A large scale study by OfficeMax Grand & Toy comparing Canadian companies to their world peers finds Canada leads in capturing cost reduction from sustainability initiatives but lags global leaders in driving profitability through collaboration. Broader collaborations with customers, suppliers, government and policy makers may be a key to unlocking the next phase’s rewards.
As Canadians, most of the industry reports we read focus on the U.S. Other studies cover globally. We may assume the trends and findings also apply to Canada. But do they? For the first time that I am aware of, a large scale study has been (Read more…)
It’s not just the government that owes a duty to the public, the opposition also owes a solemn duty to the public. That’s the lesson that’s inescapable for the past couple of federal elections and this week’s devastating electoral debacle here in British Columbia.
When you run in an election, you’re obviously in it to win. But, if you don’t make it, you’re seeking to serve as the opposition. You’re promising to serve the public as a foil to government, to work on policy and organization and to rally in time for the next election to give (Read more…)
So we’re going to let the RCMP get to the bottom of this senate expense scandal that now extends straight to the top of the Prime Minister’s Office.
I wish that gave me hope. It doesn’t.
Ever since former and subsequently disgraced Commissioner Zaccardelli conjured up notions in mid-election of a phantom investigation that helped Steve Harper sweep the Martin government out of power, the RCMP appeared decidedly bent.
That worsened when Harper appointed the first civilian Commissioner of the force, a veteran Tory operative, Bill Elliott, who made a complete hash of the job until he too had (Read more…)
What is the state of impact investing? The panel of experts from large institutional investors to small foundations at the 2013 Green Living Business Forum share their thoughts on the growth potential, risks and opportunities, and the valuation of social and environmental factors. Six common threads emerged from the discussion chaired by CBC host Evan Solomon.
Impact investing is small but rapidly growing. Currently it accounts for $50 billion globally, according to Bart Houlahan, Co-Founder of B Lab, a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs solve social and environmental problems. While this is a very small part of the capital markets, (Read more…)
Almost all of today’s TandT is a dead loss. Most of it is just boring, babbling about trivialities, mostly local, while ignoring even local stories that call for attention. But there is one item well worth reading. It’s Gwynne Dyer’s column about nations and their news media often blow stories out of all proportion.
For example, the idea of North Korea or Iraq (or Syria or Afghanistan or Libya or Yemen or Somalia) being threats to us is absurd. Yet, our governments routinely lie to us about the dangers posed by these countries. And our news media buy it every time. Why (Read more…) they lie to us?
There are several, closely related reasons.
Instilling fear in us helps the armed forces and the defence industries to get billions of dollars for weapons we don’t need. It was immediately after the Boston bombing that the US announced plans to install anti-missile defences all the . . . → Read More: The Moncton Times@Transcript – Good and Bad: April 23: …a must read….
Did you know our government spend money subsidizing fossil fuel energy to keep prices artificially low? A new International Monetary Fund study uncovers just how much these subsidies are and urge our governments to stop these market distortion practices. I calculate the real price we pay for fossil fuel energy and the results are astonishing.
The release of the study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is widely covered by mainstream media around the world in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and in a particularly good analysis from the Wall Street Journal. But it was (Read more…)
“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” says Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address which devoted a substantial portion on climate change. Direction is set for more oil and gas drilling, but also more funding for electric cars and energy efficient buildings.
The Globe and Mail’s reaction: “Very strong on climate change … If you are a Canadian environmentalist, you can be glad in your heart. If you are part of the Canadian oil industry or the Canadian government trying to get the Keystone pipeline approved, not so good … It’s the (Read more…)
Each day offices across Canada and the U.S. receive thousands of shipments in cardboard boxes. Once unpacked they go straight to recycling depots or landfills. Office supplies chain Grand and Toy and its US parent OfficeMax launch their reusable Boomerang Box to help their customers go green and reposition themselves from a commodity supplier to a business partner. We take a look behind the scenes to see how they use sustainability as a business strategy.
What is this new cardboard box? Instead of using regular one-time-use cardboard boxes to deliver office supplies to their customers, Grand and Toy custom designed (Read more…)
Being able to get across a green product’s essence to consumers and investors is a key that can turn it from a fringe interest to mass market success. Design can connect consumers with a cleantech product’s functions, values, and green character better than words can. This article shows the key role design played in the success of Toyota Prius, Nest thermostat, compact fluorescent lamps and other cleantech products.
A few years ago, green start-up Intelligent Energy, the proud owners and developers of a world-class hydrogen fuel cell, faced a real challenge. The world was proving slow to grasp the (Read more…)
Can your landlord help your business attract talents, reduce environmental footprint, and foster team collaboration? Royal Bank of Canada aims to achieve all that with its new Canadian headquarters in Toronto being built by Oxford Properties. I take a look at the special features custom designed for sustainability, employee engagement, and business strategies.
Scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2014, the new national headquarters for RBC, named RBC WaterPark Place, is located in Toronto’s waterfront between Bay and York Streets on the north side of Queens Quay West, just south of the Gardiner Expressway (Google Map (Read more…)
Eight-nine per cent of Ontarians feel their communities would benefit environmentally and economically by incorporating green alternatives, according to a new survey conducted by Research House. Green product manufacturers and suppliers may look into upcoming community development projects such as public parks and community centres for potential collaboration opportunities.
