About Shared Purpose
Shared Purpose is a forum to think about, discuss, and predict what’s next for business and society.
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ContributorsLaura PalantoneLaura is a member of our corporate communications team and is based in New York.Leela StakeLeela is a director who helps businesses innovate, collaborate and communicate to be more successful. She’s based in San Francisco, has worked in six Asian countries and is interested in the relationship between long-term business success and community prosperity.James RobinsonJames is a director who brings ten years of experience working on CR strategy and communications in New York, Beijing, and Jakarta. He looks at how CR is employed as part of broader business strategy and has a particular interest in the evolving role of technology and innovation in managing social and environmental issues.Julie JackA director in APCO's New York office, Julie works on corporate responsibility with a focus on business strategy and emerging issues and trends. Her currents interests and work focus on sustainable agriculture and supply chain management, the integration of CR and financial communications, and CR in the consumer goods space.Ellen MignoniEllen is a senior director and helped build APCO’s global corporate responsibility practice. She works primarily with APCO’s corporate clients on business alignment and corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement and partnership development, and communication and outreach.
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History & CategoriesClick to unfold.
- Sustainability Reporting Continues to Evolve
- Highlights from the Shared Value Leadership Summit
- Developing Tri-Sector Leaders
- What’s behind the gender wage gap in Seattle?
- iCrisis, version 2.0
- Takeaways From New Renewable Energy Proposals in Washington State
- The Red Equal Signs: Top Takeaways for Cause-Conscious Companies
- Women Helping Women
- Meet the Aspirationals: Three Findings from Regeneration Roadmap
- As Same-Sex Marriage Reaches the Supreme Court, So Does Support from Corporate America
Monthly Archives: August 2012
One of my favorite summer food treats is a fresh peach—in any format: sliced, grilled, with my breakfast cereal, in my mom’s peach cobbler. And I have a new item to add to that list: Just Peachy salsa from Campbell’s and the Food Bank of South Jersey. Not only is it chock full of fresh peaches grown in New Jersey, but is also provides a new revenue stream for the food bank. Campbell’s is taking the partially bruised and oddly shaped peaches from N.J. farmers and using them to make salsa. (Normally that produce would be trashed, since it’s not “pretty” enough to sit on a grocer’s shelf despite being both fresh and tasty.)
Posted on Monday, August 27th, 2012 By Tara Greco
A recent Atlantic article talked about Trader Joe’s stores increasing their green behavior and committing to put more sustainable items on their shelves. The article notes that this journey started as a defensive move to get Greenpeace to quiet down, but it appears the food retailer has seen the light and is becoming more proactive. Articles like this can’t help but make someone like me ask even more questions of the now-German-owned company since they only present the tip of the iceberg: What exactly does “sustainable” mean to you? Are you addressing packaging issues? Are you focused on certain key ingredients like palm oil, or is this about organics, local, or other criteria? What’s your roadmap? Are you saving – or making – money through these changes? The goal is not to stop Trader Joe’s in its tracks before leaving the gate, but it’s important to be thoughtful about the objective when building a company’s CR infrastructure, and this article seems to beget far more questions than answers.
Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 By SharedPurpose
In a recent Bloomberg Businessweek column, Steve McKee presents a rather simplistic view of corporate social responsibility. Given how muddled his argument is, it seems necessary to remind the online world that CSR: a) does NOT equal nonprofit and b) is not an all-or-nothing proposition. I fundamentally disagree with his premise that for a company to be “known for CSR,” it has to trade away things like profit, optimal business performance and remaining as competitive as possible. Good CSR strategy aligns company interests with societal ones. Bad CSR does not; McKee doesn’t make this distinction. Good CSR is good business strategy, and can and should result in better business performance.
Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
According to data released by the polling group Gallup, the majority of adult residents in all 50 U.S. states are classified as either overweight or obese. The trendlines of obesity and overweight in the United States aren’t new, and it seems as though a day doesn’t go by without cable news reporting a new startling obesity statistic. Just this week, the CDC also released information on the most obese states in the United States (Mississippi leads the pack, with 34.9 percent of its residents considered obese in 2011).
Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
‘Tis the season for giving number nerds. The Chronicle of Philanthropy just published its corporate giving list, and the 2012 edition of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s Giving in Numbers is due out shortly. We get asked a lot about “typical” giving level or “typical” giving programs for a company. In this, the “other” season of giving, we thought we’d take a look at the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s top 10 biggest givers and see what was typical for them. Note that the below numbers are for those companies that reported to the Chronicle only. And this is only measured by the sheer dollar amount of giving – not giving relative to revenue or profit.
Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 By Andrea Shatzman
Seems corporate America has its eye on Myanmar. After keeping its doors closed for more than 20 years, President Thein Sein is finally inviting U.S. businesses to invest in his country. Meanwhile, President Obama recently announced the easing of sanctions on investments in Myanmar. Whether or not you agree this is a sign of a thawing relationship between the two countries, one thing is clear: Myanmar is open for business.
Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
I ran across two studies recently that together make a pretty compelling business case for CR. The first was a Working Paper by faculty at HBS’s Accounting and Management school that finds statistically significant evidence that companies with superior environmental and social performance face significantly lower capital constraints. Contrary to arguments that CR imposes costs on a firm, the authors assert that stakeholder engagement can cut down on agency costs, and greater transparency leads to greater accountability and better risk management, which together increases access to finance. Good news to those who see the potential in CR for long-run value creation.
Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 By Julie Jack
A few weeks ago, UBS released a comprehensive report on integrated reporting, sometimes known as the “one report” concept. This concept integrates medium- and longer-term issues into the traditional annual report, giving investors a better overall picture of a company’s trajectory. In a world too beholden to quarterly earnings, the integrated report attempts to counteract some of this all-too-often shortsighted thinking.
Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
Did you see the article on sustainable cuisine in July’s issue of Wired? This idea is FASCINATING to me. Pairing the experience and knowledge of long-time McDonalds executives with the desire to bring sustainable, healthy quick-service restaurant meals to the masses — it’s brilliant.
Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 By Tara Greco