3/12/09. FTC May Set Standards for
Food Marketing to Teens, AdAge. One little bit of language in the omnibus
appropriations bill signed today could shift the government's focus on food
marketing and childhood obesity from kids under 12 to everyone under 18,
potentially affecting hundreds of millions of dollars of food, beverage and
fast-food advertising on TV. Comment: Companies that have been voluntarily adhering to higher-than-required standards in this area will be ahead of the curve.
FEBRUARY 2009 2/28/09 Recent CSR Reports on Asia, CSR Asia Newsletter. Reports on the CSR activities of companies in Asia. Comment: CSR activities in Asia are thriving, based on the number of reports that are being produced. This partly reflects the demand for information by western consumers and retailers, especially those in Europe. It will be interesting to see how the mix of reports holds up during the global recession.
JANUARY 2007 1/27/09How to Look Good Green, Brendan May, Ethical Corporation Brandwatch. 2008 was the year of green marketing. Expect ever more of it in the year ahead. Businesses are finding the courage to get out there and market themselves as green champions. It can come at a heavy price. So here are ten eco-marketing tips: 1. DO check that the environmental movement is as impressed by your initiative as you are. Spend (a lot of) time listening to what the key barometers of opinion, like environmental NGOs, expect of your business. Comment: This first eco-tip is an eco-echo of the tech-oriented marketers, who keep stressing the importance for marketers of monitoring website usage, surveys and other analytics.
1/23/09Obama Moves to Block Bush "Midnight" Anti-Green Rules,Business Green. In a traditional game of political whack-a-mole, the Obama White House has moved quickly to freeze all pending regulations proposed by the former president's administration, including attempts to roll back large swathes of environmental legislation. Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel issued a memo on inauguration day warning federal agencies to send regulations to the Oval Office, not the Office of the Federal Register. Comment: Some last-minute rule changes are meant simply to gain brownie points with constituents. ("I tried to get this through, but the new people wouldn't let it stand," etc.).
1/7/09 National Audubon Society NYC Headquarters Earns LEED Platinum, Top Rating, CSRWire. The Audubon space scored the highest point total of any commercial interior evaluated according to US Green Building Council (USGBC) standards. See Audubon video for the building's use of daylight harvesting and a construction waste management plan that kept three-quarters of construction debris out of landfills. Comment: It's good to know that the Platinum level is achievable, and also that various posted claims for LEED status are being certified as real.
January 3, 2012 Sallan Foundation Snapshot. Green Prospects for 2012. The year 2011 has seen some setback for environmental progress. The 112th Congress has been called the "most anti-environment in the history of the Congress". But the marketplace has been catching up with environmental science. See comments in Sallan Foundation Snapshot - [http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/ ].
December 30, 2011. Blogspot. The Cornell-Technion Campus. The green aspects of the new high-tech campus are integral to the concept of the space. The buildings will be highly energy-efficient (zero pollution) and the program that is envisioned for the campus will include green architecture, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
3/11/09 Blogspot Comparing Coffee Standards
Sooner or later, it has to happen. The raters are rated. Jorrit
Reintjes has written an excellent M.A. thesis for Rotterdam's RSM
Erasmus University on "How Do You Take Your Coffee Production?" He
rates eight standards for sustainable coffee supply chains. Coffee is a
good product to start with. It's legal, calorie-free and is addictive
yet has healthful properties. They say that when human life becomes
extinct on earth the beetles will survive. In the same vein, at an NYU
Stern seminar last week, the consensus among panelists was that in the
deepest recession, coffee sellers will thrive. The
eight coffee standards are FairTrade (FLO), Utz Certified, Common Codes
for the Coffee Community (4C), Rainforest Alliance, Globalgap, Organic
(EKO), SA8000 and Sara Lee's Global Standards. The highest ratings went to the standard-setting bodies that are members of the ISEAL Alliance. (For the full report go here.)
FEBRUARY 2009 2/8/09 Applesassy Great
Writing: Of Tweets and TwitsBy adminIn this post, John Tepper Marlin reports on the rising use
of Twitter with this gem of grammatical genius:. I do a Google search and find
Twitter users exceed 200,000 per day, firing out 3 million Tweets - a
mind-blowing Read More
2/5/09 HuffPost Green Edge 14: Tomorrow's Green Billionaires.In a search for tomorrow's green billionaires, the first stop was to Green Spaces, an incubator for 16 startup companies devoted to greening New York City and the rest of the world.
