Today’s executives are dealing with a complex and unprecedented brew of social, environmental, market, and technological trends. These require sophisticated, sustainability-based management. Yet executives are often reluctant to place sustainability core to their company’s business strategy in the mistaken belief that the costs outweigh the benefits. On the contrary, academic research and business experience point to quite the opposite. Embedded sustainability efforts clearly result in a positive impact on business performance. Drawing from our own research and our colleagues’ research in this area, we have created a sustainability business case for the 21st century corporate executive. Hoping to alleviate their concerns, this article also provides concrete examples of how sustainability benefits the bottom line. For the purpose of this article, we define sustainable practices as those that: 1) at minimum do not harm people or the planet and at best create value for stakeholders and 2) focus on improving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance in the areas in which the company or brand has a material environmental or social impact (such as in their operations, value chain, or customers). We exclude companies with a traditional CSR program that supports employee volunteering in the community – this does not by itself qualify as sustainability. Driving competitive advantage through stakeholder engagement Traditional business models aim to create value for shareholders, often at the expense of other stakeholders. Sustainable businesses are redefining the corporate ecosystem by designing models that create value for all stakeholders, including employees, shareholders, supply chains, civil society, and the planet. Michel Porter and Mark Kramer pioneered the idea of “creating shared value,” arguing that businesses can generate economic value by identifying and addressing social problems that intersect with their business. Much of the strategic value of sustainability comes from the need to continually talk with and learn from key stakeholders. Through regular dialogue with stakeholders and continual iteration, a company with a sustainability agenda is better positioned to anticipate and react to economic, social, environmental, and regulatory changes as they arise. When firms fail to establish good relationships with their stakeholders, it can lead to increased conflict and reduced stakeholder cooperation. This can disrupt a firm’s ability to operate on schedule and budget. A study of the gold mining industry, for example, found that stakeholder relations can heavily influence land permitting, taxation, and the regulatory environment, thus playing a substantial role in determining whether a firm has the right to transform gold into shareholder capital – therefore, as the study authors wrote, stakeholder engagement “is not just corporate social responsibility but enlightened self-interest.” Improving risk management Supply chains today extend around the world, and are vulnerable to natural disasters and civil conflict. Climate change, water scarcity, and poor labor conditions in much of the world increase the risk. McKinsey reports that the value at stake from sustainability concerns can be as a high as 70% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. In the largest study on climate change data and corporations, 8,000 supplier companies (that sell to 75 multinationals) reported on their level of climate risk. Of the respondents, 72% said that climate change presents risks that could significantly impact their operations, revenue, or expenditures. Unlike traditional forms of business risk, social and environmental risks manifest themselves over a longer term, often affect the business on many dimensions, and are largely outside the organization’s control. Managing risks therefore requires making investment decisions today for longer-term capacity building and developing adaptive strategies. In the agriculture, food, and beverage sector, the impacts of climate change have the potential to alter growing conditions and seasons, increase pests and disease, and decrease crop yields. Disruptions in the supply chain may affect production processes that depend on unpriced natural capital assets such as biodiversity, groundwater, clean air, and climate. These unpriced natural capital costs are generally internalized until events like floods or droughts cause disruption to production processes or commodity price fluctuation. For example, Bunge, an agribusiness firm, reported a $56 million quarterly loss in its sugar and bioenergy segments due to drought in 2010. Flooding in 2011 in Thailand, harmed 160 companies in the textile industry and halted nearly a quarter of the country’s garment production, increasing global prices by 28%. To address these threats along their supply chain, companies like Mars, Unilever, and Nespresso have invested in Rainforest Alliance certification to help farmers deal with climate volatility, reduce land degradation, and increase resilience to drought and humidity—all of which ensure the long-term supply of their agricultural products. Certification also improves productivity and net income: According to an independent study by COSA, Rainforest Alliance reported that certified cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, for example, produced 1,270 pounds of cocoa per hectare, compared with 736 pounds per hectare on non-certified farms. Net income was also significantly higher on certified cocoa farms than noncertified: $403 versus $113 USD per hectare. Companies are also experiencing risks in their manufacturing due to resource depletion – particularly water. Water has largely been considered a free raw material and therefore used inefficiently, but many companies are now experiencing the higher costs of using the resource. Coca-Cola, for example, faced a water shortage in India that forced it to shut down one of its plants in 2004. As the 24th biggest industrial consumer of water, Coca Cola has now invested $2 billion to reduce water use and improve water quality in the communities in which it operates. SabMiller has also invested heavily in water conservation, including $6 million to improve equipment at a facility in Tanzania affected by deteriorating water quality. Water-related risks threaten to strand billions of dollars for mining, oil, and gas companies. “Stranded assets” are investments that become obsolete due to regulatory, environmental, or market constraints. For example, social conflict related to disruptions to water supplies in Peru has resulted in the indefinite suspension of $21.5 billion in mining projects since 2010. Fostering innovation Investing in sustainability is not only a risk management tool; it can also drive innovation. Redesigning products to meet environmental standards or social needs offers new business opportunities. 3M, for example, integrates sustainability into its innovation pipeline through its “Pollution Prevention Pays” program, which aims to proactively minimize waste and avoid pollution through product reformulation, equipment redesign, process modification, and waste recycling. 3M’s Novec fire suppression fluids are the first viable, sustainable alternative to hydrofluorocarbons. Nike embedded sustainability into its innovation process and created the $1 billion-plus Flyknit line, which uses a specialized yarn system, requiring minimal labor and generating large profit margins. Flyknit reduces waste by 80% compared with regular cut and sew footwear. Since its launch in 2012, Flyknit has reduced 3.5 million pounds of waste and fully transitioned from yarn to recycled polyester, diverting 182 million bottles from landfills. Recognizing the growing consumer interest in sustainable products and looking to solve consumer challenges such as high energy costs, CPG companies have developed new products to gain access to this market. Proctor & Gamble, for example, conducted a life cycle assessment of its products and found that U.S. households spend 3% of annual electricity budgets on heating water to wash clothes. In 2005, they launched a U.S. and European line of cold-water detergents that require 50% less energy than warm water washing. Facing strict regulation on chemical release and competition from flowers from Africa, the Dutch flower industry developed a closed-loop system that grows flowers hydroponically in greenhouses, lowering risk of infestation and reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The system also improves product quality by creating regulated growing conditions. Their innovative system has increased productivity and quality, reduced environmental impact and costs, and increased global competitiveness. Improving Financial Performance Many business leaders have the erroneous perception that one can have profits or sustainability, but not both. This probably has its roots in Milton Friedman’s 50-year old, but still influential, thesis that the only business of a business is profit as well as a hangover from the 1970s and 80s, when low quality, high priced environmental products failed in the market and early socially responsible investing delivered low returns. That conventional wisdom has now reversed. In addition to the financial benefits that accrue from increased competitive advantage and innovation as discussed earlier, companies are realizing significant cost savings through environmental sustainability-related operational efficiencies. Moreover, investors are now able to track the high performers on ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) and are correlating better financial performance with better ESG performance. Significant cost reductions can result from improving operational efficiency through better management of natural resources like water and energy, as well as minimizing waste. One study estimated that companies experience an average internal rate of return of 27% to 80% on their low carbon investments. Since 1994, Dow has invested nearly $2 billion in improving resource efficiency and has saved $9.8 billion from reduced energy and wastewater consumption in manufacturing. In 2013, GE had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and water use by 45% compared to 2004 and 2006 baselines, respectively, resulting in $300 million in savings. A focus on sustainability can also unlock opportunities for process and logistics savings. Wal-Mart, for example, aimed to double fleet efficiency between 2005 and 2015 through better