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Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

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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My briefest post ever.

Watch this video and don’t think about climate change this week:

 

 

 

Still think it’s all unrelated?

Words feel irrelevant.

What will our climate gift us next year?

 

 

 

 

 

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 »

FIFA To Kiss And Make Up

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Apparently Henry Kissinger has been asked by the unchallenged and re-elected President, Sepp Blatter (@SeppBlatter), to clean up FIFA in the wake of the recent allegations of corruption.

In my humble opinion there are more than a couple of similarities between FIFA’s shenanigans and many of the financial institutions exposed by the economic troubles of recent years. Hubris definitely, and both supported because the powers-that-be believing they are needed for a common good. Some banks should have been allowed to fail by governments and those who voted for Mr Blatter have fallen into the same trap. Football fans deserve better.

The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins penned a prickly but accurate article on Tuesday that pretty much outlines the reality of the political context of unfortunately too many sporting organisations.

If FIFA was a horse it would probably be shot. Like many other sporting organisations it survives not because of great management but the passion of millions of supporters around the world parting with hard-earned cash to enjoy the entertainment, and that is all it is; entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by davidcoethica

June 3, 2011 at 2:38 am

Small Business Voices: Is Fairness CSR?

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This is the second in a series of posts about the great characters, interesting stories, inspiration and questions I’ve met over the years across the smaller business world.

Most small business owners are social entrepreneurs whether know it or like it. I’ve not found many business that don’t want to do more good, they (wrongly) just don’t think they can.

Some these posts are about true social entrepreneurs, some have an intriguing story to tell, some are very much profit focused business people wanting to do good either when then they’ve made the fortune or whilst on their way. All of them, for me, fall into a ‘better way to do business’ category, descriptions aren’t important, it’s the impact, the story or even the motivation that counts.The first few posts in this series are local to me, based in the North West of England but I’m sure we’ll begin to push further afield as we proceed – all suggestions warmly received. Besides, I like meeting real people and can offer my thoughts based on facts and the intuition you only get from physically meeting people over a period of time. For full disclosure DoshShop.com is a Coethica client (a non-client up next).

Following on from the first story of Peter King at Ethecol, today highlights Mark Rea of DoshShop.com and GreenRockGroup. Mark is maybe not an obvious candidate for inclusion in this series and looking at the DoshShop.com website, it isn’t an in your face CSR story, but it is 100% at the core of the way he and his family does business.

This story touches on the family business version of CSR / social enterprise, often overlooked in the virtuous business model discussion. The Green’s family commercial ambitions are bold yet eminently achievable without too much risk. Their values are those of a neighbourly commitment to plug social gaps where they can and provide best practice from a fairness perspective, in a non-too-best-practice market sector.

I’ll let Mark take over from here with his story… Read the rest of this entry »

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