Corporate Social Responsibility News: Applied Materials at Sustainable Business Institute’s Silicon Valley User Group Meeting.
Ways to keep your kicks out of the cans.
So you’ve got a pair of shoes (or a couple pairs of shoes) that are old, outta style, you’re not in love with them anymore, etc. etc. What do you do with them?
Here are a couple of ideas for your old footwear. If you have any other suggestions, share them.
This works best for a pair of slip-ons, like Keds, or a pair of ballet flats. Maybe even pair of high-top Chuck Taylors. You can cover them in new fabric, stud them, puffy paint them, spray paint them, decoupage comic books on them, etc. Venturing over to cutoutandkeep.net, I found a bunch of DIY projects for ‘giving life’ to old kicks—like this and this. Oh, and check out the shoes of one of my favorite role models for inspiration, too.
I had a bunch of boots that I hadn’t worn in awhile, and my boyfriend was complaining that they took up too much space on our shoe rack. But these were all legit boots, so I wasn’t gonna throw them away, and redesigning them wasn’t going to solve anything. So I dropped them off at one of those clothing collection boxes at a nearby gas station. If you’re not into arts and crafts and you want to recycle your shoes, you can give them to someone in need. Drop them off at a nearby shelter, church, collection box, etc. Sometimes organizations, like Purple Heart, will come and pick them up along with other gently used clothing items from your house.
3. Preserve them as artwork
/ / CC BY-SA 3.0
My mom did this with a pair of my baby shoes. And perhaps it’s only best for a pair of shoes that you want to save for forever, like your favorite pair of sneakers that are beyond repair. Then you can display them in your house. There are a bunch of online sites and stores around the country that specialize in this. Materials for preserving include bronze, silver, gold and porcelain.
By Gawky Green of Two Girls Go Green
Greenopolis.com is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.
This week I am proud to be a Googlican.
GoodB is happy to report that Google continues to be one of the best models for Good Business around. No, we are not sipping Kool-Aid! As most of you know, Google, the internet search giant, has challenged one of its biggest clients, the money machine of the 21st century Communist China, on the subject of free speech and ethics.
In all the hullabaloo this past year as the financial crisis enfolded and China stepped in to lend America piles of cash against a future of debt, little was mentioned about the communist government of China. People like brilliant policy shaper Tom Friedman waxed rhapsodic at the wonders of China with green-eyed envy. China had become the flat world’s wunderkind.
I marveled at the hypnotic affects of China’s “capitalism” in the past decade over respected and innovative thinkers. Friedman in “The World is Flat” listed China as a welcome addition to the global economy, a great commercial giant leveling the playing field.
In the U.S. love affair with China, as the Big O (and George Dubbya before him) shake their hands and money tree, otherwise smart people seemed to forget who our benefactor really is. It’s the Big Bad Wolf, folks and we are on our way to Grandma’s house.
For all the Red Scare of the 50’s through 80’s, the Soviet Union was the wolf. Russia continues to be vilified in the press and Public Square. The message is repeatedly clear. They are a communist dictatorship and do not value American-style freedom. They can’t be trusted. Okay…so how did China slip through the cracks to become one of the most admired economies by the western world?
The affair with Big Red began with the smell of money. Back in the mid 1990s, top execs at Goldman Sachs were scouting the world for new opportunities. The economic neutron bomb, hedge fund Long Term Capital, had exploded and with it the Russian market.
All eyes turned to the East. CEO Hank Paulson turned for help to Goldman pal, Robert Rubin, who sat comfortably in the U.S. Treasury seat. President Clinton signed on and the stars aligned. China was open for business.
The belief in the early 21st century among many of the “best” economic minds of the day (including Alan Greenspan) was that communism through capitalism would slowly transform into democracy. Ahh, we were so young and foolish back then. We believed so many fanciful things, like capitalism actually has anything to do with democracy!
In the lust for profits in the developing nation of China, American businessmen and policy makers seemed to forget – they kill people there! They round up “dissidents” (anyone who does not agree with The Party), force them into kangaroo courts, torture them behind closed doors, break their spirits, and whisk them away forever. And we think Iran’s government is ”bad?” I guess they are not our trading partner, so we can afford to be preachy. As soon as China became a primary source of revenue we were up the creek without a paddle….
