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06 декабря, 17:00

It Pays to Become a B Corporation

At Cabot Creamery Cooperative, we’ve seen firsthand that combining corporate self-interest with support for social and environmental issues is not a costly distraction. Quite the opposite, as a cooperative owned by dairy farm families, our focus on social and environmental issues has helped our company achieve an indisputable competitive advantage in our marketplace. Yet, when the marketing team suggested that Cabot become a certified B Corporation, I was skeptical. Didn’t we already “self-monitor” our sustainability initiatives? Why did we need an outside certification? But when I learned that our retail partners had recently started asking about the impact of our sustainability programs, I agreed that Cabot would undergo the rigorous B Corp certification process to provide an objective measure. In 2012, Cabot became a certified B Corp. To my surprise, certification not only addressed the questions posed by our retail partners but also delivered value beyond our expectations. B Corp certification encouraged more “whole-systems thinking” around our social and environmental practices, which led Cabot to develop even more robust customer and consumer programs, cut operating costs, and strengthen our brand reputation as a sustainability-minded company. Our story is not unique. For Cabot and the B Corp community, certification objectively demonstrates our strong commitment to sustainability at a time when more consumers support companies dedicated to social and environmental change, and as investors, the public, and the media hold companies to higher standards. Winning Over Conscious Consumers B Corps are riding a wave of consumer interest in sustainable companies. According to several studies, such as Nielsen’s The Sustainability Imperative, global consumers say they will pay more for sustainable consumer brands, and sales of consumer goods with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability have grown more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%. But while consumers are clearly rewarding values-based businesses, there’s a very big catch: Consumers are not accepting brands’ social and environmental claims at face value. This means that companies must take steps to convince consumers that they “authentically demonstrate commitment to social and environmental impact build consumer trust and business value,” according to the study. Fetzer Vineyards is a B Corp that welcomes this level of scrutiny. As a sustainability pioneer in the wine industry, Fetzer’s Bonterra brand is now the largest-selling organic wine in the world, and the company consistently receives accolades for their environmental practices. Still, Fetzer became a B Corp to ensure that its environmental commitment was seen as authentic and credible with consumers. “As the largest organic wine brand in the world, we see that consumers are now better informed and more skeptical” says Giancarlo Bianchetti, CEO, Fetzer Vineyards. “B Corp certification substantiates our claims with consumers who consider a company’s sustainability record. It also makes us part of a community of like-minded business leaders and provides a platform for shaping the sustainable practices of our industry.” The Nielsen study also identified a troubling disconnect between corporate leaders and the general public when asked to describe the current state of corporate social responsibility (CSR). When both groups were asked whether CSR efforts are driven by “responsibility to do what’s right” or “publicity possibilities,” consumer skepticism was evident. According to Chris McAllister, vice president for reputation management and public affairs at Nielsen, companies engaged in “sincerely-driven” CSR must work harder to convince consumers of this fact. “There’s nothing wrong with serving your own interests as well as those of the broader community, but…consumers want to see…a long-term investment in doing the right thing, and doing it successfully,” he says. Even though Ben & Jerry’s had a long established track record for social responsibility, and had embedded social purpose into its business model for decades, it saw the B Corp movement as way to achieve a higher level of social and environmental purpose and to demonstrate its commitment to improving its ongoing efforts. “Our research shows that brand affinity scores for Ben & Jerry’s are twice as high for people who are aware of our social efforts,” says Rob Michalak, global director of social mission at Ben & Jerry’s. “B Corp certification lends more credence to our programs. And because we re-certify every two years it helps us make improvements that are good for the environment, society and our reputation.” Benchmarking and Operational Cost Savings Another benefit of certification is access to best practices across different industries, which enables companies to compare and constantly improve their social and environmental programs based on data from the B Corp community. Pennsylvania-based footwear company Dansko became a B Corp as a cost-effective way to measure its total environmental footprint. “B Corp certification was an affordable way to review everything from our energy and water usage, impact on the community, to the cleaning products we use,” says co-founder and one of the original companies to seek B corp certification Mandy Cabot. “It helped us do things we couldn’t do ourselves, like creating benchmarking models and a template for our employee manual.” Many B Corps also report that the certification process helps them root out waste and operational inefficiencies in areas such as energy and water usage. At Cabot, B Corp certification inspires Cabot to constantly innovate to create even more social and environmental benefits while simultaneously boosting our B Corp score and was integral to projects like Real Farm Power, a closed-loop system that leverages partnerships to deliver renewable energy, nutrient management and improved air quality. Now, after three years of operation, Real Farm Power generates enough electricity so that cows in our cooperative provide the electricity needed to churn our butter. This multi-faceted project also helped Cabot win the 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability, which is a strong testament to Cabot’s commitment to the triple bottom line. Attracting and Engaging Employees B Corps can attract top talent, especially among younger employees who seek meaning in their careers. Patagonia reports that certification helps promote and validate its employee-centric culture, which attracts great candidates because of the company’s reputation as a great place to work. Since becoming a B Corp, Patagonia expanded medical, military, and paid maternity and paternity leave for regular full- and part-time U.S. employees. Certification helps connect employees with Patagonia’s mission, leading to a more engaged workforce. Certification revealed that the company could benefit from HR/governance improvements, such as a global code of employee conduct and new corporate governance guidelines that provided a framework to advance a shared company culture, and get all departments focused on advancing the company mission. As Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has written:“Benefit Corporation legislation creates the legal framework to enable companies like Patagonia to stay mission-driven through succession, capital raises, and even changes in ownership, by institutionalizing the values, culture, processes, and high standards put in place by founding entrepreneurs.” The arrival and growth of B Corps is a watershed moment for business. We’ve clearly arrived at a time when companies that exclude social and environmental considerations from their operating missions risk losing market share and destroying shareholder value. B Corps are a needed reboot for capitalism for the modern age, ensuring that the social responsibility of business is not only about profits, but also contributing solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

