Oracle is under investigation by the Feds for bribery in its West Africa business dealings. The region is a tough place to do business and poverty causes corruption just as corruption causes poverty. But the entire sector is vulnerable to the problem and along with Oracle HP and IBM also have become entangled.
James Farrar focuses on the business balance between financial performance and social-environmental impact.
James has more than 15 years of experience working on corporate sustainability issues from both the corporate and NGO campaigning perspective.
After a dip in greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 emissions growth has rebounded dramatically to reach record levels in 2010.
Timberland CEO, Jeff Swartz offers Steve Jobs some friendly advice: Apple should have board level supervision of its sustainability strategy. However, despite repeated shareholder resolutions and the presence of Al Gore on the board this is one piece of advice Jobs maybe likely to ignore. But is Apple really bottom of the rung relative to peers? At least one investor feels that although Apple has problems so too does HP and Dell - its just that people are a bit emotional about Apple.
Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz wrote an extraordinary attack on Apple for its lack of performance on sustainability. Swartz laments that companies like Timberland have to play by the rules on sustainability but the cool brand of Apple gets a free pass. There is some irony that Swartz calls on Apple to marshall sustainability performance in its supply chain and yet feels powerless to influence Apple in his own personal or enterprise procurement process. Is Swartz a voice in the wilderness or is this the start of a popular revolt against the iconic Apple brand.
HP publishes its 10th annual sustainability report with good news on energy, climate and product environmental responsibility. The company for the first time takes us through the sustainability performance of its portfolio. However, HP hasn't yet set targets for conflict minerals, supplier audits and transparency is ratcheting downward. Also down is HP's level of product donations though cash donations are up. Other commentators have noted HP is maybe green muting but as the largest global IT player shouldn't it lead from the front?
Today announces Leo Apotheker as its new CEO and writes a big check in support of first ammendment rights to a leading non profit. Coincidence or signalof change?
Oracle is opposing a minority shareholder resolution to be tabled at its upcoming AGM calling on its board to institute a formal sustainability oversight committee. The resolution was prompted by elimination of Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco from a suatainability investment index due to insufficient disclosure.
Facebook claim their service in general and in particular the new geo locations service Facebook Places helps to rebuild social cohesion and civic life in the public space. At the launch event Facebook drew from the work of sociologist Ray Oldenburg. However, Ray Oldenburg profoundly disagrees.
O2 launches the UK's first sustainability consumer eco index for mobile phones. However, Apple has refused to disclose performance information for the iPhone and RIM will only be ready to have Blackberry join the initiative sometime next year.
Nokia Siemens Networks respond to the law suit filed against them for human rights abuses. They argue that although their technology includes lawful intercept capability, mobile communications on the whole has done more to empower activists fighting for democracy than its has for oppressive regimes seeking to oppose it.