Future of Work with Digital & Sustainable Trends – Webinar

How to Build a Successful Workforce – Webinar
Ideas and Insights from the Intersection of Human Motivation, Digital and
Sustainable Business Practices

Digital and Sustainable Business

 

According to Gartner, Inc. 84% of organizations have a remote workforce. Forrester Research predicts that by 2016, 43% of the U.S. workforce will work from home. Join us as Cynthia Figge, Co-founder & COO of CSRHub, who recently spoke at Sustainable Brands in San Diego, and Erick Mott, Founder & Principal Consultant at creatorbase, discuss how to build a successful workforce in the age of digital sustainable brands.

 

Join us, Wednesday 22nd July @ 1pm PDT, as we address the key issues, including:

  • What are the top workforce-related challenges that modern organizations face and why?
  • How can employees, regardless of where they work, improve their individual and team performance – and be happy in the process?
  • What will the future of work look like with more automation and digital systems across business processes – how should companies and employees prepare, now given current research?
  • Questions from the community asked in advance via Twitter; use #WorkforceSuccess15

 

We hope you can join us, register here and you will receive a confirmation email from GoToWebinar with all the details.

 

Please feel free to extend this invitation to your colleagues. The more people attend, the more diverse the conversation!

 

You can also participate in the conversation and post questions via twitter @elcomCMS #workforcesuccess15.

 

Elcom

 


Presenters:

Cynthia Figge, COO & Cofounder, CSRHub
Cynthia is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, Noranda and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business.

Erick Mott, Founder & Principal Consultant, creatorbase
Many years of value creation as a consultant, executive, individual contributor, and entrepreneur at companies including creatorbase, Selectica, Oracle, Ektron, Sitecore, Lyris, Return Path, Nokia, Creator Connection, Mark Monitor, Cisco Systems, GlobalFluency, Sun Microsystems, Philips N.V., Pandiscio Design, Elm Products and CBS television. A patent holder with agency, Fortune 500, media, and startup successes; degree in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Annette Dockerty, Marketing Director, Elcom
Annette’s experience in digital technology, from both a marketing and innovation perspective, spans over 20 years working with major brands, universities, government and the start-up community.

 

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Are Elections Bad for the Climate?

By: Carol Pierson Holding

 

In an open letter in Grist, Bill McKibben, putative leader of the climate change movement, challenged Hillary Clinton to Seattle Beauty“use her political capital to overturn America’s energy paradigm — not slowly, around the margins, but quickly and at the core” as FDR did with World War II weapons and JFK did with space exploration.

 

It’s thrilling to contemplate. And she could do it. But McKibben goes on to say that climate change is not her issue. Evidence suggests that she will capitulate to oil and gas interests for the sake of her campaign war chest.

 

After all, even the greenest administrators in the greenest states with the most environmentally conscious constituencies are caving to the lure of fossil fuel campaign money.

 

You’d like to think that since we in the Pacific Northwest have staked out a green positioning which we exploit to our economic advantage, our politicians would be hyper-vigilant about steering away from fossil fuel contributions, if only for how it would look.

 

So you see how crazy it is that the Port of Seattle is enabling arctic drilling by berthing Shell’s Alaska drilling equipment. That decision was rushed through four months of secret meetings followed by a single public hearing, at which the commissioners voiced “discomfort,” then, with one exception, acquiesced. Port of Seattle CEO Fick signed the contract five days later.

 

The Port of Seattle was once the green leader. Its CEO until last year, Tay Yoshitani, an experienced port manager, was brought in to clean up corruption and take on environmental issues, to run the greenest port in the country. Companies like Walmart and Costco were publishing the carbon footprint of their products as competitive differentiation, and the Port could help.

 

The Port’s slogan became “Where a sustainable world is heading.”

 

The new CEO, Ted Fick, has different priorities. Fick’s career started at his family’s foundry business. He’s a tough businessman and an IronMan tri-athlete. He’s the first CEO ever appointed in Seattle who has no experience in either of the port’s businesses, shipping or airports, and none with public agencies.