JANUARY 2009 1//25/09 HuffPost BBC Show on U.S. Health Care Unavailable in USA22 Comments My sister Brigid Marlin lives in the UK and a few days ago was watching a BBC program on health care in the United States. Brigid is not a public affairs junkie so I was interested when she sent me an email reporting that the program was a shocking portrayal... Read Post
1/20/09 HuffPost A Breakthrough in the Presidency! (Now What?)One year ago, the United States seemed likely to get our first woman president or our first non-lily-white president. It wasn't clear which. Today we celebrate the fact that the country has turned a corner. What can we expect as a consequence? If history is a... Read Post
1/7/09 CSRWire Weekly CSRWire Weekly Alert USGBC Is Finalizing a PositiveTransformation Highlighted by CSR Guru John Tepper Marlin. In a June 2008 HuffPost Green blog entry, Marlin noted the irony that the mainstream press didn’t pick up the news that the USGBC is reorganizing the certification process, a move he applauded for promising to break up the backlog of buildings needing evaluation. "The big USGBC news last week means that as of January 2009 it will concentrate on standard-setting, and its sister organization, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), will no longer certify buildings," Marlin wrote last June. "Instead, GBCI will become de facto an accreditation institution. To conform to international standards, GBCI should become the Green Building Accreditation Institute (GBAI) and it should be moved up to a status coequal with USGBC - comparable with the Forest Stewardship Council and its sister Accreditation Services International, which started up in 2006."Green Edge Posts.
DECEMBER 2008 12/23/08Praise for Obama Green, Science Appointments, Grist. Green thumbs-ups to Carol Browner as chief climate and energy adviser and Nancy Sutley as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. Lisa Jackson, tapped to lead the U.S. EPA, has gotten praise from many, but also some criticism. Hilda Solis, nominated as labor secretary, is a big booster of green jobs. Many are pleased with Steven Chu as energy secretary, Jane Lubchenco as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and John Holdren as presidential science adviser. See Grist transition tracker. Comment: I am personally pleased by Holdren's appointment. As a group, these appointments represent a huge increase in the clout for environmental issues. 12/15/08The Surprisingly Successful Marriages of Multinationals and Social Brands, Harvard Business School working paper. What happens when small iconic brands associated with social values—think Ben & Jerry's—are acquired by large concerns—think Unilever? Can the marriage of a virtuous mouse and a wealthy elephant work to the benefit of both? From Comment: CSR is a great way to build a brand, as B&J and the Boidy Shop have showed and as many other companies are showing. Eventually these startups tend to get bought by larger traditional companies. This process gets a favorable assessment from Harvard Business School Professors James E. Austin and Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard.
12/6/08Ecotarianism,WorldWide Words Tony Turnbull in The Times on September 25 says ecotarianism is about sourcing locally, organically, sustainably, in season and leaving earth's resources untouched. The word reportedly was coined in 2006 by Oxford undergraduates with an interest in food politics andwas used in the title of a paper by Jessica Lee at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery in September 2007. It’s a catch-all term for anybody against "industrial food". The Evening Standard, Nov. 25, 2008 says ecotarians base their model diet on Tara Garnett's study Cooking Up a Storm. The Observer, Nov. 23, 2008, says ecotarianism has a winningly common-sense approach - eat the foods with the lowest environmental burden, those with the lowest global-warming potential (GWP) and the least chance of messing up the planet via their acidification and pollution potential. Contact: Michael Quinion wordseditor@WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG. Comment: New and challenging ideas require new words. Once we have new words, often the ideas become accepted and we forget how difficult it was to adjust to a new way of thinking.
DECEMBER 2008 12/9/08 (Blogspot)Climate Change Experts Rethinking Renewable Energy?? We've lived through a lot of changes of mind by scientists on dietary issues. We've also found out that the potential for recycling is limited by the extent of the markets. Now in recent weeks questions have been raised about the adequacy of carbon-capping and trading programs in the face of the urgency of the need for reductions. It is nonetheless unsettling to read a story by David Adam in the Guardian yesterday that climate change experts are "losing faith" in renewable technology. Read Post.
