With news of the Madoff scandal dominating the headlines once again, it’s no surprise I’m thinking about ethics today. Remember my post from April, the one in which Ethisphere Magazine showed us that over the past five years, the world’s most ethical corporations have significantly outperformed the S&P 500 in terms of average stock growth percentile? Ethisphere Magazine made a convincing argument that it pays to be ethical, but why is this? Are employees more productive if they’re working for an ethical company? Maybe ethical companies foster greater loyalty?
Archive for June, 2009
PepsiCo opened its first overseas “green” plant in China last week. The state-of-the-art beverage facility, located in the western city of Chongqing, is part of Pepsico’s $1 billion investment effort to grow its manufacturing capacity in the country, particularly in interior and western areas.
According to a press release, the Chongqing plant is the first green beverage facility ever built in China — and the first plant of any kind in the industrial center of Chongqing to be built in compliance with LEED engineering standards. In addition, this new eco-friendly plant
The flap between Dell and Apple last week over MacBook’s marketing was further proof that there’s a lot of confusion right now over what classifies as “green” and what doesn’t. The problem is pervasive and extends far beyond the competing, and sometimes dubious, environmental claims of computer manufacturers. In fact, during a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this month, Scot Case, the Vice President of TerraChoice, testified that of all the products claiming to be eco-friendly, a whopping 98% are guilty of greenwashing.
The Aberdeen Group has released a new report that shows more and more companies these days view positive social and environmental performance as inextricably tied to their vision of long-term viability and success. In fact, “The 2009 State of the Market: Mid Year Insights Report” compiles survey results from 1,607 executives from 36 countries and identifies sustainability as one of the top five priorities in 2009. Interestingly, however, survey respondents did not equate sustainability with “green” or environmental initiatives. Instead, the top performers in the survey have used sustainability to drive tried-and-true business results, including bottom line cost reductions, enhanced brand value, optimized performance, and competitive advantage.
Yesterday, Verizon Communications released its 2008/09 Sustainability Report, titled “Doing the Work.” The new report outlines Verizon’s accomplishments and challenges regarding the company’s five strategic CSR priorities: ethics and governance, service and innovation, empowering employees, protecting the environment, and partnering with communities.
The 56-page report is very user friendly, particularly the section called “Holding Ourselves Accountable,” where the company lays out its five priorities and lists “Our Focus,” “What We Said We’d Do,” “What We Did,” and “What We’ll Do Next.” For instance, on the topic of protecting the environment, Verizon says it is focused on minimizing the impact of its operations by conserving energy, recycling, and finding solutions to environmental challenges. Last year, the company said it would promote research on how broadband can help minimize environmental impact, and so it funded a study that found that information communications technology (ICT) can reduce carbon emissions up to 22% by 2020 and reduce dependence on foreign oil by 36%. In the future, Verizon plans to conduct “smart building” technology trial to gauge internal savings and potential for new product lines.