 

Needless to say, he hasn’t made much mention of the port’s environmental initiatives.

 

But the rest of the Port’s commissioners have. The electorate is extremely sensitive to preserving the astounding beauty of Puget Sound, the body of water on which the Port’s facilities are located. Unlike the CEO, the commissioners are elected officials and had to be environmentalists if they wanted to win.

 

So why would they support Shell’s arctic aspirations?

 

Oh don’t be naïve: money of course. Seattle’s independent paper The Stranger investigated the five commissioners’ campaign contributors, and all were recipients of gifts from oil companies or the company handling Shell’s port in Seattle.

 

One can argue that all supporters of a port commissioner’s campaign would naturally be the port’s customers. But in hyper-green Seattle, all won their elections to some degree on their pro-environmental positions. Topping The Stranger’s list of hypocrites, Bill Bryant ran on the claim that “I am a committed conservationist.”

 

He’s also running for governor, so he needs the cash. And I guess he figures the electorate has short memories.

 

Another ecotopia travesty: Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee’s support for an oil refinery along the majestic Columbia River. The proposed facility would produce 40-45,000 barrels of oil/day from Bakken crude delivered by rail cars. The “green” pitch: the refinery would also refine biofuel, which will lower the plant’s overall carbon footprint.

 

Sounds a little back door doesn’t it? This is the same Jay Inslee who proudly wears the mantle of “Greenest Governor” and claims to be an ardent opponent of fossil fuels? It doesn’t add up.

 

But then again, it’s election season.

 

And Portland’s Mayor Charlie Hale, another green leader also up for re-election, spent a year quietly shepherding a plan for the Penimba propane export facility, also on the Columbia River, and thus enabled Penimba to spend $15 million on project development without protest. After virtually unanimous public opposition once it became public, Hale fervently reversed course. Of course, the dirty work is done and he’s just one vote on the port commission. As Pembina officials reacted, “Pembina has appreciated the leadership, guidance and past support of the mayor throughout the development of the project to date.”

 

If even those whose political fortunes depend on green policies can be swayed by a little cash, imagine how easy it will be to persuade Hillary Clinton. Still, we can dream.

 

Clarification from Gov. Jay Inslee’s office:  “Administration officials in Governor Inslee’s office and not Governor Inslee himself have been in conversations with Riverside Energy, though no formal proposal has been made.”

 

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Taylar via Flickr CC

 


 

Carol Pierson HoldingCarol Pierson Holding writes on environmental issues and social responsibility for policy and news publications, including the Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovations, Harvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, India Time, The Huffington Post and many other web sites. Her articles on corporate social responsibility can be found on CSRHub.com, a website that provides sustainability ratings data on 14,400+ companies worldwide. Carol holds degrees from Smith College and Harvard University.

 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 14,400+ companies from 135 industries in 127 countries. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

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Is It Already Over?

By: Carol Pierson-Holding

 

Last week I met a young man who is about to major in environmental engineering. When he found out I blog about climate change, his first question was, “Is it already over?”

 

Moon-Trek

Clearly he intended to be provocative. But it was an interesting question from someone about to enter the environmental field. He wanted to talk about solar arrays in space and space elevators. Both are ideas that would in part alter the sun’s radiation, preventing it from warming earth.

 

Don’t these ideas sound nuts? The National Academy of Sciences agrees, reporting that the idea of increasing the earth’s reflectivity so that more sunlight gets bounced back into space is, in their more tempered language, “fraught.”

 

Clive Hamilton, the Australian climate change ethicist and author, puts it more strongly in the UN web magazine Our World, “Some of the ideas put forward to block the sun’s heat would be far-fetched even in a science fiction novel.”

 

The excitement my young student showed was, in its own way, just as troubling. As environmental activist Rachel Smolker blogged in Huffington Post, “What is clear is that climate geoengineering is opening new doors for many career seekers. From scientists with superman complexes, eager to be seen as doing ‘cutting edge’ work with big important global consequence, to various environmental and other NGO careerists seeking grant support, status and a place at the table.”

