CSR

Pandas, Smart Grids and the Power of Design Thinking to Change Behaviors

While a number of leading technology companies (IBM, Cisco, HP) have launched impressive Smart Grid initiatives, the broader public still doesn't really understand why the "Smart Grid" is so important to our nation's energy future. IBM has been somewhat successful in explaining the concept via its Smarter Planet initiative, but the concept is - I'm sorry - still a bit too wonkish for most people. (It's a bit like trying to explain Quantitative Easing to investors concerned about their portfolios - they know the concept is important, but their eyes glaze over as soon as you start mentioning the finer points of monetary policy.) So what would it take for the concept Smart Grid to really take off in the public mainstream?

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Can General Motors Save the Planet?

Today is a watershed day for General Motors — and I’m not talking just about the historic and record-breaking initial public offering marking the company's return to the stock market, and away from majority ownership by the taxpayers.

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Is TerraChoice Greenwashing?

I’ve been holding back on laying into the third and latest Sins of Greenwashing report — in part because I’m feeling too much like a broken record — but I’ve got to weigh in.

The report, if you’re not familiar with it, is published by TerraChoice, a Canadian-based environmental marketing agency. (Earlier this year, it was acquired by UL Environment, a division of Underwriters Laboratories. GreenBiz is engaged in a partnership with UL Environment that is wholly unrelated to TerraChoice.)

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Newsweek's Green Rankings: What They Mean ... and Don't

Today, Newsweek releases its 2010 Green Rankings, its second annual effort to rate and rank the largest companies in the U.S. and the world. Dell and HP switched places for #1 and #2, and after that, who really cares?

The other 498 companies, that’s who.

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"Corporate Repsonsibility Is an Illusion?" According to Prof Karnani. What Is He Thinking?

This is an argument that will not go away anytime soon. I have had heated debate in our b-school days way back. The question goes back to the core of the modern corporation. What role does business plays in creating value in societies? Or the question should be more about the ‘how’? Among B-schools there are many different point of views on what is a modern corporation.

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Walmart Is Reinventing Marketing

Leave it to the company that so many people love to hate to first reinvent corporate social responsibility ("CSR") and now take on marketing.

Walmart has announced that it's creating a new function, called "marketing operations," and slotting its architect of corporate sustainability into the role, and it's taking its private brands marketer and putting her into the sustainability job. These moves say profound things about the marketing world, how Walmart is reinventing it and, by default, how it's leaving other marketers in the dust.

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Green Brand Leadership: a Fish Story

The customer is always right – so goes the mantra of every sales rep from time immemorial. But, as we know, what customers want may not be best for the planet. For some brands, this presents a dilemma: how do you satisfy consumer needs while remaining eco-responsible?

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My Next Book Will Be Called "The Authenticity Gap". I May Not Get Many Serious Readers. How about "Authenticity without Commitment"?

The Authenticity Gap - that should be the title of my next book. Well, I don’t think I have time to write another book, it took me almost 5 weeks last time. I guess I will need at least 8 weeks. But no. Maybe a blog post, it takes only 15 mins. I do like the name, but I guess it won't sell well. Maybe "Authenticity Without Commitment", this is a far better title, I think I can sell 20,000 copies and sell a lot of seminars. Will get sponsorship from BP for sure.

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Two Additional Hurdles to Oil Independence: Fear of Inconveniences and Tax Aversion

A couple weeks ago, I sketched out an Oil Independence Plan for the United States that was based on a combined move to more efficient uses of petroleum as well as a much more aggressive move to oil- (and natural gas-) independent infrastructure, than is currently proposed in existing legislation in the US Congress. [Since posting that plan, Craig Severance has written an equally ambitious and more detailed plan which can seen here.

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Do Everything, Say Nothing

P&G's Dawn dishwashing detergent is facing an immense and somewhat delicate opportunity: it has been donating product to help clean wildlife impacted by oil spills since the Exxon Valdez in 1989, and it is already making a contribution to BP's Gulf disaster relief. I understand that its marketers are considering how much more it might do without getting accused of opportunism.

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