12/9/08 (HuffPost) Green Edge 11: Monks Embrace Mighty Wind. I went to my 50th Anniversary reunion at Portsmouth Abbey School in September and got to see something new on the property -- a giant white wind turbine sitting atop the high school campus like a guardian bird, an outward sign of the Abbey's inner green. The Abbey's wind turbine is a major act of leadership by the Abbey. It was the first utility-scale wind turbine in the entire state of Rhode Island.Read Post.
12/4/08 (HuffPost)Green Edge 10: Can Government Create Green Jobs? Can government create green jobs? (I'm thinking now of city or state government.) Well, yes, by hiring people or imposing regulations that require building owners to hire more green workers. Trouble is, the taxes to pay for the government jobs or the additional expenses for building workers may drive up costs. Read Post.
NOVEMBER 2008 11/5/08 Let’s Mocha Deal, Starbucks, Grist.Starbucks will double its purchase of fair-trade-certified coffee to 40 million pounds next year, becoming the largest purchaser of fairtrade coffee in the world. The caffeine giant, though struggling financially, reognizes the price premium of sustainable bean-buying and plans to buy only "responsibly grown and ethically traded" coffee by 2015. See also Sustainable Industries. Comment: Starbucks can't sell commodity coffee and command the prices it charges. Fairtrade is one way to brand the coffee - see photo at right from an Oxford (UK) Starbucks outlet. The growing problem for the premium coffee brands in Europe, where I have just been for a few weeks, is that the other big coffee retailers like Costa are also fairtraded. So the brands keep needing something new to differentiate their product to avoid the death of commoditization.
Starbucks Store, Oxford, UK
NOVEMBER 2008 11/5/08 Organically Groan, NY Times, Grist.The decade of 20-percent-a-year U.S. organic sales growth may slow, thanks to the recession, to about 4 percent annually. Means harder times for Whole Foods and maybe better times for McDonald's. Also see Bloomberg News.
11/3/08 Baby Boomers Must Work Longer - What It Means for the Workplace, Knowledge @Wharton. A real threat faces aging boomers - a significant decline in their living standards. This also means a multi-decade drag on U.S. and world economic growth. The only real option is for boomers to work beyond the traditional retirement age.This will require important changes in public policy, business practices, and personal behavior. These adjustments are more urgent after recent financial turmoil sharply reduced the home values and financial investments of millions of boomers approaching retirement. For decades, boomers swelled the ranks of the US labor forceand drove up economic output. They earned and consumed more than any other generation in history. Now, U.S. labor-force-participation rates are declining. Comment: That means corporations will need to plan for workers staying on past 62 or 65. Options for older workers could include shorter-day, shorter-week, shared jobs, consulting, telecommuting. Or working with small businesses.
11/1/08 FSC Meets in Cape Town, South Africa, November 3-7. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will hold its fifth General Assembly of Members in Cape Town, South Africa, from November 3 to 7, 2008, marking 15 years of FSC standard-setting in forest management. Nearly 300 stakeholders from more than 70 countries will meet to face the challenges of responsible forest management. The General Assembly is the highest decision making body in the FSC global structure. Comment: The FSC complies with ISEAL standards for separating standard-setting from accreditation by creating Accreditation Services International. Separating the two functions is essential because the accreditation function needs to be independent.
NOVEMBER 2008 11/2/08 (Blogspot)Marathon Waste. The NYC Marathon today is going to produce 130 tons of waste. This year the NY Road Runners Club is recycling the gallon jugs used for dispensing water. They didn't used to, and the jugs were thrown out with NYC's waste. The Road Runners are looking into charging runners a license fee to be auctioned off the way seat-license fees are auctioned off by the Jets. If the runners are willing to pay such a fee, some part of the revenue should be allocated to making the NYC Marathon a model of waste reduction and recycling. Although some Asian (Singapore, Hong Kong) marathons have had environmental themes, marathons in many cities have been slow to embrace environmentally friendly practices. The NYC Marathon might have its recycling etc. practices third-party certified against an environmental standard. The Rainforest Alliance in NYC has been involved for years with environmental standard-setting and certification and could help.
