walmart.

The best-performing was Sobeys, which had the highest percentage of stores using ultra-low global warming potential refrigerants (nine per cent), was the only listed company that publicly reports its refrigerant leak rate (seven per cent) and has committed to transition to climate-friendly refrigerants for all new stores and renovation projects starting in 2024.

Some stores have also reported taking their own actions on HFCs, including Loblaws, which ranked third in the report and told CBC News that it has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent “in a large part” because of its strategy to reduce refrigerant leaks: using less refrigerant, detecting leaks early and reducing the emissions intensity of the refrigerants it uses.

Walmart Canada, which came fourth in the report, told CBC News in an email that it is installing natural refrigerants in all new stores and during major remodels with new grocery departments, and will switch all stores running on HFC refrigerants to more environmentally friendly options. It did not give a timeline, but said its global operations are aiming for zero emissions by 2040.

The other companies did not respond to CBC’s requests for comment.

EIA’s global map does show very few green dots in Canada compared to the U.S. and Europe. Avipsa Mahapatra, the group’s climate campaign lead, said that may be because no Canadian supermarket chains have not submitted their own data, unlike in other countries, and there isn’t much information.

“I actually have a hunch that Canada is not very far behind,” she said.

A map of North America showing red, orange and green dots representing grocery stores with different refrigerants
Ordinary shoppers can add local grocery stores to the Environmental Investigation Agency’s map of supermarket refrigerants. (Environmental Investigation Agency)

Why aren’t HFCs getting ditched faster?

Morgan Smith of the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council said making the switch to natural refrigerants isn’t easy. They may require different training and equipment: ammonia is toxic, propane is flammable, and CO2 operates under very high pressures.

Smith said CO2 tends to be the natural refrigerant of choice for most supermarkets because it’s non-toxic and its systems work a lot like HFC systems.The high pressures mean it does need different piping and different valves, so a system can take months to build, and can’t just be swapped out overnight like parts of the existing system when it needs repairs.

It’s easiest if you have the space to build a new system alongside while the old system is still running, Smith said. Otherwise, you might have to shut down the store during the retrofit, which is difficult for both customers and the store operator.

For smaller stores, one option is to switch to individual fridges similar to your home fridge, with propane refrigerant in a sealed unit, Smith said.

A woman pushes a shopping cart between dairy fridges and freezer cases in a supermarket.
Experts say it’s not easy to convert an existing HFC refrigeration system to natural refrigerants, as they often require different equipment such as valves and piping. Photo: CBC / Radio-Canada

Michael Zabaneh of the Retail Council of Canada said refrigerant projects are quite expensive for supermarkets.

“They can be challenging and that’s probably the biggest barrier, the need to pay for higher capital costs to either upgrade the equipment so that it can handle natural refrigerants, or buy new equipment.”

However, he said most large grocery chains are aware of the problems with HFCs and customer and investor pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and are taking action.

The Environmental Investigation Agency’s Mahapatra acknowledged that retrofitting older stores is expensive and challenging. However, she says grocery chains should be making all new stores use natural refrigerants.

“There is no excuse for any supermarket today to build a new store that still contains HFCs. That is just simply foolish,” she said, noting that international agreements to phase out HFCs will eventually force companies to change the systems anyway.

What is the government doing about this?

The federal government will start to offer carbon offset credits for projects that cut refrigerant emissions, including those in supermarkets. Environment and Climate Change Canada told CBC News in an email that they’ll go into effect “in the next few months.” Once that happens, companies will be able to apply to get credits for projects that started as far back as January 1, 2017. 

Federal regulations have also been brought in to comply with the Kigali Amendment, the international agreement on HFCs that went into effect in 2018, with reduction targets starting in 2019.

The regulations will start to ban the manufacture and import of certain equipment containing HFCs with a global warming potential above a specific limit.

Gingras said the Quebec government did offer incentives for a period of time starting 2014 that made natural refrigerant systems competitive with HFCs, and those did lead to a widespread conversion of supermarkets in the province. However, he hasn’t heard of anything similar in other provinces.

Is there a role for ordinary shoppers?

Avipsa Mahapatra says grocery store customers can make a difference by adding their local stores to the climate-friendly supermarket map, being more aware and putting pressure on grocery store chains, especially when it comes to new supermarkets. 

“So if it’s a new store that is being built in your community, it is our job as … residents of that community, to make sure that it is not an HFC store.”

Morgan Smith at the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council also thinks the public can make a difference: “The more people that are aware of this top

To see the original story, follow this link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/hfc-climate-supermarkets-1.6726627





North Dakota landowners at odds in carbon pipeline plans

30 01 2023

A maze of pipes at the Highwater Ethanol plant in rural Lamberton, Minn. The plant is one of many which have signed on for a proposed $4.5 billion project collecting carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol plants in Minnesota and neighboring states, then storing the greenhouse gas deep underground in North Dakota. Photo: Jackson Forderer for MPR News 2022

From the Associated Press • January 28, 2023

North Dakota landowners testified for and against a carbon capture company’s use of eminent domain Friday, as Summit Carbon Solutions moves forward in constructing a massive underground system of carbon dioxide pipelines spanning 2,000 miles across several states and under hundreds of people’s homes and farms in the Midwest.

The proposed $4.5 billion carbon pipeline project would capture carbon dioxide emissions across neighboring states and deposit the emissions deep underground in North Dakota.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted early this month to accepted Summit Carbon Solution’s route permit application. It also ordered an environmental review of the project.

Landowners who opposed the company’s right to eminent domain argued that a private entity should not be able to forcibly buy their land and that the pipeline will potentially endanger people living above it.

Eminent domain refers to the government’s right to forcibly buy private property — like the land under a person’s house or farm — for public use.

Landowners who supported Summit’s right to exercise eminent domain said the company’s timely construction of the carbon pipeline serves an important public interest — it would reduce the state’s carbon footprint and thereby allow North Dakotans to continue working in energy and agriculture — and that people living above the pipeline will be safe.

“The safety of our operations, our employees, and the communities where we operate is the foundation of Summit Carbon Solutions’ business,” Summit said on its website. “As the project is constructed, we will utilize the latest and most reliable technologies and materials.”

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee did not immediately vote on the bills heard Thursday and Friday about carbon pipelines and eminent domain.

Republican Sen. Jeffery Magrum, of Hazelton, said he introduced the bills because he has heard from “many landowners” that carbon pipeline developers are threatening the use of eminent domain as a way to negotiate for property rights and access.

“We need to support property rights and our land owners as we develop our natural resources,” Magrum said.

The bill heard Friday would prohibit carbon pipeline companies from exercising eminent domain, but would allow oil, gas and coal companies to continue using eminent domain.

“The proposed carbon dioxide pipeline would move a dangerous product through our community to a location where it cannot be used for any purpose, but instead must be injected underground and sequestered forever,” said Gaylen Dewing, who has worked as a farmer and rancher near Bismarck for over 50 years.

Dewing added that the state’s energy industry “would not benefit in any way” from this practice of storing carbon dioxide underground, so carbon pipeline companies should not have the right to exercise eminent domain.

Susan Doppler, a landowner in Burleigh County, said her family does not want “our land ripped up — toxic and useless — to give way to a hazardous pipeline. What a worthless and disgusting inheritance to leave a future generation.”

But other North Dakota landowners pushed back.

Keith Kessler, a farmer and rancher in Oliver County who owns land within the boundaries of the pipeline project, said a different pipeline has been transporting carbon for over 20 years between North Dakota and Canada. That pipeline has never had a rupture or leak, and hazardous incidents from carbon pipelines are rare, he said.

And Lori Flemmer, a resident of Mercer County, said her husband and sons work in the energy industry and on their family farm. Working in agriculture and energy is “reality in coal country,” she said, and carbon capture technology is necessary for reducing carbon footprints and keeping coal plants alive.

Summit Carbon Solutions’ Executive Vice President Wade Boeshans said the company must keep its ability to use eminent domain in order to build carbon pipelines in a timely fashion, deliver on the $4.5 billion pipeline project and keep North Dakota’s economy afloat. According to the company’s website, the project would span Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum lauded North Dakota’s efforts to store carbon dioxide in January.

“We’re on our way toward achieving carbon neutrality as a state by 2030, thanks to our extraordinary capacity to safely store over 252 billion tons of CO2, or 50 years of the nation’s CO2 output,” Burgum said. “And in the process, we can help secure the future of our state’s two largest industries: energy and agriculture.”

The Trump administration in 2018 gave North Dakota the power to regulate underground wells used for long-term storage of waste carbon dioxide. North Dakota was the first state to be given such power, the Environmental Protection Agency said in announcing the move. The state has since invested heavily in carbon capture and sequestration technology.

___

Trisha Ahmed is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow her on Twitter: @TrishaAhmed15

To see the original post, follow this link. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/01/28/north-dakota-landowners-at-odds-in-carbon-pipeline-plans





Why don’t we talk about acid rain and the ozone hole anymore? Scientists debunk misinformation

29 01 2023

How a ‘blizzard of false information’ undermines the threat of climate change

Atmospheric chemist Susan Solomon, shown here at a research station in the Antarctic in the mid-1980s, remembers being laughed at by colleagues when she first presented her research on the cause of the thinning ozone layer. Photo: Submitted by Susan Solomon

By Jaela Bernstien · CBC News · Posted: January 28, 2023

If you’re over 30, you likely remember a time when there was a lot of hand-wringing and furrowed brows over the ozone hole and skin cancer, as well as the threat of acid rain destroying ecosystems.

In the 1980s and ’90s, those global environmental crises created buzz and grabbed headlines, but in the decades that followed, the world turned its attention to another threat: climate change.

Yet the success stories of how those threats were tackled — through the co-operation of scientists, policy-makers and the public — are often overlooked, if not outright denied.

A barrage of misinformation on social media, including various tweets and videos, claims those issues were never real in the first place. It’s a conspiracy theory that takes on various shapes, but the underlying common thread is the false claim that climate change is just the latest in a series of hoaxes invented by governments to control the public.

One TikTok video (reminder: this is misinformation) with more than three million views dismisses several global threats as “politics,” listing off a series of examples: “In the ’80s, it was acid rain will destroy all the crops in 10 yrs; in the ’90s it was the ozone layer will be destroyed in 10 years; in the 2000s it was the glaciers will all melt in 10 years …,” the TikTok poster says.

The video claims it was all “fear-mongering nonsense” that never came true.

Watching the video during an interview with CBC News, atmospheric chemist Susan Solomon nods knowingly. It’s not the first time she’s confronted that attitude.

“I’ve heard that kind of — I don’t want to even call it a line of argument — I’ve heard that kind of assertion in the past,” said Solomon, who is a professor in the department of Earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“It’s a little bit like saying, ‘I had a heart attack and my doctor put a stent in. They told me I had to exercise and now I feel great. So I think that was all just nonsense to make money for the medical establishment.”

An image circulating misinformation reads as follows: 1970s - the New Ice Age. 1980s - Acid Rain. 1990s - Ozone Depletion. 2000s - Global Warming. Then they had to switch to climate change since the globe was no longer warming. That's 40 years of shameless and baseless fear-mongering to siphon off billions of dollars from taxpayers, expand government power, and advance the left's agenda. #ClimateHoax
This image, circulated on social media, is an example of a popular conspiracy theory that falsely claims climate change is a hoax, along with acid rain and ozone depletion. (Climate Knight/Facebook)

Scientists set the record straight

It was Solomon’s research in the 1980s that helped establish the cause of the thinning ozone: refrigerants called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.

She recalls a particular meeting where colleagues were discussing ozone depletion. Solomon, 30 at the time, said she presented her paper identifying how refrigerants were breaking apart in the stratosphere.

“People just laughed,” she said.

But Solomon knew she was on to something, and her work contributed to the growing body of evidence that ultimately led to the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, phasing out the harmful refrigerants.

That treaty is working, according to a recent international report, which said the ozone is expected to recover by 2066.

“The fact that we have actually done the right things and fixed certain problems is a cause for celebration. It’s not a cause for pretending that those problems never existed,” Solomon said.


The reason acid rain doesn’t grab headlines anymore is similar — it wasn’t a hoax, it’s another case of governments responding to the scientific community’s alarm bells with regulations, which worked.

“The acid rain story [and] the ozone story show that we are capable of dealing with environmental problems and that we can make significant progress,” said Mike Paterson, a senior research scientist at the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario.

Paterson wrote his master’s thesis on acid rain in the 1980s, and he recalls the very real impacts at the time, such as declining fish populations in North America and northern Europe.

Scientists established the cause —  sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides produced by burning fossil fuels — and North America eventually took action with a series of policy reforms in the 1990s that successfully curbed emissions and reduced the acidity of rain.

A man wearing glasses and a T-shirt sits outside with his arms crossed.
Mike Paterson, a senior research scientist at the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario, wrote his master’s thesis on acid rain in the 1980s, and he recalls the very real impacts at the time. Photo: Bartley Kives/CBC

How misinformation threatens climate action

The fact that the global threat of climate change is happening in a digital age rampant with misinformation adds a novel layer of complexity to solving the crisis, with its severity constantly being undermined.

A government-funded report published this week by the Council of Canadian Academies — a non-profit organization that gathers experts to examine evidence on scientific topics — states that “targeted misinformation campaigns have played a documented role in creating opposition to policies addressing climate change.”

The report, called Fault Lines, used modelling to estimate that COVID-19 misinformation and its impacts on vaccine hesitancy likely contributed to 2,800 deaths and 13,000 hospitalizations in Canada over a nine-month span in 2021.

The study highlights how misinformation can cause real harm — and warns of the threat that it poses to dealing with future crises by eroding trust in science and making people more susceptible to falling down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories.

Cognitive scientist Stephan Lewandowsky, who contributed to the report, studies misinformation and public opinion around climate change.

“Exposure to misinformation about climate change leads people to take it less seriously and to be less willing to support policy actions,” Lewandowsky, who is the chair of cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol in England, said in an interview with CBC News.

Women carry belongings salvaged from their homes after flooding caused by unusually heavy monsoon rains displaced millions of people in Pakistan in 2022. Attribution analysis has found that human-caused climate change likely contributed to the disaster. Photo: Fareed Khan/The Associated Press

Society is “drenched” in misinformation, he said, and the solution must go beyond teaching individuals how to debunk conspiracy theories and include shifts on a broader scale.

“We also have to look at the structures that are in place right now and that are assisting people with nefarious intentions to spread misinformation,” Lewandowsky said.

“We’re living in an environment where outrage or anger or fear — anything that evokes attention or captures attention — is being favoured by the algorithms of social media.”

Even if there is a strong scientific consensus on global warming, a steady stream of misinformation makes it difficult for people to sift through it all and sort fact from fiction, he said.

“If people are exposed to this blizzard of false information about climate change, then their right to be informed about risks is being undermined.”

If misinformation isn’t addressed, Lewandowsky said, it will make it all the more difficult for the public to realize and react to how serious climate change truly is, as it increasingly contributes to deadly disasters around the world.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/misinformation-climate-crisis-ozone-scientists-1.6729005





We need native seeds in order to respond to climate change, but there aren’t enough

28 01 2023
Seeds are seen as students at Eucalyptus Elementary School learn to plant a vegetable garden in preparation for Plant a Seed Day in Hawthorne, California on March 13, 2019. Photo: DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

By Kaitlyn Radde from National Public Radio News • January 27, 2023

In the wake of wildfires, floods and droughts, restoring damaged landscapes and habitats requires native seeds. The U.S. doesn’t have enough, according to a report released Thursday.

”Time is of the essence to bank the seeds and the genetic diversity our lands hold,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report said.

As climate change worsens extreme weather events, the damage left behind by those events will become more severe. That, in turn, will create greater need for native seeds — which have adapted to their local environments over the course of thousands of years — for restoration efforts.

But the report found that the country’s supply of native seeds is already insufficient to meet the needs of agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is the largest purchaser of native seeds and which commissioned the study in 2020. That lack of supply presents high barriers to restoration efforts now and into the future.

”The federal land-management agencies are not prepared to provide the native seed necessary to respond to the increasing frequency and severity of wildfire and impacts of climate change,” the report concluded. Changing that will require ”expanded, proactive effort” including regional and national coordination, it said.

In a statement, BLM said federal agencies and partners have been working to increase the native seed supply for many years. The bureau said it is reviewing the report’s findings.

The report’s recommendations ”represent an important opportunity for us to make our collective efforts more effective,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said.

While native plants are the best for habitat restoration, the lack of supply means restoration efforts often use non-native substitutes. They’re less expensive and easier to come by, but they aren’t locally adapted.

”Without native plants, especially their seeds, we do not have the ability to restore functional ecosystems after natural disasters and mitigate the effects of climate change,” BLM said.

Some private companies produce native seeds, but that requires specialized knowledge and equipment. On top of that, they often lack starter seed, and demand is inconsistent — agencies make purchases in response to emergencies with timelines companies say are unrealistic. Proactively restoring public lands could help reduce this uncertainty and strain, the report recommends.

In order to sufficiently increase the supply of seeds, the report concluded that BLM also needs to upscale its Seed Warehouse System, which ”would soon be inadequate in terms of physical climate-controlled capacity, staff, and expertise.” There are currently two major warehouses with a combined capacity of 2.6 million pounds, with limited cold storage space.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/01/27/npr-native-seed-supply-climate-change-land-restoration





New Taxonomy Released to Combat Greenwashing in Investments

27 01 2023

Image credit: Alexander Tsang/Unsplash

By Mary Riddle from Triple Pundit. Posted: January 27, 2023

Investors, insurers, and financial institutions in the EU have a new method for assessing the sustainability of their investments. Last week, the Observatory Against Greenwashing launched its independent Science-Based Taxonomy, in direct response to the EU Taxonomy system that some say is ineffective. 

The EU Taxonomy is a classification system that claims to give investors, businesses, and financial institutions a common language for identifying the degree to which a specific investment, financial product, or economic activity can be considered sustainable.

However, critics have said the draft guidance is not sufficiently science-based and certain aspects, such as classifying gas-fired power, tree-burning, logging and nuclear energy as sustainable, could do more harm than good.

To create a more sustainable system for classifying investments, a coalition of experts and NGOs including WWF, BirdLife International, and Transport and Environment, formed the Observatory Against Greenwashing (OAG). The group aims to improve on the EU Taxonomy and provide investors with better, science-based guidance on the sustainability of their investments. 

What is the independent Science-Based Taxonomy?

The independent Science-Based Taxonomy is based on the EU Taxonomy, but it only keeps the portions of the text that researchers found to be environmentally sound. It also makes more robust criteria for the parts of the EU Taxonomy that the OAG deemed unscientific or harmful to the environment.