01 декабря, 19:01

Foreign firms see CSR as important

FOREIGN companies in China released 126 corporate social responsibility reports in the first 10 months of this year, up 28.6 percent from the same period of last year, according to data from China WTO

01 декабря, 11:19

Corporate social responsibility more recognized in China

THE year of 2016 witnesses great development of corporate social responsibility in Shanghai and in China, participants said at the 15th Sino-European Corporate Social Responsibility Roundtable Forum yesterday. “Investing

29 ноября, 06:09

Иранские эксперты посетили РИСИ

Делегация в составе эксперта Центра стратегических исследований (CSR, Тегеран), профессора Университета Алламе Табтаба’и Г.Чегнизаде, старшего эксперта и советника руководителя Центра международных исследований и образования (CIRE) и Института политических и международных исследований (IPIS) Ирана М.Абуталеби и представителей посольства Исламской Республики в Москве посетила 24 ноября 2016 года РИСИ. В ходе встречи обсуждался широкий спектр вопросов, составляющих […]

09 ноября, 16:05

Kudrin says Trump’s victory means 'continuation of Brexit'

'It will ‘moderate’ his controversial intentions' Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections is the continuation of Britain’s vote to withdraw from the European Union (Brexit), Head of Russia's Center for Strategic Research (CSR) and ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin wrote on his Twitter account on Nov. 9. "The U.S. elections demonstrate that many are not satisfied with the current dynamics of global processes," he said, adding that the elections means "the continuation of Brexit." Американские выборы показывают, что нынешняя динамика глобальных процессов многих не устраивает. Продолжение Brexit — Алексей Кудрин (@Aleksei_Kudrin) 9 November 2016 According to Kudrin, despite certain Trump’s statements on economic issues, he depends on the country’s existing system. "It will ‘moderate’ his controversial intentions," he wrote. Несмотря на некоторые заявления Трампа по эконом вопросам, он зависит от сложившейся системы. Она "сгладит" его неоднозначные намерения — Алексей Кудрин (@Aleksei_Kudrin) 9 November 2016 On Election Day, Nov. 8, United States citizens cast their ballots and elected their 45th US President, Donald J. Trump. By securing more than the needed 270 electoral votes, Trump, the Republican candidate clinched his presidential victory. The election outcome was a spectacular culmination to a heated Presidential race between the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Source: TASS Lavrov says Moscow will judge new U.S. administration by its deeds>>>

01 ноября, 23:12

ESG and Rater Subjectivity

Human analysts never agree completely, including on sustainability In Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa, farmers set forests ablaze every day, releasing CO², displacing endangered species, and contaminating the air.  Once the

01 ноября, 23:12

ESG and Rater Subjectivity

Human analysts never agree completely, including on sustainability In Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa, farmers set forests ablaze every day, releasing CO², displacing endangered species, and contaminating the air.  Once the