University of Geneva CSR Certificate 2008 Graduating Class, October 2008
OCTOBER 2008 10/31/08 From Risk to Opportunity—How Global Executives View Sociopolitical Issues, McKinsey Global Survey. A year ago, executives saw environmental issues and human rights standards as risks. Now they see them more as opportunities. Half the 1,453 surveyed executives pick the environment as one of three issues they expect will attract the greatest amount of public and political attention and most affect shareholder value. Comment: One reason for this result - "environment" encompasses many topics - global warming, carbon footprint, renewable energy, forest-product provenance, organic/bio status, marine/fisheries standards, life-cycle planning for product components. Within ISEAL, most standard-setting bodies are focused on environmental issues.
10/29/08Nestle Commits to 60 Percent PET Bottle Recycling, CSR Wire. Nestle Waters North in its first corporate citizenship reports its goal to take back and recycle 60 percent of its PET bottles by 2018 – 10 percentage points more than Coca-Cola. Nestle Waters Director of Corporate Citizenship Alex McIntosh said shareholder activism played a part in its decision. "Over the past two years, As You Sow has engaged us in a respectful but insistent dialog on container recycling. Its 2006 container recycling report and scorecard got our attention, and encouraged us to look at the recycling challenge more broadly," he said. 10/29/08Wal-Mart Adds Environmental Goals, WSJ via Grist. Wal-Mart is settingenvironmentalgoals for itself and its suppliers. At a company conference in Beijing, Wal-Mart execs promised a host of eco-improvements. Suppliers will have to be certified by a third party to ensure they're complying with local environmental and labor laws. Suppliers will also have to start providing Wal-Mart with information on where all their products come from. Eventually, suppliers will also have to improve their energy efficiency and, by 2012, 95 percent of their products will have to come from factories that receive the highest ratings from Wal-Mart and third-party audits of environmental and social practices. All 113 of Wal-Mart's Chinese stores will aim to use 30 percent less energy by 2010. Comment: Wal-Mart is properly getting credit for doing a lot. It continues to be under pressure from Human Rights Watch and others on freedom of association (unionization), which it views as inconsistent with its low-cost business model. An extra dollar an hour for one million workers would cost Wal-Mart about one-fifth of its $11 billion profits in 2007.
SEPTEMBER 2008 9/30/08Apply Yourself: How to Find a Green Job, Grist. Green jobs are growing at an impressive clip. In fact, the very definition of a green job has changed dramatically. Once the purview of foresters, farmers, and environmental-science professors (and, yes, the occasional website editor), green jobs now exist in all sorts of sectors. In fact, at the end of 2007, Achim Steiner of the United Nations Environment Program predicted that "millions of new jobs" would prove to be a silver lining of "the cloud of climate change." In the U.S., says UNEP, more than 5.3 million environmental jobs were generated in 2005 -- 10 times the number in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Here's how to start. More. Comment: In a bit of history-making, the UNEP and ILO have engaged in silo-breaking cooperation on a Green Jobs report with help from researchers at Cornell and the Worldwatch Institute.
9/29/08Bottled Water at Issue in Great Lakes, Kari Lydersen, Washington Post. CHICAGO -- Even as a 10-year campaign to block wholesale export of Great Lakes water came to a successful conclusion in Congress last week, some legislators and environmentalists vowed to continue their fight to close a "bottled-water loophole," a campaign that taps into a national debate over sales of H2O in disposable containers. A provision of the Great Lakes Compact allows water to be diverted from the basin if it is in containers holding less than 5.7 gallons. The question is whether bottling water from the aquifers that feed the lakes, the largest repository of fresh water on Earth, should be seen as ordinary human consumption, commercial production, or export of a treasured natural resource. Comment: The issue seems to stop at bottling of water. Use of water for bottling sodas is apparently acceptable because the manufacturer adds value (i.e., sugar, flavor and carbon). An interesting ethical distinction is being made here between the relative contributions of land, labor and capital.
9/23/08Grist: Greener by Degrees, College Eco-Activism. College students today join green sororities, launch green business ventures, and host green bashes. At many U.S. colleges and universities, buildings are going efficient, cafeterias are serving local and organic fare, administrators are pledging to fight climate change, and some students are even getting degrees from new sustainability programs. There's so much eco-goodness to report that Grist has put together a special series on campus greening. Check out 15 creative ways that students and colleges are going greener, tips for effective campus organizing, ideas for making activism fun, profiles of student activists, and more. Comment: A timely review of student interest in environmental issues and how it shows itself.