“The EU Taxonomy was originally designed to eliminate greenwashing but instead has become another tool to deceive consumers,” Vedran Kordić, EU Taxonomy coordinator from WWF Adria, said in a statement. “The science-based Taxonomy wants to succeed where the original Taxonomy failed: It will create rigorous criteria which financial institutions can use to properly assess what is green and what is not.” According to the OAG, 1 in 3 activities deemed sustainable in the EU Taxonomy actually cause planetary harm. 

The EU Taxonomy was established in 2018 with a mission to inject capital into projects that would help the EU meet objectives laid out in its Green New Deal, including carbon neutrality by 2050. But critics argue the EU Taxonomy is disingenuous and fundamentally flawed due to the inclusion of natural gas and nuclear energy sources on its list of sustainable investment options.

“This isn’t good enough. We need a better taxonomy, one based on science,” said Luca Bonaccorsi, sustainable finance director at Transport and Environment, a coalition of European NGOs working on transportation issues, in a statement. “Now the investor community has it.”

ESG regulations are expanding in the EU and beyond

While controversy continues to surround ESG regulation for financial products in the EU Taxonomy, the EU Commission is calling for an increase in regulation of other consumer goods and services in an attempt to respond to claims of bogus greenwashing. The EU has drafted a legal proposal that would require companies to provide scientific evidence to justify sustainability claims such as “carbon neutral” or “contains recycled materials.” The draft rule also calls on EU countries to develop systems for evaluating the environmental claims of companies, including issuing penalties for businesses that do not comply. 

The expansion of ESG (environmental, social and governance) regulation is not limited to Europe. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act is expected to channel over $400 billion into clean tech companies over the next 10 years. Additionally, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to finally issue its climate disclosure regulations in April, several months later than planned. The new SEC rules, if issued, would require companies to make disclosures surrounding their climate-related risks, as well as their greenhouse gas emissions and those of their supply chains. 





American Airlines Cargo Partnership Delivers Humanitarian Supplies to Haiti

27 01 2023

Photos: American Airlines

From American Airlines • Posted: January 27, 2023

American Airlines Cargo is taking part in a global effort to transport life-saving medical and sanitation supplies to Haiti as the nation struggles to control a deadly cholera outbreak. In partnership with Airlink, a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to bringing critical aid to communities in crisis, American is carrying more than 55 tons of medical supplies from Europe to Miami, where they will be staged for distribution to Haiti.

“We’re proud to partner with Airlink to make a positive impact on the world,” said Greg Schwendinger, President of American Airlines Cargo. “At American, our mission is to care for people on life’s journey, and we are honored to play a role in transporting critical goods to the people and places they are needed most.”

Cholera, which spreads mainly through contaminated food and water, has sickened thousands of people in Haiti since the outbreak began in October 2022. The illness has worsened a humanitarian crisis caused by civil unrest that makes accessing supplies difficult for health care workers in the Caribbean country. American will serve as a vital link in moving personal protective equipment (PPE), clean water filters, nebulizers, blood tubes and other sterile items to help fight the crisis.

American Airlines plane with Supplies for Haiti

American first partnered with Airlink in March 2022 to ship humanitarian aid to those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. Since then, it has carried nearly 90 tons of life-saving cargo to the region. Through this partnership, American helped transport cargo and relief personnel for 47 different non-profit organizations, supporting humanitarian efforts in 21 different countries.

Last year, American and its customers donated 85 million AAdvantage® miles to Airlink though American’s Miles for Social Good program. So far, the miles have provided travel for 351 relief workers to support social programs around the world.

For more information about American’s Miles for Social Good program and to donate online, visit www.aa.com/letgoodtakeflight.





YourCause From Blackbaud Releases First-of-Its-Kind Employee Engagement Benchmark Tool

26 01 2023

From Blackbaud • Reposted: January 26, 2023

Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, released an employee engagement benchmark calculator, which allows companies to see where their employee volunteering and giving programs align with peers. The calculator groups companies evaluated within the YourCause 10th Annual CSR Review by industry and employee count, comparing 66 different possible categories. Data evaluated is a subset of the entire YourCause client and employee population representing more than 350 companies and over 7.6 million employees that engaged in social impact from 118 countries.

“Since 2015, YourCause has provided insights into employee engagement and social responsibility from Fortune 500 companies and millions of employees collected from our portfolio of CSR software. This tool and the insights provided are a direct result of implementing client feedback”, said Brandon Sharrett, president and general manager, YourCause from Blackbaud “With the help of our customers we can develop a better solution that enables them to focus on driving social impact.”

The calculator prompts users to choose from 6 company size groups and 11 SIC categories, for example, healthcare and 10,000-50,000 employees or healthcare and 100,000+ employees, etc. The results come with a short, curated list of resources to help companies quickly navigate to online guides packed with ideas and client stories.

Investing in CSR and Employee Engagement Matters

Businesses are looking to help drive social impact that creates better lives for the people in their communities. Forbes recently released an article with 15 tips from social impact leaders on building a successful program and number 5 was all about engaging the entire workforce. “Leaders have to engage their entire workforce in order to drive social impact”. The benchmark tool from YourCause will allow companies to set realistic, strategic goals towards engaging their entire workforce and ultimately driving meaningful social change in their communities. Companies using YourCause CSRconnect® for employee engagement can use the robust reporting tools to look at participation rates by department, office location or manager level to set smaller goals for individual teams or groups. These smaller goals will add up to an increased participation rate for the whole firm.

“Corporations are constantly looking for insights to boost employee engagement and nothing empowers them more than strong data insights. Providing our industry data in this easy-to-use benchmarking tool gives corporations a great, and measurable, starting point on their path to increased engagement,” said Nathan Froelich, Senior Manager, Strategy and Business Development, Corporate Impact at Blackbaud.

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, higher education institutions, K–12 schools, healthcare organizations, faith communities, arts and cultural organizations, foundations, companies and individual change agents.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.csrwire.com/reports/764216/yourcause-blackbaud-releases-first-its-kind-employee-engagement-benchmark-tool





Turning problem sea algae into a replacement for plastic

25 01 2023

Mari Granström, a biochemist, sources microalgae from the Baltic Sea and seaweed from the Caribbean. Photo: BBC News

By Jo Harper fro BBC News • Reposted: January 25, 2023

Excessive outbreaks of seaweed and microalgae are clogging up waters from the Caribbean to the Baltic. Now both are being harvested alongside farmed crops to create ingredients for cosmetics and food products.

Mari Granström says it was her passion for scuba diving that opened her eyes to the continuing problem of toxic microalgae blooms in the Baltic Sea.

The outbreaks occur when tiny cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, suddenly multiply rapidly, stretching out on top of the water for potentially kilometres.

Also called eutrophication, it is a form of marine suffocation, and it is a significant environmental concern in the Baltic Sea. It can occur in 97% of the total area of the sea, according to official figures.

The blooms impact on other marine life, by causing oxygen deficiency, reducing water quality, and blocking out light.

A microalgae bloom in the Baltic Sea
Microalgae blooms can plague the Baltic Sea, particularly in the summer. Photo: BBC

The problem is caused by too many nutrients entering the water, typically nitrogen and phosphorus from artificial fertilisers. These are carried into the sea by the rivers of the surrounding countries – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

While the use of such fertilisers has reduced in recent years, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, the intergovernmental organisation that aims to improve water quality in the sea, says “the effect of these measures has not yet been detected”.

Some six years ago Ms Granström, a Finnish biochemist, determined to tackle the problem herself. She’d harvest the microalgae and use it to make ingredients for a host of products. In addition to cosmetics and human food, the microalgae extracts can be used in detergents, animal feed, packaging, and even as a replacement for plastic.

This comes as there is a growing trend for seaweed to be harvested for such purposes, as a replacement to oil-based ingredients.

Extracts from blue-green algae
Origin by Ocean produces numerous extracts from the microalgae. Photo: BBC

“I saw with my own eyes – or perhaps couldn’t see – how it was affecting the marine ecosystem, and decided to do something,” she says. “There was too much finger pointing and not enough action.”

Ms Granström says she worked on the project as “a hobby for a long time”, before in 2019 setting up a company called Origin by Ocean (ObO). She is the chief executive.

The business, which has attracted both commercial investment and European Union funds, is now continuing with a pilot production scheme ahead of aiming to be fully operational by 2025-26.

ObO collects the microalgae off the coast of Finland, where it is sucked on to boats and then separated from the water. The firm is also importing invasive sargassum seaweed from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.

ObO staff harvesting blue-green algae
The algae is harvested by sucking it out of the sea. Photo: BBC

Vast blooms of that seaweed have plagued that region for a number of years.“There are 25 million tonnes of sargassum blooming in the Caribbean every year,” says Ms Granström.

“It stops people fishing and harms tourism. We are now buying several tonnes of sargassum from the Dominican Republic, and this volume will increase.”

The company further sources unwanted seaweed from Portuguese and Spanish waters.

ObO’s pilot processing is done at a facility in northern Finland. It uses a patented biorefinery technology it calls “Nauvu” to separate the algae into numerous useable materials.

These are then sold to food, cosmetics, textiles, packing and agricultural companies.

To help grow the business ObO is working with one of its investors, Finnish chemicals and industrial group Kiilto. “If this can be successfully scaled up here, then ObO can replicate similar processes around the globe,” says Ville Solja, Kiilto’s chief business development officer.

ObO already has plans to set up a refinery in the Dominican Republic.

Across in Sweden, a separate business called Nordic Seafarm is showing just how versatile seaweed can be.

“We make algae-based gin and beer, both locally produced,” says director Fredrik Gröndahl.

Nordic Seafarm, which grows its own seaweed, is a commercial spin-off from Seafarm, a Swedish government-funded project that helps commercialise aquaculture research. 

“If this market [for seaweed] gets big, and we think it will, we are ready to scale up,” adds Prof Gröndahl, who is also project leader of Seafarm, and head of department for sustainable development, environmental science and engineering at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

“Just imagine if Ikea asked for algae-based meatballs globally, which could happen.”

Fredrik Gröndahl
Professor Fredrik Gröndahl helps to run a company that puts seaweed to various uses. Photo: BBC News

Prof Gröndahl also hopes that in the future algae will become a key ingredient in animal feed, to replace environmentally-damaging fish meal, which is common in pigs and poultry diets. “Algae is also cheaper than existing ingredients as there is no cost for feeding and irrigation.”

Back at ObO, Ms Granström says the aim is for shoppers around the world to “play a part in cleaning up the Baltic Sea” by simply buying a number of consumer products.

“We wanted to do something to help at both ends of the process, upstream and downstream, as it were – cleaning the seas, but also monetising a change in consumer behaviour.”

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-64317261





Parsing which foods are healthy and which are less so isn’t always straightforward – a new rating system aims to demystify the process

24 01 2023

The new system generally gives higher scores to fruits, vegetables and minimally processed foods. Photo: RapidEye/iStock via Getty Images Plus

By Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, Professor Emeritus in Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Paul F. Jacques, Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University and Renata Micha, Associate Professor in Human Nutrition, Tufts University from The Conversation • Reposted: January 24, 2023

Many people aim to start the year off with healthier food choices. But how do you choose between seemingly similar foods, snacks or beverages? How does a bagel with cream cheese compare to toast topped with avocado, for instance? Or a protein-based shake compared to a smoothie packed with fruits? Or two chicken dishes, prepared in different ways?

As nutrition scientists who have spent our entire careers studying how different foods influence health, our team at Tufts University has created a new food rating system, the Food Compass, that could help consumers and others make informed choices about these kinds of questions. 

Food rating systems explained

Many such systems exist and are widely used around the globe. Each one combines facts about different nutritional aspects of foods to provide an overall measure of healthfulness, which can be communicated to consumers through package labels or shelf tags. They can also be used to help guide product reformulations or socially conscious investment goals for investors.

Examples of common systems include Nutri-Score and Health Star Rating – widely used in Europe, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand – and “black box” warning label systems, which are increasingly used throughout Latin America.

All such food rating systems have strengths and limitations. Most aim to be simple, using data on just a few nutrients or ingredients. While this is practical, it can omit other important determinants of healthfulness – like the degree of food processing and fermentation and the presence of diverse food ingredients or nutrients like omega-3s and flavonoids, plant compounds that offer an array of health benefits.

Some systems also emphasize older nutrition science. For example, nearly all give negative points for total fat, regardless of fat type, and focus on saturated fat alone, rather than overall fat quality. Another common shortcoming is not assessing refined grains and starches, which have similar metabolic harms as added sugars and represent about one-third of calories in the U.S. food supply. And many give negative points for total calories, regardless of their source. Millions of Americans are overweight yet undernourished.

Enter the Food Compass

To address each of these gaps, in 2021 our research team created the Food Compass. This system assesses 54 different attributes of foods, selected based on the strength of scientific evidence for their health effects. Food Compass maps and scores these attributes across nine distinct dimensions and then combines them into a single score, ranging from 1 (least healthy) to 100 (most healthy). It incorporates new science on multiple food ingredients and nutrients; does not penalize total fat or focus on saturated fat; and gives negative points for processing and refined carbs.

We have now evaluated 58,000 products using Food Compass and found that it generally performs very well in scoring foods. Minimally processed, bioactive-rich foods like fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts, yogurt and seafood score at the top. Other animal foods, like eggs, milk, cheese, poultry and meat, typically score in the middle. Processed foods rich in refined grains and sugars, like refined cereals, breads, crackers and energy bars, and processed meats fall at the bottom. 

We found Food Compass to be especially useful when comparing seemingly similar food items, like different breads, different desserts or different mixed meals. Food Compass also appears to work better than existing rating systems for certain food groups. 

For example, it gives lower scores to processed foods that are rich in refined grains and starch and to low-fat processed foods that are often marketed as healthy, like deli meats and hot dogs, fat-free salad dressings, pre-sweetened fruit drinks, energy drinks and coffees. It also gives higher scores to foods rich in unsaturated oils, like nuts and olive oil. Compared with older rating systems, these improvements are more aligned with the latest science on the health effects of these foods.

We also assessed how Food Compass relates to major health outcomes in people. In a national sample of 48,000 Americans, we calculated each person’s individual Food Compass score, ranging from 1 to 100, based on the different foods and beverages they reported eating.

We found that people whose diets scored higher according to Food Compass had better overall health than those with lower scores. This includes less obesity, better blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and better blood cholesterol levels. They also had a lower risk of metabolic syndrome or cancer and a lower risk of death from all causes. For every 10-point higher Food Compass score, a person had about a 7% lower risk of dying. These are important findings, showing that, on average, eating foods with higher Food Compass scores is linked to numerous improved health outcomes.

Fine-tuning

While we believe Food Compass represents a significant advance over existing systems, more work is needed before it can be rolled out to consumers.

As one step, we’re investigating how the scoring algorithm can be further improved. For example, we’re considering the most appropriate scoring for food items like certain cereals that are high in whole grains and fiber but are also processed and have added sugar. And we’re looking at the scoring of different egg, cheese, poultry and meat products, which have a wide range of scores but sometimes score a bit lower than may make intuitive sense.

Over the coming year we will be refining and improving the system based on our research, the latest evidence and feedback from the scientific community.Whole grains are much better for you than refined grains.

In addition, more research is needed on how a consumer might understand and use Food Compass in practice. For example, it could be added as a front-of-pack label – but would that be helpful without more education and context?

Also, while the scoring system ranges from 1 to 100, could it be more accessible if scores were grouped into broader categories? For instance, might a green/yellow/red traffic light system be easier to understand? 

And we’re hoping that future Food Compass versions might contain additional criteria to filter foods for people who follow special diets, such as low-carb, paleo, vegetarian, diabetic-friendly, low-sodium and others.

The big picture

Food Compass should not be used to replace food-based dietary guidelines and preferences. Raspberries and asparagus score really well – but a diet of only these foods would not be very healthy. People should seek a balanced diet across different food groups. 

To help, Food Compass may be most useful to compare similar products within a food group. For example, someone who prefers eggs for breakfast can look for higher-scoring egg dishes. Those preferring cereal can look for higher-scoring cereals. And even better, Food Compass can help people add other highest-scoring foods to their plate – like veggies and healthy oils to eggs, and fruit and nuts to cereal – to increase the overall health benefits of that meal.

To make use by others as easy as possible, we’ve published all the details of the scoring algorithm, and the scores of the products evaluated, so that anyone can take what we’ve done and use it. 

Stay tuned – as we complete additional research, we believe Food Compass will become an important tool to clear up confusion in the grocery store and help people make healthier choices.

To see the original post, follow this link. https://theconversation.com/parsing-which-foods-are-healthy-and-which-are-less-so-isnt-always-straightforward-a-new-rating-system-aims-to-demystify-the-process-192831





Closing the gap between good intentions and actually adopting farm conservation practices

24 01 2023

Photo: BG Independent News

By Jan Larson McLaughlin from BG Independent News • Posted: January 24, 2023

Most farmers want to be good stewards of the land. And most acknowledge that some crop practices can help protect the region’s water quality.

But somewhere between believing in conservation methods and actually practicing them is a gap. Those good intentions do nothing to keep harmful nutrients from reaching local waterways, stressed Dr. Robyn Wilson, of the Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab at Ohio State University.

The professor of risk analysis and decision science at OSU would like to help close that gap. Wilson, who spoke last week to the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club, comes to conservation from the unusual perspective of growing up on a farm near Findlay and being trained as a behavioral scientist.

This region – the Great Black Swamp – poses significant challenges for farmers. Because the landscape naturally holds onto water, farmers have worked for centuries to drain the swamp. Their efforts to get rid of the water as quickly as possible have resulted in great crop production.

But the wetlands that previously acted as a filter to runoff, no longer function to slow down the drainage into public waterways, Wilson said. And as climate changes create warmer, wetter and wilder conditions, the problems are exacerbated.

Big spring rains drive nutrients – fertilizer – into ditches, rivers and Lake Erie, leading to harmful algal blooms and poor water quality.

Research has shown that two farming practices could greatly slow the runoff of fertilizer, Wilson said. Planting cover crops and injecting the nutrients under the soil could help solve the water quality issues, she said.

“We know what’s causing it and we know how to fix it,” Wilson said. “We could solve Lake Erie’s water quality problems.”

But while farmers believe these practices could help, fewer than a third have actually implemented the methods, she said. A study of farmers in the Great Black Swamp area showed 65% see themselves as good conservationists.

“Good farmers care about soil health and water quality,” Wilson said. “But we have plenty of farmers with strong conservation identities who are doing very little.”

If 70% of farmers adopted these practices, she said, the region would experience a big difference in water quality.

“It’s the failure we have as humans to follow through with good intentions,” Wilson said.