routing, truck loading, driver training, and advanced technologies. By the end of 2014, they had improved fuel efficiency approximately 87% compared to the 2005 baseline. In that year, these improvements resulted in 15,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided and savings of nearly $11 million. Mounting evidence shows that sustainable companies deliver significant positive financial performance, and investors are beginning to value them more highly. Arabesque and University of Oxford reviewed the academic literature on sustainability and corporate performance and found that 90% of 200 studies analyzed conclude that good ESG standards lower the cost of capital; 88% show that good ESG practices result in better operational performance; and 80% show that stock price performance is positively correlated with good sustainability practices. Here are some other datapoints to consider: Between 2006 and 2010, the top 100 sustainable global companies experienced significantly higher mean sales growth, return on assets, profit before taxation, and cash flows from operations in some sectors compared to control companies. During the 2008 recession, companies committed to sustainability practices achieved “above average” performance in the financial markets during the 2008 recession, translating into an average of $650 million in incremental market capitalization per company. Additionally, companies with superior environmental performance experienced lower cost of debt by 40-45 basis points. Studies also suggest that companies with strong corporate responsibility reputations “experience no meaningful declines in share price compared to their industry peers during crises” versus firms with poor CSR reputations whose reputations declined by “2.4-3%; a market capitalization loss of $378M per firm.” Investors are paying attention. According to the 2015 EY Global Institutional Investor Survey, investors are increasingly using companies’ nonfinancial disclosures to inform their investment decisions. In its survey of over 200 institutional investors, 59.1% of respondents view nonfinancial disclosures as “essential” or “important” to investment decisions, up from 34.8% in 2014. Some 62.4% of investors are concerned about the risk of stranded assets (i.e. assets that lose value prematurely due to environmental, social, or other external factors) and over one-third of respondents reported cutting their holdings of a company in the past year because of this risk. Building Customer Loyalty Companies are skeptical about consumer interest in sustainable products – especially where willingness-to-pay is concerned. Some of that is self-inflicted, as early on companies tended to increase “sustainable” product prices substantially and in some cases sold inferior products (e.g. pricy natural cleaning products that did not work). However, a shift is occurring in the minds of consumers. Today’s consumers expect more transparency, honesty, and tangible global impact from companies and can choose from a raft of sustainable, competitively priced, high quality products. In fact, one study found that among numerous factors surveyed, the news coverage regarding environmental and social responsibility was the only significant factor that affected respondents’ evaluation of a firm and intent to buy. Nearly two-thirds of consumers across six international markets believe they “have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society” — 82% in emerging markets and 42% in developed markets. In the food and beverage industry, a growing number of consumers are considering values beyond price and taste in their purchasing decisions, such as safety, social impact, and transparency. Far from feeling skittish about buying sustainable products, today’s consumers perceive a higher level of product performance in products from sustainable companies and sustainability information has a significantly positive impact on consumers’ evaluation of a company, which translates into purchase intent. The results of these studies support that consumers in a post-Recession era are shifting purchasing decisions to brands with integrity, social responsibility, and sustainability at their core. In fact, Unilever claims its “brands with purpose” are growing at twice the rate as others in their portfolio. Companies can also charge higher price premiums based on positive corporate responsibility performance. These premiums can reach 20% according to some estimates. Moreover, some studies show that overall sales revenue can increase up to 20% due to corporate responsibility practices. Another study found that revenues from sustainable products and services grew at six times the rate of overall company revenues between 2010 and 2013, among the 12 members of the S&P Global 100 sampled (Singer, 2015). GE’s Ecomagination division, for example, has generated $200 billion in sales since 2005. IKEA’s line of sustainable products like LED bulbs and solar panels from its Products for a More Sustainable Life at Home now generate a billion dollars. Attracting and Engaging Employees Corporate sustainability initiatives aimed at improving ESG performance and proving value to society can increase employee loyalty, efficiency, and productivity and improve HR statistics related to recruitment, retention, and morale. Research is finding that 21st century employees are focusing more on mission, purpose, and work-life balance. Companies that invest in sustainability initiatives tend to create sought-after culture and engagement due to company strategy focusing more on purpose and providing value to society. In addition, companies who embed sustainability in their core business strategy treat employees as critical stakeholders, just as important as shareholders. Employees are proud to work there and feel part of a broader effort. One study found that morale was 55% better in companies with strong sustainability programs, compared to those with poor ones, and employee loyalty was 38% better. Better morale and motivation translate into reduced absenteeism and improved productivity. Firms that adopted environmental standards have seen a 16% increase in productivity over firms that did not adopt sustainability practices. Corporate responsibility performance also positively impacts turnover and recruitment. Studies show that firms with greater corporate responsibility performance can reduce average turnover over time by 25-50%. It can also reduce annual quit rates by 3-3.5%, saving replacement costs up to 90%-200% of an employee’s annual salary for each retained position. *** The preponderance of evidence shows that sustainability is going mainstream. Executives can no longer afford to approach sustainability as a “nice to have” or as solid function separated from the “real” business. Those companies that proactively make sustainability core to business strategy will drive innovation and engender enthusiasm and loyalty from employees, customers, suppliers, communities and investors.
Moneygram International Inc. (MGI) has partnered with Farm Fresh Food and Pharmacy, the grocery retail chain of SUPERVALU to grant $40,000 to Virginia-based non-profit organization, "An Achievable Dream".
Are you or your organisation interested in involving young volunteers from other countries in your projects? The European Voluntary Service (EVS) gives young people a chance to travel abroad and participate in volunteering projects and is open to a wide variety of organisations, public bodies and CSR initiatives. In this video, active EVS organisations explain the benefits of EVS to their organisation and tell you how to get involved. https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/organisations_en
Credit The business-arena is filled with managers that have a hard time recognizing and keeping talented people, which oftentimes hurts both productivity and the mission of a company. Being a manager is no easy task and requires sharpened instincts and a desire to help subordinates grow with an understanding of creating a win-win situation for the entire team. With over six years of managing people from college to the workplace and now building my own start-up, I have learnt some lessons and creative ways to keep talented employees from quitting, while helping them to become better human beings and contribute immensely to the projects at hand. In order to create an inspiring and motivational culture in the workplace that keeps exceptional employees from quitting, smart managers must think beyond the norm. Here are six ways that smart managers can keep their exceptional employees from quitting, while creating more impact as a team. 1. They Reward Their Employees No matter how tough some human beings may portray themselves to be, everyone has a soft spot for appreciation and accolades. Smart managers recognize the importance of rewarding their exceptional employees by appreciating the valuable contributions they bring to the table. It's crucial for managers to find out what makes their employees feel good about themselves and factors that drive their overall performance on the job. Recognition and rewards reinforce a stronger commitment from the employee and encourages them to keep working hard. While thank you cards, movie trips, custom gift cards or other simple recognitions might work for some projects, other projects should carry a heavier weight and could include a raise, promotion, incentive trips and other memorable experiences that create a stronger connection and yield better commitment from employees. 2. They Encourage Their Passions Nothing lights a fire like a man who brings his passion into his job. In order to create a work environment that encourages positive flow, smart manager's help provide opportunities that encourage their employees to pursue their passions in the work place. By paying close attention to what drives employees, you might just recognize that one of your employees with a passion for community development will serve better when he/she gets involved with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) related projects during specific periods. Employees that are passionate about their jobs improve their productivity and overall output on the job. 3. They Show Care and Empathy Most managers care less about their approach to their employees. However, some have recognized the importance of caring and showing empathy towards their staff. Managers who care enough will celebrate successes, challenge employees to maximize their potential and empathize with them when they are going through hard times. Smart managers understand the importance of emotional intelligence and are able to balance being professional and being human. Sometimes showing care can mean listening to an employee's concern about their job or a particular issue. By being flexible and leaving your door open as a manger to employee concerns, employees will feel like they are part of an organization that truly cares about their voice and well being. 