Latest Blog articles

Horse burgers and fake fish: What does this mean for CSR? >>

1 March 2013 -

You’d have to have been living in a vegetarian paradise to have missed the horse meat scandal that’s been spreading across Europe and beyond. It seems that if you’ve eaten any “budget” processed beef within memory, you’ve probably unwittingly eaten some horse as well. Coming hot on the heels of the pony burgers is a [...]

Those bourgeois bohemians, and why they are good for business >>

22 November 2012 -

Parodied, mocked, and dismissed, the bourgeois bohemian is nonetheless a huge cultural force.  ”Bobos’” for short, these are the people who reject conspicuous consumption and mass consumerism in favor of all things local, organic, artisanal, handmade and authentic. As (slightly) exaggerated in the sketch comedy show Portlandia, these are the people who demand not only to know if [...]

IKEA photoshops women from its Saudi catalogue >>

12 November 2012 -

IKEA, a company known for its strong CSR program, recently found itself the target of internet outrage when it was discovered that it had used photoshop to erase the women in its Saudi Arabian catalog. In the images, men and children remain, but the women have evaporated. Were human rights activists and interested observers justified [...]

Why compliance training should be face-to-face >>

2 August 2012 -

One of the Green Place’s recent assignments was to advise on ethical compliance for a multinational company. The good news is that increasingly, companies are taking ethical behaviour enforcement more seriously. It might have taken a few ENRON, Worldcom and other scandals to get there, but they are making great progress. Most large companies now [...]

What is buried in all that reporting data? An engaging story >>

30 July 2012 -

Many corporations are suffering under the increased demands of sustainability reporting. Reports prepared to satisfy the Global Reporting Initiative standards, along with reports specific to individual investors, often mean that social responsibility and communications departments are swamped with the minutiae of slightly different questions that can require vastly different answers. Public-facing storytelling gets buried under [...]

Four lessons from Ben & Jerry’s Fair Tweets campaign >>

4 June 2012 -

In 2011, the ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s hired ad agency Amalgamated to raise awareness for World Fair Trade Day on May 14. Twitter, of course, was the obvious medium for broadcasting the message. Instead of merely designing a splashy website, tweeting about it, and calling it a day, Amalgamated took a more unconventional [...]

The Value of Values >>

14 May 2012 -

The financial crisis and changing market developments have made many companies aware of their vulnerability, with increased competition and waning consumer confidence posing new threats. In these turbulent times, it is important to stay strong as a business and to re-examine not just your strategy, but also your values. Corporate brands can no longer just [...]

What really defines sustainability? >>

7 March 2012 -

We who work on trying to make corporations more sustainable, do we ever just sit back and think about the    definition of sustainability? Yesterday I passed the grand opening of the new Mac store in Amsterdam. Endless lines of people were munching on apples that were handed out, there was a party atmosphere, it was [...]

Elephants and Emails: a tale of sustainability >>

22 November 2011 -

What’s the link between a Dot Com CEO’s gruesome killing of an African elephant and a communications company’s stranded email? Supply chain infection! For the past 12 years Media Wise and The Green Place have used the webhosting services of U.S.-based GoDaddy, one of the biggest providers worldwide. GoDaddy offered good value for money. We [...]

CSR Practitioners – Are we writing ourselves out of the script? >>

5 September 2011 -

I have been mulling over the idea that if we are successful in our jobs of fully integrating CSR into a company ethos, its business practices, and its product development, then surely we will have made ourselves redundant? I am glad to report that we are seeing an acceleration in CSR actually being applied to [...]

Green Gone Mad? >>

8 February 2011 -

“Following its southeasterly course across the dark plain their eyes were drawn to the majestic buildings of the Slough Crematorium. For the safety of night-flying planes, its four tall chimneys were flood-lighted and tipped with crimson danger signals. It was a landmark.” “Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent of it. More than a kilo [...]

Electric cars, flogging a long dead horse? >>

26 January 2011 -

Then… What most people don’t know about electric vehicles (EV) is that they existed years before the gasoline-powered car came along. The first of these EV’s appeared in the mid 1830’s. In the years 1899 and 1900 the EV outsold all other types of cars (steam, gasoline) in the USA, and by the early 1900′s [...]

Cancun: New climate superheroes? >>

30 November 2010 -

The Cancún talks began yesterday in air-conditioned conference rooms in five star resort hotels, and already it appears as if politicians will once again fail their global electorate in coming up with anything tangible to curb global warming. It seems as if the new environmental superhero role might be taken up by global corporations, who [...]

Investments walk when climate change is not on the policy agenda >>

12 August 2010 -

In a recent interview with Reuters, Kevin Parker, the Global Head of the Deutsche Asset Management Division of Deutsche Bank, spurned the US for not being able to come up with a climate change policy.  Deutsche Asset Management Division has a hefty $700 billion in funds, of which $7 billion are allotted for green investments.  [...]

Green Vacuum Cleaners >>

14 June 2010 -

About 18 months ago we needed to buy a new vacuum cleaner. We went to the local shop, Blokker, where we seriously considered a Miele model. For some reason my husband reckons this brand lasts longer. But then my eye fell on a bright green compact model made by Philips. What I liked about this [...]

Profit or principle? reducing the blur >>

13 June 2010 -

SNS Reaal Group’s CFO Mr. Ference Lamp recently announced that the asset management arm of this Dutch financial institution would be pulling out of Greek government bonds, citing the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) issues as a reason for this decision of choosing principle over profit. SNS Reaal says it currently has EUR 150 million in [...]

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