Farmers have been slow to participate in cover crop programs, despite all the benefits. The cover crops can prevent soil and wind erosion, combat nutrient and soil runoff into nearby waterways, improve the soil and add nutrients, suppress weeds, improve the availability of water in the soil, and break pest cycles.

Surveys of Ohio farmers showed they think differently about cover crops depending on the time of year due to fluctuations in financial stability, the amount of work to do, and stress. In January and February, farmers are more likely to be financially stable, think more clearly, and have time to consider conservation practices. 

“Cover crops is one of the trickiest things to ask farmers to do,” Wilson said.

Growing up on a farm and studying as a behavioral scientist, Wilson understands the importance of how conservation topics are presented to farmers. She knows better than using the politically polarizing term “climate change” in a survey.

“They’re all going to throw it away,” if the issue is presented as climate change, she said. The phrase “changing weather patterns” is more acceptable in the farming community.

“All farmers know the climate is changing,” she said. However, there is disagreement over whether the changes are caused by humans.

“I think we have a ways to go on that front,” Wilson said.

To see the original post, follow this link. https://bgindependentmedia.org/closing-the-gap-between-good-intentions-and-actually-adopting-farm-conservation-practices/





New CEO Study on Corporate Sustainability From Accenture and the UN Global Compact

23 01 2023

An overwhelming 98% of executives now agree that sustainability is core to their role. But faced with geopolitical instability, they are also navigating an unprecedented number of global business challenges. From CSRwire: Posted: January 23, 2023

As we’re approaching the halfway point to accomplish the 2030 Agenda, how are business leaders contributing to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals? 

According to the 12th UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study — the world’s largest research initiative on sustainable leadership — an overwhelming 98% of executives now agree that sustainability is core to their role. But faced with geopolitical instability, they are also navigating an unprecedented number of global business challenges.

Download the CEO Study today to find out how business leaders are:

  • Building resilience by incorporating sustainability into their core business operations and strategies 
  • Leveraging innovation and partnerships to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Shaping the future of sustainable development by delivering shared stakeholder value and competitive advantage

Download now

To see the original post, follow this link. https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/764606-new-ceo-study-corporate-sustainability-accenture-and-un-global-compact





Politics and Purpose: The US Consumer Response to Purpose-Driven Marketing Across the Political Spectrum

23 01 2023

By Eric Block • Posted: January 23, 2023

In a landmark research report published by Sustainable Life Media, Maddie Kulkarni of PepsiCo reports on the response to Purpose Driven Marketing by groups who self-identify as Democrats, Republican or Independent Voters.

In the report, Kulkarni writes:

“As a marketer, given the high drama of the US midterm elections this November, and the recent criticism of “woke marketing” by some activists and politicians, I wanted to investigate how consumers felt about brands engaging in purpose-driven marketing. Purpose-driven marketing — also known as “sustainability marketing” or “social impact marketing” — speaks to a brand’s attempt to engage its consumers on a social or environmental issue. I wondered: Does identifying with a certain political party influence whether consumers think more highly or more disapprovingly of a brand taking on a cause?

To find out, I turned to data gathered from consumers’ reactions to about 50 purpose-driven advertising campaigns tested with over 25,000 consumers in the last two years through the Sustainable Brands®’ (SBAd Sustainability Awareness Platform (ASAP) insights tool. Developed in 2020 when several global brands came together under the SB Brands for Good initiative, the ASAP tool was designed to create a way to measure (across industries and with a standardized set of metrics) how effective purpose-driven advertising campaigns were in driving consumer behavior change around environmental and social issues.”

The key findings in the report included the following:

• Democrats have a significantly more favorable opinion of a brand after seeing its sustainability campaign, over Republicans and Independents.

There are similarities and differences in the sustainability issues Democrats and Republicans most care about.

• US women like seeing brands that support women.

• Sustainability campaigns are currently most resonating with Millennials.

• Targeted cohorts appreciate a brand’s effort to reach them; though with the Hispanic cohort, there is room to improve ad effectiveness.

• Environmentally focused ads score higher on Effectiveness than socially focused ads.

In summarizing key insights that effective marketers approach to communication, Kulkarni reports the following conclusions:

What are the implications from this research for the marketing industry?
  1. We can use the insights of this research to create strategic media plans that are responsible and take on a social impact lens. At a minimum, our ads need to be accurate, honest and respectful — this is a basic requirement. But by understanding our target consumers, we can not only create content that resonates with them and helps them feel seen; we can also leverage media’s targeting abilities to deliver our content to an audience that normally would not be exposed to it. This would be an effort to develop understanding across people of different backgrounds and help a broader audience “see another side.” Note this strategy might come with some risk if the “other side” does not agree with your point of view; it is best to prepare for this possibility.
  2. To drive creative ad effectiveness around sustainability storytelling, we should continue to focus on Influence, Credibility, Actionability and Talkability metrics. Demonstrating Influence and garnering Credibility with a campaign comes from research, engaging with partners, and spending meaningful time and resources on a cause. Creating an Actionable campaign comes from being clear on how consumers can use our productsto lead more sustainable lifestyles. And Talkability, the notion that people want to share and talk about the campaign, comes from campaigns having a creative spark that surprises and delights the consumer.
  3. Given that our creative ad effectiveness scores are generally lower on socially focused behaviors than on environmentally focused behaviors, we should study how we can improve storytelling when it comes to the former.
  4. We can study how different generational cohorts connect with sustainability issues, so we can develop content that resonates with each group’s unique life stage.
To read the original research findings, follow this link to the Sustainable Life Media report here:https://sustainablebrands.com/read/marketing-and-comms/politics-and-purpose-the-us-consumer-response-to-purpose-driven-marketing-across-the-political-spectrum




What does ESG mean? Two business scholars explain what environmental, social and governance standards and principles are

21 01 2023

Graphic: Kiplinger

By Luciana Echazú, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education; Associate Professor of Economics, University of New Hampshire and Diego C. Nocetti, Dean, School of Business; Professor of Economics and Financial Studies, Clarkson University

Environmental, social and governance business standards and principles, often referred to as ESG, are becoming both more commonplace and controversial.  But what does “ESG” really mean?

It’s shorthand for the way that many corporations operate in accordance with the belief that their long-term survival and their ability to generate profits require accounting for the impact their decisions and actions have on the environment, society as a whole and their own workforce.

These practices grew out of long-standing efforts to make businesses more socially and environmentally responsible. ESG investing, sometimes called sustainable investment, also takes these considerations into account.

Zeroing in on the E, S and G

ESG priorities vary widely, but there are some common themes.

These priorities usually emphasize environmental sustainability – the E in ESG – with a focus on contributing to efforts to slow the pace of climate change.

There’s also an effort to uphold high ethical standards through corporate operations. These social concerns – the S – can include, for example, ensuring that a company doesn’t buy goods and services from exploitative suppliers, or treats its employees well. Or it might entail taking care to hire and retain a diverse workforce and taking steps to reduce social injustices in the communities where a corporation operates.

Companies embracing ESG principles should also have high-quality governance– the G. Governance includes oversight, handled by a competent and qualified board of directors, regarding the hiring and firing of top corporate leaders, executive compensation and any dividends paid to shareholders.

Governance also pertains to whether a company’s leadership operates fairly and responsibly, with transparency and accountability.

Why ESG matters

By 2026, the total amount invested globally according to these principles will nearly double to US$34 trillion from $18.4 trillion in 2021, the accounting firm PwC estimates. However, increasing scrutiny of which investments really qualify as ESG could mean it takes longer to reach that volume.

This corporate concept is becoming a political touchstone in the U.S. because some states, like Florida and Kentucky, arguing that these practices divert from the focus on maximizing profits and can be detrimental to investors by making other considerations a priority, have barred their pension funds from using ESG principles as part of their investment considerations. Some very large asset managers, including BlackRock, aren’t allowed to work with those pension funds anymore.

Many of the arguments against embracing these principles hold that they reduce profits by taking other factors into account. But how do ESG practices affect financial performance?

A team of New York University scholars looked at the results of 1,000 different studies that had sought to answer this question. It found mixed results: Some of the studies found that ESG principles increased returns, others found that they weakened performance, and a third group determined that these principles made no difference at all.

It’s possible that the disparities among results could be due largely to the lack of clarity regarding what counts and does not count as ESG, which has been a long-standing discussion and makes it hard to assess how ESG investments perform.

The NYU scholars also found two consistent results regarding ESG strategies. First, they help protect investors against risks such as losses resulting from the failure of a supply chain due to environmental or geopolitical issues, and they can protect companies from volatility during periods of economic instability and downturns. Second, investors and companies benefit more from ESG strategies in the long term than in the short term.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://theconversation.com/what-does-esg-mean-two-business-scholars-explain-what-environmental-social-and-governance-standards-and-principles-are-196768





Medtronic Signs Zero Health Gaps Pledge To Advance Health Equity

20 01 2023

Photo: Medtronic

By joining the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Equity Network the company will help drive progress. From Medtronics • Posted: January 20, 2023

From closing health gaps in Kenya with Medtronic LABS, to helping health systems in the U.S. advance access to quality care for underserved patients, Medtronic is committed to advancing health equity. Addressing health equity is critical because more than half the world’s population lacks access to essential healthcare. And the most challenging health issues disproportionately impact marginalized populations. But we recognize that no one solution or organization can achieve health equity alone; strategic partnerships are essential to accelerating this critical work.

To maximize its commitment to health equity, Medtronic is joining the Global Health Equity Network (GHEN). GHEN is a World Economic Forum initiative that brings the private and public sectors together to drive change in health equity – mobilizing CEOs and business leaders to prioritize action in organizational strategy and purpose.

As part of the GHEN agenda, Medtronic has signed the Zero Health Gaps Pledge, which provides 10 areas where committed organizations agree to help drive progress within health equity across their workforce, their companies, and in their communities by 2050.

“At Medtronic, we know implementing people-first technology through access-enabling partnerships can be a profound equalizer, helping expand quality care and advance health equity. Leveraging the unique power and assets of our GHEN colleagues, we’ll maximize our health equity efforts and collaborate to bring quality healthcare to more people,” said Medtronic CEO and Chairman Geoff Martha. 

Here are excerpts from three areas within the Zero Health Gaps Pledge, and how Medtronic is bringing them to life:

Pledge: Continually seek to understand how our organization can help address the root causes of health inequities and create a positive health equity impact.

Medtronic LABS develops community-based, tech-enabled solutions with and for underserved patients, reaching over 1M patients to date. An independent nonprofit organization funded by Medtronic, LABS drives system-level transformation to enable scalable, sustainable, last-mile healthcare delivery.

Pledge: Collaborate with communities to identify key health equity needs and identify potential solutions, and to measure impact.

By partnering with local health systems, governments, and NGOs, together we identify gaps in care to build health equity programs. For example, Medtronic established the Health Equity Assistance Program for colon cancer screening to provide GI Genius™ modules to communities with low screening rates or where access to the technology is not currently available.

Pledge: Consistently seek to understand health equity needs across our workforce, consumer base, communities, and ecosystem to make strategic decisions, inclusive of investments, and use insights to inform our organization’s choices from strategy to execution. 

Financial stability and wealth are inextricably linked to better health outcomes. Medtronic drives economic opportunity by working with small and diverse-owned suppliers, making $2.7 billion in purchases from small and diverse-owned businesses in FY23. And in partnership with the Medtronic Foundation, the company has established several multi-year, multi-million dollar efforts with groups like Thurgood Marshall Fund and Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers to ensure diverse talent has access and opportunity.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/764466-medtronic-signs-zero-health-gaps-pledge-advance-health-equity





Foams used in car seats and mattresses are hard to recycle – we made a plant-based version that avoids polyurethane’s health risks, too

19 01 2023

The authors with two students show methods for recycling bio-based foam. Clemson UniversityCC BY-ND

By Srikanth Pilla, Professor of Engineering, Clemson University and James Sternberg, Research Assistant Professor of Automotive Engineering, Clemson University

The big idea

A new plant-based substitute for polyurethane foam eliminates the health risk of the material, commonly found in insulation, car seats and other types of cushioning, and it’s more environmentally sustainable, our new research shows.

Polyurethane foams are all around you, anywhere a lightweight material is needed for cushioning or structural support. But they’re typically made using chemicals that are suspected carcinogens.

Polyurethanes are typically produced in a very fast reaction between two chemicals made by the petrochemical industry: polyols and isocyanates. While much work has gone into finding replacements for the polyol component of polyurethane foams, the isocyanate component has largely remained, despite its consequences for human healthBio-based foams can avoid that component.

Four chunks of bio-based foam, looking a lot like brownies on a tray.
These bio-based foams avoid the need for petroleum products. Srikanth Pilla, CC BY-ND

We created a durable bio-based foam using lignin, a byproduct of the paper pulping industry, and a vegetable oil-based curing agent that introduces flexibility and toughness to the final material.

At the heart of the innovation is the ability to create a system that “gels,” both in the sense that the materials are compatible with one another and that they physically create a gel quickly so that the addition of a foaming agent can create the lightweight structure associated with polyurethane foams.

Lignin is a difficult material to convert into a usable chemical, given its complicated and heterogeneous structure. We used this structure to create a network of bonds that enabled what we believe is the world’s first lignin-based nonisocyanate foam.

The foam can also be recycled because it has bonds that can unzip the chemical network after it has formed. The main components used to produce the foam can then be extracted and used again.

Why it matters

Polyurethane foams are the world’s sixth-most-produced plastic yet among the least recycled materials. They are also designed for durability, meaning they will remain in the environment for several generations. 

They contribute to the plastic waste problem for the world’s oceans, land and air, and to human health problems. Today, plastics can be found in virtually every creature in the terrestrial ecosystem. And since most plastics are made from petroleum products, they’re connected to fossil fuel extraction, which contributes to climate change.

The fully bio-based origin of our foams addresses the issue of carbon neutrality, and the chemical recycling capability ensures that waste plastic has a value attached to it so it is less likely to be thrown away. Ensuring waste has value is a hallmark of the circular approach to manufacturing – attaching a monetary value to things tends to decrease the amount that is discarded.

Illustration shows the recycling process including unzipping the molecules.
How the chemicals in bio-based foams can be recycled and reused. Srikanth Pilla, CC BY-ND

We hope the nature of these foams inspires others to design plastics with the full life cycle in mind. Just as plastics need to be designed according to properties of their initial application, they also need to be designed to avoid the final destination of 90% of plastic waste: landfills and the environment.

What’s next

Our initial versions of bio-based foams produce a rigid material suitable for use in foam-core boards used in construction or for insulation in refrigerators. We have also created a lightweight and flexible version that can be used for cushioning and packaging applications. Initial testing of these materials showed good durability in wet conditions, increasing their chance of gaining commercial adoption. 

Polyurethane foams are used so extensively because of their versatility. The formulation that we initially discovered is being translated to create a library of precursors that can be mixed to produce the desired properties, like strength and washability, in each application.

To see the original post, follow this link. https://theconversation.com/foams-used-in-car-seats-and-mattresses-are-hard-to-recycle-we-made-a-plant-based-version-that-avoids-polyurethanes-health-risks-too-192154





Proctor & Gamble: Building Citizenship Into How We Do Business

18 01 2023

P&G Releases 2022 Citizenship Report • Reposted: January 18, 2023

In today’s complex world, we know it has never been more important for P&G to step up as a responsible corporate citizen. This means delivering sustainable growth and value creation and strengthening the communities where we live and work, while balancing the needs of those we serve and support — from our consumers and retail customers to our employees and shareholders.

That’s why we’re building citizenship into how we do business, every day. From supporting people who rely on our superior performing products and services, to using our global reach and scale to deliver Acts of Good that help communities grow and thrive, we are united in our efforts to be a Force for Growth and a Force for Good across our citizenship focus areas: Community ImpactEquality & Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability and underpinned by our commitment to Ethics and Corporate Responsibility.

Our 2022 Citizenship Report shares our ongoing progress and commitment to making a difference for the billions of people we serve every day and the planet we call home.

Here are just a few of the different ways in our fiscal year that we have stepped up to inspire lasting and meaningful impact for our employees, through our brands and with our partners.

A child holding two bags with Tide logos on them, an orange table behind her.

Supporting Families After Natural Disasters

We know that in moments of crisis, everyday experiences like having clean clothes or a supply of diapers become health and hygiene necessities. That’s why this year, as devastating floods hit communities around the world, including Kentucky (U.S.), British Columbia (Canada) and throughout much of Pakistan, we came together with partners like Matthew 25:Ministries, GlobalMedic and HOPE charities to provide vital relief support to the communities most impacted. Learn more about our disaster relief efforts.

Landscape of a waterway, tall grass, and hilly terrain. A setting sun to the side.

Protecting Our Shared Home

We are committed to achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our operations and supply chain by 2040, driving greater circularity for plastics, helping build a water positive future and protecting the long-term health of natural ecosystems.

From working with partners in water-stressed areas to support solutions that will result in meaningful benefits to help build a Water Positive Future, to protecting the endangered Malayan tiger population with the World Wildlife Fund Malaysia, we’re acting with partners around the world to ensure a healthy planet for present and future generations. Learn more about the impact we’re making for our shared home.

A child at a dinner table holding a notebook with hand-colored symbols, pictures and the name "Yeong Joo." An adult points to it.

Creating Visibility and Addressing Bias

We aim to create a society where equality and inclusion are achievable for all. Through initiatives like Can’t Cancel Pride, we’re celebrating the unique stories that unite the LGBTQ+ community, while raising funds for the LGBTQ+ organizations that create local impact. We’re also continuing to use our voice to spark dialogue and bring communities together, as we did with The Name, a film that encourages people to learn how to pronounce Asian American Pacific Islander names. Read more about the actions we’re taking to create a more equal world here.

A soccer team posing with arms raised. Team banners in front and back sides "Power up the Capitan within you."

Acting for Tomorrow’s Leaders

We know that the young people inheriting our businesses, communities and planet are already inspiring change today. That’s why we’re helping nurture and grow the next generation through initiatives like the Hispanic Star’s Capitanes del Futuro, which provides future Hispanic leaders access to role models and essential resources within the soccer ecosystem. To create opportunities for moving women forward in leadership, our gender equality partner Vital Voices has created a unique training opportunity for young women from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and Panama. Read more about the efforts we’re making for future generations.

An adult and baby sitting on the floor reading a book. An upholstered chair and window behind them. A box of "Pampers" in the corner.

Addressing Health & Hygiene Inequalities

Supporting health equity is one of the greatest ways to create community impact. That’s why we’re taking action through our brands to create equal access to essential health and hygiene products, care and services around the world. This includes:

  • Pampers partnering with healthcare professionals to address Black maternal health disparities.
  • Oral B helping Close the Smile Gap by working with partners to offer free oral health care for families in need.
  • Always helping End Period Poverty for the 1 in 5 girls who miss school due to lack of period products.