The April 2012 survey focused on Ontario consumer perceptions around creating greener communities, and what cities and developers could be doing to foster the development and implementation of green building products.
To create greener communities, Ontarians feel that local municipalities should take action to foster the development and expand the use (Read more…)
I recently received a wonderful greeting card from Walmart. It is made of special seed paper that can be grown into a plant. For a company on the sustainability journey, the card itself delivers the message. I love it so much that I tracked down the card manufacturer.
When I got the card from Walmart, I thought it looked a little unusual as the paper has bumps all over its surface. It reminds me of decorative art paper from specialty art stores. On the back side is instruction on how to grow the card. It is really quite simple, (Read more…)
While some ‘green’ businesses do little more than changing light bulbs and focus on greening their reputations, TD Bank take a long term view and green themselves slowly and steadily from the inside out. In this exclusive interview, TD Chief Environmental Officer Karen Clarke-Whistler explains how this long term approach is applied to real estate management and energy conservation.
TD is the second largest bank in Canada and sixth largest in North America. Their long term goal is to embed environmental thinking into all aspects of the business (see How to Embed Sustainability Into Corporate Culture), from internal operations (Read more…)
Some of the biggest CEOs in Canada come together for the Walmart Green Student Challenge. I took this rare opportunity to ask them: Where is sustainability going for Canadian industries? Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Unilever already share best practices for their common goals in sustainability. Now they want to see more suppliers come on board.
The all-star judge panel for Walmart Green Student Challenge includes CEOs from Walmart Canada, Coca-Cola Canada, Unilever Canada, Maple Leaf Foods, and The David Suzuki Foundation. They come together at the Toronto Stock Exchange to hear five finalist teams of students present their next big green
. . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: Three CEOs in One Room: Walmart, Coca-Cola, Unilever
Being added to external corporate social responsibility indices enhances a company’s reputation and can affect its share price, but not always in ways expected. This article examines how the stock prices of 121 companies changed after being added to or removed from the Calvert Social Index.
Socially responsible investing has been growing faster than the overall market over the last decade. According to Lipper, socially responsible mutual funds are growing while other diversified equity funds are shrinking. Companies in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) and Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) delivered double the total return of Global 500 companies
. . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: How Third-Party CSR Ratings Impact Share Price
There is a powerful opportunity for brand managers to integrate corporate responsibility commitments into brand platforms to win consumer loyalty. General Motors and Zipcar both ran recent campaigns in universities to win over students. One car company shows they understand their target audience while the other shows a disconnect.
You may have heard about the “Reality Sucks” General Motors campaign that launched last month across various college campus newspapers in the US. The ad was promoting GM’s college discount, enabling students to buy Chevrolet, Buick, or GMC cars at a discount. The ad depicts a young woman in a car,
. . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: Integrating Corporate Responsibility Into Brand: GM vs Zipcar
Most corporate social responsibility reports look great on the surface. But how do you read between the lines to separate the green heroes from the green washers? This article looks at reports from Merck, Procter and Gamble, De Beers, Ferrero and shares 16 tips on how to read sustainability reports like a pro.
I love reading sustainability reports. The sheer variety of approaches to reporting, content, presentation, design, quality and creativity is as great as the number of companies which report. Sustainability reporting has become a true differentiator and not only because of a report’s existence (which is now, for the larger companies at least,
. . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: Sustainability Reports: Separating Green Heroes from Green Washers
What is integrated reporting? What are the benefits and what’s involved in its adoption? We survey views from PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, and talked to Michael Krzus, the author of One Report: Better Strategy through Integrated Reporting. Joanne Westwood of Vancity shared with us their practical experiences. . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: Integrated Reporting: Experiences from KPMG, PwC, Experts, Practitioners
Carbon Disclosure Project releases its Canada 2011 report today at the Toronto Stock Exchange. More Canadian companies than ever publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions. Contrary to the common believe that going green slows growth, businesses who take the lead into a low carbon economy deliver twice the financial return compare to their peers. . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: CDP Canada 2011: Key Highlights
Recent reports by McKinsey and PricewaterhouseCoopers find more companies are managing sustainability to improve process and pursue growth instead of focusing on reputation alone. In this article, guest contributor Venkat S. Somasundaram analyzes these reports and presents three key challenges to the future of corporate sustainability. . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: The Future of Corporate Sustainability: McKinsey, PwC
82% of consumers have good green intentions, but only 16% are dedicated to fulfilling these intentions, according to an Ogilvy study. This puts 66% in what is called the ‘Middle Green’, a group that is neither active environment crusaders nor anti-greens. How do we turn mainstream consumers’ green intentions into green action? . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: 12 Ways To Turn Green Intentions Into Green Actions
Canadian companies such as Talisman Energy are showing leadership in corporate social responsibility on the global stage. In a globalized world, it is important for companies that are operating in other countries or those seeking to establish international subsidiaries to act responsibly and furnish reports to prove the credibility. . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: Canadian Companies Show Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility
93% of CEOs see sustainability as important to their company’s future success, as found by a UN-Accenture study. But how does one embed sustainability into a company’s core culture? Dr. Stephanie Bertels of Simon Fraser University conducted one of the most extensive researches in this subject. Her findings in the 74-page report are distilled into a core framework diagram. This cheat sheet will guide you through the key points. . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – a blog on sustainability for Canadian businesses: How To Embed Sustainability Into Corporate Culture: A Cheat Sheet