AUGUST 2008 8/15/08Managing Global Supply Chains, McKinsey Quarterly. Nearly 80 percent of responding global executives say the amount of supply chain risk faced by their companies has increased in the past five years, but companies are not acting on this fact, which is reflected in the increasing complexity of products and services, rising energy prices, or increasing financial volatility. The executives are concerned that companies are not sufficiently reducing costs, improving customer service, and getting products to market fast. Most companies tend to manage their supply chains centrally, not locally—a trend that has increased in recent years. Comment: That's why many companies are taking a leaf out of Jacques Ellul's book - selling globally but procuring locally against global standards. Local certification of suppliers against multi-stakeholder standards is increasing rapidly, with new certification pressures coming from major European retailers.
7/24/08Apparel Factory Workers Were Cheated, State Says, New York Times. It was one of the worst sweatshops that state inspectors have visited in years, they said, sometimes requiring its 100 employees to work seven days a week, sometimes for months in a row. The factory, in Queens — which made women’s apparel for Banana Republic,, the Gap, Macy’s, Urban Apparel and Victoria’s Secret — handed out instructions to its workers telling them to give false answers about working conditions when government inspectors visited. Wage violations were so widespread, state labor officials said at a news conference on Wednesday, that the factory, Jin Shun, cheated its workers of $5.3 million. The case made by the State Labor Department against Jin Shun is one of the biggest involving back pay that it has ever brought. According to state officials, most employees, virtually all of them Chinese immigrants, were paid just $250 when they worked their typical 66-hour, six-day weeks, amounting to $3.79 an hour, far below the state’s $7.15-an-hour minimum wage. They received more when they were required to work seven-day weeks. Comment: This is more evidence that sweatshops are not just in developing countries. Three of the brands have announced that they are cooperating fully with NY State and are concerned about fairness to the employees.
9/25/08 (HuffPost)Green Edge 9: Greening America’s Workplace, 12 Questions for Tim Sanders. Tim Sanders visited with me in New York today on a tour to promote his new book, Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making aDifference, just published by Doubleday. He argues that companies have no choice these days but to become greener – more responsive to the health and other needs of their workers, their communities and the planet. He good-naturedly fielded my questions for nearly an hour.Q1. Your previous book [Love Is the Killer App] was about sharing your knowledge, network and compassion in the workplace. How did you go about moving from that topic to “Saving the World at Work? How long did it take you? SANDERS My first move was to get together a staff of eight MBA students at Stanford to do the basic research. I thought I could finish the book in six months. It took me three years. More.
9/11/08 Frontier Women (Salon,Letter from John Tepper Marlin) Your reference to "frontier women" rang a bell with me. My mother's aunt Inez Milholland died in 1916 trying to connect with frontier women in the runup to the Suffrage Amendment (i.e., what became the 19th Amendment, proposed by Congress in 1919 and ratified in August 1920). Two delegations assembled in New York in 1916 and went west to try to persuade the enfranchised frontier women of the west to confront President Wilson over his lack of support for the Suffrage Amendment. One was the pro-Hughes train of Republican women who were derided as "wealthy political meddlers" and were greeted by Democratic protesters. The other was a contingent of just two women - Inez and her sister Vida Milholland - who were welcomed in part because they were on their own, tough, and non-partisan. While castigating Wilson, Inez Milholland did not promote Hughes and presented herself as just pro-Woman. The Milholland team was far more successful at gaining support. Reference: Linda J. Lumsden, INEZ: The Life and Times of Inez Milholland, p. 155. [Read the article: Fresh blood for the vampire][Read more letters about this article: Here]
9/1/08 (HuffPost)Green Edge 8 - Saving Lives on Farms in Latin America. The safety of U.S. food depends starts with the farms where our food is grown. Last month, congressional hearings on America's largest salmonella outbreak in a decade pointed fingers at peppers grown in Mexico. The American food chain delivers a billion meals a day, but is no stronger than its weakest link. "And there are plenty of weak links," says the San Francisco Chronicle. At work now to improve farm safety and sanitation in three Latin American countries - the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua - are staff members for a little-known project called Cultivar.Cited in Business-Human Rights Newsletter, edited in Geneva by Katherine Hagen - Topix. AUGUST 2008 8/29/08 (HuffPost)Green Edge 7 - Bottled Water and the Fiji Flap. The Fiji flap is a surreal poster-child for the global trafficking in bottled water. Ten local bottlers (#1 is Fiji Water) fill Chinese-manufactured bottles with Fijian well-water and ship them to the United States, which has an abundance of clean water. The Fijian government has watched as its artesian wells are drained while many of its citizens lack access to clean water. This summer the government imposed an export tax of 20 cents/liter. The bottlers all shut down. As last week's World Water Week conference in Stockholm breaks up, in this post I try to make some sense of the bottled-water industry: (1) How did we get to Fiji? (2) Are the bottler brands being responsible? (3) What should consumers, and voters, do about the issue? 8/6/08 (HuffPost)Green Edge 6: The Case for Organic Cotton. At the Organic World Congress in Modena, two researchers for the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), Alexandra Perschau and Damien Sanfilippo, list the problems created by conventional cotton production. Their research is summarized in a PAN report: Conventional cotton farming requires $2 billion worth of chemical pesticides, an economic and environmental burden for cotton farming. Conventional cotton farming is responsible for 25 percent of global insecticide releases, more than any other single crop.