4. They Make Them Connect to the Vision Having a vision for a particular project or cause helps individuals to feel a sense of purpose and connection to the vision. In order to get the best out of an employee, it's important that they understand and believe in the vision and mission of the company. Managers are responsible for making sure that employees run towards this vision, even during down-times. By communicating that vision and core values to employees, they understand the impact that the company aims to achieve and help to drive the company towards its mission. When employees understand the vision of a company, and how their roles contribute to achieving that vision, then an exceptional output is expected. They feel a sense of responsibility and identify with the core values of the company, which is seen in their approach to work, and creates a better decision making process. 5. They Inspire and Motivate Them Credit While some employees are motivated by the rewards they get, nothing beats that intrinsic motivating factor. Using financial compensation as incentives definitely has an expiring date and can hardly retain top talent and drive high performance. As a manager, it's important to ensure that your employees are constantly motivated and inspired on the job, whether it's through rewards, bonding time or just generally encouraging them on the job. 6. They Help them Develop their Skills and Potentials People are generally happy when they make progress in life. By creating a consistent structure for developing the skills and potentials of their exceptional employees, smart managers recognize the impact it will have on their entire output as a team. Great managers, keep finding ways to help talented employees improve and expand their skill sets and potential. It is important to note that such employees get bored easily and crave a reinvented work environment where they can constantly feel useful and keep innovating projects. By challenging them on the job and giving feedback on their performance, smart managers create an avenue that helps exceptional employees to thrive both at work and in life. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Former FLOTUS Communications Director, a Hispanic Woman, Discusses Leadership, Diversity and Breaking Barriers I waited for Maria Christina Gonzalez Noguera (who goes by "MC") in the sunny lobby of an interactive agency in Union Square NYC. At the time, MC hadn't yet started her new role as SVP of Global Affairs at Estee Lauder, and my office was in NJ, so meeting someplace central was ideal. As she exited the brushed-steel-door elevators whoever was in the perimeter slowed their step and turned their attention towards her. The cluster of hip-clad and smartly faced agency folks knew someone with clout had just entered their sphere. MC has a room-altering presence, a forceful combination of effortless grace, muted seriousness, and sparks of levity. You Need to Balance Aspiration with Necessity "We all should aspire to something bigger and better than who we are or what we are," she stated frankly as we began our conversation, "but you need to be grounded and real about the bottom line and the need to return value." It's this balance that I wanted to understand: How to create a business, a career, and to be a leader in an era where we need (and want) to both change the world and to support ourselves financially. "If you are running your enterprise in the most efficient and effective way," MC shared, pressing her fingers against the table as if pointing to a diagram of what she was expressing, "then you will be able to innovate in a way that helps others. There has to be an understanding, which is probably why we've seen in the last 30 years, a development of CSR departments in big Fortune 500 companies. So it doesn't have to be one way to fully only make money or fully only do good. You can certainly bridge the two." "And it takes a unique form of leadership?" I asked "Vision, relentless focus, empathy, raw intellect, agility -- learning and physical agility. The ability to quickly pivot when something isn't working. I think that is an ideal. I would feel comfortable working for a company that has 3 out of 5 and that the other two were aspirational or part of the conversation. I don't want to work with a superwoman or superman who is so perfect. People who can articulate a mission and can demonstrate action against that mission...once you start demonstrating action, that's the type of leadership needed. " The MC-5 traits for leadership: - Vision - Relentless Focus - Empathy - Raw Intellect - Agility (both learning and physically) - (The ability to articulate the mission through taking action) "And how do these relate to being a woman in the workplace, a person of diversity?" "There are real inequalities in our education system that make it harder for a child born in an underserved community get to, say, Stanford. There is a misperception that all the barriers were eliminated and now everyone - as long as they work hard - has a straight shot to Stanford. As long as that child is smart and applies him or herself, the opportunities will be granted. That is just not true. There is an enormous amount of work to do in that space. And society must decide if that's a priority or not. I certainly see gaps in terms of female potential in the work environment. And I think part of it is who I am and where I am in my life. I'm a 41-year-old Hispanic woman with a four-year-old son and a supportive husband, I am educated by all accounts with a resume that shows I've worked hard and have been focused in my profession. But I still encounter moments in my day-to-day interactions where I am dismissed or just ignored or not brought into a conversation. I don't know if it is because I am female, if it is because I am Hispanic or because the person in the conversation isn't capable or smart enough to want to bring others into that conversation. But those barriers, that gap definitely exists. And I think it's similar to the conversation on diversity." "How are we going to get there?" I asked. "I think things take hold when they are evolutionary. And so bringing people, minds, hearts and souls together is probably going to produce deeper roots and, therefore, better results...You have to give some thought to what is it that we are trying to accomplish and what does that look like. And you have to literally paint that picture whether it's with words or pictures. What is your end state? And then you reverse engineer your need to get there. You have to start somewhere. If we sit here and talk too much, then we become paralyzed. Then you realize the truth, which is, it's insurmountable (MC laughs). So you have to start somewhere, you have to start chipping away at it." ---- Just as MC entered the elevator to head to her next appointment, we shook hands and she looked me deliberately in the eyes, both searching and reaffirming. She was double-checking if I was a person of trust. If I would take her counsel and put it to work, share it wisely. I hope I have. You can read a full interview with MC here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
This article has been submitted as part of the Natural Capital Coalition's series of blogs on natural capital by Dario Kenner, Founder, Why Green Economy. The Natural Capital Coalition's vision is a world "where business conserves and enhances natural capital". In July the Coalition launched the Natural Capital Protocol which is mainly aimed at business users. It could potentially transform the way businesses operate because it comprehensively demonstrates how companies are dependent on a healthy environment. Companies can then use this enhanced understanding to make better informed decisions on how to manage natural capital. This is a step forward because it contributes to an overall shift in thinking that recognises the need to conserve nature instead of seeing it as an infinite input available for the economy, as conventional economic models do. How will companies react to the Protocol? Hopefully companies will embrace natural capital and start to protect it. Special sector guides developed by the Coalition show there are many ways food & beverage and apparel companies can benefit from reducing their environmental damage. There are several business reasons to do so, ranging from cutting costs (from efficiency savings) to increasing market share (through a reputation for being sustainable). There are also opportunities to access new types of financing such as green bonds. As Alastair MacGregor of Trucost notes "companies in the apparel sector could use natural capital accounting to design new clothing lines which will increase sales while cutting risks". Meanwhile "drinks companies could identify opportunities to improve water and energy efficiency while investing in expansion at key sites worldwide." Will the Protocol fundamentally change a company's business model? In some ways the most interesting part of the Protocol is the final section on how to apply it. A big emphasis is placed on the need to integrate the natural capital approach into a company's existing business strategy to ensure it is used across operations i.e. not just by the sustainability or CSR department. Why does this matter? Because if it only applies to some parts of a company's operations it means that the rest of the company can continue destructive business as usual. And a lot needs to change across a range of economic sectors. A 2013 study by Trucost and the Coalition estimated that major global industries created US$7.3 trillion worth of externalities, which equated to 13% of global economic output in 2009 (effects of their operations on third parties and the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions and negative impacts on fresh water). The Protocol has the potential to lead to many positive changes in sectors such as food, apparel, electronics and other consumer goods. But in my opinion for the Protocol to be considered successful it also has to