 

In other words, geoengineering is the new macho, no matter how otherwise sincere my young friend.

 

All of the schemes for climate solutions that change the delicate balance between the atmosphere, the ocean and the sun’s energy sound deranged. But what if these ideas seduce us into believing that we can continue to rely on carbon-spewing fossil fuels until all the reserves are used up?

 

According to Smolker, solar reflectivity and other geoengineering ideas, with the exception of technologies designed to remove emissions such as carbon scrubbing, are diverting our attention, “…from implementing the straightforward, proven, low tech, low risk approaches to saving the planet…like halting deforestation, protecting biodiversity, putting a halt to overconsumption, ending the mining, fracking, clear cutting and burning of the planet…”

 

Just as with climate change in the early days, scientists are lining up on either side. The predominance of scientific bodies argue for caution. Their projections show the potential harm, as in the weakening of coral reefs and sea life shells that results from fertilizing the ocean with iron or the projected side effect of sprinkling the atmosphere with sulphates, which scientists say may reduce our rainfall.

 

The most enthusiastic proponents of bioengineering include the fossil fuel companies and their organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute. In 2013, the influential think tank partly funded by ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers, launched a high-profile project to promote “geoengineering,” or as the National Geographic defines it, “intentional intervening in the climate system in an attempt to forestall some of the impact of global warming.”

 

Shell and ConocoPhillips are investing in geoengineering and using it to buttress their argument that we will don’t have to stop using fossil fuels because we will innovate ourselves out of our climate crisis.

 

To an ex-branding person like me, the most-telling signal of pro-geoengineering forces’ intentions is the re-branding taking place. From the original and now highly controversial “geoengineering” term to a replacement that turned out to be no better — “climate engineering,” the current moniker is the evocative “climate intervention,” as though the climate has a problem which only humans can fix.

 

Advocates for “climate intervention” think the best strategy is to alter nature’s delicate balance, to address climate change by changing the climate. But it’s Mother Earth who has the genius for cleaning up messes, not us. Think of the mushrooms currently used to detoxify superfund sites. Surely we can figure out a similar solution to excessive carbon, one that mimics nature rather than destroying it.

 

Let’s attend to our own “intervention” and fix what we can, those behaviors that caused climate change. We won’t destroy the earth, just our ability to survive on it. It’s our own extinction that’s at stake. The solution is not to alter earth’s magnificent equilibrium but our own self-destructive behavior.

 

To answer my young friend, no, it’s not over.

 

Photo courtesy of photophilde via Flickr CC

 


 

Carol Pierson HoldingCarol Pierson Holding writes on environmental issues and social responsibility for policy and news publications, including the Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovations, Harvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, India Time, The Huffington Post and many other web sites. Her articles on corporate social responsibility can be found on CSRHub.com, a website that provides sustainability ratings data on 14,400+ companies worldwide. Carol holds degrees from Smith College and Harvard University.

 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 14,400+ companies from 135 industries in 127 countries. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

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Does CSR Performance Affect the Quality of Digital Communications?

By Bahar Gidwani, in collaboration with Marcus Fergusson of Investis

 

Is a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) reputation more likely to be a better user of digital media?  Are its web sites and other digital communications more useful and have better content?  We might expect a connection between sustainability performance and the communication of a company’s CSR program. But is there also a broader connection that demonstrates that a company that has a sophisticated digital communications strategy and strong CSR/sustainability programs will have necessarily incorporated communication of their CSR program into their communications strategy?

 

We compared CSRHub data on perceived CSR performance for 14,441 companies and Investis data on the digital communications performance of 937 companies.  We found we could explain 39% of the variation in digital communications quality for 845 overlapping companies.  We found that good policies on employee compensation, employee training/health/safety, energy and climate change, and on environment policy were correlated with better digital communications performance.  On the other hand, strong human rights and supply chain strategies and resource management programs seemed to be connected to weaker digital communications performance.