(Just a quick note, if the financial crisis had occurred in China, what do you think would have happened to the subprime mortgage industry titans who took the money and ran? It is doubtful a Chinese Wall Street could have run too far. Guess there are perks to living with the Green-Reds after all.)
I have not understood for the past decade how the U.S. government can crow loudly about the violations of individual freedom in parts of the Middle East and somehow remain non-committal on the ongoing human cruelty in China.
Last month, outspoken Chinese dissident and well-known member of the American civil rights group PEN, Liu Xiaobo, was convicted of “inciting subversion” for calling forth “greater human rights” in China and the end of one-party rule. He was sentenced to 11 years in a maximum security prison. His wife was held in house arrest by the Chinese police during the trial. So much for democracy, even worse, forget about basic human rights.
These are the people with whom we willingly do business. These are the folks whose fortunes are made by Walmart shoppers. These are the folks who now own the future of America. Isn’t business supposed to be based on trust?
Google’s recent challenge to the Chinese government’s hacking of private email accounts reveals the struggle between Chinese and American style commerce. When it comes to “free enterprise” in a non-free society, the limitations of capitalism are plain to see. In America, capitalism trumped democracy once again this year. In China, communism will always have the upper hand.
China and Google have butted heads over user privacy and censorship before. In my book, Spiritual Capitalism, I detailed the complex ethical issues between Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, and Chinese authorities. In 2006, all three tech companies succumbed to pressure to remove any blog or website critical of the Chinese government. Yahoo shockingly turned a political activist’s email identity over to officials. He was never seen nor heard from again.
Google and Microsoft chose to allow censorship, yet refused to reveal private identities and moved all email accounts offshore. All three U.S. companies were summoned before a Congressional panel and summarily chastised for their actions. More than one congressman compared their actions to Nazi complicity.
Time Magazine ran a cover story in February 2006, “Can you trust Google with your secrets?” as the commitment of the tech giant to its mantra, Don’t Be Evil, was called into question. A Google spokesman stated the company was not “ashamed” of its action, but “not proud.” Better to have limited Internet rather than none, he explained. The response never sat quite right with the rest of Free Speech America.
The current situation involves more than suppression of First Amendment values. The Chinese government stands accused of “hacking” into private email accounts of political dissidents. Hacking is the digital equivalent of breaking and entering. The issue at stake is the very essence of Google core values. It’s good to know that when Big Brother is watching you, your other Big Brother has got your back.
Google is considering pulling their search engine out of China – a country of 1.3 billion people, four times the population in the United States. An amazing action for any hugely profitable publicly traded company. The threat alone would make shareholders shudder and competitors gloat. It also can make their largest client, the People’s Republic of China, mad as a hatter.
Yet they are willing to put their money where their ethics are, potentially risking enormous profits, and raising the bar of corporate social responsibility to a new level most of us will have to leap to follow.
This week Google profits are down 13%. The toll of the recession and the threat of Chinese action are already weighing heavily on the tech giant. Yet Google stated in their 2004 IPO that they wanted to be a different kind of company, one that did not sacrifice their core values for short-term profits.
That is a tough call for any for-profit company. Business leaders meet ethical challenges daily. Little in the world of money is black and white. There is always a grey area where profits must be considered against human needs. This is what doing good business demands of us. Asking questions like, “How do you stay in business, answer to the bottom line, and still maintain the soul of who you are?”
These are the dilemmas faced by modern business -big, small, and everything in between. Wall Street has been called on the carpet in recent months. So far they have failed miserably to balance two essential values: profits and the human bottom line.
The key for managers and companies faced with difficult decisions is to have a clear foundation of principles from which to act. Like valuing quality of life and placing the welfare of people and planet before profits. That is a hard lesson for business. Yet it remains the fundamental test of good business for 21st century enterprise.
However this issue rolls out, Google has made a profound statement with its current stance. Sergey, Brin, and all the Googlicans are saying simply, some things are more important than money- principles and people. In the process, they have renewed our faith in ethically responsible capitalism.