transform the business model and reduce the impact of those economic sectors that have a hugely negative effect on the environment. And this means talking about extractive companies (i.e. oil, gas, coal, metals and minerals) which are central to the global economy. Applying the Protocol will assist these companies in assessing their dependencies and impact on natural capital. These are unsurprisingly going to be large. The Protocol lists examples of how business can impact natural capital directly or indirectly "through over-exploitation of resources, habitat loss, or restoration, fragmentation or degradation of ecosystems, pollution, the introduction of exotic species, or contributions to climate change". In the last section on how the Protocol can be applied options mentioned include: "1) Explore different types of land use or different markets; 2) Reduce or increase a certain business activity; 3) Use a specific procurement sourcing option; 4) Select a specific site; 5) Make a specific investment (e.g., in landscape restoration); 6) Adapt your activities based on stakeholder relationships; 7) Develop a new product or adapt existing ones". The question is how much can an extractive company really implement these options. Can an oil or mining company reduce the footprint of their business activity, change where they operate or change the products they sell? There could be cases where implementing the Protocol would mean a company had to choose whether to stop profitable activities. It would be interesting to see a sector guide developed for extractive industries. It is possible that extractive companies can use new information about their natural capital impacts & dependencies to find ways to reduce their relative impact (e.g. resource efficiency and clean water treatment). But will the Protocol change their business models so that they reduce their aggregate impact and instead protect natural capital? To do so would involve questioning the validity of the products that these business are producing in the first place. In describing the appropriate types of natural capital valuation to be carried out (qualitative, quantitative or monetary) the Protocol advises that "there are situations where a more precautionary approach to natural capital valuation is warranted. For example, if proximity to significant ecological thresholds is identified, or decisions to be informed by the assessment have the potential to cause irreversible changes (e.g., species extinction)". But even if an extractive company knew that its activities would lead to crossing an ecological threshold or cause irreversible change, would it actually stop what it was doing? The Protocol has great potential to transform how business operates so that it takes a leading role in building the sustainable economy we need. However, for this to happen it must influence a shift in the business model of extractive companies and other high impact sectors. Disclaimer: Articles in this series are submitted by people who work in organizations who are part of the Natural Capital Coalition, or people who are involved in the natural capital space more generally, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of The Natural Capital Coalition, other Coalition organizations, or the organization that employs the author. Dario Kenner is an independent researcher who launched whygreeneconomy.org in 2013 as a space to share ideas on the policies that should be adopted to address climate change and biodiversity loss. His current research focuses on who should value nature and the ecological footprint of the richest people. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. Follow Dario on Twitter: @dariokenner On 13th July 2016, The Natural Capital Coalition launched a standardized framework for business to identify, measure and value their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. This ' Natural Capital Protocol' has been developed through a unique collaborative process; a World Business Council for Sustainable Development consortium led on the technical development and an IUCN consortium led on business engagement and piloting. The Protocol is supported by practically focused 'Sector Guides' on Apparel and Food & Beverage produced by Trucost on behalf of Coalition. Keep up to date with the Natural Capital Coalition on Twitter: @NatCapCoalition Keep up to date with our series on natural capital here. www.naturalcapitalcoalition.org -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Как налетать 400 тыс. миль Самым известным лайфхаком принято считать эксплуатацию программ лояльности авиакомпаний. Дело в том, что, правильно покупая билеты одних и тех же перевозчиков, можно через некоторое время накопить мили и летать бесплатно. Причём некоторые программы предлагают потратить мили не только на авиабилет, но и на прочие виды товаров. Один из самых известных "авиахакеров" — американец Бен Шлаппиг. За свою 25-летнюю жизнь он сумел пролетать 400 тыс. миль, чего хватило бы на то, чтобы обогнуть земной шар 16 раз. Сообщество, которому он принадлежит (они называют себя Hobbyist — "хоббисты"), основывается на нескольких фундаментальных шагах: первое — нужно выбрать авиакомпанию, с помощью которой следует достичь самого высокого статуса в программе. Поначалу придётся летать за собственные деньги, но идея в том, чтобы окупить все затраты и получить взамен намного больше. Шлаппигу понадобился год на изучение брешей в программах лояльности и их особенностей. Второй шаг — завести несколько кредитных карт: банки предоставляют разнообразные привилегии за их использование, что позволяет получать, например, бонусы или кешбэк (небольшой процент от суммы покупки возвращается на карту). Третий уровень для самых ловких и просвещённых: манипулируя операциями по картам банков, которые являются партнёрами авиакомпаний, можно совершать покупки и сразу возвращать их стоимость обратно. Словно засунул монету в автомат, а потом вытянул её обратно. — Люди, которые управляют этими программами лояльности, — идиоты. Мы всегда на шаг впереди них, — говорит он. Ещё одна техника подразумевает поиск каких-либо неисправностей в самолёте: например, сломанная спинка сиденья. Клиентоориентированные авиакомпании за подобное неудобство могут выдавать пассажирам купоны на следующий полёт номиналом от 200 до 400 долл. Немного другой лайфхак касательно бонусных миль использует Райан Пикрен. Американский студент является ныне самым активным участником программы по поиску уязвимостей авиалиний United. Согласно ей хакеры за поиск багов поощряются милями. В итоге Пикрен заработал 15 млн миль, которые равны в денежном эквиваленте 300 тыс. долл., и летает всегда бесплатно. Зайцы довольны Российский программист Игорь Шевцов тоже смог осуществить мечту многих зайцев, но в рамках городского транспорта. Обнаруженная им уязвимость в приложении для карты "Тройка" позволяла подделывать баланс и совершать бесплатные поездки на общественном транспорте Москвы. Хакер создал собственное приложение TroikaDumper для Android-устройств с NFC-модулем для эксплуатирования бреши. Подробности установки и использования лайфхака он выложил на "Хабрахабре", однако отметил, что целью эксперимента было выявление проблем городских программ. Через несколько дней после растиражирования истории в СМИ власти Москвы устранили баг в приложении и лишили несостоявшихся хакеров безлимитных поездок. Бесплатно и с ветерком Проблемы есть и у других популярных приложений. Специалист по безопасности из Египта обнаружил критическую уязвимость в сервисе по онлайн-заказу такси Uber: путём брутфорса (т.е. перебором) можно получать промокоды для бесплатных поездок. Причём подбор помогает получить купоны большой ценовой категории — вплоть до номинала в 25 тыс. долл. Такой промокод можно потратить на одноразовую поездку. Брешь была найдена в поощрительной программе, в рамках которой пользователь получает купоны, когда приглашает своих знакомых зарегистрироваться в приложении. Но самое примечательное в этой истории то, что Фуад несколько раз обращался в службу безопасности Uber с сообщением об уязвимости и каждый раз компания отказывала исправить баг, не считая это брешью. — Я сообщил об этой уязвимости ещё три месяца назад. И я был не первый, — рассказал Фауд. — Каждый раз они отвечали, что данная ситуация находится вне зоны их компетенций, и предлагали обратиться в отдел, занимающийся случаями с мошенничеством. Пожизненный запас пиццы Ещё один консультант по кибербезопасности, на этот раз из Великобритании, буквально создал формулу для пожизненного заказа пиццы из сети Domino. В один из вечеров Пол Прайс решил выяснить, как купоны на скидку к следующему заказу генерируются, и заглянул в исходный код приложения. Но неожиданно для себя он обнаружил, что платежи за заказ проводятся на стороне клиента, тогда как такие операции обычно происходят на серверах компании и скрыты от глаз пользователей. Открытие натолкнуло Прайса провести эксперимент: он ввёл данные несуществующей карты Visa, изменил одну строчку в коде (переписал "отклонён" на "принят"), и свежая пепперони уже была на пути к его дому. Хакер сначала не поверил, что ему действительно удалось обмануть систему, поэтому даже позвонил в службу доставки, где его заказ подтвердили. Однако британца учили, что за всё нужно платить: он сказал курьеру, что его карта "не сработала", и заплатил за пиццу наличными. После чего мужчина также позвонил в техническую службу Domino и сообщил о баге. Компания его оперативно исправила, однако транзакции по-прежнему совершаются на стороне пользователя. Подарили ли ему годовой запас за найденную уязвимость — неизвестно. Причём Domino не в первый раз сталкивается с бесплатными раздачами: в 2009 году пиццерия "подарила" 11 тыс. пицц из-за глюка веб-сайта. Школьник против телеком-гиганта Джейкобу Аджиту из США есть чем похвастаться перед одноклассниками: 17-летний школьник взломал LTE-сеть крупного оператора T-Mobile и бесплатно пользовался Интернетом. Сделал он это исключительно из любопытства. Взлом был осуществлён с помощью телефона, который работает по предоплатной системе. Несмотря на то что аппарат был не в сети, Аджит смог подключиться через сервер оператора к приложению по оценке скорости Интернета. Вскоре он понял, что таким образом можно получать доступ к любым файлам из папки "/speedtest". По-видимому, файлы из приложения по оценке скорости сети T-Mobile заносит в разрешённый список, к которому можно подключиться даже тогда, когда отсутствует мобильное соединение. Чтобы проверить свою теорию, школьник создал на своём сайте папку "/speedtest" и заполнил её различными файлами, в том числе клипом Тейлор Свифт. Ко всему контенту он подключился без труда, не заплатив ни копейки. Затем он создал прокси-сервер, чтобы другие пользователи также могли бы просматривать любой сайт без Интернета: всё, что нужно, — это перейти на созданный им сайт и ввести нужную ссылку. Однако журналист Motherboard, будучи также абонентом T-Mobile, не смог воспользоваться уязвимостью. Либо оператор уже устранил к тому времени баг, либо этот лайфхак работает только с телефонами T-Mobile на предоплатных контрактах. Не говори "нет" хакеру Если Аджиту было скучно, то компьютерному специалисту из Польши Пржемеку Ярошевски идея хака пришла после того, как он столкнулся с досадной ошибкой: из-за технической неисправности в аэропорту Варшавы его не пустили в ВИП-лаунж. Однако это недоразумение привело к занимательному решению. Ярошевски создал Android-программу, генерирующую фальшивые QR-коды к таким же фейковым посадочным талонам. Теперь он мог попасть в ВИП-зоны аэропортов, даже если не имел на это права. Приложение за несколько секунд выписывало билет на любое имя, рейс и место. Более того, с поддельными талонами можно даже совершать покупки в дьюти-фри. Свою разработку программист показал на хакерской конференции Black Hat в этом году, предупредив, что не опубликует её в открытом доступе из-за возможных преследований по закону. Сам он признался, что ни разу не летал по фальшивому билету, а только тестировал входы в ВИП-лаунжи некоторых европейских аэропортов. Отомстил за жадность В 2012 году с идеей для халявщиков отличился и россиянин Алексей Бородин: он сумел обойти системы App Store и безвозмездно совершать покупки в iOS-приложениях. Смысл хака состоит в том, чтобы заставить приложения "думать", будто они общаются с App Store, когда на самом деле — с поддельным сервером Apple. Тот, в свою очередь, выпускает фальшивые чеки, которые Apple выписывает для покупок внутри приложений. Поскольку такие квитанции не содержат какой-либо информации о пользователе, "их легко подделать", говорит Бородин. Однако его метод работает только с теми покупками, которые проходят внутри iOS. Если же разработчик подтверждает платежи через свой собственный веб-сервер, то тут таким трюком уже не воспользоваться. Конкретно эксплойт был создан для игры CSR Racing, которая работает по модели freemium. Она распространяется бесплатно, но за дополнительные опции приходится платить. По словам Бородина, это и стало поводом для создания хака: — Я был очень зол, что разработчики игры брали с меня деньги за каждый вздох. При этом он не имеет ничего против, если его эксплойтом воспользуются другие пользователи, которые также недовольны жадностью создателей приложений.
Look on the back of a Starbucks cup, and you may find this message: “YOU are a pioneer in using recycled cups. Everything we do, you do. Your business lets Starbucks do business in a way that’s better for the planet. Like leading the way in cup technology with the first U.S. hot cups made with 10% post-consumer recycled fiber . . . Good for you, you.” These customer-praising marketing messages are part of a broader trend in “corporate societal marketing,” which aim to emphasize companies’ social efforts to consumers. These messages are everywhere: On our visit to SeaWorld last year, event hosts told us we had helped animal-rescue programs by simply purchasing our tickets. And socially focused companies like Toms, which appeal to consumers with their “buy one, give one” promise, also praise consumers’ purchasing behavior with their altruistic tag (e.g., “With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need”). Organizations use these CSR messages to promote themselves as good corporate citizens. But it is also assumed that exposure to such messages would help make consumers more aware of certain social/environmental issues and therefore promote subsequent altruistic behaviors and choices. For example, seeing that Starbucks cup might make consumers care more about products made from recycled materials. But do such messages truly promote altruism? Or is it possible they could do the opposite, and actually advance self-interested actions on the part of consumers? A well-known theory in moral psychology called “moral licensing” suggests that the latter might be true. Moral licensing essentially means that when people do something good—such as donating to a charitable cause—they feel subsequently free or licensed to act in a more negative or morally ambiguous way. So someone gets a self-image boost after doing a good deed, and this feeling helps inoculate them from feeling guilt or shame about later self-indulgence or unethical behavior. This has been studied in different contexts. For example, one study showed that participants who selected green products over conventional products were more likely to cheat on a future task. And even imagining acting altruistically can boost self-image and license individuals to engage in self-interested behavior, such as, for example, choosing to buy a luxury product (designer clothes) over a necessity (home appliance). Moral licensing can also occur as the result of collective behavior. Our previous work showed that members of groups that had done something good, such as selecting to interview a Hispanic applicant for a job, felt licensed merely by their membership in the group to later act badly on their own—in this case, they discriminated against the minority job candidate. This time, we were interested in how companies’ CSR messages to consumers affected consumer behavior. We examined whether the framing of the message—whether it praised customers for good deeds (“your use of recyclable cans and bottles help us protect the environment”), or merely publicized the company’s values (“our recycling program protects the environment”)—had any effect on how consumers responded and later behaved. We conducted six studies on diverse samples with over 450 participants, from undergraduate students to working adults. Using different variations of praise messages and participants, we consistently observed that messages featuring customer praise backfired and led to subsequent selfish behavior. Our results were recently published in Management Science (link forthcoming). In one study, participants viewed a short 40-second Starbucks commercial that either praised a customer for making an ethical purchase (it used phrasing such as: “Everything we do, you do. You buy more fair trade certified coffee than anyone else”) or praised the company for its ethical business practices (“Starbucks is the biggest buyer of fair trade coffee in the world”). Think of these frames as customer praise (“Look at the good you’ve done for society”) and company praise (“Look at the good we’ve done”). After viewing the messages, people were asked to make hypothetical choices about buying unrelated products. For example, participants had to choose whether they’d buy traditional or eco-friendly batteries. We found that people chose the eco-friendly batteries less after viewing the ad that praised them for a good choice—33.3% of those who saw customer praise chose the eco-friendly batteries, whereas 69.6% of those who saw company praise chose the eco-friendly batteries. In another study, participants were randomly assigned to view one of the messages written from the perspective of the CEO of a company. Afterwards, participants played a version of the dictator game, in which they allocated $20 between themselves and another participant in the room. We found that the message featuring customer praise resulted in subsequent selfish behavior—those participants kept more money for themselves. Finally, in a field study we conducted on a U.S.-based volunteer group, volunteers received one of two versions of an email from the organization’s director: one praising the volunteer’s individual efforts on behalf of the organization, and the second praising the group of volunteers as a whole for their work. At the end of the email, volunteers could click through to claim a gift of either a luxury backpack or a utility travel bag. We found that volunteers were more likely to self-indulge by choosing a luxury backpack over a plainer version when a thank-you message praised them specifically (84%) versus thanking “the group” (64%). These results show that customers who received messages lauding their behavior were more likely than those who received messages about a company’s or a group’s behavior to later choose selfishly. It is important to note that we only tested the immediate, short-term effects of these CSR messages; we do not know how long they persist. In another study, we measured consumers’ environmental values before exposing them to either a consumer-praising or company-praising message. We found that people who were already highly committed to the environmental cause being called out in the message were less likely to be influenced by a consumer-praising message, as their self-image was less likely to rise further as a result of the praise. These findings are consistent with research showing that when people are focused on the progress they’ve made toward a given goal, they are more likely to indulge in negative behavior soon afterward. For example, dieters are more likely to “cheat” by choosing less healthy snacks when they become aware of the weight they’ve already lost or when they exercise. The self-referential focus on progress (“I’ve achieved something good”) in effect licenses them to engage in more dubious, even self-destructive acts (“Now I can do something bad”). So giving customers credit for making progress toward an altruistic goal may play a role in immediately boosting self-indulgent behavior. We also found that company-praising messages can actually promote more positive, altruistic behavior compared to both no-praise and customer-praise messages. So while highlighting an individual’s personal progress or contribution with regard to social impact is more likely to backfire, focusing consumers’ attention to a cause may lead to more positive behavior. Alongside corporate philanthropy which reached $18.5 billion in 2015, companies have been spending more on cause-related marketing—it reached about $2 billion dollars in 2016. But if firms want to actually encourage more positive social behavior, they need to highlight consumers’ commitment to a cause and ask for their continuous support (“help us continue to do this”), rather than praise people for their contributions (“you did help us to do this”).
