The AT&T PR luvvies pushed out a tweet today announcing they had freshly minted their first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). I took a closer look and it turns out the newly appointed Charlene Lake has been in situ since last year albeit with the slightly more modest title of VP Public Affairs Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability.
James Farrar focuses on the business balance between financial performance and social-environmental impact.
<p>James has more than 15 years of experience working on corporate sustainability issues from both the corporate and NGO campaigning perspective. He has worked directly within the banking (Farm Credit System), aviation (British Airways) and IT (SAP) sectors in the USA and Europe. His campaigning experience includes work at Amnesty International's business engagement programme and at Global Witness, a leading NGO campaigning on the issue of resource revenue transparency especially relating to so called 'conflict resources'.</p> James's day job is at SAP working within the Sustainability team. You can view James' extended profile on <a href="http://de.linkedin.com/pub/james-farrar/2/a47/743">Linkedin</a> and you can follow him on <a href="http://twitter.com/jamesfarrar">Twitter</a>.
People in business often speak of NGO's in a kind of wide eyed way, a mixture of fear and curiosity, but most vastly under estimate their capability. Granted, NGOs are as diverse as businesses - some are hopeless, some perform magnificently.
HP released their 2008 sustainability report today and again, unsurprisingly, it's a deeply impressive effort. HP has pushed the boat out with substantive improvement in the quality of the disclosure as well the accessibility of the report which has been much enhanced with the use of interactive dashboards.
As a national past time, Spank the Banker has become almost Monty Pythonesque in its common expression. As G20 gets ready to roll into London for the most important such conference since the great depression, even hapless university professors such as Chris Knight from the University of East London find themselves caught up in the drama and err a little towards the loony.
Yesterday, at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum, (former) President Bill Clinton launched the Microsoft & Clinton Climate Initiative joint effort, Project 2°, to save the cities of the world from ravages of climate change. Microsoft have developed a tool to help city Administrators assemble an inventory of their CO2 emissions and model planning scenarios to reduce impact.
Today is Red Nose Day in the UK, a day when you are supposed to do something 'funny for money'. People in offices all over the UK will don a plastic red nose and raise money to provide financial relief for Africa.
Even with attendance and exhibitor numbers down CeBIT this week was still full steam ahead on green. Luis Neves, Head of Sustainability at Deutsche Telekom and Chairman of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GESI), during his keynote announced GESI's newest member will be Research In Motion, maker of the Blackberry.
Foolhardy it may be to go out on a limb here to take on my boss (in this carnation I mean my editor, Larry Dignan) and a force of nature that is my fellow ZDNET blogger Dennis Howlett but I have to disagree with both on the subject of viability of the green market. Dennis thinks green is a fashion not to follow, fools gold maybe and Larry came away from Oracle Open World thinking that, with green, Silicon Valley is attempting to manufacture the next big thing.
The economic displacement from the current downturn has been severe on the professional classes of Silicon Valley. Many of the majors are ramping up redundancy programmes and trimming pay and benefits.
It's not easy to push consumer products these days as discretionary spend dries up and advertising channels become ever fragmented. Understandable then when corporations are seduced into more edgier terrain by their creative agencies.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) results for 2008 are out, and although I’m not a huge fan of corporate sustainability beauty pageants, this one is probably the most credible measure of performance yet. That said, the DJSI is a far from perfect measure of corporate sustainability performance and contribution towards global sustainable development.
It's fun to think of similes to categorise the headlong rush towards CO2 reductions or at least the pledges for such. I think of Vodafone's pledge of a 50% cut of the 2007 baseline by 2020 as a 'Big Adventure'.
Ground breaking stuff in HPs latest CSR report released last week - HP becomes the first in its sector to publish details of the major players in its supply chain. Now it seems the tech sector will follow the apparel industry on supplier transparency.
Once you penetrate some of the sustainability hype the key question at board level is this: what action are you actually prepared to take? For a problem like climate change, where there is no regulatory hurdle and action is voluntary though enlightened by self interest, what action is enough?
It's a conundrum every company faces when thinking about sustainability reporting - who reads this stuff anyway and do these reports actually assure anyone of anything? Sustainability reporting methodologies have grown up, for better or for worse, to ape financial reporting, replete with their own standards of assurance audit and verification.