Learn more about the how our brands are acting to move communities forward.

Doing good is in our DNA as a company. For decades we’ve been creating impact across the world. This is only possible by working closely with our incredible partners, whose essential expertise and resources, including deep knowledge of and access to local communities, enable us to help create positive impact together.

In this season of reflection and gratitude, we’re especially thankful for all the people and partners across the world who have joined us to help make a difference in communities through so many Acts of Good in 2022 and throughout the years.

As 2023 approaches, we remain deeply committed to doing our part as a corporate citizen by inspiring and supporting the actions needed to address our collective challenges and to create sustained impact, now and for the future.

Learn how we are continuing to drive solutions that make a difference for people and our planet in our 2022 Citizenship Report and on our social media using #ActsOfGood.





Why Macy’s and furniture companies are paying more attention to responsible sourcing

18 01 2023

Photo: Macy’s

By Melissa Daniels from Modern Retail • Reposted: January 18, 2022

In September 2022, Macy’s rolled out its first-ever wood-sourcing policy for its furniture sales after more than 150 years in business.

It requires the use of responsibly sourced wood or recycled or reclaimed materials. And it also prohibits the use of timber that has been harvested illegally or from threatened areas, among other restrictions. At the outset, the policy covers wood-based products in Macy’s private labels, while buyers will use the policy as a guide for onboarding new suppliers and brands. 

“We’re really thinking about this policy first from the products that we own and buy, and where we can continue to expand it across our assortment,” said Keelin Evans, vice president of sustainability at Macy’s.

The policy follows Macy’s $5 billion commitment announced in March 2022 to become more sustainable in its policies and practices. It also rolled out a new cotton sourcing policy to ensure cotton isn’t harvested by underage workers or those in forced conditions. 

But Macy’s is far from alone among furniture companies paying close attention to sourcing amid heightened consumer awareness against “fast furniture.” Wayfair, in October 2022, launched a new section to showcase products that meet sustainability certifications. And Crate and Barrel, in August 2022, put out a new sustainability policy that includes ensuring 60% of textiles are Certified Preferred Fibers by 2025.

Macy’s also doubled its score from 9 to 18 on the Sustainable Furnishings Council and National Wildlife Federation’s 2022 Wood Furniture Scorecard — it was among 37% of companies on the list that scored higher than they did the year before.

Part of what’s motivating brands is increasing recognition from shoppers about the environmental impact of production: the eco-friendly furniture market hit $43.26 billion in 2022 with an expected CAGR of 8.6% through 2030, per a recent Grand View Research report

“Rising awareness among consumers towards sustainable production of furniture products has largely influenced the adoption of eco-friendly furniture in residential spaces,” the report said. 

From a retailer’s perspective, though, getting more responsibly sourced materials can be an uphill battle. For example, Evans said that it took about two years to develop the wood policy. And it will take time to implement it across the brands’ product assortment. 

“Furniture has long lead times. And sustainability is not about changing things necessarily overnight, but really working with your partners and your suppliers so that this can start to show up more and more,” Evans said. 

Gaining access 

Conor Coghlan, co-founder and CEO of Hoek Home, launched the DTC brand with the goal of creating easy-to-assemble furniture while minimizing the use of plastic waste. Products include side tables, desks, benches and chairs and Coghlan said the brand aims to keep the prices affordable as possible — a flat desk goes for $495, with a bundle that includes additional shelves for $795.

Some parts of its products use high density poly ethylene, which comes from recycled milk jugs. It also uses sustainably sourced plywood that’s Forest Stewardship Council-certified, indicating responsible sourcing. 

One of the challenges with these materials, though, is reliable sourcing. When the brand launched as a Kickstarter in late 2020, there were a plethora of options, Coghlan said. But when supply chain issues kicked in during 2021, suppliers served larger clients first.

“For small companies who are ordering $8,000 or $10,000 worth of postconsumer [materials] instead of $800,000, they just weren’t answering our emails. So it got more difficult,” Coghlan said. 

Hoek also aims to source as locally as possible, relying more on U.S-based manufacturers rather than foreign birch or materials. But that can put added cost on the product — and drive the price point higher for consumers. 

Still, it’s a balance that Coghlan is willing to try to find in light of widespread concerns about climate change and environmental protection. 

“I think it’s important, as we kind of grow up as businesses, that we just seem to be responsible and care for the environment and make the right, sustainable choices,” he said.

Manufacturing monitoring

With much production happening overseas, many furniture brands rely on third parties to monitor manufacturers and facilities.

Evans from Macy’s said the wood and cotton sourcing policies build on top of existing protocols. The brand regularly monitors its global supply chain with social compliance teams located throughout Asia.

It also relies on third-party auditors that visit factories every 18 months to ensure that suppliers and factories are adhering with the brand’s code of conduct, Evans said, particularly with regard to how workers are treated.

“When we actually identify issues with partners, we’re really all about remediation plans, corrective action plans, continuous improvement and working together,” she said. “So if we identify anything, we can make improvements and actually ensure that they’re having a better working experience and they’re being cared for.”

Barbora Samieian, co-founder of the Canadian DTC furniture brand Sundays, said the brand relies on site visits and quality control teams on the ground with its factories in China, Vietnam, India and Eastern Europe. Working with manufacturers that are using responsibly sourced products, though, typically means a higher price point for the end product. Sundays makes living, dining and bedroom furniture priced in the mid-range; its best-selling white oak Field dining table going for $2,190 while a four-piece sectional ranges from $4,670 to $5,180. 

Sometimes, having a sustainability-first mind, it means there might be a product that doesn’t pass muster: for example, a recent stool design out of Europe was left out of a new collection because it did not meet California’s Proposition 65 environmental guidelines.

But sustainability at Sundays also means paying close attention the longevity of pieces, with a focus on designs that can fit with many aesthetics and are built with long-lasting materials like solid wood. 

“We’d rather our customers have a fewer number of pieces that are sort of workhorse items in their homes that can be multipurpose, rather than expanding to huge numbers of SKUs,” she said. 

But Sundays is wary of greenwashing, Samieian said. Much of the wood used in Sundays products is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which is a third-party nonprofit designation that ensures timber comes from responsibly managed forests. For it rugs, it relies on certifications from GoodWeave, which verifies products were made without child labor. Still, the brand is careful not to make too many claims for the purpose of marketing or wooing customers who are in the market for an eco-friendly product.

“We’re working really hard behind the scenes and with our partners and making strides and making progress,” she said. “We believe we have to do the right things first, then start talking about it.”

It also means being in a higher price bracket, Samieian said.

“We’ve really focused on solid wood and that’s more expensive and that means we have to play in a certain price point,” she said.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.modernretail.co/operations/why-macys-and-furniture-companies-are-paying-more-attention-to-responsible-sourcing/





Apologies from Southwest Fall Flat Amid Lack of Purpose and Positive Change

17 01 2023

A logjam of Southwest 737s on December 27, 2022 at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. On a typical day, there are six Southwest arrivals and 6 departures at Santa Barbara, and rarely more than one of the airline’s 737 at the airport at the same time. Photo: Glenn Beltz

By Riya Anne Polcastro from Triple Pundit • Reposted: January 17, 2023

Southwest is attempting to appease holiday travelers who were stranded in the airline’s latest fiasco with frequent flier miles and a mediocre, excuse-laden apology — but its pilots’ union (Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, SWAPA) is having none of it. They’ve called leadership out — referring to executive management as a cult in a letter that lists the ways their failures have led to the brand’s persistent problems. Instead of investing in much-needed technological upgrades and staffing, the letter accuses the airline of “maximizing shareholder return” at their expense. Like all corporate entities, Southwest has a duty to its employees and customers first. The airline’s massive disruptions will likely continue until it recognizes the need for corporate responsibility and purpose beyond enriching shareholders and stock buybacks.
 
Extreme winter weather caused a wave of cancellations across airlines this holiday season — although none weathered it quite as badly as Southwest. Over 15,000 flights were scratched by the transportation giant from December 22nd through the 30th. But it wasn’t just the ice and snow that did them in. As NPR and other news outlets reported, the raging “tripledemic” had many workers out sick — then to top it off Southwest’s ancient staff scheduling software just couldn’t handle the crisis.
 
What’s worse, though, is that none of this is a surprise to anyone at the airline. Union pilots have been begging leadership to upgrade their technology for years. “I fear that we are one thunderstorm, one ATC event, one router brownout from a complete meltdown. Whether that’s Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New Year, that’s the precarious situation we are in,” Casey Murray, SWAPA President,  is quoted as saying in November, not long before the meltdown.
 
In fact, this isn’t Southwest’s first self-inflicted disaster. An issue with air traffic control in Jacksonville was felt around the country in October 2021 when the incident had 29 percent of the airline’s flights canceled or temporarily grounded in cities nationwide. Additionally, 2,300 flights were canceled in July 2016 when the airline’s routers went out and issues in 2014 caused 130 flights to be canceled out of Chicago during the month of January. “Systemwide meltdowns at Southwest Airlines have been increasing in frequency and magnitude over the past 15 years,” according to the letter — which was signed by SWAPA’s 2nd Vice President  Captain Tom Nekouei.
 
Nekouei’s main point throughout the letter is that a cultural shift happened at Southwest when Garry Kelly assumed the top position, noting that during that time the company rewarded shareholders with roughly $12 billion and Kelly’s compensation package went up 700 percent. Although he is no longer CEO, Nekouei asserts that Kelly’s influence still dominates the airline’s corporate culture.
 
Of the lack of investment in technological upgrades needed to keep flights running, Nekouei wrote: “Share buybacks that were once illegal, that provide no benefit for the Company itself while artificially inflating share prices (thus inflating stock-based executive compensation) and sent the clear message that the Company has excess cash on hand but that the CEO thinks there is no better place for investment of capital within his Company.”
 
Nekouei further noted that while nothing tangible has been done to fix the structural and technological problems, “we continue to receive saccharine corporate-communications- department-written and legal-counsel reviewed ‘we’re sorry’ and ‘I love you’ meaningless and generic messages from SWA corporate executives.” And, while these apologies ring hollow right along with the measly 25,000 frequent flier points Southwest has offered those travelers who were caught in the worst of the mess, Nekouei offered a solution — a return to the values and purpose the airline was founded on:

“You put your employees first. If you truly treat your employees that way, they will treat your customers well, your customers will come back, and that’s what makes your shareholders happy. So there’s no constituency at war with any other constituency. Ultimately, it’s shareholder value that you’re producing.” — Herb Kelleher

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/apologies-southwest-purpose/763871





Is Inflation Eating Into Consumers’ Support Of Purpose-Driven Companies?

16 01 2023

By Anne Field from Forbes.com • Reposted January 16, 2023

Ten years after it was launched, an annual index measuring U.S. consumers’ socially responsible attitudes and behaviors shows mixed progress.

GMG_2022_CCSi2
The Conscious Consumer Spending index resultsGOOD.MUST.GROW

On the one hand, after coming in at a record low of 39 in 2020, the index rose to an all-time high of 51 the next year. In 2022, there was a slight decrease to 48.

On the other, the 2022 result was the second highest since the survey began.

That’s according to the Conscious Consumer Spending Index (CCSIndex), which gauges the extent to which consumers are—or aren’t—embracing conscious consumerism, charitable giving and environmentally-oriented practices.

“After those results in 2021, we expected to see at least a slight decline this year,” says Heath Shackleford, CEO of Good.Must.Grow, a socially responsible marketing consulting firm that administers the research. “But the vast majority of consumers continue to feel purpose is important when they shop.”

The CCSIndex is calculated by assessing such matters as the importance consumers place on buying from socially responsible companies, how they’re supporting those products and services and intent to increase their patronage of such companies. For this year’s research, 1,005 Americans were surveyed. According to Good.Must.Grow, thanks to the design of the index’s design, even a one-point change indicates a meaningful shift in consumer sentiment.

Higher Prices 

Shackleford points to inflation as the main culprit for this year’s decrease. That’s because socially responsible products tend to be more expensive—or at least, are perceived as carrying a higher price tag—than their non-responsible counterparts, he says. Only 57% reported buying goods from socially responsible brands in 2022 compared to 64% in 2021. In 2013, the year of the inaugural index, it was 62%.

Young girl exploring organic body care goods at an open-air market with zero waste concept
Teenager shopping at a summer market. Photo: GETTY

The research shows that, says Shackleford, “A hard core of Americans will support purposeful brands no matter what.” But most of the country, even if they believe such purchases are important, feel they can’t afford to buy them during a time when their purchasing power is down.

At the same time, “A vast majority of consumers feels purpose is important when they shop,” he says. In addition, in 2013, 25% reported boycotting brands that weren’t socially responsible compared to 32% in 2022.

The lesson for companies is: They have to meet consumer expectations for factors like price, in addition to their mission, according to Shackleford.

Other Findings

Additional noteworthy results include:

A growing pessimism among Americans. Respondents indicated a growing sense that the world is getting worse. In 2019, 36% agreed with that statement, increasing to 42% in 2020 and 44% in 2021. In 2022, it was 45%. Also, while those who say the world is getting worse have a lower index score than people who say it’s getting better, the lowest score was for respondents who feel things are pretty much the same.

Decline in charitable giving. The portion of people who made financial contributions to a nonprofits declined by 20% from 2013 to 2022. Those volunteering also decreased.

Votes for the most socially responsible enterprise. For the eighth year, the poll asked respondents for the company or organization they first think of when they think of socially responsible enterprises. The top five: Amazon, Google, the Salvation Army, Apple and Walmart. Amazon, which has topped the list for four years in a row, received twice as many votes as Google in 2022. For the first time, TOMS, an iconic social enterprise, fell off the list. It was the top brand for the first two years of the poll.

To see the original post, follow this link. https://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2022/12/18/is-inflation-eating-into-consumers-support-of-purpose-driven-companies/?sh=1d67225a7c7c





4 tips from a CSR expert on how to make the most impact in 2023

16 01 2023

Effective ESG practices provide companies with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability, community and equity by integrating these tenets into everyday business processes and company culture.

By Jess Welser  –  Director of B:CIVIC and CSR, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation • Reposted: January 16, 2023

As I look back on the stories shared in this year’s Good Works Colorado content hub, I’m thrilled to see how our state’s leaders have enthusiastically implemented environmental, social and governance policies (ESG) and invested in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. 

ESG and CSR are constantly evolving. ESG is a framework for measuring and managing risks and opportunities around a company’s commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance. CSR is a reflection of what a company believes, expressed by how it impacts its stakeholders internally and externally. We like to think of it as how a company aligns its social and environmental activities with its business purpose and values. Or elevating business for good. More and more, ESG and CSR are recognized as an essential component of a smart, viable business strategy for Colorado companies. 

This was one of our founding goals at B:CIVIC, an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. Alongside business and community leaders, B:CIVIC is increasing the amount of impact and collective good for the Colorado community. After eight years of doing this work, there are a few lessons we want to share with business leaders who are on their ESG and CSR journey.

1. Now’s the time for ESG. 

As our community faces unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges, local corporations are taking ownership of their impact through ESG. Effective ESG practices provide companies with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability, community and equity by integrating these tenets into everyday business processes and company culture. 

As ESG practices advance in Colorado and across the globe, it’s important that business leaders continue to develop and enhance their ESG strategy. Like the ever-changing world around us, these strategies must remain nimble to meet the moment — whatever that moment has in store. 

2. It pays to invest in CSR. 

As we head into what may be a recession, many companies are preparing for economic downturn by downsizing budgets, instituting travel freezes and more. Though the immediate future remains uncertain, we know CSR programs and personnel are an important investment for a company’s long-term success. 

To ensure continued engagement, we are encouraging CSR leaders to double down. The economic downturn will impact industries differently, but we can anticipate that employee giving and engagement will experience a decline. Further, economic hardship causes increased stress among employees. To encourage connection, focus on promoting skills-based volunteering and employee well-being programs that boost morale and build community. As we continue through these uncertain times, we challenge CSR leaders to get creative with their CSR strategies. It pays to invest in the community and your people, especially in times of economic hardship. 

3. Colorado is a good place to do business. 

Did you know Colorado is one of the best places to do business? In a 2022 CNBC ranking, Colorado came in at No. 4 in America’s Top States for Business list. The state also ranked No. 12 in the category of life, health and inclusion. These rankings are in large part due to the social impact commitments of our business community — commitments that are continuing to grow alongside our economy. 

The secret’s out: People, organizations and businesses are making the move to Colorado to join in on the great benefits this state has to offer. As the business community grows, the resources available for CSR and ESG will grow with it. The future is full of possibilities for CSR and ESG impact.

4. Create the infrastructure today to meet the challenges of tomorrow. 

When business leaders invest in a company’s CSR infrastructure today, they are better prepared to speak out and advocate for the issues that matter to their community and stakeholders. In a recent report released by the Edelman Trust Barometer — a metric that studies trust in business, government, NGOs and the media — it was found that employees care about how their leadership demonstrates commitment to the community. 

According to the Trust Barometer, when considering a job, 60% of employees stated that they want their CEO to speak out on controversial issues they care about. Eighty percent of the general population want CEOs to be personally visible when discussing public policy with external stakeholders or work their company has done to benefit society. Further, 60% of people surveyed will choose a place to work based on their beliefs and values. 

It’s clear the workforce wants business leaders to stand up for the issues that matter to them. Implementing ESG and CSR practices is a great way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to the community. 

As your team is planning for next year, we hope that you consider the above guidance to maximize the impact of your CSR and ESG practices. Want to keep the conversation going? Reach out to our team at B:CIVIC. Together, we can increase the impact and collective good of the community.

To see the original post of this article, follow this link. https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2022/12/23/4-tips-from-csr-expert-on-how-to-make-an-impact.html





Newsweek publishes its list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2023

15 01 2023

America’s Most Responsible Companies 2023

In recent years, and especially with the rise in popularity of “ESG” (environment, social and corporate governance) focused investing, “corporate responsibility” has become a phrase many companies are happy to use in their advertising. There is no set definition but generally it is used as shorthand for “Our company is not a soulless machine designed to do absolutely anything–no matter how destructive, reckless or dishonest–in pursuit of a buck.” In any given case, it can be hard to tell whether such a statement means a corporation really tries to treat its customers, employees and planet decently or is just public relations blather. Talking the talk is easy, but walking the walk is hard.

