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If 'social value' is the answer, what's the question?

Here is my blog on the problems with social value and social impact.

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Can corporate affairs be justified?

Can ‘corporate diplomacy’ ever deliver an enduring social licence to operate? See my review of Witold Henisz’ book on corporate diplomacy here. The review looks at the limitations of the business case for delivering true accountability.

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Changing our mind

The biggest obstacle to sustainability is our mindset. See my Guardian article on why we need a new one.

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Walking on the Dark Side

What happens when things go wrong? Here is my review of ‘The Dark Side’ – a collection of case studies of poor performance, mistakes and tragedies.

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Companies: too much like citizens

How much do we want to share our democracy with companies? There’s no doubt a place for companies to make stuff and sell it – but should there be a place for them to pay for political parties and influence party policies? Individuals have the right to petition and influence their rulers, but should companies also have it? At the moment, companies do it freely. It is called lobbying.

As David Cameron has said, lobbying “exposes the far-too-cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money…in some cases MPs are approached more than 100 times a week by lobbyists.” So we might guess that irrespective of any corporate donations to the Conservative Party, David Cameron is probably itching to remove Lynton Crosby from the ranks of party advisers. Just so that there can be no perception that the failure to implement tobacco controls or alcohol limits has anything to do with lobbying.

What about the companies involved? A search of the Philip Morris website for the term ‘lobbying’ returns no results. Do the same thing on BAT’s website and this page turns up. So there are different levels of awareness out there that transparency over lobbying is part of what earns a company its licence to operate.

Perhaps the phrase ‘corporate citizenship’ should not just elicit a warm and fuzzy feeling. As I have argued before, it also has its dangers.

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CSR Impact Measurement

What impact does your company have on the world? And what difference to that impact is your company making with its CSR projects?

In May I am holding 2-day courses on measuring impact in London and in Singapore. For London, you can find out more here. And for Singapore, you can find out more here.

 

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Stakeholder Engagement

What does stakeholder engagement done well look like? What are the pitfalls? And how should you go about conducting stakeholder engagement well?

In May I am running 2-day courses on this topic in London and in Singapore. You can find out more about the London course here . And you can find out about the Singapore course here.

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Do sustainability standards really make any difference?

My new short e-book, Making the Most of Standards, looks at sustainability standards. Which ones are important? Why are they so boring? How do they relate to each other? And how do you choose amongst the thousands out there?

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What will the economy look like in 2050?

Here is a panel I chaired for an ACCA virtual conference in the autumn of 2012. The panelists are Luke Wreford from WWF, David Aeron-Thomas from Forum for the Future and Tony Manwaring from Tomorrow’s Company.

The session covers issues such as what the green economy is, what it will mean for companies, what its key sectors will be.

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Is hugging trees enough to stop them being cut down?

What is it really like to be responsible for corporate responsibility (aka CSR) in a large company? Here is my review of Changing Business from the Inside Out