Weekly Fenton “Good Business” Update

Highlights for the week include the Global Reporting Index (GRI) launching “Focal Point” and its presence on U.S. soil with the opening of its New York office.  GRI’s goal will be to help grow the number of U.S. organizations creating sustainability reports.  We will all benefit from the increased transparency.

The excellent UK daily newspaper, The Guardian has re-launched the Guardian Sustainable Business, providing us with insightful information and dialogue on corporate responsibility, environmental updates and more here.  Add it to your must read list.  Featured on the first day was an especially informative piece by Fabian Pattberg, entitled: Five Key Developments that have Changed Corporate Sustainability”

What are the new rules for those brands that are truly “Purpose Driven? . A successful strategy requires thinking about a long-term commitment to an issue or cause that endures well beyond “the moment.”  Ad Age featured a piece that anyone who is creating a cause-marketing campaign should review.

Marcy Murninghan helps us understand the maze of sustainability ratings that are released and ‘rates the raters’ on this blog post.  You’ll be surprised to see just how many now exist.  This was written the same week that the well-known and credible Boston College Carroll School of Management issued its annual Corporate Social Responsibility Index.

Some meaningful new initiatives that were announced this week include Stonyfield Farms updated packaging – certainly a positive move for all those yogurt buyers.  Also, the major brand, Whirlpool launched what it touts as the  “industry’s most resource-efficient laundry pair.” My question is, will doing laundry be more fun? ;-).  And our favorite grocer, Whole Foods, donated $1.4 million to its unique Salad Bar Project.  That’s enough to fund 570 salad bars for schools across the country (and much healthier than burgers and fries.)

On a more sobering note, Doug Melville penned “Why Green Marketing is Doomed,” walking us through the SunChip bag failure and lessons that should be learned.

John Friedman and CSE’s Nikos Avlonas wrote a helpful essay for all CSR communicators Gimme Some Truth: Green washing versus Sustainability.

A book recommendation Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World by Linda Tarr-Whelan and available here.

Lastly, if you have not signed up for the BSR Conference next month, we highly recommend it.  The agenda looks outstanding and we are very excited to be sponsoring and supporting the event.