To highlight those corporations that are actually serious about trying to be good guys, Newsweek has partnered with global research and data firm Statista for our fourth annual list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. This year our list includes 500 of the U.S’s largest public corporations. They vary dramatically by size and by industry. We found the largest number of responsible companies (55) in the materials and chemicals business; the fewest (12) in hotels, dining and leisure. Our overall number one this year is the computer hardware giant HP.

We are proud to present this year’s ranking and to honor companies that actually mean it when they say they are serious about being good corporate citizens.

RankCompanyHQ StateIndustry RankIndustryOverall ScoreEnvironmental ScoreSocial ScoreCorporate Governance Score
1HPCalifornia1Technology Hardware93.0994.9499.5184.93
2General MillsMinnesota1Consumer Goods91.7992.0686.8496.56
3Whirlpool CorporationMichigan2Consumer Goods91.5393.8385.2195.64
4Merck & CoNew Jersey1Health Care & Life Sciences89.9591.07100.0078.86
5CloroxCalifornia3Consumer Goods89.5694.6888.0886.03
6HNIIowa4Consumer Goods89.4096.2187.9284.15
7Applied MaterialsCalifornia2Technology Hardware89.1291.0289.6486.80
8IntelCalifornia3Technology Hardware88.9888.3092.5186.21
9S&P GlobalNew York1Financial88.8095.2371.27100.00
10TapestryNew York5Consumer Goods88.6991.6087.4287.14
11XylemDistrict of Columbia1Capital Goods88.6895.0277.2193.90
12Abbott LaboratoriesIllinois2Health Care & Life Sciences88.0389.8480.9293.40
13QualcommCalifornia4Technology Hardware87.7283.3583.7996.10
14Keysight TechnologiesCalifornia1Software & Telecommunications87.6889.8679.2194.08
15AptargroupIllinois1Materials & Chemicals87.6896.7888.2478.13
16Texas InstrumentsTexas5Technology Hardware87.3984.5795.1582.53
17MicrosoftWashington2Software & Telecommunications86.9798.7669.1193.14
18Estee Lauder CompaniesNew York6Consumer Goods86.6192.8581.3885.69
19Cisco SystemsCalifornia6Technology Hardware86.5599.5174.5585.70
20Advanced Micro DevicesCalifornia7Technology Hardware86.5293.9775.3790.30
21BroadcomCalifornia8Technology Hardware86.2981.9282.4294.61
22AvientOhio2Materials & Chemicals86.2791.0978.5389.28
23Sensata TechnologiesMassachusetts9Technology Hardware86.0386.7878.1793.23
24Owens CorningOhio3Materials & Chemicals85.8082.4179.8995.19
25CortevaIndiana4Materials & Chemicals85.7981.4080.3895.69
26NVIDIACalifornia10Technology Hardware85.6986.9484.0886.13
27IlluminaCalifornia3Health Care & Life Sciences85.5490.5893.3772.75
28Campbell SoupNew Jersey7Consumer Goods85.2591.9078.6085.34
29Boston PropertiesMassachusetts1Real Estate & Housing85.2399.3878.1378.29
30Analog DevicesMassachusetts11Technology Hardware85.0995.5972.4587.34
31LumentumCalifornia3Software & Telecommunications85.0393.0876.4785.63
32JacobsTexas1Professional Services84.9895.2179.3280.50
33Maxim Integrated ProductsCalifornia12Technology Hardware84.9591.5780.1883.20
34Hewlett Packard EnterpriseTexas13Technology Hardware84.8095.3083.1576.04
35CumminsIndiana1Automotive & Components84.6392.1478.1683.68
36Lear CorporationMichigan2Automotive & Components84.6291.8170.8091.34
37Edgewell Personal CareConnecticut8Consumer Goods84.5789.8977.3486.57
38PayPal HoldingsCalifornia2Financial84.3593.7569.9789.42
39Walt DisneyCalifornia1Hotels, Dining & Leisure84.2793.5776.4082.94
40MastercardNew York3Financial84.2096.2765.9090.52
41ComericaTexas4Financial84.0990.7583.0178.59
42TrinseoPennsylvania5Materials & Chemicals84.0491.9977.8782.34
43United RentalsConnecticut2Professional Services83.7492.0981.6477.60
44Iron MountainMassachusetts4Software & Telecommunications83.7293.3572.5285.39
45Regeneron PharmaceuticalsNew York4Health Care & Life Sciences83.5685.0887.6977.98
46EcolabMinnesota6Materials & Chemicals83.5596.3884.5069.88
47Berry GlobalIndiana7Materials & Chemicals83.5190.2974.1286.20
48Sun CommunitiesMichigan2Real Estate & Housing83.4890.3674.0886.09
49Newmont GoldColorado8Materials & Chemicals83.4066.2194.6789.39
50Eversource EnergyMassachusetts1Energy & Utilities83.3094.1582.1973.66
51Vertex PharmaceuticalsMassachusetts5Health Care & Life Sciences83.2674.6191.8483.40
52SeagenWashington6Health Care & Life Sciences83.1884.0783.0682.48
53American TowerMassachusetts5Software & Telecommunications83.1287.1581.7480.56
54Lam ResearchCalifornia14Technology Hardware82.9992.9887.8868.22
55Granite ConstructionCalifornia2Capital Goods82.9883.9777.9187.15
56General MotorsMichigan3Automotive & Components82.9491.3468.2889.29
57CraneConnecticut9Materials & Chemicals82.7984.8177.9285.72
58IngevitySouth Carolina10Materials & Chemicals82.6372.5188.2187.23
59ZoetisNew Jersey7Health Care & Life Sciences82.6085.4177.7584.72
60Baxter InternationalIllinois8Health Care & Life Sciences82.5992.1780.8074.90
61Moody’sNew York5Financial82.5484.4471.1692.10
62Edwards LifesciencesCalifornia9Health Care & Life Sciences82.4986.8771.6389.05
63Lowe’s CompaniesNorth Carolina1Retail82.4091.2775.8880.12
64Public Service Enterprise GroupNew Jersey2Energy & Utilities82.3380.8381.8984.35
65Kimberly-ClarkTexas9Consumer Goods82.3079.5176.1491.33
66JabilFlorida15Technology Hardware82.1183.5273.9188.96
67Regency CentersFlorida3Real Estate & Housing82.0288.7677.3280.09
68Motorola SolutionsIllinois16Technology Hardware81.9990.4471.8883.74
69Keurig Dr PepperMassachusetts10Consumer Goods81.9888.0874.8683.09
70Dell TechnologiesTexas17Technology Hardware81.9392.2876.1377.47
71AGCOGeorgia3Capital Goods81.9275.6281.9988.23
72Las Vegas SandsNevada2Hotels, Dining & Leisure81.7687.3780.5277.47
73Waste ManagementTexas3Energy & Utilities81.6382.3684.3078.31
74Jones Lang LaSalleIllinois4Real Estate & Housing81.6384.2672.3188.39
75Western DigitalCalifornia18Technology Hardware81.5883.5683.1878.08
76Armstrong World IndustriesPennsylvania4Capital Goods81.4884.0278.0782.42
77RibbonTexas6Software & Telecommunications81.3982.5077.3184.44
78KrogerOhio2Retail81.3488.1571.7684.19
79Principal Financial GroupIowa6Financial81.2183.4873.9486.29
80CaleresMissouri11Consumer Goods81.1481.3281.9880.19
81McCormick & CompanyMaryland12Consumer Goods81.0693.5983.2666.42
82Summit MaterialsColorado11Materials & Chemicals80.9883.8972.8786.26
83Kimball InternationalIndiana13Consumer Goods80.8989.7279.0574.01
84AdobeCalifornia7Software & Telecommunications80.8788.8171.9981.89
85AmphenolConnecticut19Technology Hardware80.8489.6773.7079.25
86Huntington BancsharesOhio7Financial80.8284.5079.2678.80
87Cadence Design SystemsCalifornia8Software & Telecommunications80.7963.7989.2289.41
88PPLPennsylvania4Energy & Utilities80.7868.5799.2874.55
89Ball CorpColorado12Materials & Chemicals80.6986.8479.9575.38
90EXL ServicesNew York3Professional Services80.6777.7272.0392.33
91Healthpeak PropertiesColorado5Real Estate & Housing80.5490.2874.8476.59
92Sherwin-WilliamsOhio13Materials & Chemicals80.4987.9970.0683.50
93Univar SolutionsIllinois14Materials & Chemicals80.4792.8262.6586.02
94American WaterNew Jersey5Energy & Utilities80.4374.2291.9475.22
95HasbroRhode Island14Consumer Goods80.4189.3785.2266.72
96AppleCalifornia20Technology Hardware80.2491.3763.0086.45
97TargetMinnesota3Retail80.1890.2170.3080.10
98Newell BrandsGeorgia15Consumer Goods80.0081.8872.4485.75
99DeereIllinois5Capital Goods80.0087.9387.4364.71
100ManpowerGroupWisconsin4Professional Services79.9393.0972.2774.53
101Agilent TechnologiesCalifornia10Health Care & Life Sciences79.9394.5264.9280.45
102Baker HughesTexas6Energy & Utilities79.8991.9077.3470.53
103American ExpressNew York8Financial79.8793.4664.7181.55
104PNC Financial ServicesPennsylvania9Financial79.8183.3278.9877.22
105Hudson Pacific PropertiesCalifornia6Real Estate & Housing79.7084.2175.6579.33
106First SolarArizona7Energy & Utilities79.6789.7873.5875.74
107Eastman ChemicalTennessee15Materials & Chemicals79.6668.3486.2484.48
108Mettler-Toledo InternationalOhio21Technology Hardware79.6188.1964.8185.91
109NielsenNew York5Professional Services79.5983.7174.1680.98
110HessNew York8Energy & Utilities79.5977.8881.7379.24
111Colgate-PalmoliveNew York16Consumer Goods79.5580.5474.8783.31
112CenterPoint EnergyTexas9Energy & Utilities79.5471.0192.3775.31
113CBRE GroupTexas7Real Estate & Housing79.5272.9977.7187.94
114PPG IndustriesPennsylvania16Materials & Chemicals79.4782.4077.5878.53
115Becton Dickinson andNew Jersey11Health Care & Life Sciences79.4688.5168.8681.09
116Carter’sGeorgia17Consumer Goods79.4188.6974.6774.98
117Verizon CommunicationsNew York9Software & Telecommunications79.3988.2073.2776.79
118UbiquitiNew York10Software & Telecommunications79.1683.5564.8389.18
119BorgWarnerMichigan4Automotive & Components79.0779.1178.4979.67
120PotlatchDelticWashington6Capital Goods79.0578.8472.5185.88
121M&T BankNew York10Financial79.0183.6570.1883.28
122W W GraingerIllinois7Capital Goods78.9576.6775.7484.51
123AutodeskCalifornia11Software & Telecommunications78.9484.1384.9667.82
124IBMNew York12Software & Telecommunications78.8780.9676.7878.93
125Howmet AerospacePennsylvania8Capital Goods78.8580.6369.0286.99
126Deckers OutdoorCalifornia18Consumer Goods78.8369.7382.8284.02
127California Water Service GroupCalifornia10Energy & Utilities78.7770.1489.8476.40
128Regal RexnordWisconsin9Capital Goods78.6793.1167.7375.26
129NasdaqNew York11Financial78.6776.0163.9996.08
130Micron TechnologyIdaho22Technology Hardware78.6480.3678.3077.34
131Zurn Elkay Water SolutionsWisconsin10Capital Goods78.5680.9676.5878.22
132Thermo Fisher ScientificMassachusetts12Health Care & Life Sciences78.5477.0372.5586.11
133CommScope Holding CompanyNorth Carolina23Technology Hardware78.4794.4267.5473.55
134Kraft HeinzIllinois19Consumer Goods78.4581.0870.6483.71
135FMCPennsylvania17Materials & Chemicals78.3885.0167.1283.09
136Tennant CompanyMinnesota11Capital Goods78.3767.7487.1180.34
137CSXFlorida1Transport & Logistics78.2684.6469.5880.65
138CelaneseTexas18Materials & Chemicals78.2669.3497.3568.16
139AZZTexas12Capital Goods78.2083.2765.9785.43
140IDEXX LaboratoriesMaine13Health Care & Life Sciences78.1975.7882.6276.26
141GapCalifornia4Retail78.1977.4367.9989.22
142Williams CompaniesOklahoma11Energy & Utilities78.1766.1492.0376.41
143Emerson ElectricMissouri13Capital Goods78.1385.1172.7676.61
144Church & DwightNew Jersey20Consumer Goods78.0793.4472.0368.82
145Marriott InternationalMaryland3Hotels, Dining & Leisure78.0679.5581.8272.88
146SempraCalifornia12Energy & Utilities78.0565.6388.5680.02
147InvescoGeorgia12Financial78.0391.1365.3277.73
148ValvolineKentucky5Automotive & Components77.9278.8972.4182.54
149Ingersoll RandNorth Carolina14Capital Goods77.8881.9666.9384.83
150UnitedHealth GroupMinnesota14Health Care & Life Sciences77.8891.8671.4470.43
151ViasatCalifornia13Software & Telecommunications77.8487.0373.7772.83
152The Home DepotGeorgia5Retail77.8078.6276.6378.25
153Host Hotels & ResortsMaryland4Hotels, Dining & Leisure77.7890.0668.7874.60
154Norfolk SouthernGeorgia2Transport & Logistics77.7782.8270.7979.77
155RepligenMassachusetts15Health Care & Life Sciences77.7676.5566.7190.08
156VisteonMichigan6Automotive & Components77.7492.0473.4267.87
157Yum! BrandsKentucky5Hotels, Dining & Leisure77.7191.5862.7778.88
158Lennox InternationalTexas15Capital Goods77.7189.8474.6668.70
159ServiceNowCalifornia14Software & Telecommunications77.6878.0168.5286.58
160Commercial Metals CompanyTexas19Materials & Chemicals77.6882.8070.4579.86
161Conagra BrandsIllinois21Consumer Goods77.6390.1369.8173.03
162WatersMassachusetts16Health Care & Life Sciences77.6392.6567.2673.06
163JPMorgan Chase & CoNew York13Financial77.6084.0163.4985.37
164AbbVieIllinois17Health Care & Life Sciences77.5584.3970.8377.52
165MetLifeNew York14Financial77.4881.3467.3283.87
166West Pharmaceutical ServicesPennsylvania18Health Care & Life Sciences77.4479.2469.2283.95
167California ResourcesCalifornia13Energy & Utilities77.2873.0283.6975.20
168DanaherDistrict of Columbia19Health Care & Life Sciences77.2269.8677.6584.23
169FedExTennessee3Transport & Logistics77.2173.6875.9582.08
170NordsonOhio16Capital Goods77.1570.8083.4177.30
171Bank of AmericaNorth Carolina15Financial77.1490.2969.7371.50
172USANA Health SciencesUtah22Consumer Goods77.0274.0575.4481.65
173LabcorpNorth Carolina20Health Care & Life Sciences76.9684.1170.4876.40
174TeradataCalifornia15Software & Telecommunications76.9578.6861.3190.94
175Best BuyMinnesota6Retail76.8892.5272.7665.45
176KennametalPennsylvania17Capital Goods76.8886.1673.5371.02
177Stanley Black & DeckerConnecticut18Capital Goods76.8792.6664.9073.14
178AlcoaPennsylvania20Materials & Chemicals76.8061.4381.7187.33
179KoppersPennsylvania20Materials & Chemicals76.8079.1880.9070.41
180United TherapeuticsMaryland21Health Care & Life Sciences76.7961.4583.9485.03
181PfizerNew York22Health Care & Life Sciences76.7673.3569.7887.21
182MascoMichigan19Capital Goods76.6975.3669.0985.71
183Kimco RealtyNew York8Real Estate & Housing76.6786.4085.3258.37
184Qurate Retail GroupPennsylvania7Retail76.5688.5571.5369.68
185OtisConnecticut20Capital Goods76.5075.2872.0382.26
186Organon & Co.New Jersey23Health Care & Life Sciences76.4376.6284.3168.44
187Reliance Worldwide CorporationGeorgia21Capital Goods76.3867.2675.2486.71
188Air Products and ChemicalsPennsylvania22Materials & Chemicals76.3778.0176.9974.18
189Fluor CorporationTexas22Capital Goods76.3380.7070.0378.34
190SPXNorth Carolina23Capital Goods76.3178.1471.9378.94
191Darling IngredientsTexas23Consumer Goods76.2971.3668.3489.25
192Insulet CorporationMassachusetts24Health Care & Life Sciences76.2479.8077.5771.45
193Essex Property TrustCalifornia9Real Estate & Housing76.1688.5471.3868.65
194Truist FinancialNorth Carolina16Financial76.1168.7882.0477.59
195AtkoreIllinois24Capital Goods76.1175.2667.0686.09
196Pioneer Natural ResourcesTexas14Energy & Utilities76.0982.8079.1966.36
197VMwareCalifornia16Software & Telecommunications75.99100.0045.9282.14
198Regions FinancialAlabama17Financial75.9773.1977.6677.14
199WorkdayCalifornia17Software & Telecommunications75.9778.8867.5281.59
200SnapCalifornia18Software & Telecommunications75.9271.2884.7771.77
201PVHNew York8Retail75.9088.6066.9772.21
202Fifth Third BankOhio18Financial75.8993.1970.2564.33
203InfineraCalifornia24Technology Hardware75.8981.9468.9976.82
204Kilroy RealtyCalifornia10Real Estate & Housing75.8788.9263.4275.36
205Watts Water TechnologiesMassachusetts25Capital Goods75.8380.2466.1581.17
206XeroxConnecticut25Technology Hardware75.8096.3862.4868.63
207PrudentialNew Jersey19Financial75.7881.0965.5580.79
208Digital Realty TrustTexas11Real Estate & Housing75.7780.9278.3968.09
209OnsemiArizona26Technology Hardware75.6885.9956.0785.06
210BizLinkCalifornia26Technology Hardware75.6880.8273.6572.64
211Brixmor Property GroupNew York12Real Estate & Housing75.6573.2787.6166.15
212APA CorpTexas15Energy & Utilities75.5964.6174.6387.61
213Tractor Supply Co.Tennessee9Retail75.5080.3677.1769.07
214Dover CorporationIllinois26Capital Goods75.4773.5368.8184.14
215Universal DisplayNew Jersey28Technology Hardware75.4474.9980.4770.93
216United Parcel ServiceGeorgia4Transport & Logistics75.4375.2074.2676.91
217DanaOhio7Automotive & Components75.4283.1170.3872.86
218MicrochipArizona29Technology Hardware75.4281.4764.4380.44
219Teledyne TechnologiesCalifornia30Technology Hardware75.4180.2369.8976.18
220Element SolutionsFlorida23Materials & Chemicals75.4086.7466.4673.09
221GXOConnecticut5Transport & Logistics75.3276.8379.6269.60
222Fortune BrandsIllinois24Consumer Goods75.2980.4671.9573.53
223Weatherford InternationalTexas16Energy & Utilities75.2570.3578.9876.48
224Federal Realty Investment TrustMaryland13Real Estate & Housing75.2186.3264.4174.97
225J M SmuckerOhio25Consumer Goods75.2086.3563.5275.81
226GlobalFoundriesNew York31Technology Hardware75.1688.6966.3570.52
227AT&TTexas19Software & Telecommunications75.1480.1672.3672.97
228General ElectricMassachusetts27Capital Goods75.1077.6370.3777.37
229HubbellConnecticut28Capital Goods75.0577.6369.0978.51
230VF CorporationColorado26Consumer Goods75.0584.5869.7670.88
231AvalonBay CommunitiesVirginia14Real Estate & Housing74.8392.1467.1165.32
232Vornado Realty TrustNew York15Real Estate & Housing74.7990.4362.6971.34
233Crown HoldingsPennsylvania24Materials & Chemicals74.7774.3063.9286.16
234VirtusaMassachusetts20Software & Telecommunications74.6789.4864.0370.59
235CintasOhio27Consumer Goods74.6075.7168.6479.53
236State StreetMassachusetts20Financial74.5988.5853.6481.63
237Public StorageCalifornia16Real Estate & Housing74.5186.4770.0167.14
238GreifOhio25Materials & Chemicals74.4487.0258.1678.23
239Pacific Premier BancorpCalifornia21Financial74.3783.9369.6469.63
240Helmerich & PayneOklahoma17Energy & Utilities74.3667.6873.1382.34
241Salesforce.ComCalifornia21Software & Telecommunications74.2778.9671.6672.28
242LPL FinancialCalifornia22Financial74.2681.8669.4571.54
243Comfort Systems USATexas29Capital Goods74.2277.0668.9976.69
244Realty IncomeCalifornia17Real Estate & Housing74.2070.2089.5862.89
245National Energy Services ReunitedTexas18Energy & Utilities74.1979.0066.0877.58
246AlbemarleNorth Carolina26Materials & Chemicals74.1970.5883.9368.13
247Crown CastleTexas22Software & Telecommunications74.1571.8972.7077.93
