No doubt the IBM top team will be passing around the Tylenol today in Armonk as they figure out what to do next after their temporary exclusion from further contracting with the US Federal government. Sadly it is not an April fool's joke - the US Attorney's office for the Eastern Division of Virginia has served subpoenas seeking documents and evidence relating to IBM's contracts with the US Environmental Protection Agency.
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>.
At the risk of endlessly re boiling the cabbage on the now infamous Sarah Lacy interview of Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW, it is worth highlighting some pretty important things he had to say on Facebook & corporate philanthropy before the reporter became the bigger part of the story.
A disturbing article this week in the FT reports how cassiterite sourced through the use of child and slave labour has made it into the supply chains of global electronic goods manufacturers. Cassiterite is a derivative of tin ore necessarily used in circuitry and its use has, ironically, enabled devices to become more eco friendly.
Quite honestly it is hard to take too, too seriously sustainability ratings such as the CRO 100 Best Corporate Citizens of 2008 but they are kind of fun to pull apart none the less. Predictably these rankings generate a fair degree of false humility from the ascendant and gnashing and wailing from the descendant.
PwC is to be congratulated at the very least for the aesthetics of their latest report: Going Green: Sustainable Growth Strategies. This is a truly handsome report with pretty brown coloured text interspersed with striking images of wind turbines, sail boats, happy children, adults playing in autumn foliage and even slightly more obscurely, a flamenco dancer.
If only the Big 4 and the top consultancy firms could run on sustainability thought leadership white papers instead of free cash flow, 2008 would surely be a banner year. The latest epistle is from McKinsey who this week publish an insightful survey on corporate philanthropy.
The debate on business and human rights is set to heat up this year with the 60th anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Beijing Olympics and a sharpened focus on the potential winners and losers in the climate change crisis is also a factor.
Two separate reports show a massive disconnect on sustainability between C-level strategic intent and real world performance. In the report Confronting Corruption, PWC surveyed executives and whilst 80% reported their companies had an anti corruption management programme, only 22% were confident such programmes were effective.
My, my! Industry Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) white papers are becoming like buses - nothing for ages then all of a sudden three in a row.
Corporate responsibility at IBM is a class act so high expectations then when the IBM Institute for Business Value this week came out with a piece on CSR: Attaining sustainable growth through corporate social responsibility. Dazzling stuff but one or two clangers as well.
Bob Suh, Chief Technology Strategist at Accenture writing in yesterdays Financial Times hits the panic button on US productivity. Apparently it is starting to slip relative gains in Europe and China.
The Economist Intelligence Unit this week publishes a report on the state of business and sustainability entitled: Doing Good: Business and the Sustainability Challenge. (Disclosure: SAP was amongst a number of co-sponsors of this report) The report captures nicely the zeitgeist - most businesses have accepted sustainability as a mainstream concern but struggle to integrate it meaningfully into strategy and performance management.
Tom Lantos may have made his very last stand for human rights last November when he recalled Yahoo! executives to challenge their earlier testimony surrounding the Shi Tao case.
The first post on ZDNET! And if that isn’t scary enough I kind of need to spend some time explaining the concept of ‘sustainability’, the subject matter of this blog.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Apple rolls over on EPEAT. Next: O2's 40 million subscribers?
- 2 IBM: trailing the Smarter Planet?
- 3 McKinsey and PwC On How Companies Think About Sustainability Management: All Hat, No Cattle
- 4 Lawson on Corporate Social Responsibility:Thou Shalt Obey The Law
- 5 US Productivity Slip, A Threat to Sustainability?