Mark Eaves, Founder, Gravity Road Amid the buzz and chatter of New York Advertising Week, the launch of the new D&AD Impact Awards was surely the centre piece of this annual event and a welcome respite from this year’s dominating themes of adtech (you do know, every time you say the word “programmatic” an ideas fairy dies?). But, wait, another awards show you say? Wow, just what we need. But hear me out, this one felt different. Aside from the high production value of the show itself (not many trade awards finish off with a set from Sting - the tantric sex is obviously paying off, he doesn’t look 65), these felt welcome and timely. The introduction of the White Pencil to the original D&ADs has always felt like an adjunct without enough room to interrogate the topic fully. Now, finally here’s an opportunity to do this vein of creativity justice. The Impacts aim to celebrate work that “harnesses the power of creativity as a force for good” and has demonstrated “a real and positive difference to the world.” This last point is crucial. The growth of social purpose as a creative trend is something that anyone who’s served on awards juries recently will have encountered - and endured - through countless case study films. At worst the rise of social purpose has led to a deluge of sentimental, heavy-handed work with no respect for its audience. It leads to brands hanging their hats on creative initiatives that feel paper-thin and short-term. As Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD says “We are in a post-CSR environment. Tokenistic projects no longer hold any value for customers.” Too often in awards, nobody really believes winning work impacted anything other than hours in an edit suite, crafting the story for the entry film. Yes i might sound like a cynical fucker - and yes it’s unfair to brush aside genuine efforts in the industry to realise the positive societal role that brands can undertake. But equally don’t underestimate the needs of the big holding groups to get their Gunn report stats up in any way they can: we could all point at countless awards entries where the social purpose feels like a superficial veneer: what i call ‘gilding for good’. So the promising thing about the D&AD Impacts is that winning work must demonstrate real-world results beyond a case study film and the work recognised here felt authentic, possessing a sense of true intent. As it was the inaugural awards the 2016 ceremony recognised work from the last couple of years, and whilst this meant many winners were already famous, it allowed D&AD to curate the creative northstars for years ahead. Couple this with a jury that drew from beyond the cliques of our industry (eg Jamie Oliver) and the result was a fresh new entrant to the global awards calendar. And whilst there were some entries that erred on the mawkish, they were in the minority. What shone through was entertaining work like Proud Whopper and Inglorious Fruit & Veg alongside more recent stuff like F$%k the Poor and Edible Six-Pack Rings. All of it enjoyable and energetic; work that played with the heart strings but didn’t feel the need to hang from them - a refreshing reminder that wit can be genuinely world-changing and playing it for smiles rather than tears often pays richer creative dividends. Originally published on www.shots.net. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Новые флагманы iPhone 7 и iPhone 7 Plus после старта продаж разлетелись как горячие пирожки. Если вы в числе обладателей нового "яблочного" гаджета (или задумываетесь, зачем он нужен), предлагаем подборку приложений, раскрывающих потенциал новинки от Apple
Новые флагманы iPhone 7 и iPhone 7 Plus после старта продаж разлетелись как горячие пирожки. Если вы в числе обладателей нового "яблочного" гаджета(или задумываетесь, зачем он нужен) - предлагаем подборку приложений, раскрывающих потенциал новинки от Apple
Image credit: Forbes Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, a crisp chill in the air, the kids back in school. These signs can only mean one thing: fall is here and the busy holiday season is just around the corner! With less than two months to go, now is the time for small businesses to get serious about holiday marketing. That could mean launching seasonal SEO and PPC campaigns, enhancing on-site or in-store decorations, offering seasonal custom services, or using Google ad extension. But in the rush to capitalize on your slice of the Black Friday or Cyber Monday pie, don't forget about #GivingTuesday and the importance of integrating this holiday event into your CSR plan. What is #GivingTuesday? Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Now entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday has grown from a day to encourage philanthropy in the midst of holiday consumerism to a global movement. The idea behind #GivingTuesday is simple but profound: how can we harness the power of social media to bring real change in our local communities by bringing together nonprofits, civic organizations, small businesses, and families? In 2015, #GivingTuesday raised more than $116.7 million dollars from over 700,000 online donors in 71 countries. Individuals are encouraged to donate locally to support nonprofits and civic organizations making an immediate difference within their community. Why Should Your Small Business Participate in #GivingTuesday? As companies of all sizes are learning, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer optional. Consumers vote with their wallets, spending money with brands that align with their values around employee welfare, sustainability, workplace wellness, and community development. The same goes for employees. Top Millennial talent wants to work for companies that share their values and ethics. Nearly two-thirds of Millennials say they want to work for an organization that makes a positive impact on the world, and half would choose purposeful work over a high salary, reports The Guardian. So what does this have to do with your small business? Many small business owners are passionate about causes and want to align these passions with local organizations and nonprofits. In Houston, Madeksho Law Firm helps stray and abandoned animals through A.D.O.R.E. Houston, a nonprofit dedicated to finding permanent homes for abandoned pets. Altered Seasons, an eco-friendly candle company, provides meals to Americans in need through Feeding America. But running a CSR program can also be time and resource intensive. For small businesses, the key to successful CSR is partnerships with like-minded organizations and businesses- and #GivingTuesday shines the spotlight on these business opportunities. Maximizing Small Business CSR Impact with #GivingTuesdayâ€‹ Get personal. For small businesses, CSR is personal. Company founders are often still running the business and hierarchies are flatter. Employees, like management, may be drawn to similar causes and have a very personal stake in the community. Your business doesn't have to tackle a major social challenge - like global poverty or AIDS in Africa - to make a difference right in your community. #GivingTuesday is a reminder that giving starts at home. Whichever cause you choose, select one that is personal, authentic and real to you and your business. Maximize impact. You don't have to make a huge corporate donation to make an impact. But you can help smaller donations of $10, $20 and $50 add up even faster. Hold a company-wide matching challenge to motivate employees, friends and family to donate to the chosen cause. Extend this challenge to customers and clients, too. A generous offer to match or double donations will maximize impact in your community and motivate everyone to participate. Give in-kind donations. Do you have a product or service that could make a difference for your chosen cause? For example, if you run a restaurant or coffee shop, can you donate food or meals to a homeless shelter? If you run a professional services firm like an accounting firm or a consultancy, can you offer pro-bono hours to the cause? Don't overlook excess inventory, including outdated office supplies or products that are still in good working condition. With budgets tight, smaller nonprofits have to skimp on many of the office supplies we take for granted. Contact nonprofits in your community to get a "wish list" of their most needed supplies and work with your employees to fulfill this list. Bottom line: As your business gears up for the holiday season, remember there's more to seasonal prep than optimizing your Google Adwords extensions for holiday-themed content or even planning the company office party. Join the global #GivingTuesday movement and discover how a small donation can make a significant impact in your community. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
26 сентября 2016 года, Алматы. В рамках глобальной недели донорства в офисах LG по всему миру LGEAK провели ряд мероприятий в Казахстане. Первым этапом стали лекции на тему «Корпоративное волонтерство как элемент стратегии», которые провели PR-директор компании LG в России, член Координационного Центра по донорству при Общественной палате РФ Татьяна Шахнес и директор по маркетингу LG в Казахстане Наталья Новикова для студентов ведущих вузов Казахстана – Казахского национального университета имени аль-Фараби (КазНУ) и Университета КИМЭП. В ходе выступлений эксперты LG рассказали о практическом применении основных шагов в планировании и реализации CSR инициатив, корпоративном волонтерстве и поделились опытом организации масштабных социальных проектов. Одной из глобальных корпоративных волонтерских инициатив компании LG является донорство крови. Ежегодно компания LGEAK организует Дни Донора «Протяни руку помощи» для привлечения внимания общественности к проблеме дефицита донорской крови. За три года проведения программы было привлечено более 2 миллионов людей, включая сотрудников компании LGEAK, представителей масс-медиа, звезд эстрады, спортсменов Казахстана, которые своим примером призвали казахстанцев проявить внимание и заботу к соотечественникам, нуждающимся в донорской крови. Вторым этапом проекта стали Дни Донора «Протяни руку помощи», первый из которых состоялся в КазНУ им. аль-Фараби. Проект поддержали известные медиа персоны, блогеры, спортсмены, звезды казахстанской эстрады. В Казахстане кровь для переливания требуется каждую минуту! Задумайтесь об этом и, если Вы неравнодушны к этой проблеме, протяните руку помощи и сдайте кровь во имя спасения чьей-то жизни. Вы можете сдать кровь в любой будний день в Центре крови вашего города. С правилами для доноров можно ознакомиться здесь: http://gckalmaty.kz/faq?q=3147 *На правах PR