248Arista NetworksCalifornia23Software & Telecommunications74.0576.5065.1080.64
249Quaker HoughtonPennsylvania27Materials & Chemicals74.0375.3460.0586.78
250ADMIllinois28Consumer Goods73.9780.6072.9668.45
251BungeMissouri29Consumer Goods73.9188.1567.9065.76
252UnumTennessee23Financial73.9071.2371.5079.04
253SBAFlorida24Software & Telecommunications73.8767.9566.8286.92
254Hormel FoodsMinnesota30Consumer Goods73.8779.3283.4558.93
255VentasIllinois18Real Estate & Housing73.8171.8170.4579.24
256SpireMissouri19Energy & Utilities73.7964.7785.2471.43
257TimkenOhio30Capital Goods73.7780.5271.7069.18
258Bank of New York MellonNew York24Financial73.7687.9265.3868.07
259Omnicom GroupNew York6Professional Services73.7471.8971.3378.07
260ItronWashington7Professional Services73.7380.4068.4372.44
261Phibro Animal HealthNew Jersey25Health Care & Life Sciences73.7271.0669.6280.55
262Constellation Energy CorporationMaryland20Energy & Utilities73.7064.2985.6671.20
263Juniper NetworksCalifornia32Technology Hardware73.6767.2974.1679.62
264Cirrus LogicTexas33Technology Hardware73.6463.0473.1784.78
265Adtalem Global EducationIllinois8Professional Services73.6377.2271.7771.99
266TeradyneMassachusetts34Technology Hardware73.6079.6349.8891.39
267ABM IndustriesNew York9Professional Services73.6056.9877.1186.77
268CoupaCalifornia25Software & Telecommunications73.5673.9065.7181.15
269Allison TransmissionIndiana31Capital Goods73.5180.6664.3275.63
270MacerichCalifornia19Real Estate & Housing73.5090.0356.9173.64
271Illinois Tool WorksIllinois32Capital Goods73.4482.9468.8368.64
272Kosmos EnergyTexas21Energy & Utilities73.4270.5580.3569.43
273TPI CompositesArizona33Capital Goods73.4273.5382.3564.43
274Knowles CorporationIllinois35Technology Hardware73.4087.2468.2964.75
275TJX CompaniesMassachusetts10Retail73.3773.7766.6679.75
276Avanos MedicalGeorgia26Health Care & Life Sciences73.3676.4873.2370.45
277AMETEKPennsylvania36Technology Hardware73.2686.1570.6663.07
278Tanger Factory Outlet CentersNorth Carolina20Real Estate & Housing73.2583.3574.9861.52
279Cooper-Standard HoldingsMichigan8Automotive & Components73.1190.4672.4156.55
280NiSourceIndiana22Energy & Utilities73.0871.7076.5471.06
281American Axle & Manufacturing HoldingsMichigan9Automotive & Components73.0478.0465.5275.64
282HalliburtonTexas23Energy & Utilities73.0374.0671.4973.63
283Helen of TroyTexas31Consumer Goods73.0079.4579.5360.11
284NetAppCalifornia26Software & Telecommunications72.9667.8260.0091.13
285ResMedCalifornia27Health Care & Life Sciences72.9374.9067.8876.08
286Alliant EnergyWisconsin24Energy & Utilities72.9369.0886.6563.12
287Hilton Worldwide HoldingsVirginia6Hotels, Dining & Leisure72.9275.4267.5775.85
288CatalentNew Jersey28Health Care & Life Sciences72.9281.3068.6368.90
289WestrockGeorgia28Materials & Chemicals72.9064.8270.8183.14
290CarrierFlorida34Capital Goods72.8780.9272.6465.13
291Expeditors International of WashingtonWashington6Transport & Logistics72.8480.8076.3261.48
292GenArizona27Software & Telecommunications72.8061.3167.4189.73
293Mueller Water ProductsGeorgia35Capital Goods72.7974.3470.8073.31
294CaterpillarIllinois36Capital Goods72.7276.5862.0679.62
295Green PlainsNebraska29Materials & Chemicals72.7161.1875.0781.94
296XPO LogisticsConnecticut7Transport & Logistics72.7067.6672.5877.94
297Equity ResidentialIllinois21Real Estate & Housing72.6684.7065.6467.73
298AramarkPennsylvania7Hotels, Dining & Leisure72.6274.9968.8774.06
299Alphabet (Google)California28Software & Telecommunications72.5388.9359.5069.25
300PetcoCalifornia11Retail72.5084.1659.5773.83
301Ormat TechnologiesNevada25Energy & Utilities72.4970.3171.2875.96
302MattelCalifornia32Consumer Goods72.4480.9270.7965.71
303Hecla MiningIdaho30Materials & Chemicals72.3977.5158.8980.84
304FactSetConnecticut25Financial72.3751.5373.5892.06
305Simpson Manufacturing CompanyCalifornia37Capital Goods72.3668.7477.9370.49
306Compass Minerals InternationalKansas31Materials & Chemicals72.3263.9873.7279.33
307Charles River LaboratoriesMassachusetts29Health Care & Life Sciences72.3177.8374.3264.86
308Graphic PackagingGeorgia32Materials & Chemicals72.3069.0072.9974.98
309GrafTech InternationalOhio38Capital Goods72.2670.2871.3475.22
310KeyCorpOhio26Financial72.2579.8559.8777.10
311OshkoshWisconsin10Automotive & Components72.2083.5370.9362.21
312Kansas City SouthernMissouri8Transport & Logistics72.1158.9979.0978.29
313IPGNew York10Professional Services72.1074.3160.2081.88
314HubSpotMassachusetts29Software & Telecommunications72.0979.3851.3685.62
315Goodyear Tire & Rubber CoOhio11Automotive & Components72.0679.6970.6565.93
316Kelly ServicesMichigan11Professional Services72.0270.5775.1170.46
317SimsNew York33Materials & Chemicals71.9781.0564.9969.95
318BalchemNew York34Materials & Chemicals71.9358.1568.0289.68
319CotyNew York33Consumer Goods71.9083.4272.7559.62
320KratonTexas35Materials & Chemicals71.9071.6470.9873.15
321DXC TechnologyVirginia12Professional Services71.8677.4565.6872.54
322Worthington IndustriesOhio36Materials & Chemicals71.8387.7054.7373.14
323SanminaCalifornia37Technology Hardware71.7779.0754.6081.73
324Scotts Miracle-GroOhio37Materials & Chemicals71.7677.4169.0068.94
325NOVTexas26Energy & Utilities71.7569.2375.8570.23
326Columbus McKinnonNew York39Capital Goods71.6990.9464.4559.76
327U.S. SilicaTexas38Materials & Chemicals71.5673.6580.8960.23
328SynopsysCalifornia30Software & Telecommunications71.5169.4463.5281.63
329AECOMTexas13Professional Services71.4655.0880.0879.28
330UnifiNorth Carolina39Materials & Chemicals71.4573.5064.8876.06
331FortiveWashington40Capital Goods71.4256.8962.7694.67
332Schlumberger NVTexas27Energy & Utilities71.4284.8871.9357.52
333Masonite InternationalFlorida41Capital Goods71.4077.2967.4469.54
334HologicMassachusetts30Health Care & Life Sciences71.3870.3058.1185.80
335Pactiv EvergreenIllinois40Materials & Chemicals71.3672.1170.5271.53
336ICFVirginia14Professional Services71.2284.3973.1056.25
337HanesbrandsNorth Carolina34Consumer Goods71.1585.8364.2263.47
338Empire State Reality TrustNew York22Real Estate & Housing71.1280.4452.8180.20
339Union PacificNebraska9Transport & Logistics71.1083.6955.9673.75
340Williams-SonomaCalifornia35Consumer Goods71.0663.2870.1679.80
341National InstrumentsTexas31Software & Telecommunications71.0477.7867.1768.26
342KLA CorporationCalifornia38Technology Hardware71.0440.0677.7295.39
343GartnerConnecticut15Professional Services71.0258.9667.9186.23
344Mid-America Apartment CommunitiesTennessee23Real Estate & Housing71.0085.7553.1574.19
345SteelcaseMichigan36Consumer Goods70.9987.8962.9462.22
346Molson Coors BrewingIllinois37Consumer Goods70.9683.2866.6763.00
347C.H. RobinsonMinnesota10Transport & Logistics70.8964.1975.6572.90
348AkamaiMassachusetts32Software & Telecommunications70.8877.9350.3984.42
349IntuitiveCalifornia31Health Care & Life Sciences70.8862.6377.8572.21
350Packaging Corporation of AmericaIllinois41Materials & Chemicals70.8563.8565.4783.28
351Ralph LaurenNew York38Consumer Goods70.8592.1149.9770.55
352ZendeskCalifornia33Software & Telecommunications70.7365.3467.8779.04
353Silicon LabsTexas39Technology Hardware70.6688.8970.4152.78
354SL Green RealtyNew York24Real Estate & Housing70.6578.4054.9478.70
355Dick’s Sporting GoodsPennsylvania12Retail70.6471.5162.0178.47
356MSA SafetyPennsylvania16Professional Services70.5083.2967.3360.97
357Global PaymentsGeorgia27Financial70.4884.1558.5168.87
358Murphy USAArkansas13Retail70.4463.6471.9975.76
359EntergyLouisiana28Energy & Utilities70.3844.9998.1568.05
360Essential UtilitiesPennsylvania29Energy & Utilities70.3780.1873.4057.61
361Howard HughesTexas25Real Estate & Housing70.2874.9562.1073.86
362Palo Alto NetworksCalifornia34Software & Telecommunications70.2377.1267.2466.41
363ONEOKOklahoma30Energy & Utilities70.2363.8073.1373.83
364Dominion EnergyVirginia31Energy & Utilities70.2150.7387.5672.38
365BrunswickIllinois42Capital Goods70.1865.2564.7780.60
366CF Industries HoldingsIllinois42Materials & Chemicals70.1745.3973.1292.05
367Marsh McLennanNew York17Professional Services70.1157.7364.8387.81
368Bread FinancialOhio28Financial70.0769.0667.2174.01
369Merit Medical SystemsUtah32Health Care & Life Sciences70.0762.3472.2875.64
370PerkinElmerMassachusetts33Health Care & Life Sciences70.0562.7565.4082.08
371Sonoco ProductsSouth Carolina43Materials & Chemicals70.0585.3860.1264.73
372GoDaddyArizona35Software & Telecommunications70.0471.3853.7785.03
373Ziff DavisNew York36Software & Telecommunications70.0254.4768.7386.90
374GenthermMichigan12Automotive & Components70.0177.0562.8670.19
375FormFactorCalifornia40Technology Hardware69.9579.3250.3680.26
376The Cheesecake FactoryCalifornia8Hotels, Dining & Leisure69.9383.3349.5676.98
377Skywork SolutionsCalifornia41Technology Hardware69.9271.8969.8868.06
378AmedisysLouisiana34Health Care & Life Sciences69.8967.7575.1566.82
379Booz Allen HamiltonVirginia18Professional Services69.8756.4771.2981.91
380Polaris Inc.Minnesota13Automotive & Components69.8481.8366.5961.19
381UDRColorado26Real Estate & Housing69.8481.7060.6467.26
382TextronRhode Island43Capital Goods69.8180.6164.9963.92
383Brown-FormanKentucky39Consumer Goods69.8164.3957.9787.12
384KB HomeCalifornia27Real Estate & Housing69.7757.1975.4076.77
385Sensient TechnologiesWisconsin44Materials & Chemicals69.7468.5562.2778.46
386Winnebago IndustriesIowa14Automotive & Components69.6861.4457.2490.41
387BurlingtonNew Jersey14Retail69.6191.2860.2457.40
388Dentsply SironaNorth Carolina35Health Care & Life Sciences69.6081.1476.7151.02
389TimkenSteelOhio45Materials & Chemicals69.5568.2965.2575.20
390SunPowerCalifornia32Energy & Utilities69.5170.8779.4458.30
391DiscoverIllinois29Financial69.4469.6866.2372.47
392Meritage HomesArizona28Real Estate & Housing69.4247.7165.0695.55
393EnerSysPennsylvania42Technology Hardware69.4077.9848.7781.53
394Harley-DavidsonWisconsin15Automotive & Components69.3478.1165.6864.31
395TerexConnecticut44Capital Goods69.3167.0876.0564.87
396Cabot MicroelectronicsIllinois43Technology Hardware69.3084.1169.3554.52
397Clearway EnergyNew Jersey33Energy & Utilities69.2878.6468.7860.48
398DTE EnergyMichigan34Energy & Utilities69.1556.6079.6771.23
399Franklin ElectricIndiana44Technology Hardware69.1374.7869.1963.49
400Corporate Office Properties TrustMaryland29Real Estate & Housing69.0277.0368.9161.19
401ManitowocWisconsin45Capital Goods68.9963.3271.2872.42
402MPLX LPOhio35Energy & Utilities68.9861.1965.1180.69
403H&R BlockMissouri19Professional Services68.9768.0668.1270.80
404Xcel EnergyMinnesota36Energy & Utilities68.9253.4978.7574.58
405Ameriprise FinancialMinnesota30Financial68.9162.6852.9491.19
406AMN Healthcare ServicesTexas36Health Care & Life Sciences68.8966.5768.7671.40
407T. Rowe PriceMaryland31Financial68.8970.4367.5368.78
408T-MobileWashington37Software & Telecommunications68.8392.8549.8763.88
409Lumen TechnologiesLouisiana38Software & Telecommunications68.7774.7466.6165.04
410Renewable Energy GroupIowa37Energy & Utilities68.7682.8078.4145.16
411Iridium CommunicationsVirginia39Software & Telecommunications68.7481.0251.4673.82
412BlackbaudSouth Carolina40Software & Telecommunications68.6279.1352.7474.06
413Sunstone Hotel InvestorsCalifornia30Real Estate & Housing68.5575.4964.4365.81
414Gates Industrial CorporationColorado46Capital Goods68.5269.1775.1461.34
415Thor IndustriesIndiana16Automotive & Components68.4672.1859.2074.07
416International Flavors & FragrancesNew York46Materials & Chemicals68.4474.9265.5264.94
417PrologisCalifornia31Real Estate & Housing68.4069.6468.5867.06
418EquinixCalifornia41Software & Telecommunications68.3963.8266.8674.55
419Vistra EnergyTexas38Energy & Utilities68.3857.1580.4567.60
420CrestwoodTexas39Energy & Utilities68.3259.9883.3261.72
421AlnylamMassachusetts37Health Care & Life Sciences68.3276.4169.0659.56
422CeridianMinnesota42Software & Telecommunications68.2978.1463.8362.97
423LittelfuseIllinois45Technology Hardware68.2578.9469.8956.00
424Brinker InternationalTexas9Hotels, Dining & Leisure68.2479.2956.0769.43
425Hersha Hospitality TrustPennsylvania32Real Estate & Housing68.1385.6756.0062.82
426AARIllinois11Transport & Logistics68.1269.4850.9983.97
427Nextera EnergyFlorida40Energy & Utilities68.1256.4883.8964.05
428Tyler TechnologiesTexas43Software & Telecommunications68.0679.9661.0663.23
429NorthWestern EnergySouth Dakota41Energy & Utilities68.0452.9480.9970.26
430Roper TechnologiesFlorida46Technology Hardware68.0158.0065.8680.22
431Lincoln NationalPennsylvania32Financial68.0087.9367.0949.08
432Automatic Data ProcessingNew Jersey44Software & Telecommunications67.9960.5661.0282.44
433Taylor MorrisonArizona33Real Estate & Housing67.9832.6480.9490.39
434IPG PhotonicsNew York47Technology Hardware67.9859.5366.0678.40
435Western MidstreamTexas42Energy & Utilities67.9653.4465.6984.82
436Hawaiian Electric IndustriesHawaii43Energy & Utilities67.8653.0882.3768.19
437WESCO InternationalPennsylvania12Transport & Logistics67.8572.4870.4060.73
438DolbyCalifornia45Software & Telecommunications67.8452.0070.0781.50
439Southwest AirlinesTexas13Transport & Logistics67.7366.8361.8774.56
440CallawayCalifornia40Consumer Goods67.7260.1968.0674.96
441Alamo GroupTexas14Transport & Logistics67.7078.1860.7564.24
442Cooper TiresOhio17Automotive & Components67.6972.6964.0866.37
443KadantMassachusetts48Technology Hardware67.6869.8752.9180.33
444WolfspeedNorth Carolina48Technology Hardware67.6881.2265.2856.61
445EnphaseCalifornia50Technology Hardware67.6762.9572.2367.90
446CohuCalifornia51Technology Hardware67.6465.3662.1275.52
447Sprouts Farmers MarketArizona15Retail67.6368.2662.3972.32
448Monolithic Power SystemsWashington52Technology Hardware67.6162.2665.6075.04
449FISFlorida46Software & Telecommunications67.5070.3852.6479.55
450Sleep NumberMinnesota16Retail67.5070.3760.6671.53
451Synchrony FinancialConnecticut33Financial67.4459.8277.3965.17
452Paramount GlobalNew York10Hotels, Dining & Leisure67.3964.3068.4469.48
453Henry ScheinNew York38Health Care & Life Sciences67.3565.0661.0676.00
454eHealthCalifornia34Financial67.3469.5570.9461.60
455LiventPennsylvania47Materials & Chemicals67.2773.7766.6761.45
456Carlisle CompaniesArizona48Materials & Chemicals67.1666.9453.4681.15
457Cooper CompaniesCalifornia39Health Care & Life Sciences67.1650.5872.9677.98
458VeecoNew York53Technology Hardware67.1586.5244.8870.13
459O-IOhio49Materials & Chemicals67.1149.8077.2974.29
460Sealed AirNorth Carolina50Materials & Chemicals67.0768.6460.1972.44
461Cornerstone Building BrandsNorth Carolina47Capital Goods67.0675.4965.0060.79
462Pebblebrook Hotel TrustMaryland11Hotels, Dining & Leisure67.0679.5763.7157.99
463GibraltarNew York48Capital Goods67.0566.8474.2260.18
464Varex ImagingUtah40Health Care & Life Sciences66.9969.4466.6464.95
465NRG EnergyTexas44Energy & Utilities66.9549.3072.1679.44
466FiservWisconsin47Software & Telecommunications66.8957.6066.2776.88
467HawkinsMinnesota51Materials & Chemicals66.7464.9661.3074.03
468Rogers CorporationArizona52Materials & Chemicals66.7173.9864.0062.22
469HF SinclaorTexas45Energy & Utilities66.6476.6574.4248.93
470MDU ResourcesNorth Dakota45Energy & Utilities66.6444.7584.9870.23
471National VisionGeorgia17Retail66.5955.1959.0585.60
472TransUnionIllinois20Professional Services66.5883.0254.3762.45
473Paramount GroupNew York34Real Estate & Housing66.5268.0054.8976.73
474Citrix SystemsFlorida48Software & Telecommunications66.4359.4351.1388.79
475ANSYSPennsylvania48Software & Telecommunications66.4369.5962.4567.31
476IntuitCalifornia50Software & Telecommunications66.4071.1659.2468.87
477SwitchNevada54Technology Hardware66.3664.5966.9667.59
478VeritivGeorgia53Materials & Chemicals66.2549.4673.4075.95
479HarscoPennsylvania21Professional Services66.2360.2174.3264.22
480Cabot CorporationMassachusetts54Materials & Chemicals66.2165.1971.1162.39
481The HanoverMassachusetts35Financial66.1968.5657.9972.09
482Americold Realty TrustGeorgia35Real Estate & Housing66.1875.8271.6751.13
483CentennialColorado47Energy & Utilities66.1750.3371.0177.23
484American Homes 4 RentCalifornia36Real Estate & Housing66.1260.8074.1163.49
485Equitrans MidstreamPennsylvania48Energy & Utilities66.1156.5579.7362.11
486Avis Budget GroupNew Jersey22Professional Services66.0962.7165.9069.73
487The Container StoreTexas18Retail66.0677.3550.8570.06
488Advanced Drainage SystemsOhio49Energy & Utilities66.0668.0863.5466.64
489QTSKansas37Real Estate & Housing66.0662.2269.3366.69
490Devon EnergyOklahoma50Energy & Utilities65.9365.3867.5664.92
491Installed Building ProductsOhio23Professional Services65.9251.8769.2176.73
492WabtecPennsylvania15Transport & Logistics65.9260.0368.9468.84
493Caesars EntertainmentNevada12Hotels, Dining & Leisure65.8983.1651.2763.31
494Array TechnologiesNew Mexico51Energy & Utilities65.8869.1360.8567.73
495New Jersey ResourcesNew Jersey52Energy & Utilities65.7756.2966.1674.92
496Range ResourcesTexas53Energy & Utilities65.7657.8876.6862.78
497Hostess BrandsKansas41Consumer Goods65.6858.0368.5770.52
498Kontoor BrandsNorth Carolina42Consumer Goods65.6154.3360.6681.90
499Greenbrier CompaniesOregon16Transport & Logistics65.6064.8867.5764.42