This year, we watched incredulously as one profitable firm after another justified reprehensible breeches of ethics as the cost of doing business. Google’s actions set them apart from the pack by drawing a distinct line in the sand. They are in business to profit, but they refuse to sell their soul to do it. The search king reveals once again that trust in business is not a PR slogan, but an absolutely essential component in any contemporary business model.
Just goes to show, there are some things in life you can still count on. It is good to know that Google is one of them.
The Green Business League proudly awards Precision Asset Management Corporation the Gold level status as a Certified Green Business. Precision Asset Management is a national real estate management and marketing service that does more than handle a wide variety of customized real estate services. It is a leader in Green practices within it organization.
Precision Asset Management worked with a Certified Green Consultant, Frank Weston of Emerald Green Solutions to complete an extensive audit of its environmental accomplishments. Starting with a full energy audit, such items as programmable thermostats to efficient lighting set the stage for many other improvements. Other improvement included timers on outside lights, LED lighting, carbon emission assessment, and powerstrips to eliminate phantom loads.
Precision Asset Management Inc. provides real estate owned properties: sales, outsourcing and property management services on a national level. We are a customer-oriented organization that manages and markets real estate owned properties in the most efficient and precise manner. Our commitment is to procure the highest and best sales price, in the shortest amount of marketing time. We strive to outperform our clients’ goals & expectations. Exceeding industry standards; including technology, customer service, accountability & integrity.
They have over 20 years of sales experience in managing and marketing real estate owned properties. Proven track record of marketing real estate owned properties of numerous lending institutions. A few of many lending/financial institutions we are approved with are Accredited Home Lenders, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Chase Home Finance, Countrywide Home Loans, Freddie Mac – Broker ID# 1010030, Ocwen, Option One Mortgage, Washington Mutual, Inc.
The technology they use is state-of-the-art web-based computer system. Customize report builder to meet client’s requests. Paperless environment – Includes but not limited to the following electronic transfers: Property Analysis, Customized Reports, Weekly/Monthly Statuses, Photos, HUDs, Large nationwide database of seasoned REO Agents who are ranked based on past sales performance.
Precision Asset Management has also purchased Energy Star equipment, replaced cleaning products with Green alternatives, and installed VOC eating plants to provide a healthier workplace for employees.
Sustainable issues require multiple efforts in recycling, disposable of electronic equipment, and providing recycling bins throughout the facility. Toilets have been retrofitted to draw less water, and carpooling and transportation issues have been addressed.
Precision also has made great stride as a paperless office in an otherwise paper-heavy industry. They use paperless document and retrieval systems, paperless invoicing, efaxing, and even email their client newsletters.
The Green Business League provides the most legitimate Green business certification in the nation. This is not a fake Internet purchase, but requires a live audit by a Certified Green Consultant. Using an established point system, any certified business must acquire enough points to earn the GBL Green Business Certification. To insure the commitment to the environment, all GBL Green business certifications are audit annually.
Zoosa has issued a call for entries in the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) database which moves beyond the usual CSR marketing fluff and delivers searchable CSR results. Organizations can enter their “verified” information directly and/or socially responsible professionals can enter “unverified” corporate data for others to view, comment on, and prioritize.
Zoosa’s new CSR database, which is currently free and open to all organizations, will bring transparency to CSR programs and make it possible for organizations to connect with individuals who are not currently stakeholders. By making CSR results searchable, individuals will be able to find and engage organizations having a social impact in the areas they care about – be it the environment, charitable giving, community support, employee benefits, supplier diversity, human rights, or a combination of them all.
Individuals will also be challenged to communicate their social impact interests to organizations in a measurable, quantitative format. Brian Fleming, Zoosa’s CTO, explains, “Rather than simply visiting an organization’s page and saying ‘good work’, an individual first needs to indicate their affiliation – as a customer, employee, or investor – and then rank their priorities with regards to the organization’s CSR programs. This feedback will help an organization understand how their CSR spending corresponds to their stakeholders’ interests.”
