Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 11:33 AM
The B Corp, or “For Benefit” corporation, is redefining fiduciary responsibility, governance, ownership and stakeholder relationships in light of an equal increase in stewardship and sustainability obligations by businesses, government and consumers.
“It's not just retailers that take notice of B Corp certification. It can also be a game changer for consumers and investors. Over the past five years, B Lab said small businesses with B Corp certification have had a 30 percent higher survival rate than U.S. small businesses as a whole," Hartford Business noted.
While green products are increasingly available, telling the difference between "eco-friendly" companies and those with a real commitment to sustainable practices has become much easier thanks to B Corp certification, a business badge for companies with a proven track record on sustainability, community, transparency and fair employee treatment.
Companies looking for certification must complete an assessment of their current practices, gather documentation and go through an audit with a B Lab consultant, and pay fees anywhere from $500 to $25,000 depending on size. But the payoff is more than worth the trouble.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 23, 2013 07:17 PM
More than half of the 620 Bangladesh garment factories contracted by 23 North American retailers and apparel makers have been inspected for fire and building safety, according to a report from the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
Since the April collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex that killed more than 1,100 garment workers and a November 2012 fire at the Tazreen factory that killed 112, close attention has been paid to Bangladesh's booming garment industry—but it's still not enough. Earlier this month, another factory fire killed nearly a dozen people—a building that was reportedly left out of inspections by both the Alliance and European-based Accord on Fire and Building Safety.
In a bid to be more transparent amid criticism over its non-binding agreement, the Alliance has released a full list of all of its contracted factories that includes names and addresses, as well as number of workers and building composition. The list also indicates which factories are utilized by Accord members.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 06:17 PM
Global economic sluggishness continues to hold McDonald's back, CEO Don Thompson told investors today. And the chain doesn't seem to be able to do enough to escape the muck.
When Thompson elaborated on third-quarter earnings in a conference call, he could only report disappointing news: Global same-stores sales rose by only 0.9 percent during the period, "not as high as we'd like"; October sales should be "relatively flat" even with a slow year-ago number; and gambits ranging from new limited-time Mighty Wings to McDonald's long-standing Dollar Menu just aren't attracting the sales that McDonald's had hoped.
All Thompson could do was promise the investment community that McDonald's is doing everything it can to get past these challenges and succeed despite economic sluggishness in the US, Japan, China and other markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Eric Starkman on September 27, 2013 04:58 PM
The following is a guest post from Eric Starkman, the president of STARKMAN, a public relations and brand management firm with offices in New York and San Francisco. He previously was an editor and reporter at major newspapers in the US and Canada.
Yet another technology company, this time LinkedIn, is making headlines for alleged privacy infractions, and I cannot say that I'm surprised. For all their revolutionary savvy at introducing innovative products and apps that make life a whole lot more entertaining, convenient, or efficient, far too many cling to outdated models when it comes to responding to PR and reputation management issues.
When crises arise, there is an almost universal "politician-esque" response mechanism: spin, spin, spin your way out of it. Rather than opt for plain-speak and transparency in communicating with stakeholders, the tactics of choice more typically involve deflection, deception, distortion, and doublespeak. Applying this type of cavalier, contemptuous Beltway approach to the corporate world rarely, if ever, is successful, yet that hasn't stopped technology companies from increasingly tapping politicos to oversee their PR and communications efforts. It's certainly a head-scratcher.Continue reading...
now hear this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 12, 2013 07:33 PM
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were quick to clear their names at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, where both tech leaders expressed their thoughts on the now-infamous National Security Agency's tactics for collecting user data from major tech companies.
"If you don't comply, it's treason," Mayer told the audience. Neither company can discuss what information has been handed over to the government agency, but both stressed more transparency from the NSA's end. Both Yahoo and Facebook have joined others, including Microsoft, in requests to the government to allow them to reveal more about what the NSA collects.
Either way, none of the execs invovled are happy with the way things have unfolded in the last few months, after a rogue NSA agent disclosed classified documents and information to major media outlets—and identifying a handful of global tech companies that supposedly supply information to the NSA through is PRISM program.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 10, 2013 12:47 PM
The pilot of a Thai Airways plane that skidded off a runway in Bangkok Sunday night may have wanted to hide his face, but the plane he had been flying did him one better: It had its logos blacked out within hours of the incident.
Passengers hadn’t been hurt during the actual crash landing, but 13 sustained minor injuries during the evacuation, CNN reports. The plane suffered the most damage at the hands of Thai Airways workers, who slopped on the black paint to hide the plane’s logos.
According to CNN, this was done because of the “crisis communication rule,” a practice of obscuring logos after brand-damaging incidents that is recommended by global airline network Star Alliance, of which Thai is a member of, “to protect the airline's image," an airline official reportedly initially said. However, Star Alliance says it knows of no such policy: "The Star Alliance crisis communications policy does not state that logos are to be covered," in the event of an accident, a spokesman for the airline group, Markus Ruediger, told CNN.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2013 05:36 PM
At its recent Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced its plan for CityNext, an initiative that will utilize its partner network, big data capabilities and Azure, its cloud-based network, to create smarter cities.
"Cities play a vital role in our lives—both now and in the future,” said Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president of Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector in a press release. “Microsoft's CityNext initiative puts people first and builds on this new era of collaborative technology to engage citizens, business and government leaders in new ways."
One Microsoft CityNext partner, Socrata Inc., a cloud software company focused on the shift to data-driven government, leverages Azure to offer governments customizable dashboards, accessible by residents through mobile or Internet to monitor and interact real-time on how their leaders are doing on education, healthcare and job creation.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 20, 2013 01:42 PM
Google has three months to make changes or risk a fine of up to 150,000 euros ($201,100) and a second of 300,000 euros if it still fails to comply with the French Data Protection Act.
Last year, Google consolidated 60 privacy policies into one covering YouTube, Gmail and Google+ with no opt-out choice for users. Already wary, National European data protection regulators gave Google until February to propose changes—which it did not—resulting in the latest edict.Continue reading...