6 Criteria for Selecting a CSR Consultant – Forbes


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As companies  embed corporate social responsibility into their businesses, the value of working with CSR consultants isn’t always clear. In many cases, companies don’t need to hire outside consultants.

knowledgEnabler‘s insight:

[Corp. Sustainability & CSR consultancy]: 6 Criteria for Selecting a CSR Consultant! #ecoNable #CAPixAsia

 

This article is actually misleading the reader and is provided by a CSR consultant. It has some good criteria reflected but it is to be taken cautiously.

 

There is a huge difference between Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Sustainability and the article does not make the difference, focusing on CSR activities mainly. Corp. Sustainability is probably better approached through hands-on engagement, which is referred to as coaching rather then consultancy and has various degrees of moving companies forward as a better resourcer, manufacturer, supplier, employer, … ensuring an in-depth analysis of what-is to what-can-be, from a what-if perspective and focusing on cultural behavior change. Adapting towards a better future can go from an approach of ensuring sustainability for the company and its sourcing towards developing internal, supply chain or even extended enterprise resilience. Some approaches adapt towards thrivability of the company, employees and the extended enterprise.

 

As companies embed corporate social responsibility into their businesses, the value of working with CSR consultants isn’t always clear. Overall, the objective should be to build internal CSR capacity wherever possible.

In areas such as social audits of supply chains, environmental impact assessments, and measurement of social outcomes where third party verification/assurance is appropriate and necessary.

 

As the demand for CSR consultants is diminishing, the supply is increasing. There is now so much choice that corporations that are new to CSR or need to improve their programs have a hard time selecting the right CSR advisor.

 

Six criteria when selecting a CSR consultant – most of them also apply for consultancy, advice and coaching in corporate sustainability, resilience and/or thrivability:

 

1. Breadth of Experience: Have they worked in different business categories? Have they worked for corporations and not-for-profit organizations? Have they worked for small and large businesses? There is valuable cross-learning that comes from applying CSR in a wide range of situations.

 

2. Depth of Experience: There are many people who are passionate about CSR and have started consulting in this area. When selecting a CSR consultant, you need to balance enthusiasm with experience.

 

3. Diversity: Work with CSR consultants who reflect the internal and external audiences you need to reach and influence. This means the consultant should have access to a wide range of different opinions and to people of different ages, genders and ethnicities.

 

4. Building Capacity: The best CSR consultants place a high priority on putting themselves out of work. As described above, most aspects of CSR should be handled internally. Avoid consultants who are excessive self-promoters.

 

5. Experience with Social Change: It’s not enough to have academic credentials and practical experience in business. CSR is about bridging the gap between profit and purpose. This means that your advisors need to understand how social change works.

 

6. Inspiration: You should find a CSR consultant who inspires you to be provocative in a positive and appropriate way.

 

This list isn’t intended to cover specific aspects of CSR advisory services such as environmental sustainability or legal advice on climate change and emissions, areas where decisions are made almost solely based on professional and technical expertise.

See on www.forbes.com

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From Utilitarianism To Ethics: The Social Principles of Economic Sustainability


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‘From Utilitarianism To Ethics: The Social Principles of Economic Sustainability’ blog post by John Ikerd.

knowledgEnabler‘s insight:

[Economic sustainability & Culture]: From Utilitarianism To Ethics: The Social Principles of Economic Sustainability! #ecoNable #Econologics

 

People need relationships with other people for reasons that are purely personal – meaning not economic. Human history verifies the inherent social nature of the human species.

 

Society, as a general concept, includes all direct and indirect relationships among people – within families, friendships, communities, societies, and nations. People obviously have banded together in families and communities or tribes, for purposes of security, trade, and reproduction.

 

Social Values Differ But Principles Same Everywhere

Social standards or norms of human behavior evolve from a common understanding of necessary means for sustaining positive personal relationships. Social values are attempts to translate the essential principles of personal relationships into practical guidelines for day-to-day living.

 

Core Values of Humankind

People in different cultures obviously have different social values, but a common set of core values are shared across virtually all cultures of civilized society. These core values include such human characteristics as honesty, fairness, responsibility, respect, and compassion.

 

Trust is Universal

Positive personal relationships must be built on trust. Trust is a “rule-based” principle of human behavior, meaning it is a universal standard of conduct deemed appropriate for all people under all conditions.

 

Kindness & Empathy

Positive social relationships must also be based on kindness.

 

Moral Courage

Positive social relationships also require courage.

 

From Utilitarianism To Ethics
Unfortunately, the global economy is dominated by a utilitarian or ends-based ethic that places no value of human relationships unless something of value is expected in return. The rightness or goodness of decisions and actions is judged solely by their consequences or results, and the economic consequences are the only ones that seem to matter.

 

The supposed objective of such intentions is to do the “greatest good for the greatest number of people.” But the “greatest good” has become synonymous with the “greatest wealth,” as measured by personal prosperity, regional economic development, or the value of national economic output.