Can Circular Economy be the "Rosetta Stone" for Making the Natural Capital Investment Business Case?
This article has been submitted as part of the Natural Capital Coalition's series of blogs on natural capital by Edwin Pinero, President; The Pinero Group LLC This article was originally published on The Pinero Group LLC. I have prepared for and presented at various events in the past few months where the discussion of the business case for natural capital investment was the topic. Ironically, the discussions have been in either business-heavy groups, or conversely, conservation-heavy groups. In all cases, the groups were not evenly balanced, although it was clear that most agreed there is economic value in natural capital and ecosystem services. Businesses certainly understand this point, but that does not guarantee that the business case can be made for specific investment or integration. In parallel, I have been in involved in numerous events and discussions, predominantly in business-focused settings, talking about the circular economy. I used an analogy in those aforementioned presentations where I stated that what we need is a Rosetta Stone for translating natural capital value into business case inputs. The Rosetta Stone refers to the stone found in 1799 that provided the core translation between Egyptian hieroglyphics, early Egyptian text, and ancient Greek. In essence, it opened a door that allowed understanding across different languages. The term is now often used to refer to a key tool that translates across languages, thereby promoting common understandings. I argue that we need a Rosetta Stone for making the business case for investing in natural capital beyond reducing the demand on raw materials. And I contend that the business case for transitioning to a circular economy can serve that role. The entire basis of the circular economy that makes it different from more traditional industrial ecology and design for the environment concepts of the 1980's and 1990's is that there is now a much stronger economic perspective. True, circular economy has significant environmental, biodiversity, and natural resource value. But it has equal emphasis on cost efficiency, creating opportunity, reducing risks associated with raw material availability and price volatility, and addressing indirect costs of environmental degradation and resource depletion. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation report "Towards a Circular Economy: Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition", explicitly points out the role of natural capital. Specifically, the need to slow down resource depletion as it degrades natural capital. But natural capital can play many other roles in achieving the spirit of circular economy practices. Such roles can include water treatment, flood management, infrastructure resilience, and many others. Each of these roles reflects using nature in lieu of built facilities and grey infrastructure. So what is holding up more wholesale integration of natural capital investment as part of the transition to a circular economy? What appears to be slowing uptake is the complexity in making the investment business case. One can argue we need such a translation approach for many sustainable practices. This challenge of making the business case is common when it comes to adopting any type of sustainable practice. The reality is that regardless of the social responsibility value or other sustainable development commitment the company may have, any dedication of resources, financial or otherwise, needs a compelling business case. And this is not intended as a slight to sustainable solutions. All business decisions typically need a business case. I have held C-Suite positions in both public and private sector settings and in all cases, be it for a new computer system, new employee hiring, or energy efficiency projects- we had to make the business case when competing for the often limited investment resources. None of my counterparts ever challenged the inherent value of doing the right thing for the environment, and there were even resources allocated for work to be done simply because it was the right thing to do. But that is a different discussion than what occurs in strategy and planning sessions when it comes to proposing investment in projects that are competing for allocation of company resources. In these cases, we had to show how such an investment would be good for the long-term health of the business. But whereas it is relatively "easier" to discuss practices such energy efficiency and waste reduction in business case terms, it is a bit more challenging with natural capital and ecosystem services. Therefore, I offer several tenets that make the case for a "natural capital to business case Rosetta Stone". These can be characterized in the context of three "languages": financial, value, and leverage. Financial Language A key unit of measure for making the business case has to be financial. In other words, monetizing the impact or benefits will help promote common understanding between organizational elements. One difficulty in doing so is the angst and controversy surrounding the concept of putting a dollar value on nature. We need to keep in mind though that we are not trying to price "nature". The intent is not to put a dollar amount on a tree or a river. Instead, it is the service provided by natural capital that is being valued. It is not practical to price a wetland, but it is possible to put a dollar value on the reduced risk to infrastructure from flooding that is provided by wetlands. Once we accept that we are monetizing natural capital or ecosystem services, and not putting an intrinsic value on nature itself, we can get past the discomfort. Value Language Second, we need to be able to speak of the value of natural capital not only as an environmental or sustainability benefit, but also in terms of risk mitigation, operational efficiency, and opportunities. As long as investment in natural capital is couched only in Corporate Social Responsibility terms, then only CSR resources and support will be available. However, companies already spend considerable resources on operational, risk, and opportunity aspects. Being able to see how natural capital can factor in will provide the company with more options and at the same time make a case for natural capital investment. When it comes to natural capital, there is a difference between quantification and valuation. Quantification is the value-neutral measurement of natural capital. These measures can include straightforward metrics such as acreage of wetlands restored, or impact-related metrics such as the carbon sequestration capacity of a forest. Another common measure of natural capital may be storm water retention capacity of green space or surface water nutrient reduction capacity of wetlands. Valuation then is a representation of what value this quantified attribute brings. These valuation measures can be very direct, for example determination of the difference in cost of providing the green space for storm water management vs. construction of deep tunnels or retention basins. Valuation measures can also be more indirect, such as jobs created or quality of life improvement. Valuation is a metric that a company uses in making the business case for investment. A caution on this quantification and valuation aspect: In trying to value the impact from natural capital, the tendency is often to reflect the value in terms of impact to the local economy or community. Although this is useful information, if we are trying to make the business case for companies to invest in natural capital, the quantification and valuation has to also be relevant internally. There needs to be an element where the company can integrate the valuation into their own business model and investment models. In other words, how can such an investment help the company? Leverage Language Preserving, managing, and restoring natural capital not only has environmental, biodiversity, and social impact value, but it also has leverage benefit. How can natural capital and ecosystem services be leveraged to help the company, thereby making a more compelling business case? Ecosystems services and green infrastructure can be leveraged to replace or supplement human-provided services or built infrastructure. This ability to reflect natural capital in the context of doing the work that human-made services do can help demonstrate a comparative business case analysis. For example, restoring coastal wetlands certainly has environmental, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration value. But restored coastal wetlands also provide water treatment and flood mitigation services. These latter attributes can be compared, in cost terms, to building wastewater treatment plants or floodwalls. As with any other case of investment options, it provides balanced and