01 ноября, 21:20

Obamacare Signup Tips

This is the time of year when everyone is faced with choices about healthcare coverage for the coming year. People who are not covered by Medicare or employer health plans have to make choices about plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, known as ACA or Obamacare. They face much higher monthly premiums this year, far fewer plans available in many states, and much more restricted choices of physicians and hospitals. Here are some key features of the landscape: --Price increases: The politicians can debate the issues, but the simple fact is that insurers decided they were losing money covering all people without regard to pre-existing conditions. So they either dropped out, restricted providers, or raised prices. The average increase of the benchmark is 22 percent -- but, depending on your location, you may face a higher cost. --Subsidies and penalties: Theoretically, federal subsidies for lower-income people are supposed to offset the rising premiums. However, the relatively low income limits make policies expensive for most. Premium subsidies are available for single people making up to $47,520 or $64,080 for a couple. Even so, the high deductibles for most of these plans make them potentially very expensive for low-income earners. You can't escape. If you fail to sign up for a plan and opt to go without coverage, the penalties have risen this year to $695 for an individual (or half that amount, $347.50 per child) or 2.5 percent of total household adjusted gross income, whichever is higher. There is a maximum penalty of $2,085. --Deadlines: Open enrollment (or required re-enrollment in your current plan) for 2017 Obamacare coverage started Nov. 1 and continues until Jan. 31. But to make sure your coverage starts on the first day of the new year, the deadline to enroll is Dec. 15. (There are exceptions to these deadlines for life-changing events, including marriage, divorce, job loss, etc.) If you wait to sign up until the last two weeks of January, your coverage won't start until March 1. --How to compare plans: Start at the government website, www.Healthcare.gov. Enter your zip code, the number of people in your household and your 2017 estimated income; the site will estimate your monthly subsidy. After inputting your current physicians, hospitals and medications, you will be given a choice of plans. It's tempting to look for the lowest-cost plan, typically at the bronze level. But if you choose a silver plan, with a higher monthly premium, you might become eligible for a cost sharing reduction, or CSR, which lower your deductible substantially. CSRs are only available with silver plans. --Getting help: Confused? You can get personalized help and advice at no extra cost at websites like www.Ehealth.com (844-229-4337) and www.gohealth.com (888-322-7557). Each site has a calculator to help you compare costs and features. And you can actually buy an Obamacare plan through them at no additional cost. Expect them to be busy just before the deadline. --An alternative: Short-term plans. A less expensive choice, particularly if you expect to become covered by an employer in the coming year, might be a short-term health insurance plan, one that lasts just a year . The government has just issued restrictions limiting them to three months duration because so many healthy people have been using them instead of Obamacare plans. That restriction won't go into effect until April 15, 2017 -- so you can still sign up for a private, one-year plan that could save you money, if you qualify. Note: Short-terms plans do not qualify as coverage under ACA, so you will be liable for the penalty. Nor are the plans as comprehensive as ACA coverage, so scrutinize the details. Even so, a short-term plan may be less expensive, if you are healthy enough to qualify. Find them at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com (800-314-5594). The site will compare short-term plans with the available Obamacare plans in your area, taking into account any subsidy you might receive. Whatever you do, don't procrastinate. This choice isn't going to get any easier, as you approach the deadline. And that's the Savage Truth. -- 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.

01 ноября, 16:29

Zynga (ZNGA) Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards this Time?

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) is set to report third-quarter 2016 results on Nov 2.

01 ноября, 15:30

Are Black Women REALLY the "Most Educated Group in America?"

