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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

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…

Dell’s Social Innovation for Greater Good

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As the world of responsible business continues to mature with increasing numbers of elements reinforcing their position within mainstream management practice, we see those organisations leading from the front pushing innovation as the future focus of development.

It is scarcely a  secret that I have the attention span of a goldfish when it come to the statistical detail in many projects and I am not by any means the stereotypical  ‘completer finisher’ profile type. Give me a problem requiring a solution and I’ll bombard you with variations on ways to overcome / circumnavigate the strangest of obstacles, and often with absurdly creative suggestions. I was probably an eccentric inventor or mad scientist in a previous life.

Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate to be invited to help out as a judge / mentor / adviser on a number of social innovation related initiatives including Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, Societe Generale’s Cititzen Act, Smaller Earth’s Your Big Year and Justmeans’ Social Innovation Awards. On each occasion I jumped at the chance to be immersed by waves of fresh ideas to make the world a better place.

By combining social benefit, competition, social media, corporate scale brand audiences and by proferring access to intellectual property companies such as those mentioned, and many more, demonstrate business can be a lasting force for good. The experience that the participants learn from can often be life changing. Exposure to such grand possibility allows individuals to adventure beyond their home town comfort zones and play their role as genuine global citizens.

Recently I’ve been watching Dell’s Social Innovation Challenge play out and I should reach out to some connections at Dell to find out more to spread the word about their future leaders early ideas to make the world a better place. Check out the 205 semi-finalists here to vote for your favourite and watch the introductory video a few questions down the page. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 To Be A Big Year For Somebody

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The things I love most about doing what I do are the amazing people I get to meet, no two days are even close to being similar and the exposure to a countless stream of world changing ideas.

I’ve always been a natural connector and constantly looking to learn from new and strange sources. The Coethica  social media rollercoaster of the last few years took me from a pretty isolated laptop to a whole new global community of friends, colleagues and connections – all with that similar values set that I’d craved for so long. It’s only now comfortably coming to terms with how to have a productive relationship with so many people!

Occasionally though, it takes a perspective on the entire planet to stumble across fantastic people and concepts much closer to home.

Meet Chris Arnold (@CJASmallerEarth), a Liverpool based entrepreneur that is responsible for Your Big Year,
Read the rest of this entry »

New EU Definition and Strategy for CSR

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The European Union publishes 2011 – 2014 strategy on CSR

The new definition of CSR in the eyes of the European Union is

The responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society.

It’s only a fifteen page document and well worth a read as another stake in the ground for the accelerating development of CSR as a core business consideration. It never goes as far as many stakeholders would have liked it to, but then again it never was. For me it’s a pretty well balanced carrot and stick approach that owes much to work already done for ISO 26000.

There is one particular paragraph that sums up the ethos of CSR beyond the above definition:

To maximise the creation of shared value, enterprises are encouraged to adopt a long term, strategic approach to CSR, and to explore the opportunities for developing innovative products, services and business models that contribute to societal wellbeing and lead to higher quality and more productive jobs.

…which sounds scarily like my usual description when defending CSR.

The rest of the document outlines the alignment with Read the rest of this entry »

Integrated Reporting Gets Closer

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“The world has changed – reporting must too.”

When the economic crisis hit many more than a handful of people became harbingers of CSR and Sustainability doom, how wrong they were. Not only has the disasters at the hands of financiers and governments cemented the responsibility agenda at the heart of mainstream business philosophy, it specifically lit the fuse on a new group with one thing on its mind.

Today the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) launches it’s ‘landmark approach to corporate reporting‘, and calls for feedback on their Discussion Paper called Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century.

The IIRC is a group of global businesses, investors, academia, civil society, UN leaders and His Responsible Highness The Prince of Wales (see video below) aiming to update the way businesses demonstrate their accountability.

What is Integrated Reporting you ask?

Integrated Reporting brings together material information about an organisations strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a way that reflects the commercial, social and environmental context within which it operates. It provides clear and concise representation of how an organisation demonstrates stewardship and how it creates and sustains value. An Integrated Report should be an organisations primary reporting vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Lt. Columbo investigates Best Buy’s Sustainability Report

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I love technology; always have, always will. After all it could help save our planet one day, ably abetted by passionate real people of course.

