Review of Natural Corporate Management: From the Big Bang to Wall Street by William C. Frederick
Rare are books that begin with the Big Bang and march sequentially through a litany of seemingly unrelated natural phenomena including energy, life itself, genetics, and the rise of Homo sapiens. Add to this Darwinian survival and market competition, and you have Natural Corporate Management, a truly fresh perspective on individual and corporate behavior.
The novelty of the examples and logic is indisputable. Each natural science phenomenon is presented as more than just an analogy. Frederick (emer., Univ. of Pittsburgh), author of numerous works including Corporation, Be Good! (CH, Jul’06, 43-6635), treats them directly or indirectly as the causes for modern business practices. He offers a natural-world evolutionary perspective of why organizations exist and how they function. Continue reading
By Robert G. Eccles & Kathleen Miller Perkins
Many companies now have chief sustainability executives. According to a 2012 MIT Sloan & BCG survey of 2600 companies, 16% were identified as having a “Corporate Sustainability Officer”. And it seems that the CSO profession is growing. According to a 2013 Greenbiz survey, the number of companies with a full time sustainability manager doubled between 1995 and 2003, and again between 2003 and 2008. This rapid growth has begun to taper, but new managers are still being added to companies.
“Amidst a rapidly changing world, sustainability executives must be able to envision business solutions in radically new ways.” – Katie Kross
Ten years ago, there were few dedicated jobs with ‘sustainability’ in the title. Professionals who were passionate about this management issue often found themselves creating their own job descriptions. They paved the way for new career paths of sustainability practitioners with new insights about where and how sustainability fits into a corporate organisation and what makes a sustainability executive successful in the role.
We wondered: what skills does today’s sustainability manager require? To get the answers, we spent some time this summer conducting interviews directly with hiring managers. We had in-depth discussions with 10 companies, ranging from environmental conservation organisations and boutique sustainability consultancies to large sustainability departments at Fortune 50 companies. Continue reading
Call for Expressions of Interest
The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise:
A country-by-country analysis of responsible business and social entrepreneurship
Edited by Wayne Visser
Greenleaf Publishing, Spring 2015
Sustainable enterprise – including social responsibility, environmental management, corporate citizenship, business ethics, social enterprise and green entrepreneurship – has, over the past decade, moved from the fringes to the mainstream. Sustainable enterprise has also evolved from being a largely Western, developed country phenomenon to being a diverse, ‘glocal’ practice, with rapid take-up and many exciting innovations coming from developing countries and economies in transition.
Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility, AMD
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has become a term of art within corporations, and a clear trend has emerged toward integrating ESG data into company value propositions. For example:
Socially responsible investing (SRI) is not new; in fact this year marks the 24th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (formerly SRI in the Rockies). However, it seems to be picking up momentum in recent years. A few indicators of this trend:
The publishing division of the American Management Association, AMACOM, announced today that it will be joining forces with GSE Research to make its titles available as part of the Sustainable Organization Library, a new online library of volumes on responsible business, sustainability and CSR.
AMACOM publishes titles from world-class experts on business, leadership, management, HR and communications. Its publications will appear in the Sustainable Organization Library (SOL) 2014 alongside new collections from Oxfam International and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).
It is necessary to assess how far Corporate Citizenship is embedded in organizations” – Dorothée Baumann-Pauly
On September 19-20, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit will bring together chief executives of companies that are committed to sustainable development and corporate citizenship, a concept that describes the citizenship role of corporations in a global economy. In the words of Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, the Summit will “outline a path for business to contribute to global priorities and the public good”.
The UN initiative, currently the largest global corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in the world, comprises over 10,000 participants from corporations, civil society and academia. The entry-barrier for corporations to join the Compact is low: The CEO, endorsed by the Board, sends a letter of commitment to the Secretary-General of the United Nations that expresses support of the Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. This commitment explicitly implies making “the Compact and its principles an integral part of business strategy, day-to-day operations and organizational culture” (www.unglobalcompact.org).
“Responsible leadership in government, business or civil society is founded on (responsible) global citizenship” – Malcolm McIntosh
Does the rise of the global citizen mean the demise, or at least the transformation, of the nation-state? Certainly, anyone who has spent any time in China in recent years will tell you that everyone is full of ideas and politics around a table and over a beer, but much more circumspect online: it’s all very Orwellian. And as social media expands into every corner of our lives and into every crack in our brains—in almost all countries—we must wonder if in gaining the world, and therefore giving birth to global citizenship, we are not giving ourselves away to whoever is collecting the ‘big data’ at the supermarket checkout and in the global etherspace.
Welcome to the Greenleaf at 21 blog series. To celebrate our 21st birthday, over the next few months we will be sharing original posts by influential Greenleaf authors, in which they discuss how their field has changed over the last 21 years and what they hope to see change in the future. This article by Tim Mohin reflects on the evolution of CSR:
Having worked in both government and industry, I have seen at least two sides of the environmental debate as it matured over the years. It is interesting (at least to me) to reflect on these changes and project the future of the green movement.