David Coethica's Blog

Demand more good.

Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

VfL Wolfsburg Score Football CSR Winner

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It may have taken a while but VfL Wolfsburg are the winners!

VfL Wolfsburg Moving TogetherBack in October 2010 I wrote a post called Not a Premier League CSR Report about the state of non-financial reporting in football, especially in the UK. At the end of the post I urged / hoped / challenged / pleaded with the industry to step up to the penalty spot by producing a credible report. VfL Wolfsburg have scored first.

The post was spurred at the time by a couple of so-called CSR reports by Manchester City and Aston Villa (and an earlier attempt by Chelsea). Manchester City’s in particular was much more of an interactive animation experiment by a communications team than a genuine report with little credible detail.

The German based team playing in the Bundesliga recently kicked out their ‘Moving Together’ sustainability report, and it was GRI certified (Level B)! I should also point out that a couple of other teams (SC Corinthians Paulista and Djurgarden Fotboll)  have also produced GRI based reports, but neither of these was certified externally.

I applaud all three teams for taking what was a bold step, and especially Wolfsburg for going into extra time and opting for external verification. In an industry dominated by a culture of defensiveness (no pun intended this time) it was a brave decision to be a pioneer for openness. I wonder if Wolfsburg’s approach is linked to their parent organisation Volkswagen?

Congratulations to all involved at Wolfsburg, and very worthy recommendations to SC Corinthians Paulista and Djurgarden Fotboll.

Now, who will be the first to score an ‘A’ rating from GRI?

The Climate Debate Gloves Are Off

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But who will win?


I just had to share this to make sure you didn’t miss it.

THE best magazine cover, story and quote for quite some time. A bold statement to the core of the climate denier community. Congratulations Josh Tyrangiel (Editor) and all at Bloomberg Businessweek.

There is already a robust and increasing discourse around climate change brought on by Hurricane Sandy and this for me is a great stick in the ground for where we are at today. There is more hope for tomorrow.


The cover…
















The quote…



The story…




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 »

What Do Premier League Football And Apple Have In Common?

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New report says UK football CSR is maturing but needs to train harder and play as a team.

The defences are well and truly warmed up at Cupertino at the moment ahead of the iPhone 5 launch event next week but Daniel Agger isn’t part of the team.

Both brands have an almost religious like appeal to their audiences. Huge queues for product, tattoos and media saturation are just a couple of examples of the more obvious cultural similarities.

Both brands also have long journeys ahead of them on the CSR road and neither showing signs of ticking the leadership box any time soon.

I’ve just finished reading “It’s Not Just A Game: Community Work In The UK Football Industry And Approaches To Corporate Social Responsibility” by Heledd Jenkins and Laura James from the ESRC Centre at BRASS.

If you are into football, sport and all things CSR / sustainability go and take a read. It’s a comprehensive, intelligent and open report that provides a useful stick in the ground for the current state of social responsibility in UK football.

In short, all the clubs deliver effective community work locally with some reaching further afield across international boundaries, many through independent Community Trust models, but fall short on embedded strategic approaches, innovation, leadership and transparency. 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…

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 »


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