David Coethica's Blog

Demand more good.

Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

One Man’s Vision Of A Greener Oil Industry

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Sam Wurzelbacher had his moment after a serendipitous encounter with Barack Obama and Joe The Plumber was born, and given a platform.

We now take for granted the opportunities technologies like social media create. These days almost everybody is a click away, and sometimes the big names even respond in person. Now, if we can better connect those at grassroots with ideas and real experiences with those in positions of power and influence we should be able to accelerate change.

If Sam Wurzelbacher is Joe The Plumber, then please meet the irrepressible  Barry Slater or ‘Joe The Oil Worker‘, a Tour Pusher / Supervisor of Drilling Operations with 18 years of experience in the oil industry.

Thanks to a connection via Ian Berry of Differencemakers I spoke to Barry to explore what help in any way  I could offer, and I do like a challenge.

Please take 3 mins to read through the very brief Q&A below and maybe give Barry a step up to create change in an industry that needs it.

Describe your career / industry experiences:

“I’ve worked in the industry for 18 years, have 100% safe working history ,was educated in my early days good practices and principles and have followed them throughout, sadly during this time I’ve frequently crossed paths with the lawbreakers in the industry and additionally stood up against them and at this time being of a junior position seem to find that my position has then been terminated, albeit and additionally without proper investigation , on a positive note the higher I reach in the industry which I’m still climbing, my discipline then allows myself to implement standards which will always allow 100% compliance to safety and environmental  procedures.”

What is your big idea?

“My big ideas would dramatically reduce the oil industry’s carbon footprint and believe that I can allow offshore vessels to become almost self-sustainable. Read the rest of this entry »

Genuine Leadership Comes From MERIT*

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The world needs leaders, and more than ever leaders with a strong moral compass.

You may remember my post about 2012  To Be  Big Year For Somebody, if not Your Big Year is a global competition aimed at identifying and nurturing the young  leaders of the future from across the globe through a year of travel and meeting current world leaders. Year one was big. Year two was bigger, and next year will see something new and even bigger.

Here is last year’s Your Big Year winner, the amazing Charles Batte, to set the scene…


The evolution is called World MERIT* (the asterisk is part of the brand!) and takes the concept well beyond that of Your Big Year.

The huge challenges of our tomorrows require a new breed of leader today. We have all been let down by those in historic positions of power across business and society that now require inspiration from those who are genuinely and tangibly connected to grassroots communities. Your Big Year began to unearth countless potential talented people from diverse backgrounds but could never nurture more than the overall individual winners. That needed to change.

So without further ado, relax and enjoy…


Trust me, this is going to be BIG. World MERIT* will officially launch later this year, and this is just the tip of the iceberg with a revolution being nurtured in parallel behind the WM* scenes.

I’ve agreed to help Chris Arnold (@MERITChris) and his team spread the message to the corporate world to help identify those looking to find potential World MERIT* candidates in their own organisations. So if you want more information about engaging your company send me message and I’ll connect you to Chris.

Watch this space…

What Are The Euro 2012 Sponsors Going To Do About Racism?

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Tonight’s edition of  the BBC’s Panorama series was entitled “Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate” which I hadn’t planned to watch but thought it was worth 30 mins in the background.

If you didn’t manage to catch it (you can watch via BBC’s iPlayer if available where you are)  Chris Rogers, an investigative journalist, spent some time in Poland / Ukraine to see for himself the racism and anti-Semitism and to pose the question “How safe will the travelling teams and fans be at Euro 2012?”.

This is not about creating a passionate storm over a few incidents caught on camera, but those that were captured screamed (and yes I am making assumptions) warnings of a deeper societal problem. It wasn’t the fact that there were obviously minority groups acting or merely talking about violence it was the ingrained nature of the images and tolerance demonstrated by the local authorities and footballing regulators.

To see almost professionally created  murals (and no signs of attempted removal), chanting on a grand scale (crowds of at least hundreds at one  game) and stomach churning sickening and obscene physical brutality caught on camera in a relatively condensed period of research was an emotionally jarring experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by davidcoethica

May 29, 2012 at 2:20 am

Apple’s Ethical Watershed?

