Weekend CSR Wrap Up

A collection of headlines and posts that caught my eye this week - enjoy!

The Hidden Cost of Cause Marketing -Consumption philanthropy individualizes solutions to collective social problems, distracting our attention and resources away from the neediest causes, the most effective interventions, and the act of critical questioning itself. It devalues the moral core of philanthropy by making virtuous action easy and thoughtless. And it obscures the links between markets—their firms, products, and services—and the negative impacts they can have on human well-being. For these reasons, consumption philanthropy compromises the potential for charity to better society.-  JustMeans member Jonathan Feinstein steered me to this article in response to my post about Starbucks.

CEO Engagement a Critical Indicator of Success -When a CEO drives and promotes the CR agenda then all aspects of the business become engaged at an accelerated level.  This is the action that truly drives the success of a CR agenda including external recognition. So it’s not so much the general question of “Where sustainability lives” but rather “does sustainability live at the CEO level?” that determines success.- I often receive comments about the importance of infusing a company as a whole with the spirit of Corporate Social Responsibility, and not just the CSR division.  The report cited in this post reflects on how important a CEO can be in this effort.

"Back to Petroleum": BP shuts clean energy HQ, slashes renewables budget, dives into tar sands. -Seriously, they gut the program and claim it is “reinforcement” of their commitment.  Perhaps BP stands for “Beyond Prevarication” or “Beyond Pinocchio.”- How are we getting less when we need more!?

Selling Bee: South African Breweries anounce a deal to get more black ownership of capital -Brewing group SAB has announced a major empowerment deal at a time when others are struggling because of the economic downturn. Empowerment will remain a challenge in the current environment, but will also create new opportunities for compliant firms.- Having lived in South Africa I am annoyed with myself for not knowing more about BEE.  Learn more here and here.

Naked Juice, Earthbound Farms Switch to Recycled Packaging -The two companies' efforts are the first in each of their industries to utilize 100 percent PCR plastic. Some companies like Method have been using 100 percent PCR content, but not in food or drink applications. And few in the food and drink industry have attained high levels of PCR content. Coca cola, for example, has less than 4 percent recycled material in its PET bottles and is trying to work that up to 10 percent.- This is great news - but am I the only one who figured we were further along with PCR materials by now?  It never ceases to amaze me how many opportunities companies have to change their practices that could have/should have been made years ago.  Still, kudos to Naked Juice and Earthbound Farms for setting a new bar!

Forum Empresa launches regional survey regarding the state of CSR in the Americas -Although quantitative studies conducted in Europe and Asia have demonstrated that companies are progressing regarding specific aspects of corporate government, the environment, working with communities, employees, and consumers, such comprehensive information on the Americas is still not available.- Do you agree?  What information do JustMeans readers think is available regarding CSR in the west?