When I was three (according to my parents) I took apart my first clock to find the tick-tock. Some things haven’t changed in 36 years. Last week I spent 5 minutes on the Dell support website then had my laptop open to clean it. Yes it needed cleaning but that wasn’t my reason for opening up my ageing trusty workhorse. I even took a degree in Technology Management on my meandering career path just for the pure tech geek in me.

As I get older and more comfortable with my inner geek, my adventures in CSR increasingly gravitate toward tech related issues and last week’s #CSRchat format Twitter event with Best Buy promoting its sustainability wares was an event I wasn’t going to miss. I forcibly wedged the Livestream session into a maniacally crammed Outlook calendar and also agreed to a conference call with the Best Buy video stars of the webcast the following day.

For those who haven’t taken part in a Twitter chat, especially the #CSRchat, you should; they can be an exhilarating combination of intelligent comment, foresight, learning and fun – if you can keep up the conversation threads that is.

Before the live video & chat I set off in search of an updated understanding of Best Buy and their version of  sustainability. If you want to read their full report yourself click here to be taken to the Best Buy Fiscal 2011 Sustainability Report website and provided with a clear and well presented report, if a little light on raw data to interpret yourself. Not an integrated report by any means and nothing earth shattering impressive but a decent commitment delivered in an accessible manner. The school report would say Read the rest of this entry »

Irish Innovation Wins The Imagine Cup 2011

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When you’re asked to judge six entries in a student technology competition it could be easy to not relate to the more than 350,000 first round entries from across the entire globe. Wait a few hours and throw in appearances by the Salesman Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg and Eva Longoria and the cream of student technological innovation at an extravagant Awards finale and you really aren’t able to miss the big picture.

The Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s student competition encouraging innovation through technology  in order to solve the world’s toughest problems. This year following feedback from students themselves the Millennium Development Goals were offered as inspiration for the teams to focus their efforts on.

I’d agreed to take part in judging the finals in New York City and ended up seeing the Imagine Cup world the wrong way around. I arrived in to cast my eye on the best and then got to see the rest of the 400 invited students at the event Showcase at the Lincoln Center the following day.

I’ll always offer whatever time I can to support or encourage young people of every circumstance to strive to make an impact for a better world. It also usually a fantastic environment for perspective and inspiration. I recently participated in a very similar event as a judge for Societe Generale’s Citizen Act, but with more of an obvious financial focus. I will guarantee that a social impact leader will emerge from either if not both events, and most others like them.

The Imagine Cup 2011 goes to the winners in the Software Design category, my judging task, and was awarded to Team Hermes from Ireland (pictured right and in the video below) with their approach to improve road safety. Read the rest of this entry »

3BL Media Steps It Up A Gear

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Today 3BL Media proudly announced the acquisition of Justmeans.

I’m glad the news is out as I’m no good at keeping secrets!

3BL’s CEO, Greg Schneider, has a powerful entrepreneurial drive to make a commercially successful company in the niche area that CSR is, and hopefully beginning climbing away from into bigger ponds. This to me demonstrates a step change in the maturity of CSR communications specifically in the social media channels, i.e. the first substantial consolidation within a profileration of smaller news / opinion sources and portals.

I was a fan of Justmeans when it launched, and even short time CSR Editor (for a whole month) so it’s personally fulfilling for me to be so involved with the integration and future development of both organisations. The combined strengths and the additional opportunities that this deal creates will be keeping us all busy at 3BL for many months, if not years to come.

Without doubt this move consolidates the clear water lead between 3BL Media and all the other players in the CSR content distribution field. The challenging debate internally is how 3BL strategises the exploitation of the newly gained additional assets into new complimentary and profitable channels. Watch this space!

In addition to the technical assets and new client base Justmeans CEO Martin Smith joins 3BL as Chairman reinforcing the depth of the strategic management team.

The announcement of the deal has already generated a strong positive response from the online and client communities with audiences of both companies very being supportive, if maybe initially a little surprised.

My first task is to take over the reins of Justmeans’ Ethical Sourcing and Certification conference in London on September 16th. Please take a look at the microsite and get signed up for the first public event from the 3BL / Justmeans combined team.

Here’s a link to this mornings press release if you’d like more of the details.

I would be really interested in your opinions of what this market needs and how 3BL Media combined with Justmeans can service those needs?

Written by davidcoethica

July 15, 2011 at 1:22 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


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