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A window of opportunity and an open letter to CEO Tim Cook.

Is it me or is the current focus on Apple’s supply chain a different tune than we’ve heard before?

For years now many from responsible business community have rumbled in frustration at Apple’s lack of commitment and often blatant avoidance of sustainability issues.  Most of these professionals have ironically also either converted to Apple Macbooks / iPhones / iPad or continued their use throughout the regular ethical issues arising. I go to a few industry conferences and they’re often more like a Halloween orchard with the amount of glowing Apple logos on show.

Let’s be honest Apple products look damn good, mostly do the job you’d expect and you can’t argue with the almost religion-like power of the brand they’ve created under the stewardship of the recently departed Steve Jobs. For full disclosure I was once an Apple fan, during my days producing copious amounts writing, media materials and marketing documents at Everton FC, before I knew better about the details of the business operation and products themselves.  I adored their fanatical ethos about providing the most simple, usable interface which is pure beauty at times, especially compared to Windows Vista and earlier incarnations. I had the usual file format sharing problems but that was nearly ten years ago and much has changed.

I am beginning to sense the sustainability sharks circling. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by davidcoethica

February 22, 2012 at 1:59 am

L’Oreal – Because Sustainability Is Worth It

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If beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder, nobody has told L’Oreal.

They have 66,000 employees, sell 161 products every second in 130 countries and produce 5.4 billion products every year.

Yesterday saw L’Oreal step up its sustainability engagement with the first of four planned global stakeholder engagement forum events, with the first held in London.

My expectations were similar to those before the Microsoft Accelerator Summit I was invited to last year, i.e. not huge due to minimal information sent beforehand, me being a busy 3BL Media bee and L’Oreal never over energetically communicating their activity, all against a backdrop of a couple of  slippery issues including animal testing and the acquisition of Body Shop part of their history.

Much more information on their sustainable development approach is available online here, but I’ll give you a brief perspective on the event and some of the key issues below.

The headlines include the company looking to double their business by 2015 whilst reducing CO2 by 50%, waste by 50% and water use by 50% (across the period 2005 – 2015). Read the rest of this entry »

Watch This Video And Don’t Worry About Climate Change

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Written by davidcoethica

June 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

‘CSR – Size Is Important’ says UN Global Compact

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Today saw the release of the 2010 UN Global Compact Annual Review and Implementation Survey.

“While the sustainability movement has taken great strides in recent years, significant challenges remain,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

“Helping smaller companies close performance gaps, stimulating collective action on all fronts and making a stronger case for human rights and anti-corruption engagement will be critical if we are to bring corporate responsibility to scale.”


Compared to around 99% of business being small or medium enterprises ( SMEs) in many developed countries, only 54% make up the participant base of the Compact, and even less, 38% responded to the 2010 survey.

Even though the Global Compact is often about as far away as possible from the innovative and entrepreneurial flavour of Corporate Responsibility / Corporate Sustainability (terms used interchangeably by UNGC) I gravitate towards, I always feel a reassurance from UNGC’s role and Georg Kell’s stewardship at the top of CSR pyramid steering through the treacle-like waters of politics and international bureaucracy.

We all know that smaller businesses aren’t engaging and resources are an issue, don’t we? I personally think that a lack of resources is an stock cop out by too many SMEs. Thought, behaviour change and innovation can be inexpensive and often free.

I have to mention a feeling of unease I felt right at the end of the 12 minute webcast (click on image below) today as Georg Kell asked for questions to be met only with an eerie silence. Was this a demonstration of the lack of support / enthusiasm for UNGC,  as the camera panned to show a mere scattering of bashful audience members? It may have been more of an organisational faux pas than my cynical mind created but these are global issues being presented, surely appropriate representation from public and private sectors was the order of the day? Did FIFA organise the tickets?


Here are some of the Survey’s key findings: Read the rest of this entry »


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