8/5/08(HuffPost) Green Edge 5: Farm Aid in Islamic China. Not so very far from yesterday's bombing that killed 16 police officers, in a region subject to a recent Chinese crackdown to protect the Olympics, Martin Ma manages a program to improve the workplace conditions of Xinjiang cotton farmers. He is simultaneously seeking to remedy the environmental problems of pesticide and the deep poverty of the farm workers. He works for Social Accountability International (SAI) in New York City under a four-year grant from the Netherlands development agency Solidaridad, which tries out new ways to lift people out of poverty and danger wherever they live or work. JULY 2008 7/30/08 (HuffPost)Green Edge 4: Organic Fruit Worth the Premium. Consumer Reports, using work of the Environmental Working Group, singles out fruit that is worth a marketplace premium: apples, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries and strawberries -- or all fruit for baby food. The reason? Risks from pesticides. But the list is much too short because it does not take into account consumers' responsibility for the impact of pesticides on farm workers and farmland.
Green Edge 3: Small Farmers, Ecofeminism, Vandana Shiva. For more than a century, farms have been getting bigger while seeds, fertilization and pest control have been getting more uniform. Led by farm suppliers, it has raised productivity. But negative byproducts of this trend include increasing chemical dependence and loss of biodiversity. Ecofeminist Vandana Shiva is at the Organic World Congress to protest the human and environmental cost of monoculture. The pendulum may be swinging back her way as consumer preference (among "locavores") for locally grown food and organic food increases, as the public becomes more aware of the impact of chemicals on the environment, and as higher petroleum prices result in pricier fertilizers and pesticides.
7/22/08 (HuffPost) Green Edge 2: Organic Wine-Making. The wine-making track of the Organic World Congress in Modena, Italy is a serious business, with dozens of scientists reporting the results of their surveys and experiments, all for the benefit of our personal enjoyment and health and the sustainability of our planet. Below I summarize their research on the organic wine market - supply and demand - and on sulfites and the alternative treatments of downy mildew, powdery mildew, the grape berry moth and weeds. The conferees mill around in the spectacular Castle of Levizzano Rangone near Modena, set among rolling hills covered with lush vines, the view of the vineyards from inside the castle stretching far the distance. At a welcoming event we taste Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro wine as a jazz group plays. Afterwards we go for dinner to the village at the base of the hill.
7/21/08 (Blogspot: John Tepper Marlin)California Building: Missed Opportunity The LA Times reports that California is requiring greener buildings. The good news is that the state's new building standards will reportedly reduce the energy used in buildings by 15 percent and the water used for landscaping by half. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the new standards. But environmentalists argue that they were heavily influenced by the construction industry and are weaker than they need to be. It's a traditional response by business to the threat of new standards - encourage the creation of multiple standards so that businesses have choices and consumers are confused. This strategy assumes there is no value to the goal of the regulation. Nonprofits like the US Green Building Council and the Forest Stewardship Council have created standards for private-sector environmental performance, but California chose not to rely on these standards. This sows confusion not only among consumers but - as they are increasingly finding out - businesses, and weakens the work of those who have pioneered in creating standards. In Europe, governments and business are much more willing to simplify their lives by relying on the standards created by nonprofits. Governments intervene to create a floor, i.e., minimum standards, or to subsidize or otherwise encourage businesses to achieve certification to higher standards.