It only takes an organization 5 minutes to set up a corporate profile and there is no cost to participate – all Zoosa asks for is feedback regarding new feature development. Mike McGlade, Zoosa’s CEO, continues, “Since I was initially supported by a grant from Harvard Business School, Zoosa does not charge organizations to promote their social impact and engage their stakeholders. Our number one goal at this point in time is to build a useful resource for the social enterprise sector.”
Organizations can create their corporate profile by visiting www.zoosa.org or contacting Zoosa directly.
For more information, contact Zoosa’s CEO, Mike McGlade at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-999-8539.
Zoosa (www.zoosa.org) is a social enterprise business with a mission to highlight socially responsible individuals and organizations. In doing so, Zoosa’s goal is to help socially responsible individuals connect with others who share their interests while encouraging their friends, family, and organizations to report their social impact.
SDialogue released a special report today that helps organizations improve their sustainability efforts by employing seven best practices corporate social responsibility (CSR) leaders use. The report, titled Top Seven Sustainability Practices: the Sum > the Parts, offers companies and other organizations a primer into sustainability communications via a systemic approach.
The seven best practices include setting sustainability goals and metrics, identifying and engaging stakeholders, integrating sustainability into a brand, and sustainability/CSR reporting, among others. The report offers insights into the role of social media, stakeholder engagement from a sustainability perspective, and how sustainability/CSR reports can help build trust, among many others.
“This special report will give organizations a better understanding of these processes and best practices, how they work together and how they can help organizations improve their sustainability efforts,” said Perry Goldschein, author of the report and principal at SDialogue LLC, a leading sustainability communications firm. “These seven best practices have been employed by other companies, transforming them into CSR leaders.”
Goldschein said that sustainability can tap new markets, retain customers and build revenue while also improving a company’s ability to recruit and retain workers. “Yet, most organizations are not using the tools readily available to them to engage in and maximize their sustainability efforts,” Goldschein noted in the report. “Many have never engaged with all of their stakeholders in a systemic way, set up a sustainability management system, or compiled a sustainability report.”
What others are saying about this report:
“An excellent introduction to the seven essential strategies of CSR.” – Jacquie Ottman, founder and principal at J. Ottman Consulting and author of Green Marketing
“Great ideas for those involved with overseeing sustainability efforts.” – Shari Aaron, Sustainability and Market Research Expert, and author of Climb the Green Ladder
For more information about this special report, contact arthur |at| SDialogue |dot| com. Copies can be downloaded at www.sDialogue.com/csr7
About the author of the report: Perry Goldschein is a co-founder and partner at SDialogue, and a sustainability and marketing guru with two decades of experience. Prior to SDialogue, Perry founded SRB Marketing, Inc., an interactive marketing firm focused on sustainability, and two earlier companies involving alternative energy and media. For several years with SRB Marketing, Perry set the strategic direction of the company, developed business relationships, and project managed the teams that achieved award-winning results for clients that included Ben & Jerry’s, National Geographic and Yale University. He’s authored a variety of publications on sustainability issues and internet marketing; has been quoted widely in the trade media, including AdAge, MediaPost, MarketingSherpa and Target Marketing; and spoken at various trade events, including ad:tech, Sustainable Brands, LOHAS and the American Strategic Management Institute.
About the Company: SDialogue (www.sDialogue.com), formerly SRB Marketing, is an award winning, full-service sustainability communications and stakeholder engagement firm. Founded in 2003, SDialogue has helped clients that have included Ben & Jerry’s, Pfizer, National Geographic, Working Assets and Yale University, among dozens of others.
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) January 26, 2010 – Another inconvenient truth is how easily Green claims are bering made by the vast majority of business. Every week, another Green certification pops up confusing the public about the legitimacy of any Green or sustainable certification. Years ago, janitorial services seized the idea of claiming to be Green because they bought a Green cleaning product and tossed it on the cart. The truth is that very few Green janitorial services actually offer Green services, but they urgently want their customers to think that they are Green. It wasn’t until the Green Clean Institute required a certification process that this problem was corrected.