 

These results are consistent with data CSRHub has collected on the correlation between sustainability performance and brand strength or reputational risk.  Certain sustainability programs seem to be well understood and accepted by consumers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders who learn about them.  Other programs are not as well understood and may not directly contribute to success in these areas—although they may help with things such as reducing credit costs.

 

CSRHUB_Investis-graph

 

 

To see the complete details of this new research by CSRHub and Investis, download the report here.

 

 

About the Authors

 

By Bahar Gidwani, in collaboration with Marcus Fergusson of Investis.

 

 

Bahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.  Marcus Fergusson is the Research Director at Investis. He runs a 20-strong team of business analysts, conducting and publishing research on global digital trends in corporate communications and benchmarking the corporate digital performance of the world’s leading publicly listed companies. He previously worked for Demos, Britain’s leading cross-party think tank, and in ethical brand strategy. He has a BA in Modern History from the University of Oxford.

 

 

About CSRHub

 

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information.  It covers over 14,000 companies from 135 industries in 127 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 380 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

 

About Investis

 

Investis is an international digital corporate communications and investor relations company, which works with approximately 2,000 clients from offices in five countries. The companies it serves include more than 70% of the constituents of the FTSE 100 and more than 150 US clients. Founded in 2000, Investis helps clients manage their corporate communications and investor relations through corporate websites, IR webhosting, social media, apps & mobile, video and webcasting, website tools and online reporting.

 

 

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4 Different Brand Ranking Systems Show Common Ties to Perceived Sustainability Performance

By Jennifer Saunders and Bahar Gidwani

 

Many aspects of a company’s performance affect its brand value. Marketing spend, distribution strength, and product quality all have proven effects. This study indicates that a company’s perceived sustainability performance may be another important factor.

 

In 2013, CSRHub showed that its measures of perceived corporate sustainability performance had a 28% correlation with Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Indicator (BSI). CSRHub recently published an update that showed this correlation continues to persist for financial companies. This study extends our analysis to include three other independent brand ranking systems:

 

  • RepTrak Pulse Score.  The Reputation Institute’s RepTrak model examines the relationship between the emotional connection, or “Pulse” score, a “measure of the degree of Admiration, Trust, Good Feeling and Overall Esteem that a company stakeholder holds.”
  • Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list.  Interbrand provides an analysis and picture of how your brand is contributing to business results today. Interbrand publishes annually a “Best Global Brands” list of the 100 brands it considers most powerful.
  • CoreBrand’s CBI.  Tenet Partners’ CoreBrand Analytics group  generates an annual Corporate Branding Index (CBI) that measures and quantifies the impact of investment in the corporate brand and how brands perform against peers both across and within industries.

 
We compared data from these sources with CSRHub ratings and brand strength data from our long time data source in the branding area, Brand Finance. CSRHub provides sustainability information on more than 14,000 companies in 127 countries. CSRHub’s ratings and metrics are drawn from more than 380 sustainability data sources.
 
Our research found that the scores from all four leading brand ranking systems correlated with at least one of CSRHub’s sustainability measures. Further, we found consistent results across the four systems that may help brand managers better understand how to coordinate with and support their company’s sustainability programs. In particular, we found a positive correlation between brand and Compensation & Benefits and Environment Policy & Reporting strength. Success in these areas seems tied to better brand rankings.

 

Brand CSR Study CSRHub

 

To see the complete details and next steps, download the full report here.

 


About the Authors

Jennifer Saunders holds a degree in chemical engineering from Melbourne University, a postgraduate diploma in management from the Melbourne Business School, and certificates in sustainability reporting and stakeholder networks approaches to socio-political risk. She worked for design and manufacturing multinationals for 15 years. Her main focus was on engaging cross-functionally to collect and analyse design performance data, report on sustainability metrics, optimize processes and manage supply chain projects. She recently re-located from Australia to the Pacific Northwest where she has further fostered her career to focus on sustainability working with CSRHub.

 

Bahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

 

 

About CSRHub

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information.  It covers over 14,000 companies from 135 industries in 127 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 380 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

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