6/4/08 (HuffPost) John Tepper Marlin: Green Banking, Good Banking. Yesterday I listened to Jack Brennan, CEO of the trillion-dollar Vanguard Group, pioneer in low-cost mutual funds and people's capitalism. He got me thinking that if the great Senator Carter Glass was the main force behind a financial structure that served us well from the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933 to 1999, then Phil Gramm was the Samson who tore it down and left a war zone. What Brennan said that made me think was: "Vanguard is guided by three principles - respect, patience and humility." I asked him at the end: "These are unusual, value-heavy words. Do you have ethical issues with the subprime loan-CDO era?" "Yes, I do, we do," he said, "That's how we see it. Vanguard didn't own the CDO stuff." It makes sense to me. I expect more financial brands will be jumping into the morning-after post-CDO era by positioning themselves as the anti-CDO, the long-term sustainable partner. When the city mice have just been gobbled up by fat cats before the eyes of their country cousins, the country mice will be eager to return home. More.
MAY 2008 5/23/08 (HuffPost Living) John Tepper Marlin: Free Biking in Paris.May is Bike Month NYC, according to Transportation Alternatives, so it's a good time to report on a trip up and down the Seine with my wife Alice using the Velib' ("Velo-libre" or "free bike") system. This is the less-than-a-year-old brainchild of the socialist Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe. Paris has more than 230 miles of well-marked cycling lanes and the Velib' has been a big success with more than 20 million trips as of this month, or 70,000 trips per day. At this pace, by the first anniversary on the day after Bastille Day, July 15, the Velib' will have attracted an amazing 25 million trips. To add our two more trips to the counter, we first buy a Velib' map, sold at any newsstand. The Google map of Paris has its green arrow pointed exactly to where we decide to join the Seine from the north. We decide to start with the bicycle route on the north (right) bank of the Seine headed east, ride this until the Seine-side bicycle path ends (it goes north), then cross over the Seine and take the bicycle path west on the south (left) bank to the Branly Museum.
. More. 2/15/08 (Thrive NYC):Tepper-Marlins. For a big-time New York City power couple, Alice and John Tepper Marlin seem suspiciously easy-going, considerate, and friendly. More: David Gibbons, Tepper-Marlins, Vivid/Lives, Thrive NYC 2:6 (February 2008).
Information and commentary on best practices for CSR, relating to branding, the environment, the financial sector and the workplace. Focus on businesses in the New York City area, certification and labeling. Maintained for students and alumni of CSR courses at NYU Stern and the University of Geneva and for reporters, business executives, investors and consumers by John Tepper Marlin, Principal, CSRNYC and Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern and other universities. For definitions of CSR, click here.
New York University Stern School of Business Branding and CSR 2008
This course was taught for the second year in the Marketing Department, by Professors Bruce Buchanan and John Tepper Marlin, combining a focus on branding with the contribution of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to a company's brand.
The concept of the course is described here and here.
Guest speakers in 2007-2008 included : Dan Henkle, SVP, Gap, Inc.
Rob Headley, VP, Tiffany
Amy Hall, Head of Social Consciousness, Eileen Fisher
Alice Tepper Marlin, President, Social Accountability International
Julianne Baroody, Rainforest Alliance
Robin Deutsch Edwards, Edelman
Judy Sandford, Addison
University of Geneva CSR Certificate 2008
Module Six in 2008 was led by Dr. Marlin. The same format is planned for 2009.
1. Jan10-12 Intro and International Development, led by Michael Hopkins and Tom Stephens
2. Jan 31-Feb 2 Ethics, led by Simone de Colle
3. Feb 21-23 CSR Measurement, led by Michael Hopkins
4. March 13-15 Stakeholders, SME and Sustainable Tourism, led by Ivor Hopkins and Adrian Henriques
5. April 3-5 CSR and Finance, led by Graham Sinclair
6. April 24-26 CSR: Labor Laws, Voluntary Standards and Verification, led by John Tepper Marlin. For more on this module, go here.
The University of Geneva is now accepting applications for the 2009 Certificate Program.