With the multitude of internet and local initiative Green certifications, how does anyone know it these certifications are worthy of the credential? Well, if anyone with the fee can buy a certification online, the credential is worthless and an embarassment for anyone displaying to to the public. Do us all a favor and tell businesses with an “Easy Green” Internet certification that you do not appreciate their lack of environmental discernment.
Of course, there are other local initiatives where a coalition of well-meaning local people have banded together to promote a citywide or area wide Green business certification. So, let’s run a few simple questions about the integrity of these kind of certifications. Local Green business certificaions are often free, so how well can they be evaluated for true performance? We have found the local certifications are xerox copied lists of voluntary compliance that have little more than a visit from a local utility person to offer tips. Is Green certification the environmental equivolent of a hit-or-miss diet by an overweight person?
We must give a measure of credit for voluntary efforts by people making an effort, but since when does minimalism pass for a serious effort? The environmental challenge is not properly address with a coalition of well-intended but amateur efforts. The certification of mediocrity by an ad hoc organization is hurtful because it precludes the kind of serious effort that should be promoted.
The only way to certify a business is by a live assessment and audit. If there is no audit by a professionally trained person involved in the process, medocrity is the best that will result. The only way to insure integrity is by a review and verification by someone who knows what to look for. Would any of us be okay with Joe Blow inspecting the airplane before it takes off with our family? Shouldn’t we let builders inspect their own work and declare them worthy for occupation? Let’s let food suppliers inpect the quality of our food? Perhaps, drivers should determine on their own if they are speeding or not. Ridiculous right?
The Green Business League took a bold stand and has insisted that no certification will be offered without a professional assessment and audit. While other Internet certifiers adds members from a gullible public, this program trained more than 250 Certified Green Consultants who know: 1) what Green is, 2) how it works and 3) how to make it work for business. In a sea of Easy Green certifications, being an authentically Green certified business is a higher standard and the only way to eventually eliminate the greenwashing that is so prevelant today.
So, the GBL Green Business Certification is not cheap or easy. It cannot be purchased online, and cannot be acquired by a self-assessment form. Certified Green Consultants are trained professionals who work with companies to install a bevy of Green Practices and evaluate progress toward an Earned Green Certification.
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) Manchester, NH – January 26, 2010 – A new Climate Counts iPhone application allows consumers to put pressure on the world’s largest companies to take action on climate change – while they shop. Consumers can now access the free Climate Counts Company Scorecard on their iPhone, and choose whether to purchase/not purchase products made by specific companies. They can then connect with those companies to applaud or pressure them, right from the application.
Each year, Climate Counts publishes its Company Scorecard, which ranks companies on a 0-to-100 point scale based on their climate activities. Since 2007, Climate Counts researchers have rated the actions of nearly 150 companies (representing over 3,000 brands) in 16 industry sectors – from apparel to toys to fast food. The organization released its latest score update in November 2009.
“Our new iPhone application puts our scores at shoppers’ fingertips anywhere they are, and also allows them to engage via Facebook and Twitter. This technology takes consumer advocacy to a new level – when consumers can get company climate information and quickly contact companies while they shop, the opportunity for them to have an impact on those companies is incredible,” says Wood Turner, Executive Director of Climate Counts.
“With guidance from our tech partner MobileFeat, we’re figuring out how to take advantage of the latest in mobile activism to put real power in consumers’ hands. It couldn’t be easier now for people to use our app to tell companies directly how much climate change matters to them,” added Turner.
The free Climate Counts application is available globally on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Additional platforms will follow.
About Climate Counts
Climate Counts is a non-profit campaign that scores companies annually on the basis of their voluntary action to reverse climate change. It was launched with the financial support of organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm. The Climate Counts Company Scorecard — launched in June 2007 — helps people vote with their dollars by making climate-conscious purchasing and investing choices that put pressure on the world’s most well-known companies to take the issue of climate change seriously. Please visit www.climatecounts.org for full Company Scorecard ratings and more information. To learn more about the technology behind the new Climate Counts iPhone app, please visit MobileFeat at www.mobilefeat.com.
For more information, please contact:
Climate Counts, (603) 216-3788, email@example.com