  Visit our rankings portal 

Licensing

If your company was listed in the ranking, click here to learn more about the licensing options.METHODOLOGY

THE RANKING AMERICA’S MOST RESPONSIBLE Companies 2023 focuses on a holistic view of corporate responsibility that considers all three pillars of ESG: environment, social and corporate governance. 
In total, 500 companies were identified as America’s Most Responsible Companies.The initial analysis focused on the top 2000 public companies by revenue and banks and insurance companies with total assets exceeding $50 billion. 

The analysis is based on two metrics:
1. Quantitative data from KPI (key performance indicator) research: More than 30 KPIs from the three areas of CSR (corporate social responsibility) were considered for the ranking.
2. The CSR reputation of each company from an extensive survey of 13,000 U.S. residents: Respondents were asked to select companies familiar to them and then to evaluate the company’s CSR performance in general and in the three sub-dimensions: social, environmental and governance.

  Visit our rankings portal 

he selection of the companies and the definition of the evaluation criteria were carried out according to independent journalistic criteria of Newsweek and Statista. The evaluation was carried out by the statistics and market research company Statista. Newsweek and Statista make no claim to the completeness of the companies examined.
The ranking is composed exclusively of U.S. companies that are eligible regarding the criteria described here. A position in the ranking is a positive recognition based on research of publicly available data sources at the time, the information provided in the validation survey and an extensive survey of U.S. residents. The ranking is the result of an elaborate process which, due to the interval of data-collection and analysis, is a reflection of official ESG data from 2020 or 2021. Furthermore, events following November 3, 2022 were not a subject of this survey. As such, the results of this ranking should not be used as the sole source of information for future deliberations. The information provided in this ranking should be considered in conjunction with other available information. The quality of companies that are not included in the ranking is not disputed. For a complete methodology see newsweek.com/amrc-2023 

ewsweek and Statista make no claim to the completeness of the companies examined.
The ranking is composed exclusively of U.S. companies that are eligible regarding the criteria described here. A position in the ranking is a positive recognition based on research of publicly available data sources at the time, the information provided in the validation survey and an extensive survey of U.S. residents. The ranking is the result of an elaborate process which, due to the interval of data-collection and analysis, is a reflection of official ESG data from 2020 or 2021. Furthermore, events following November 3, 2022 were not a subject of this survey. As such, the results of this ranking should not be used as the sole source of information for future deliberations. The information provided in this ranking should be considered in conjunction with other available information. The quality of companies that are not included in the ranking is not disputed. For a complete methodology see newsweek.com/amrc-2023 





Green jobs are booming, but too few employees have sustainability skills to fill them – here are 4 ways to close the gap

15 01 2023

U.S. universities now have over 3,000 sustainability programs. Photo: Andy DeLisle/ASU

By Christopher Boone, Professor of Sustainability, Arizona State University and Karen C. Seto, Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science, Yale University from The Conversation. Re-posted: January 15, 2022

To meet today’s global sustainability challenges, the corporate world needs more than a few chief sustainability officers – it needs an army of employees, in all areas of business, thinking about sustainability in their decisions every day.

That means product designers, supply managers, economists, scientists, architects and many others with the knowledge to both recognize unsustainable practices and find ways to improve sustainability for the overall health of their companies and the planet.

Employers are increasingly looking for those skills. We analyzed job ads from a global database and found a tenfold increase in the number of jobs with “sustainability” in the title over the last decade, reaching 177,000 in 2021.

What’s troubling is that there are not enough skilled workers to meet the rapid growth in green and sustainability jobs available.

While the number of “green jobs” grew globally at a rate of 8% per year over the last five years, the number of people listing green skills in their profiles only grew by 6% per year, according to a LinkedIn analysis of its nearly 800 million users.

A man stands beside a 3-D printer in a university lab.
When employees are trained to think about sustainable materials and processes, they can improve corporate innovation and the bottom line. Photo: Sona Srinarayana/ASU

As professors who train future workers in sustainability principles and techniques, we see several effective ways for people at all stages of their careers to gain those skills and increase those numbers.

Where sustainability jobs are growing fastest

In the U.S., jobs in the renewable energy and environment sectorsgrew by 237%over the last five years. Globally, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is forecast to result in a net increase in jobs for the energy sector. 

But green jobs go well beyond solar panel installation and wind turbine maintenance. 

Sustainable fashion is one of the fastest-growing green jobs sectors, averaging a 90% growth rate annually between 2016 and 2020. 

The rapid expansion of ESG investing – environment, social and governance – and portfolio management is opening up new jobs in sustainable finance. In 2021, the accounting firm PwC announced that it would invest US$12 billion and create 100,000 new jobs in ESG investing by 2026. 

There is also a growing demand for urban sustainability officers who can help transition cities to be net-zero carbon and more resilient. After all, the world is adding 1 million people to cities every five days and building 20,000 American football fields’ worth of urban areas someplace on the planet every day. 

In 2013, when the Rockefeller Foundation launched 100 Resilient Cities, a network to help cities become more sustainable, few cities had a resilience or sustainability officer. Today, more than 250 communities and 1,000 local government professionals are part of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network

The number of companies with chief sustainability officers in executive positions also tripled from 9% to 28% between 2016 and 2021. But given the scale and business opportunities of sustainability, these skills are needed much more widely within organizations.

So, where can you find training?

Most sustainability and green jobs require creative problem-solving, synthesizing and technical skills. Some of those skills can be learned on the job, but boosting the number of qualified job applicants will require more effective and accessible training opportunities that target employers’ needs. Here are a some training sources to consider.

University programs: Sustainability is increasingly being incorporated into a wide range of university programs. Fifteen years ago, sustainability training was mostly ad hoc – a product designer or economist might have taken a class in sustainability approaches from the environmental science department. Today, U.S. universities have about 3,000 programs with a “sustainability” label, up from 13 in 2008.

A National Academies report recommends looking for a competency-based approach to sustainability learning that blends content with skills and links knowledge to action to solve problems and develop solutions.

Micro-credentials: For mid-career employees who don’t have the time to reinvest in full-fledged degrees, short courses and micro-credentials offered by universities, colleges or professional groups offer one way to develop sustainability skills.

A micro-credential might involve taking a series of courses or workshops focused on a specific skill, such as in wind energy technology or how to incorporate ESG criteria into business operations.

A group of people wearing hard hats install a large window.
U.S. architect Michael Reynolds holds four-week, hands-on training sessions, primarily for architects, in sustainable design principles, construction methods and philosophy. Participation can count toward Western Colorado University’s Master in Environmental Management graduate degree. Photo: Pablo Porciuncula/AFP via Getty Images

Short courses and micro credentials take up less time and are much less expensive than college degree programs. That may also help lower-income individuals train for sustainability jobs and diversify the field.

Specializations: A similar option is jobs-focused online certificate programs with a sustainability specialization. 

For example, Google teamed up with universities to provide online courses for project managers, and Arizona State University is offering a sustainability specialization to accompany it. Project management is an area where the U.S. Department of Labor expects to see fast job growth, with 100,000 job openings in the next decade.

A pile of boxes of various sizes ready for shipping at a FedEx shipping distribution center.
Sustainable packaging design that reduces costs and reuses materials is an area ripe for innovation in many companies as consumer shipping increases.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Corporate training: Some companies have developed their own internal sustainability training in climate sciencesustainable financesustainability reporting and other skills.

Integrating sustainability across all functions of companies will require some level of sustainability training and understanding for most if not all employees. Companies like StarbucksHSBCSalesforce and Microsoft have created internal training programs to spread sustainability knowledge and practice throughout their companies, not just for employees who have sustainability in their titles.

Closing the gap

A recent survey by Microsoft and BCG of major companies found that only 43% of sustainability professionals in businesses had sustainability-related degrees, and 68% of sustainability leaders were hired internally. 

It’s clear that on-the-job sustainability training and up-skilling will be necessary to fill the growing number of roles inside of companies.

To meet the sustainability skills gap, we believe more training will be required – at colleges and universities, by professional organizations and from employers. Achieving global sustainability and meeting climate change challenges will become more likely as legions of people commit their working hours to sustainability solutions.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://theconversation.com/green-jobs-are-booming-but-too-few-employees-have-sustainability-skills-to-fill-them-here-are-4-ways-to-close-the-gap-193953





DiCaprio’s Before The Flood is an epic documentary on Climate Change

2 11 2016

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Leonardo DiCaprio spent two years traveling the globe to talk to those on the front line of Climate Change and focus on the key sources and impacts of the problems.  In the process, he talks to scientists, sustainability and carbon reduction experts, local government officials and world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

According to The Los Angeles Times:  “The origins of wanting to do this movie is to give the scientific community out there a voice,” DiCaprio said before the screening, to more cheers in the packed house, at Toronto’s giant and august Princess of Wales Theater. “Because we have ignored the predictions of the scientific community for way too long.”

You can watch the entire film on You Tube here.

 

https://www.beforetheflood.com





Cause Marketing Halo Awards: Social Impact To Build A Better World And Bottom Line

17 02 2016

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The 2016 Cause Marketing Halo Awards announced its 42 finalists of programs designed to yield both social and financial dividends.  The Gold and Service winners in each of ten categories will be announced at the at the 2016 Cause Marketing Forum Annual Conference in Chicago June 1-2, 2016.

 

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More than 100 entries were received in the Cause Marketing Forum’s competition for North American programs designed to yield social and financial dividends.

Programs named finalists in multiple categories include

  • Bank of America’s “Pass the Flame” campaign with Special Olympics promoting inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in sports and in life;
  • Think it Up’ Staples/DonorsChoose.org partnership supporting student-powered, teacher-led projects in classrooms across the country;
  • Gateways and Getaways’, a bird- and flight-centric education program for New York families from JetBlue and the Wildlife Conservation Society;
  • Dementia-Friendly Massachusetts’ which Senior Living Residences developed to help people better understand the challenges of living with dementia;
  • #Unlimited’ a tween-targeted back to school program from Old Navy and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support summer programming for kids.

The Halo Awards will highlight many of the most innovative programs that companies and causes took at the intersection of profit and purpose last year. Some examples include:

  • A video game marathon that raised funds to put veterans back to work.
  • An app that helps autistic children make social and emotional connections.
  • Canvas shoes turned into artwork to support high school arts programs.
  • “Thumb Socks” that help persuade teens from texting and

With the proliferation of cause campaigns reaching consumers each day, the Cause Marketing Halo Awards are designed to bring clarity, innovation and best practices to light.

About the Cause Marketing Forum

Now in their fourteenth year, the Cause Marketing Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor in the field of cause marketing. They are presented to US and Canadian companies by the Cause Marketing Forum, a company dedicated to providing business and nonprofit executives with the practical information and connections they need to succeed.

All Halo finalists can be seen online at: http://www.CauseMarketingForum.com/halo2016

original post  http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/38699-These-Corporate-Social-Impact-Programs-Build-a-Better-World-and-the-Bottom-Line





New Survey: Only 10% of Americans trust business to behave ethically.

17 09 2015

96 percent of Americans believe it is important for companies to ensure their employees behave ethically but only 10 percent have trust and confidence in major companies to do what is right.

2015_1

Pharmaceuticals and health insurance were viewed to be the least trustworthy industries. The most trustworthy were thought to be manufacturing, technology and large retailing.

Princeton Survey Research Associates International’s 2015 Public Affairs Pulse survey polled 1,600 Americans on their attitudes about corporate behavior, big business and small business, the trustworthiness of companies and industries, levels of regulation, and lobbying and politics. The study found the vast majority of the public expects the business sector to think beyond profits and be valuable components of society.

Other interesting findings include:

  • More than nine in 10 Americans say businesses need to protect the environment, including 76 percent who feel it is very important that businesses limit their environmental damage.
  • 88 percent believe companies should contribute to charities
  • 85 percent believe they should take a leadership role in helping society in ways that go beyond their business operations
  • 39 percent believe it is very important that businesses take more responsibility in helping the government solve problems.

How can companies communicate what they’re doing for these causes? Social media is reportedly the best way that companies can communicate what they are doing for social causes, with 45 percent calling it very effective and 38 percent calling it somewhat effective. Not surprisingly, those under 50 years old were more strongly in favor of social media communication than those over 50.

Only 15 percent say social media has a significant influence on their opinions, while almost 40 percent say it does not influence their opinion at all. Personal experiences as a customer or employee of a major company were the top factors influencing people’s opinions of a business.

Access more of the Princeton Survey here.  http://pac.org/pulse/

 





TetraPak: Most U.S. Consumers Would Choose Renewable Packaging to Help Mitigate Climate Change

17 08 2015

Tetra_1

 

A new survey suggests U.S. consumers are largely unaware of the severity of global resource scarcity, but their choice of packaging would be impacted if they had readily available information on how renewable materials mitigate climate change.

Tetra Pak and the Global Footprint Network conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers about their grocery spending habits. An overwhelming 86 percent agreed that if they knew the use of renewable packaging contributed to reducing carbon emissions, it would impact their choice of packaging. Women were particularly motivated to choose renewable packaging options based on this knowledge: 90 percent of females said they would modify their purchasing habits while 77 percent of men did.

According to TetraPak, consumers indicated that they are ready to be held as accountable as government and industry for climate change, and they are ready to support actions to mitigate its harmful effects. While 81 percent of respondents said that no one group is responsible for addressing natural resource constraints, the majority also believes that no single group is doing enough.

“Our survey confirms our belief that with information and education, consumers will respond favorably to the need to pay closer attention to resource challenges and change their individual actions, including making more environmentally responsible decisions around packaging,” said Elizabeth Comere, Director of Environment & Government Affairs for Tetra Pak US and Canada.

The survey also asked respondents about specific actions they would be willing to take to conserve natural resources. The top three responses were:

  • buying local grown food as much as possible (75 percent)
  • only buying as much food as a household was going to consume (72 percent)
  • seeking out food or beverage products that come in renewable packaging (69 percent).

Daily purchasing choices can make a difference, said Mathis Wackernagel, president and co-founder of Global Footprint Network.

