Fenton Weekly Good Business Update

The week launched with a provocative article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled: “The Secret to Turning Consumers Green.” Guess what – it’s GUILT. If that’s what it takes!! On a more serious note, it provides examples of real life scenarios where the guilt truly worked and helped sway public opinion.

Every month there seems to be another sustainability or green ratings list that is issued. How do we really make sense of these lists and are they valuable. GreenBiz.com’s Joel Makower, gets to the crux of the matter here.

While I’m on the list front, Havas and MPG surveyed 30,000 adults in nine countries including the U.S. and China, to find out who were the companies possessing the strongest corporate social responsibility credentials. IKEA, L’Oreal and Home Depot came out on top.

Fast Company featured two excellent blog posts this week, created by two accomplished writers. The first, Ann Charles, provides guidance for CEOs in her Vigilantism 2.0 – You’ve been “Inter.outed.” We live in a world today where the Internet is not kind to companies and CEOs who are not transparent, honest and operating in good faith. The second, by Alice Korngold,  makes a strong case that within the next several years corporate boards will NOT hire a CEO who doesn’t have experience in environmental sustainability as well as social issues. Read her “Corporate Leadership for the 21st Century” here. While on the subject of leadership, for any executive looking to build a solid sustainability program with measurable results, I highly recommend “A World in Trust, Leadership and Corporate Responsibility,” a white paper chock full of powerful data and insight, produced by Echo Research and the International Business Leaders Forum.

Separately, I had the pleasure to learn more about the Case Foundation this week and found the following interview with Jean Case to be exceptional. “At the Case Foundation, bringing tech Entrepreneurialism to Philanthropy,” provides the unique perspective that Jean and her husband, Steve, bring to the organization and its grantees.

We’ll be listening to next week’s 18th Annual Net Impact Conference taking place at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Oct 28-30. A who’s who of speakers include representatives from Ford Motor Company, BSR, Verizon, Nestle Waters North America & Stonyfield Farm.

Also, wanted to provide a shameless promotion for a Fenton partner, Centre for Sustainability and Excellence. The organization is providing its Certified Sustainability Practitioner training (IEMA Approved) in New York City on Dec 2-3. You can register here.

Lastly, I’d like to take a second and highlight a tremendous study/index, Women Give 2010, issued by Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University this Thursday. For the first time, it was now proven that women at nearly every income level gave significantly more to charity than men (nearly twice as much in some cases). You can read more about the study here.