Daily at the Sustrana office, we take recycling seriously, very seriously. However, recycling and our other routine approaches to sustainability will pale in comparison to the level of attention that we happily bring to waste management on Tuesday, April 18 in our celebration of Sustrana’s 4th annual A Day Without Waste, part of our observance of Earth Week 2017.
Nearly 40% of experienced, professional women leave their jobs for a significant amount of time to care for a child or other family member. A recent Pew Research report found that this drop-out rate is a significant driver of the persistent gender pay gap. Those leavers who want to return to work after a lengthy break face some dismal obstacles. Carol Fishman Cohen, a finance professional with an MBA from Harvard, left her job at Drexel Burnham to raise her children. Eleven years and four children later, she decided it was time to return to work. After encountering, and overcoming, many of the challenges in her path, she opted for a career change. She co-founded iRelaunch in 2012, which provides services and support to professional women looking to restart a career after an extended absence.
We live at a critical moment in human history. In these dizzying times of immense change and uncertainty, the need for courageous leadership has never been greater. I am deeply inspired by the hard work and dedication of sustainability leaders and visionaries who continuously work through the ups and downs to create a better world. A world where people take care - of themselves, each other, and the planet. A world that creates family sustaining jobs for all. A world where people can bring their whole selves to work. A world built on trust, respect, and inclusivity. Where everyone belongs.
I hope the following quotes nourish and inspire you for the great work ahead. In the words of the late Ray Anderson, “Get up and get going. There’s a lot to do.”
Sustainability managers have a lot to think about, especially because sustainability programs tend to be new initiatives for many organizations. It’s easy to feel as though you’re in constant “sink or swim” mode. There can be times where the path forward isn’t clear. There are 6 questions that sustainability managers must ask themselves to help focus their work as soon as they sit down at their desks.
This story is part of "Corporate Social Responsibility" month for Generocity. Find the series here.
One thing that keeps popping up in our coverage of corporate social responsibility is the variety of ways corporations and organizations can tackle sustainability. But that can also make it difficult for each entity to find what works best for them.
That’s where a company like Sustrana comes in. Based in Devon, the women-owned, B Corp-certified company has a mission of helping companies build and manage strategic sustainability programs, which it accomplishes through its online software tool and platform.
It’s become an all too familiar story—a passionate CEO declares sustainability a top priority and launches a comprehensive and well-resourced program, only to have it lose momentum and fall victim to other perceived priorities. To better understand the roadblocks that even well-intentioned sustainability efforts face and how leading companies overcome them, Bain & Company conducted a survey of more than 300 companies engaged in such transformations. Included in those interviews were the heads of sustainability at companies that have been recognized for their results. The resulting report, Achieving Breakthrough Results in Sustainability, provides sobering statistics and a path forward.
Campus sustainability is no longer limited to recycling and lighting retrofits. Today, many colleges and universities are leading the way by designing whole-system approaches and innovative solutions to pressing sustainability issues. These cutting-edge innovations serve as powerful examples of what can be achieved on a larger scale.
Every year the World Economic Forum (WEF) releases its Annual Report—a document that provides a comprehensive, systems-oriented, future-looking strategic guide to help global leaders tackle the most current challenges facing our world today. This year the WEF asked 750 experts to identify the most acute global concerns and CNBC reported on the top five. Spoiler Alert: We have a lot to work on.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has progressed in the past decade from a nice addition to a strategic priority for many businesses. In 2017, there is the hope that companies go beyond maintaining commitments to sustainability to becoming pioneers of global progress. Forbes reached out to CSR experts, including experts at the Harvard Business Review (HBR), to find out how the new Trump administration will affect corporate sustainability, what trends will emerge in 2017, and how the sustainability industry will continue to evolve.
The strengthening scientific consensus on the causes of global warming, the accumulating negative impacts from an already changing climate in many regions, and the improved models to forecast dire climate change and sea-level rise in the not-so-distant future, have all contributed to the international community hitting a new high in its level of consensus in 2016. Where will the critical leadership come from?
The 2014 EU Directive requiring disclosure of non-financial information has gone into effect as of January 1, 2017. Applicable to public companies operating in the EU with more than 500 employees, the directive mandates disclosure of extensive non-financial information in companies’ annual reports.
Recently, a lot of attention has been paid to workforce health and wellness. More and more employers are creating initiatives aimed at improving employees’ health (think of smoking cessation programs, fitness promotion programs, and anti-obesity programs as examples). But one aspect of “wellness” is too often left out. Good mental health is fundamental to everyone’s overall health and wellness. But employees’ mental health illnesses or problems have simply not been arising on most organizations’ radar screens. And that’s a shame, because unaddressed mental health problems in today’s workplaces have large impacts on both the affected employees and their employers as well.
In October 2016, negotiators from 170 countries reached a landmark compromise in Kigali, Rwanda to counter climate change by cutting the international use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
Unlike the recent COP21 Paris agreement, which included voluntary pledges by majority of the countries in the world to cut carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, the Kigali deal targets one specific thing – HFCs – and has deadlines to replace HFCs with more environmentally conscious alternatives. Though HFCs make up a small percentage of atmospheric greenhouse gases, they have 1,000 times the heat-trapping strength of carbon dioxide, making HFCs a supercharged greenhouse gas.
In just 15 years we will have a 40% deficit of global fresh water. Industrial demand for water is expected to increase 400% by 2050. This means that all industries need to be focused on how they can conserve water resources. The textile/apparel industry has significant water needs if it is to produce the 400 billion square meters of fabric used annually for clothing. Conservation and technology are helping to make production more sustainable.
Ensuring a sustainable future for business requires professionals who understand the risks, challenges, and rewards of integrating sustainability into business culture. There’s a demand for programs that can prepare tomorrow’s business leaders to take on the challenges and opportunities that sustainability presents. And schools are responding to that demand. Programs are proliferating, but which ones are the best?
A growing body of data documents an alarming decline in wildlife abundance around the globe. The measured decline in vertebrate abundance does not occur in a vacuum. Food webs and other myriad interactions that unite vertebrates to the unknown numbers of insects, fungi, and bacteria in any ecosystem suggest a decline in biodiversity across the spectrum of life on Earth. This is a business problem because the ecosystem services that the Earth provides humanity in general, and businesses specifically, are supported by an abundant, healthy, diverse base of life. A sustainability manager’s mandate is to help an employer thrive in a changing environment.
With sustainability programs becoming increasingly widespread, more and more customers, clients, and investors are basing their decisions about doing business with others on a company’s sustainability efforts. The best opportunity to communicate your company’s progress is through your website. Having a designated section can go a long way toward building your sustainable brand. Here are three quick tips to strengthen your public image surrounding sustainability.
Practicing ethics as legal compliance may bring a company to neutral – “doing no harm” – but it will do little to motivate or inspire exemplary behavior on the part of employees. As discussed in the last blog of this series, the traditional approach of ethics-as-compliance is insufficient to cultivating an ethical culture. Here are the reasons why.
When you hear the words “ethical culture,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s your company’s Code of Conduct or a fellow employee who exemplifies honesty and integrity. If your negativity bias is strong, you might think instead of unscrupulous companies or individuals - the likes of Enron or Bernie Madoff. Even if you can’t quite put it into words, you know the look and feel of right and wrong action.