“How we meet our basic needs — including food — is a powerful way to shape sustainability. Eating food from local sources and less emphasis on animal-based diets can lower the Ecological Footprint,” he said. “When we buy packaged foods, opting for packaging made from renewable materials also contributes to a lower Ecological Footprint.”

These findings coincide with Earth Overshoot Day, an indicator of when humanity has used up nature’s ‘budget’ for the entire year. Global Footprint Network announced Wednesdaythat we have overshot faster than ever: Overshoot Day moved from early October in 2000 to August 13th this year.

This survey follows Tetra Pak’s launch of the first carton made entirely from renewable packaging materials last year, and is the latest evidence that consumers desire more sustainable packaging options.

 

Original article from Sustainable Brands





Timberland Tires: A Brand With An End Game in Mind

4 11 2014

Timberland’s partnership with Omni United will create co-branded automotive tires specifically designed to be recycled into footwear outsoles when their road journey is complete.

 

 

Timberland Tires

According to a joint press announcement, Timberland and Omni United first conceived this partnership three years ago, when sustainability leaders from both brands came together to address a longstanding shared concern. The tire and footwear industries are two of the largest users of virgin rubber. The majority of tires on the market today have a limited life span; ecologically-sound disposal at the end of that life span presents yet another challenge.

In a statement, Stewart Whitney, president of Timberland said,  “Our partnership with Omni United marks a new day for the tire and footwear industries.  An outdoor lifestyle brand and an automotive industry leader may, at first blush, seem unlikely partners – yet our shared values have given birth to tires that express a lifestyle, deliver performance and safety, and prove that sustainability can be so much more than a theory. It’s this kind of cross-industry collaboration that’s fueling real change and innovation in the marketplace.”

G.S. Sareen, president and CEO of Omni United said,  “Omni United and Timberland are taking an entirely different view of sustainability by designing Timberland Tires for a second life from the outset. That is one of the reasons why establishing a take-back and recycling program before the first tire is sold – and choosing an appropriate rubber formulation for recycling the tires into footwear – is so critical.  Our intent is to capture every worn Timberland Tire and recycle it for a second life, so none is used as fuel or ends up in a landfill.”

To bring the tire-to-shoe continuum to life, Timberland and Omni United have established an industry-first tire return/chain of custody process, to ensure the tires go directly to dedicated North American recycling facilities to begin their path toward a second life as part of a Timberland® product. Key steps include:

  • Tire retailers will set aside used Timberland Tires for recycling after consumers purchase new tires to replace their worn out tires.
  • Omni United is partnering with Liberty Tire Recycling and its network of tire collection and recycling firms to sort and segregate the Timberland Tires at the companies’ facilities.
  • The used tires will be shipped to a North American tire recycling facility where they will be recycled into crumb rubber.
  • The crumb rubber will be processed further into sheet rubber for shipment to Timberland outsole manufacturers.
  • The rubber will be mixed into a Timberland-approved compound for outsoles that will ultimately be incorporated into Timberland® boots and shoes. This blended compound will meet the company’s exacting standards for quality and performance, as well as its stringent compliance standards.

Timberland Tires will be sold initially in the United States at leading national and regional tire retailers, as well as online through a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform.

For more information about Timberland Tires, visit www.timberlandtires.com.





Cause Driven Social Campaigns More Effective Than Brand Stories.

21 10 2014

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New research released in London this week points to the effectiveness of cause driven social campaigns activated by brands – showing superior business results than traditional brand communication stories, especially in social media.

In the report, Seriously Social by marketing consultant Peter Field, research indicates that not only were cause-driven campaigns better at delivering business effects — they also generated greater numbers of brand effects once the non-profits were removed from the equation.

Field analysed case studies from the Warc Prize for Social Strategy – a global competition for examples of social ideas that drive business results – defined social strategy as any activity designed to generate participation, conversation, sharing or advocacy.

“Cause-driven campaigns are more strongly associated with business effects,” Field stated, a finding that became even clearer when stripping non-profit campaigns out of the calculation.

Field was able to compare the impact of campaigns that associated a brand with a good cause, with the impact of those that built a story around a brand.
He found that media usage for cause-driven campaigns was more strongly focused on online, WOM/earned media and traditional advertising channels (excluding TV). Brand story campaigns, in contrast, made wider use of media channels and, as they were more likely to be short-term campaigns, included much more activation.

These patterns had an impact on subsequent effectiveness.  The business effectiveness of cause driven-campaigns was found to increase markedly over time, whereas that of brand story campaigns did not.

“Again, this is a reflection of the short-term outlook of the latter group,” Field said, who suggested that conclusions about effectiveness drawn over a period of less than six months would underplay the true strength of cause-driven campaigns.

Source:  WARC





WHO: 1 in 8 Global Deaths Linked To Air Pollution

8 04 2014

The World Health Organization reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure.  This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.

CHINA SANDSTORM

Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

The new data reveal a strong link between air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases and cancer.  The new estimates are not only based on more knowledge about the diseases caused by air pollution, but also upon better assessment of human exposure to air pollutants through the use of improved measurements and technology. This has enabled scientists to make a more detailed analysis of health risks from a wider demographic spread that now includes rural as well as urban areas.

“Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents non-communicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children’s Health. “Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves.”

“The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes,” says Dr Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.”

After analysing the risk factors and taking into account revisions in methodology, WHO estimates indoor air pollution was linked to 4.3 million deaths in 2012 in households cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves. The new estimate is explained by better information about pollution exposures among the estimated 2.9 billion people living in homes using wood, coal or dung as their primary cooking fuel, as well as evidence about air pollution’s role in the development of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancers.

In the case of outdoor air pollution, WHO estimates there were 3.7 million deaths in 2012 from urban and rural sources worldwide.

Many people are exposed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Due to this overlap, mortality attributed to the two sources cannot simply be added together, hence the total estimate of around 7 million deaths in 2012.

“Excessive air pollution is often a by-product of unsustainable policies in sectors such as transport, energy, waste management and industry. In most cases, healthier strategies will also be more economical in the long term due to health-care cost savings as well as climate gains,” says Dr Carlos Dora, WHO Coordinator for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “WHO and health sectors have a unique role in translating scientific evidence on air pollution into policies that can deliver impact and improvements that will save lives.”





Brandkarma: A new Global Reputation System for Brands

7 03 2014

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“Brands often fall short of their potential to do good – reputation without responsibility. Brandkarma will change that.”

Upendra Shardanand, founder Daylife

Welcome Brandkarma.com – the first social community that will rate and review brands ability to do good in the world.

Consumer research has repeatedly demonstrated that people expect businesses to operate responsibly and to contribute to positive change in the world.  Many people say that if brands fail to operate responsibly, they will stop purchasing the products that the brand provides.

Brandkarma.com was launched to empower consumers to better translate those beliefs into action.  Brandkarma.com allows consumers to see brands holistically – not only the quality of their products but the brand behaviors toward their employees, their community and the planet at large.

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visit brand karma.com here





SOGB: Business Sustainability Progress Has Stalled

27 01 2014
According to the 2014 State of Green Business report published by GreenBiz Group in partnership with Trucost plc., companies around the world are struggling to make progress on climate change, resource efficiency and natural capital dependency.
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“While more and more companies are undertaking a growing number of initiatives to reduce their environmental impacts, there’s very little progress to show for it. Company initiatives are not having an impact at the scale needed to address such challenges as climate change and the availability of water and natural resources,” said Joel Makower, GreenBiz Group executive editor and the report’s principal author.
The seventh annual edition of the report, which measures the global progress of large, publicly traded companies in addressing a myriad of environmental challenges, reveals little meaningful progress across most metrics, including greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste disposal and other pollutant impacts.
“The environmental impacts of business – air pollution, biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and water scarcity – are threatening the ability of our finite stock of natural capital to deliver sustainable growth,” said Richard Mattison, CEO of Trucost. “The challenge for business is to identify growth models that result in reduced environmental impact.
”The report also names the 10 sustainable business trends for 2014. Among them are the growth of collaboration among big corporations to solve mutual sustainability challenges, the growth of chemical transparency for consumer products, the emergence of “shadow pricing” as a means for companies to assess their environmental risks and net-positive buildings.
The 2014 report includes the launch of the Natural Capital Leaders Index, a new methodology for identifying companies that are growing their revenue while reducing their environmental impacts. The 2014 Index found 34 companies from 10 countries that met Trucost’s criteria, which include increasing revenue between 2008 and 2012, disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and a decrease in environmental impacts during that same period.Among the 34 “decoupling leaders” are Carnival Corp., CSX, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, National Australia Bank, Pearson, Tata Power and Verizon.The Index further identifies US and Global “efficiency leaders” that use the least natural capital to generate revenue compared to sector peers – the more traditional sustainability leaders – which include Adobe Systems, AMEC, BMW, Ford, Manpower, McGraw Hill Financial, Pepco Holdings and Sprint Corp.The metrics from the report were drawn from Trucost’s assessment of 4,600 of the world’s largest companies representing 93% of global markets by market capitalization.The State of Green Business report will be the centrepiece of the upcoming GreenBiz Forum (Feb 18-20), taking place in Phoenix, AZ, where speakers will address many of these trends and metrics.The free report can be downloaded from GreenBiz.com.





CCC: Enhanced Reputation Key Goal of CSR Efforts.

17 01 2014

CSRNew reports cites increased funding, senior leadership appointments, management engagement and reputation enhancement goals for corporate citizenship.  The Center for Corporate Citizenship has released its The Profile of the Practice 2013.  The report explores how the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions of business—corporate citizenship—are managed in today’s business world, and how these practices have evolved since the last report in 2010.

“Corporate citizenship is managed at higher levels, corporate citizenship leaders are better compensated, and more companies establish both board committees and official budgeted departments to manage their programs,” said Katherine Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship said in a statement. “These are all signs that CSR continues to be more deeply embedded in business as more executives realize that positive environmental, social and governance measures correlate to positive financial performance, improved reputation, and solid risk management.”

Among the key findings in the survey:

  • More than 70% of companies cited enhanced reputation among the top three business goals they are trying to achieve through their corporate citizenship efforts. The next most frequently cited goals are improving employee retention (45%), improving employee recruitment (41%), attracting new customers (33%), and improving risk management (22%).
  • The chief executive is more involved in developing strategy, setting goals, and communicating corporate citizenship than reported in both 2008 and 2010. More than 25% indicate that their chief executive is highly involved in corporate citizenship program evaluation.
  • Almost 100% of companies have a corporate citizenship budget today, while just 81% reported being budgeted in 2010.
  • Almost 60% of companies have an executive leading corporate citizenship. This is a 74% increase over what was reported in 2010. Close to one-third of corporate citizenship leaders are within one level of the chief executive.

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The survey was conducted in the Fall of 2013 of 231 companies  and their corporate citizenship strategies, operational structures, and business practices were analyzed. 

About the Center for Corporate Citizenship

The Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College is a membership-based knowledge center. Founded in 1985, the Center has a history of leadership in corporate citizenship research and education. The Center engages more than 400 member companies and more than 10,000 individuals annually to share knowledge and expertise about the practice of corporate citizenship through the Center’s professional development programs, online community, regional programs, and annual conference. The Center is a GRI-Certified Training Partner. For more information, visit the Center’s website at www.BCCorporateCitizenship.org.

 

 

 





Project Sunlight: Unilever’s Call To Action For Sustainable Living

21 11 2013

Unilever has launched  a worldwide new initiative to motivate millions of people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.  Launched yesterday on Universal Children’s Day in Brazil, India, Indonesia, the UK and the US, Project Sunlight aims to make sustainable living desirable and achievable by inspiring people, and in particular parents, to join what Unilever sees as a growing community of people who want to make the world a better place for children and future generations.

Project Sunlight was launched with the four-minute film embedded here and created by DAVID Latin America and Ogilvy & Mather London at dawn on November 20th in Indonesia and then follow the sun to India, the UK, Brazil and the US. Additional information can be found at an online hub – www.projectsunlight.com – which brings together the social mission stories of Unilever’s brands across the world, and invites consumers to get involved in doing small things that help their own families, others around the world and the planet.

To mark the launch of Project Sunlight on Universal Children’s Day, Unilever will be helping 2 million children through its ongoing partnerships, providing school meals through the World Food Programme; supporting Save the Children to provide clean, safe drinking water; and improved hygiene through UNICEF.

Ogilvy & Mather Chairman and CEO Miles Young, explains: “Unilever asked us to find a new way to talk about sustainability that would make the benefits real for ordinary people. Project Sunlight is founded on the principle that even small actions can make a big difference and that together, we can create a brighter future.  We are honored to be a part of such a positive and significant movement for the good of our client and our communities.”  Famed film director Erroll Morris directed “Why bring a child into this world?” including moving interviews with expectant parents from around the world.

The project draws on the legacy of Unilever’s founder Lord Leverhulme, who believed that he could change the world with a brand of soap he called Sunlight.

Kudos to Unilever, Ogilvy, DAVID and everyone involved in this important initiative that hits at the heart of the matter: if we can’t work to improve living conditions on our precious planet, how dare you bring a child into this world.





One Year After Sandy: Companies Push White House On Climate Action Plan

29 10 2013

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20 leading corporations – including Starbucks, Levis, Unilever and Mars -call on President Obama to follow through on climate change preparedness efforts outlined in the Climate Action Plan announced by the President on June 25th.

The corporate signatories of the letter, which rely on the stability of global supply chains for growth and profitability, cited the economic impacts of severe weather events on company operations and called for ongoing and significant investments to be made in strengthening climate change resiliency both in the United States and the world’s most vulnerable countries. Many of the signatories are members of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy – a group of businesses advocating for meaningful energy and climate legislation.

Critical components of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan included federal investments in climate science, and support for disaster planning and risk management in multiple sectors. On the anniversary of one of the most catastrophic weather events in history, the companies reiterated the need for federal funding of programs and projects that benefit the most vulnerable communities and the businesses they rely on for employment, products and services.

“Our businesses depend upon a resilient infrastructure, resilient communities, and resilient value chains,” the companies wrote in a letter to President Obama today. “In recent years, severe weather events, combined with rising temperatures, have devastated critical infrastructure, decreased crop yields, and threatened water supplies. These trends are being felt globally… We call upon your administration to follow through on commitments for robust support of climate change resilience efforts.”

“Public investment in climate resilience is critical to the economic viability of companies we invest in that rely on consumers, labor, raw materials, and operations located in regions susceptible to extreme weather,” said Bennett Freeman, SVP for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments. “We applaud the U.S. government for making investments in resilience and hope to see this strengthened in future years.”

“Extreme weather trends pose challenges to managing reliable supply chains and business planning,” said Anna Walker, Senior Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy at Levi Strauss & Co. “While Levi Strauss & Co. is committed to addressing its climate impact, we believe U.S. government leadership is essential for widespread action on climate resilience to strengthen communities and minimize economic disruption.”

The signatories recognized the Obama Administration’s efforts thus far to address climate change, and expressed support for public and private sector collaboration to continue advancing the implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

“The human and economic costs of severe weather are escalating and it is increasingly important that business and communities integrate climate risk into their operational and decision-making processes,” said Mark Way, Head of Sustainability Americas at Swiss Re America. “As experts on risk, everything we see points to the fact that climate change is something we simply cannot ignore.”





The Aspirational Consumer: 2.5 Billion People Redefining Responsible Consumption

8 10 2013

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A new global consumer study confirms the rise of nearly 2.5 billion consumers globally who are uniting style, social status and sustainability values to redefine consumption.

According to the report by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility : The 2013 Aspirational Consumer Index – more than one-third of consumers globally (36.4%) identify as Aspirationals, defined by their love of shopping (78%), desire for responsible consumption (92%) and their trust in brands to act in the best interest of society (58%). The study draws from a telephone and in-person survey of more than 21,000 consumers across 21 international markets conducted in April 2013.

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According to Eric Whan, Sustainability Director at GlobeScan, “Aspirationals are materialists who define themselves in part through brands and yet they believe they have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society.  By engaging Aspirational consumers, brands can further the shift toward more sustainable consumption and influence behavior change at scale.”

Key characteristics of Aspirational consumers include:

  • Trust in Brands: Nearly six in ten Aspirational consumers globally say they “trust global companies to act in the best interest of society” (58%), compared with 52% of all consumers;
  • Seek Style and Status: Three-fourths of Aspirational consumers say “I want to stand out by the way I look, my style” (73%), compared to 53% of all consumers;
  • Positive Influencers: Nearly nine in ten Aspirational consumers say “I encourage others to buy from socially and environmentally responsible companies” (88%), compared to 63% of all consumers;
  • Empowered Shoppers: Nearly eight in ten Aspirational consumers say “shopping for new things excites me” (78%), compared to 48% of all consumers, and believe they “can change how a company behaves based on my purchase decisions” (78%), compared with 66% of all consumers;
  • Responsible Consumers: Nine in ten Aspirational consumers say “I believe we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations” (92%), compared to 75% of all consumers, and that they are “willing to pay more for products produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way” (91%) compared to 64% of all consumers;
  • Young and Urban: Demographically, Aspirational consumers make up the largest percentage of Millennial (40%) and GenX (37%) generations, compared to 32% and 33% in the general population, respectively, and nearly six and ten (59%) live in cities; and
  • Strength in Emerging Markets: Countries with the largest populations of Aspirational consumers include China (46%), Nigeria (45%), Pakistan (44%), India (42%), Australia (41%), Canada (40%), Indonesia (38%), Greece (37%), France (36%), USA (36%), Turkey (35%) and the UK (34%).

“Driven by young, optimistic consumers in emerging markets and amplified by technology and social media’s influence, Aspirationals represent a powerful shift in sustainable consumption from obligation to desire,” said Raphael Bemporad, co-founder and chief strategy officer at brand innovation consultancy BBMG. “With Aspirationals, the sustainability proposition has changed from being the ‘right thing to do’ to being the ‘cool thing to do,’ and brands have a profound opportunity to harness sustainable design and societal values to inspire the next generation of commerce and create positive impact in the world.”

“For decades, green marketers have been speaking to the wrong consumers, assuming that by engaging the most committed ‘advocates’ we would create significant business growth, cultural relevance and change at scale,” Bemporad added. “What makes Aspirationals so compelling is that they combine an authentic commitment to sustainability with a love of shopping, design and social status, aligning economic, cultural and social forces to shift the way we shop.”

“With 2.5 billion consumers worldwide, Aspirationals offer an important opportunity to redefine sustainable consumption,” said Mark Lee, Executive Director at SustainAbility. “Like never before, brands can engage Aspirationals to pioneer new models and practices that can deliver economic growth while reducing negative impacts on the environment.”

 

Read the original press release on CSR Wire.