 

The “greatest goods” arising from trust and kindness have no economic value, as explained in The Essentials of Economic Sustainability. It will take moral courage to speak the truth about the dependence of economic sustainability on the essential social principles of trust, kindness, and courage.

See on www.csrwire.com

Resilience Ain’t Enough » Thrivable


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knowledgEnabler‘s insight:

The mutation process to the next human paradigm! #ecoNable #Econologics

Strive to Thrive!
Resilience Ain’t Enough!
– by Jean Russell

Breakthroughs, Experience, Field Building, Social Change by Jean Russell
It isn’t enough to repair the damage our progress has brought. The unintended consequences of our efforts to improve quality of life for humans has repercussions and requires action. Yes, and. It is also not enough to manage our risks and be more shock-resistant. Now is not only the time to course correct and be more resilient. It is a time to imagine what we can generate for the world. Not only can we work to minimize our footprint but we can also create positive handprints. It is time to strive for a world that thrives.

Thrivability transcends survival modes, sustainability, and resilience. Thrivability embraces flow as the sources of life and joy and meaning, adds to the flow and rides the waves, instead of trying to nullify the effects. Each layer includes and also transcends the previous layer, expanding both interconnections as well as expanding system awareness as each layer hits limits and discovers that more forces are at work than can be explained within their purview.

 

Note by ecoNVERGE:

 

We cannot just jump from Survival to Thriving – not on an individual, nor on a community or larger level – without understanding and experiencing the switch – getting out of survival mode – to sustainability, building resilience, promoting and living thrivability.
There is still a long way to go to reach a widespread experience of thriving.

Are you ready for a Thrivable perspective?
Thrivable is a solution-focused consulting network helping individuals and organizations to cultivate abundance by developing agility, creativity, and adaptability.

See on thrivable.net

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[Leadership]: Creativity vs Problem solving! #ecoNable #Econologics #CAPixAsia

Shared tracks

Peter Senge on Leadership

Peter Senge refers to this excellent definition around leadership:

“The capacity of a human community to shape it’s future.”

The Global Community

Many things comes to mind after seeing that Peter Senge-video as always. That Gandhi quote.. which I can’t seem to find now… in fact I find around 10 others just as good.

But it was on the “global community” and leadership. Imagine one man alone made change, oh sorry, it really happened. One man did it with his idea and his own energy and principles. Of course the time for the idea maybe had come and was supported by millions, but before he came into “action” sort of the task was seen as impossible.

Oh yeah, and “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And “Be the change you want to see in the world” of…

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how to reduce your carbon footprint


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Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their individual carbon footprint, and there are lots of ways to do so.

knowledgEnabler‘s insight:

[Ecological Footprint]: how to reduce your carbon footprint!  #ecoViVaCity – by CarbonFund.org – Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can’t.™ That’s our motto, and we’re proud of it.  Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their individual carbon footprint, and there are lots of ways to do so.  We encourage everyone to think about their lifestyle decisions and find opportunities to reduce their climate impact.  You can get partway to carbon neutrality through how you live your life, i.e., reducing your carbon footprint, and get the rest of the way there by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon offset projects. The biggest carbon footprint from any event is the transportation. Try holding the wedding in a location central to most guests. If that’s not possible, use Carbonfund.org’s wedding calculator to offset the travel and hotel impact. Here are some good ways to start. Did you know that the energy used to produce, deliver and dispose of junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars? You can dramatically reduce your junk mail through the service of our nonprofit partner 41pounds, which will contact dozens of direct mail companies to remove your name from lists, including catalogs you specify. The cost is $41 for everyone in your household for five years.  With the world’s growing reliance on the Internet, the office is becoming a major driver of climate change.  The energy required to power all the world’s computers, data storage, and communications networks is expected to double by 2020.  ePlusGreen offers free technology that monitors and can help to minimize energy usage from computers and office networks, thus reducing carbon emissions.   Here are some more ideas to get you started on your zero-carbon journey: – Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Car- Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Travel- Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Air Travel- Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Home- Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Wedding- Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Office- Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Life

See on www.carbonfund.org

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[New Economic Models]: Collaboration is the New Competition! #ecoNable #Econologics


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Five ways to drive large-scale social change by working cooperatively.

knowledgEnabler‘s insight:

We are bombarded daily with evidence of our nation’s inability to solve mounting problems like failing education systems and growing inequality. The rapid growth of collective impact and the building of new civic infrastructures around the country are the most promising approaches to tackle these issues.

Call to Change Leaders and organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts can’t stack up against today’s complex and interconnected problems. They are putting aside self-interests and collaborating to build a new civic infrastructure to advance their shared objectives. It’s called collective impact and it’s a growing trend across the country.

A diverse group of local leaders — private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit — fed up with the dysfunction around them, come together to challenge conventional wisdom and fix problems long written off as unsolvable, such as poverty, unemployment, and a failing education system. More often than not, they lack the formal authority to solve the problem and don’t have an obvious ‘plug and play’ solution.