A friend of mine who happens to be black posted some kind of rah rah women can do it all female empowerment article on Facebook.  Under the post he tagged me with the sarcastic quote "remember, black women are the most educated group in America!"  I didn't think much of it until I realized that that phrase couldn't have been random.  It must have been uttered before and was making the rounds.So I asked him, "You got to be kidding me?"He said, "Nope.  They're officially the most educated group in America.  And they won't shut up about it either!"Naturally this of course raised an eyebrow because obviously there was a study done and, assuming the methodology wasn't hack, I almost knew where the flaw in it would be.  Alas, my work for this post wasn't going to be trying to find the flaw in the study (I wouldn't doubt there are more black women in college as a percent of their population).  It was going to confirm there was a flaw in the reasoning as to why such a high percentage of a particular group in college is a good thing.And yes, for my regular readers you can easily predict where this one is going.This first question I had was "was the statement true?"  Are black women TRULY the most educated group in America?And it is, more or less.Based on some statistics by the NCES, black women have the highest enrollment percentage out of all the binary race-sex groups, 9.7%.  This means of all adult aged women in that group, 9.7% of them have either graduated or are currently in college.  This makes them technically the most educated group in America.While this is certainly good news, I simply ask the $64,000 question..."educated in what?"Here statistics are a bit tricky for both black AND female college students.  You can get data on females.  You can get data on blacks.  But you can't easily find out what black women are studying.So I looked at females first.It is of course no surprise to anyone here that the majority of women major in worthless and easy subjects.  Based on my research for "Worthless," about 2/3rds of worthless degrees are earned by women.  But using some more recent research, it again shows women prefer easier subjects, with less math and rigor, and therefore are in less demand in the labor market. So already it's no shocker why "women earn the majority degrees" across all racial groups.When you consider race, it only magnifies the percentage of worthless degrees.  Using enrollment data from the U of MN as a proxy, blacks (male and female) major in worthless subjects 74% of the time, contrasted to their white peers who "only" major in worthless degrees 57% of the time.  Once again, reiterating the importance of my question "educated in what?"But if there is proof positive that black women are simply majoring in easier (not higher paying) subjects, it was the (admittedly) anecdotal bit of evidence I saw with the hashtag "#womenwithdegrees."If you're not familiar with it, it was a hashtag trending on Twitter this past summer.  In it was pictures of women graduating from college, noting their degree and what their plans were.  And two major things stood out:1.  The vast majority of women in this hashtag were black and2.  The VAST VAST majority of them were all majoring with worthless, easy subjects.Child psychology, criminology, women's studies, African American studies, communications, sociology, you name it.  I counted only one accounting major and one engineer.  So hopeful were these women (and in for such a rude awakening) I felt bad enough to together one of my more kind and polite videos trying to warn them about the path they were going down.  But neither here nor there, it's painfully obvious why black women are truly (and unenviably, I might add) the most educated group in America:Because they're the largest investors (and therefore victims) in the  worthless degree education bubble.It is here, as an economist, an empiricist, and one who genuinely wishes to help out his fellow man (black females in this particular case), I want to make a plea for reason, common sense, logic, and reality with black women.  And you have the choice here ladies.  You can continue reading below in which case it can only help, or you can dismiss me as a "racist" or a "sexist" in which case I can guarantee your life will be much worse.1.  Understand that like the Dotcom Bubble, the Tulip Bulb Bubble, and the housing bubble women and minorities are investing into an education bubble at rates and amounts higher than their white male counterparts.  You THINK you're doing better.  You THINK you're making progress.  But all you're doing is precisely what suckers did in the housing bubble:Borrowing money you can't afford to pay back, for an asset that isn't worth it.This doesn't mean college isn't worth it.  Nor am I an "evil white male" trying to dissuade you from going to college.  It is however meant to deal a dose of reality into your educational plans that it's not WHETHER you go to college that will determine success, but WHAT YOU STUDY that will determine success.That's too bad you don't like math.  You think Asians and males enjoy doing calculus either?  And that's too bad you find programming boring.  That's where the money is. But since so few people major in programming or engineering, while there's (literally) MILLIONS of "early child hood education" majors, don't be surprised when you're making $30,000 a year and Yang or Chip is bringing down $80,000.  If you REALLY want to close that gap and not just bitch about it, major in a real degree like engineering instead.2.  You WILL ruin your financial future investing more and more into this bubble. In the #womenwithdegrees hashtag, the majority of women were going on to get equally worthless, but twice as expensive advanced degrees in those same crappy fields that are so bad you can't land a decent job with a bachelors.  I know your teachers, guidance counselors, politicians, and media moguls are telling you that "you can do anything."They're lying. They don't want to hurt your feelings, and most of them either want your tuition money or your vote.You may find me insulting and enraging, but that only means I'm the first and only person to tell you the truth.The truth is you are going $100,000 in debt ($200,000 if you are foolish enough to enter law school) all for a degree that will maybe generate $30,000-$40,000.  This will cripple you for at least a decade, probably more as you struggle to "finally" pay off your student loans in your 40's.  