On combining sustainability and profits

I would like to recommend this lecture from Lund by swedish author and sustainability expert Per Grankvist on combining profits and sustainability. (Unfortunately it is in swedish).

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Protecting Children’s Rights is everyones business

UNICEF, The UN Global Compact and Save the Children recently launched a set of ten business principles established to support and protect children’s rights.

What I find interesting is that these principles go beyond only focusing on the issue of child labor. The principles take a holistic approach to how the business community can support children’s rights and wellbeing. For example principle #6 focus on responsible marketing towards children. Principle #9 focus on how companies can contribute to help children in emergency situations. Principle #3 focus on providing decent working conditions for young people, parents and caregivers. This initiative clearly demonstrate that companies can take more responsibility for children in the communities and countries they operate in.

Read about the Children’s Right’s and business principles in detail at www.unglobalcompact.org

Equality means Business

Fast forward five minutes into this youtube clip and listen to UN Secretary General speak about the UN Global Compact Women’s Empowerment principles.

Happy International Women’s Day!

My cup of tea…

Stumbled upon these lovely packages of Fair Trade and organic tea by Pukka. The brand is inspired by the ancient indian health philosophy of ayurveda and  is founded on principles of sustainability and equitable sourcing.

Read more about the story behind Pukka  at www.pukkaherbs.com.

Gender perspectives on CSR

The popular tv show Mad Men set in New York’s emerging advertizing industry of the 1960’s, underlines the challenges and difficulties women were faced with when entering the workplace at the time.  Sexual harassment, being ignored by their leaders, and thick glass ceilings, just to mention a few.  Since then, women have moved far in the workplace (at least in some countries).

Yet, in 2012 for performing the same work women still (statistically) receive lower salaries than male colleagues,  both within the public and private sector. Women are absent from top management,  leadership positions and boardrooms across the corporate world. Furthermore, issues such as sexual harassment, abuse and low wages are problems with a gender dimension to it.

In 2010 the UN Global Compact placed gender equality on the CSR agenda through the launch of the Women’s_Empowerment_Principles. These principles address the issue of gender equality in all areas of business, including  leadership, supply chains and entrepreneurship in communities. The principles create awareness and give practical examples of what corporations can do to empower women’s role in the workplace. There is a huge potential for business to make a difference.

That said, it is not only the business community that bear the responsibility for correcting inequalities. There is a need for policies that promote women’s agency, opportunities and rights in the workplace. Policies that empower and enable the entire workforce, both men and women,  to participate and contribute with their capacity.

This part of CSR is up to all of us, in the businesses and organisations we participate in daily. If the  workplace of the 21st century was of the Mad Men, why not let the 22nd be of the Sane Men and Women?

Keeping Earth in Business

This  inspiring video shows how small and large businesses are acting as catalysts of change.  Through the project 1% for the Planet – Keep Earth in Business,  companies are contributing with 1% of their revenue to an environmental cause. Enjoy the lovely video!

Sustainable Consumption

Hopefully in the future Sustainability and Social Awareness will be an integral part of the entire supply chain of ALL companies. Today that is sadly not the case. Mass production continues to put its toll on the environment and unsafe working conditions, low wages and child labor are still major issues in many developing countries.

There is no quick fix to eliminate these problems. However, we as consumers can contribute to drive the demand for more sustainable and ethically sourced products by choosing the environmentally friendly and fair trade options available.

Below I share a couple of my own sustainable favorites; 

  •  Certified FAIR TRADE or ECO coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas! Read more about Fair Trade certified products on; Max Havelaar
  • Textile; Swedish clothing company Lindex recently launched its Sustainable-Choice collection, and H&M have created the Conscious and Sustainable Style collection, both collections including garments made with organic cotton
  • Beauty and Wellness; The Body Shops new Eco-Conscious Rainforest Hair Care is 100% biodegradable. Origins and Yves Rocher also have good environmentally friendly products.

Rainforest Shine Shampoo - Shampoo   Dark Chocolate with Fruit and Nut

Wishing you all a happy and green 2012!