While collaboration is certainly not a foreign concept, what we’re seeing around the country is the coming together of non-traditional partners, and a willingness to embrace new ways of working together. And, this movement is yielding promising results.

five lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration:

1. Clearly define what you can do together: "What can we do together that we could not do alone?" Often, this means thinking beyond individual projects to whole solutions and big, bold ideas.

2. Transcend parochialism: Even the most well intended collaboration is often crippled by parochialism. 

3. Adapt to data: The complex, multidisciplinary problems that many collaborative projects tackle do not have easy fixes. These challenges require continuous learning and innovation and the use of real-time data to help participants understand what is and isn’t working. 

4. Feed the field: You have an obligation to share what you learn — both the results and the methods for achieving them. 

5. Support the backbone: In our experience, progress is best achieved when a "backbone organization," keeps the group’s work moving forward.

See on blogs.hbr.org

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Top 10 Sustainable Business Stories of 2012


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Hurricane Sandy, innovation at Unilever and Nike, and the rise of green arithmetic.

knowledgEnabler‘s insight:

[Corporate & Public Sustainability]: Top 10 Sustainable Business Stories of 2012! Some intentions for 2013! #ecoViVaCity #ecoNable

 

The mega forces driving sustainability deep into business — such as climate change, resource constraints, and transparency — are getting stronger.

Corporate sustainability lost some of its sexiness from previous years, as it grew more entrenched in day-to-day business. Some parts of the agenda — eco-efficiency and resource conservation for example — are widely accepted now, and it’s rare to find a big-company CEO who doesn’t have sustainability on his or her radar.

 

We may not be keeping pace with these pressures, but leading companies continue to evolve more sustainable strategies and tactics. Let’s look at some top macro- and company-level stories.

 

Macro Trends:

1. Historic drought and Hurricane Sandy sweep away (some) climate denial
2. The math and physics of a planetary constraints get clearer
3. The clean economy continues to explode

Company Stories:

This year, there were countless eco-efficiency stories about companies saving millions of dollars and developing new tools to make buildings, fleets (Staples and UPS, for example), and manufacturing much leaner. Aside from that overall theme, the following stories grabbed me because of their connection to larger trends.

4. The green supply chain gets some teeth: Walmart changes incentives for buyers

5. Transparency and tragedy raise awareness about worker conditions

6. Data gets bigger and faster: PepsiCo and Columbia speed up lifecycle assessments

7. Sustainability innovation opens up: Unilever, Heineken, and EMC ask the world for help

8. The economy gets a bit more circular: M&S, H&M, and Puma experiment with closing loops

9. Dematerialization gets sexier: Nike’s knitted shoe shows off sustainable style

10. Zero becomes more the norm: DuPont, GM, and John Elkington show the way

Five Questions For 2013

Some other promising stories are in the "too early to tell" stage, but bring up some key questions:

1. Can we standardize sustainability, which some smart folks began to do around rankings (GISR) and accounting (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)?

2. Will we find a way to value externalities like ecosystem services and internalized, intangible benefits? (A focus of some of my work as an advisor to PwC US). For example, Microsoft launched an internal carbon tax and some major companies (Coca-Cola, Nike, Kimberly-Clark, etc.) pledged to value natural capital at Rio+20.

3. Will government get in the way or help, like when the U.S. Senate allowed the military to keep investing in biofuels?

4. Hertz and B&Q (Kingfisher) have delved into collaborative consumption (see WWF’s Green Game-Changers report), but will the sharing economy make a dent on sustainability issues?

5. Finally, how much will we challenge the nature of capitalism, and what will that mean for how companies operate? (This is the focus of my next project.)

 

 

Together with ecoNVERGE® we wish for an energizing 2013 and a progressive future for all!
Inspire ● Harmony ● Balance
Inspire one – 1x = X1 – motivate many!
www.facebook.com/ecoNVERGE

 

Realizing Sustainable Balance in Our Social and Economic Circle of Life!
– WE are Unlimited!

 

ecoNVERGE® Interactive COMMUNITIES of Practice (CoP/Think-Tanks):

 

@ eco-ViVaCity – ecologically balanced living!
@ eco-sTrEAMs – innovative future in the make!
@ eco-Nable – facilitate sustainable growth!
@ ECONOLOGICS – Incisive Knowledge Converged (FB Group)
@ ecoNVERGE – Econological SUSTAINABLE ValueChain SOLUTIONS (LI Group)

 

Transformational changes in social values, resource needs & technological advances.
Realizing Sustainable Balance in Our Social and Economic Circle of Life!
– WE are Unlimited!

 

We change the way we LIVE! – We change the way of LIFE!
Assimilate sustainable growth! Join our CoPs / Think-Tanks.
Be part of the CHANGE – PARTICIPATE your change!

See on blogs.hbr.org

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