This will also postpone things such as buying a house, starting a family, YOUR STUDENT LOANS WILL CERTAINLY DETER QUALITY MEN FROM YOU, and many other "fun" in things in life will be put on hold.  This worthless degree posing as an ego trip WILL ruin your life.3.  Your degree doesn't matter.Right now the single greatest accomplishment you have likely achieved in life was earning your degree.Too bad the simple act of "earning a degree" does not matter.  It's your career and what genuine contributions to society you make in your life that matter.  And thus far, you've made no contributions in life.  You merely walked down an aisle and picked up a piece of paper.The real test as to your value in life comes now.  Do you work?  Do you contribute?  Or do you beg for grant money or more taxes that nobody really wants to pay just so you can have a job?  Do you go back to school where society has to support you another 2-4 years because you're just not ready to be a self-supporting adult yet?Even though since the age of 5 school is all you've ever known, in the end schooling with no production or contribution to society is merely masturbation and killing time.  Get your asses out of academia and into the real world.4.  Your careers are largely make-work government charities that no one wants.If you look at where the majority of black female graduates are supposed to work (based on their degrees) its in the arts, the government, or the non-profit.   And the key thing to note here is that people are FORCED to pay for your services and employment.This differs from computer programmers, petroleum engineers, waitresses, pilots, and auto workers whose skills are willingly demanded by free people.  But the "Vice Reserve Assistant Deputy Diversity Director" at the college?  The "professor of Hispanic Lesbian, Unicorn Theater Studies?"  The "Save the Humans Fund Outreach Director?" Please, don't even joke with me.  They are all completely unecessary and only exist either by forced taxation, politics, CSR, or the reluctant charity of donors.You may find this pill of reality hard to swallow, but entire sectors of the economy were created not to solve some kind of social ill or "educate the children."  They're make-work government programs which means your entire "discipline" isn't a legitimate career, but Truman Show-level bunk.  Anybody without your degree can do your job.  And if you don't believe that, just wait till you're 4 years into your make-work career and realize "I could have done this without a degree, without the debt, and at the age of 13."  Then also realize just how charitable the rest of the country is for working the extra hours to pay the taxes so you can have these make-work faux careers, let alone the hubris and ego to think you're "a successful independent woman."5.  And finally, do you want to BE equal or do you want to PRETEND to be equal?  Do you want genuine progress in life or do you want the rest of society to lie to you?Trust me, I understand women like to be lied to.  They reward men with sex, politicians with votes, liberal arts colleges with tuition money, and Oprah with billions when they're lied to.  But like all lies, they're not based in truth and when you believe in them (let alone drop $200,000 and 6 years of your youth pursuing them), your ruin your life and waste what precious time you have on this planet.  The question is what kind of life do you want?One of ignorant bliss where your feelings are spared but your life is a nightmare?  Or one where you're truly treated as an equal, held to real-world standards, are guaranteed to have some tough challenges, but in the end have a great life because it's based in reality?Because if black women were TRULY the most educated group in America, they'd wake up, they'd realize they're being duped, and they'd ALL be switching their degrees to STEM starting tomorrow.  Unfortunately, as it stands right now, they're the biggest and latest victims of the education bubble because the lies are just too sweet, and their degrees too easy to quit cold turkey.________________________________________If you are GENUINELY interested in getting a REAL education and are serious about improving your life, I strongly recommend (all college students) buy and read the book "Worthless."  Also, for those of you who deep down inside know your degree is worthless, but have no alternative "Plan B" and that fear is what's keeping you in a college you can't afford, may I recommend the book "Reconnaissance Man." Both books are vital for those of you with worthless degrees and are the vaccines that will immunize you against a life of debt, poverty, and regret.If you have an individual problem or question that you think my blunt, force, trauma reality might help, consider hiring me at my consultancy,  Asshole Consulting.  It is a REAL company, and unlike Oprah, we deliver REAL advice. HHR4HM7ZPMV3

21 октября, 14:00

The Comprehensive Business Case for Sustainability

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.

13 октября, 21:27

MoneyGram, SUPERVALU Tie up to Support Non-Profit Firm

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".

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12 октября, 12:46

How to become a European Voluntary Service organisation

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

12 октября, 00:43

6 Ways Smart Managers Keep Their Exceptional Employees from Quitting

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.

10 октября, 16:22

How to lead and succeed, right now. Advice from FLOTUS's former Comms Director

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.

10 октября, 12:19

The Potential of the Natural Capital Protocol to Transform Business Models

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.

06 октября, 16:15

Они взломали систему: как жить бесплатно за счёт ошибок компаний

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.

06 октября, 14:00

Praising Customers for Ethical Purchases Can Backfire

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”).

06 октября, 00:01

What did the D&AD Impact Awards do for Advertising Week NYC?

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.

28 сентября, 12:30

Топ-7 приложений для нового iPhone 7

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

18 апреля 2015, 09:10

5 самых быстрых поездов в мире

Современные поезда быстрее машин. Но насколько быстрее? На самом деле, даже суперкарам за составами, получившими статус bullet-train, не угнаться. Соревнуются они между собой. И ради победы готовы даже взлететь.