consistent metrics to inform the decision maker whether to invest in natural capital or another solution. In other words, investing in natural capital becomes part of a company's management and growth decision-making process. Is this a good thing? Or is it best to let the conservation/restoration community remain disengaged from the corporate strategy community? My experience has shown that more often than not, when evaluated on equal terms and in monetary, return-on-investment terms, natural capital scores well against more traditional, artificial features or infrastructure. In other words, investing in natural capital makes business sense- be it for operational efficiency, risk mitigation, or creating new opportunities. Companies know this and are already integrating natural capital and ecosystem services into operations and risk management. What will facilitate more wholesale uptake of this are the new tools and methodologies that provide consistent, transparent, and credible approaches. Restore the Earth Foundation's Eco Metrics model and The Natural Capital Coalition Natural Capital Protocol are examples of this contemporary Rosetta Stone. And if biodiversity improves and the environment, local economy, and community benefit in the process, is that not a good thing after all? Disclaimer: Articles in this series are submitted by people who work in organizations who are part of the Natural Capital Coalition, or people who are involved in the natural capital space more generally, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of The Natural Capital Coalition, other Coalition organizations, or the organization that employs the author. Edwin Piñero is President of The Piñero Group LLC, providing consulting services to clients in areas of sustainability such as best practices, strategy, metrics, reporting, awareness building, collaborative efforts, and policy. The group also provides insight on policy and business strategic planning in sustainability, natural resources, energy, and environment. He has also served in the public sector at both the Federal and state levels addressing sustainability issues. During his service as the White House Federal Environmental Executive, he focused on developing and implementing sustainability policy and practices within the US Federal government. Mr. Piñero served in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as both the Director of the Bureau of Environmental Sustainability as well as holding the office of Pennsylvania State Energy Director. Follow the Pinero Group on Twitter: @thepinerogroup On 13th July 2016, The Natural Capital Coalition launched a standardized framework for business to identify, measure and value their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. This ' Natural Capital Protocol' has been developed through a unique collaborative process; a World Business Council for Sustainable Development consortium led on the technical development and an IUCN consortium led on business engagement and piloting. The Protocol is supported by practically focused 'Sector Guides' on Apparel and Food & Beverage produced by Trucost on behalf of Coalition. Keep up to date with the Natural Capital Coalition on Twitter: @NatCapCoalition Keep up to date with our series on natural capital here. www.naturalcapitalcoalition.org -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
As a young entrepreneur growing up I always thought business was about making money and philanthropy was about doing good. But over the past few years I've come to realise that both can be used as methods for changing the world. For me philanthropy is now part of who I am not what I want to achieve when I get older. And giving back to the community is a way of life. It's not something I think about or a task I need to do, it's second nature to me. Now even though I do this year in year out with no real expectation of any direct financial gain over time I've noticed a few ways my businesses have benefited by giving to charitable causes. The first real benefit is employee engagement and the respect staff develop for you and the company. Once your team see and feel that you are in business not just for the money but also to make a difference in your community/world they not only grow a greater level of respect for you but feel a deeper sense of commitment to perform at their best day in day out. Another direct benefit of giving back to charitable causes is the connections you make. Philanthropic organisations are often a who's who of the world's most powerful individuals. A strong network is like money in the bank. Your network can help you build visibility, connect you with influencers, and open up doors for new opportunities. Building and nurturing a network is one of the most powerful things you can do for your success in business. To gain further insight into this topic and why more entrepreneurs should build business as a force for good, I recently spoke with 5 other budding entrepreneurs who have all contributed greatly to society throughout the path of building their very own empire. Below they share how their business ventures have benefited by giving back to charity, their community and respective causes. "It is challenging to be entrepreneurial in the West even though we have pretty much everything laid out for us, yet women in developing countries have the courage, tenacity and guts to overcome obstacles to build their businesses that we can't even imagine. Imagine starting again because you were flooded out and lost all of your stock when you have no insurance. Well this is often the case for most woman in developing countries and why I'm passionate about the work I do at Opportunity International. Supporting these woman have helped me keep a fresh perspective on what it takes to be successful in business which in turn has helped keep me grounded in times of both failure and success." Davina Stanley, Managing Director of Clarity College "To date 79% of my subscribers are from outside Australia, where my business is based. I know that the Rotary connection acts a reassurance for my far-flung prospects that we share common values and invest in our communities, not only from a financial standpoint, but from establishing understanding, connections with others in the community and casting a vision of a better world. My personal philosophy around service and philanthropy, is that we engage to grow ourselves through impacting other lives; never with the intent of prospecting for business. In this realm of philanthropy and service, one's actions speak louder than words, and from those actions, better opportunities inevitably flow back to the individual and their business." Pike Peters, founder of Virtual Tire Kicker "My business benefits from my giving back to causes, communities and individuals because I attract like-minded, generous clients. These people are not only a dream to work with, they take action in their own careers and businesses and also are hard wired to give in their own way. People who are attracted to my company because of my giving goals are already aligned to my values so the sales process is so much easier. I like to call it a 'Conscious Collective' of companies, clients and consumers making powerful, heart-led choices where they spend their money on training and goods that benefit themselves and gives others a leg up along the way. Why not!!" Rachel Sparkes, Career Transformation Expert at Rachel Sparkes And last but not least, I spoke with Debra Fraser founder of Back of House. A company that is revolutionising how business owners look at their accounts. "Volunteering for a number of community groups has made a great impact on my business. I have met many amazing people along the way. Had I not volunteered I would have missed the chance to connect with and be inspired by them and the campaigns I've been apart of. My employees are proud to be part of a company that cares about the elderly and small business. Plus I have become an expert on solving challenges on very tight budgets which I can then pass onto my clients!" Explains Debra Fraser There's no greater feeling, no greater satisfaction, than knowing you're making a difference in your community, country or the world. And being able to achieve that both at the same time is something that I draw a lot of energy and inspiration from. A big reason why I contribute 10% of my time every year giving back to charitable and social causes I'm passionate about. A Nielsen study from June 2014 found that 55% of global online customers are willing to pay more for services from a company committed to positive social and environmental impact than those who are not. And according to a May 2013 study by Cone Communications and Echo Research, 82 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop. I can only imagine what these numbers would be like today. Now that you know what is at stake, how will you give back to your community? -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
"Good ideas are everywhere, we define an innovation as something brought from the possible to the practical, a tangible development that people value."
For internationally operating companies, it’s difficult to build a great reputation for social responsibility. It takes more than just commitment to community, building a solid workplace for your people and honest governance—it takes the ability to communicate your positive deeds to others lest they go unnoticed. The Reputation Institute (RI), a [...]
Коммуникации обеспечивают взаимодействие разных субъектов путем превращения их в объекты воздействия. Автономные организмы для любого вида совместных действий нуждаются во внешних коммуникациях. Но множество фильтров мешают осуществлению коммуникаций. Харари считает, что человек вышел на возможность […]