Unilever’s Sustainability Plan: “almost insanely ambitious”

First there were the sustainability plans of retail giants Tesco and Marks & Spencer. In the mid-2000s, Tesco began by setting goals for increasing locally-sourced products, making their stores and...
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Fukushmia & Tepco’s kamikaze ethics

A group of Japanese pensioners shot to fame last month when they volunteered to lead on the clean-up of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Their rationale was straight forward: should they develop cancer,...
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Ethical Competition: time to get real

Type ‘email’ into Google and what do you think comes up first in the search engine’s listings? Why, ‘Gmail’ of course. What’s wrong with promoting your own products? If you’re a search engine,...
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Natural Disasters: resilient response required

In the face of natural disasters and human suffering, it feels a little churlish to talk of things like ‘competition’ and ‘business cases’. At least, that’s what Peter Bakker thinks. The chief...
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Resource Nationalism: re-slicing the pie

Peruvians went to the polls today. Multinational extractive companies such as Newmont, AngloAmerican. Xstrata and Occidental Petroleum will be watching the results with apprehension. On the ballot list...
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GMOs: are we in for a ‘Spud Wars’ summer?

The season for potato planting is upon us. Big deal. Spuds don’t usually justify a news item (or even a blog post). Nor would they now were it not for those provocative three letters, ‘GMO’ (Genetically...
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CR professionals as ‘master storytellers’

Sustainability professionals are used to being called names. ‘The company’s conscience’, on a good day. ‘Corporate cost centre’, on a bad one. Yet how many have had the term ‘master storyteller’...
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The M&S Effect: bin bags, business sense and Barry

Who wouldn’t agree to give old clothes to charity rather than see them end up in landfill? Few of us, right. Yet, the rubbish tip is where most of it goes: 80% in the case of Marks and Spencer. So for...
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Companies & development: not-so-strange bedfellows

Businesses are not development agencies. That much is clear. But, like it or not, they are in the business of development. How so? Through the jobs they create, the supplies they procure, the taxes they...
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Pitching the Press: passing the ‘so what?’ test

‘Surfer who rode e-commerce wave shares £70m.’ So runs one of the top business stories in The Times today. Others include EasyJet’s booking charges, a takeover bid for car dealer Lookers and the...
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