CSR Pioneers

Great article on pioneers of “CSR” in 19th Century Britain, including Lever and Cadbury. Incidentally, I remember Prof. Parker presenting this paper at St Andrews back in 2010 – a lesson on how long it takes to get published in AOS!

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361368214000919

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Community Energy

The idea of community energy is a great one – communities setting up co-operatives to control their own energy supply. This item in the news today, with an MP giving out about the big 6 energy companies…

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/25/camerons-climate-envoy-blames-big-six-energy-firms-for-green-deals-failure

…brings to mind George Monibot’s rant last month on how the government is holding back community energy schemes:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/25/camerons-climate-envoy-blames-big-six-energy-firms-for-green-deals-failure

Basically, unfortunately, it looks like these schemes have a lot of barriers to overcome.

(rotten?) Apple in Athenry

The big news in Galway at the moment is that Apple is building a new data centre out in Athenry. The official Apple press release, below, is big on the company’s “commitment to environmental responsibility”.

Not sure how selling people products they don’t need, using forced obsolescence as a marketing strategy and tax avoidance equals “environmental responsibility” though…

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2015/02/23Apple-to-Invest-1-7-Billion-in-New-European-Data-Centres.html

A Local Banking System? – NEF Research

Thorough study by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) showing how RBS could be split into 130 local banks. Particularly interesting is the summary of how local co-operative banks already operate in Germany and other European countries.

It’s impressive to see such a detailed proposal. Perhaps something like this would be even more straightforward to implement in a smaller country like Ireland…?

http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/reforming-rbs

The Business Case is “Organisational Dogma”

Nice new article from Hockerts about the “business case for sustainability”. When he asked 12 managers why their organisation engaged with sustainability, competitive advantage was the only thing they talked about.

the data suggests that the business case for corporate sustainability has so far permeated the consciousness of respondents that the respondents would not admit to any other motivation for addressing corporate sustainability” (Hockerts, 2014:110).

The article also draws up some nice “mental models” of how managers approach sustainability. It looks like the higher the “perceived sustainability performance” of the company, the more complex the model. and the more it is focused on opportunity rather than risk.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bse.1813/abstract?campaign=woletoc

Bankers’ Bonus season

Seems crazy but banker’s bonuses are still obscene. When I was interviewing company representatives for my PhD, a Sustainability Consultant from a very large bank told me that “these people make a lot of money for our country”. They make a lot for themselves too!

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/23/uk-finance-bonuses-to-top-100bn-since-financial-crisis

Here’s a link to the Robin Hood tax campaign in the UK:

http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/

And from an Irish perspective…Michael Noonan’s not budging yet.

http://businessetc.thejournal.ie/financial-transaction-tax-ireland-eurozone-766378-Jan2013/