Can this work? Check out the page and send feed back…I would be very interested in hearing others thoughts. fosfo is a crowd sourcing system reporting on best efforts or worst actions of companies based on varying principles of CSR selected by each individual when you sign up to make entries. These entries are rated and commented on to increase or dispute accuracy of claims towards the businesses or services being reported on. But what happens if and entry is dreadfully wrong? Will the consumer have time to shop and scan every item until they miraculously find the “good” product? Will consumers be inspired to participate in fosfo or are they inundated with so much that the process will lose its appeal? I reached out to Executive Director Stephane De Messieres to ask a few questions..will post as soon as we have a chance to connect.
The idea is very compelling, but are there ways to make it easier? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments.
I found Pam Koner, a couple years ago, when I was researching people addressing hunger in America. I read about her work starting Family-to-Family and how an article in the New York Times inspired her to create change by introducing families with resources to families with need. The most inspiring piece is that Pam believes these families should get to know each other by writing letters, and that in communicating further understanding around poverty, and also wealth, could take place. Pam was also a 2009 CNN Hero Award Nominee…hear her story here.
Pam and I worked together on introducing Family-to-Family to other folks in the American hunger movement after I had attended a workshop at SXSW in 2010 called the Cause Lab. Family-to-Family was recognized as an Honorable Mention for Best Idea to end hunger with We Can End This. It was a pleasure working with her - she is a leader with a very unique and compassionate perspective.
So take a moment and VOTE as Pam Koner and Family-to-Family are semifinalists for the Energizer 2011 Hall of Fame award.
Over the last month there has been numerous reports, commentaries, tweets and blog posts (including this one) on the announcement of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Apparently this effort grew out of what seems to many the unlikely collaborative relationship between Walmart and Patagonia Inc. Patagonia is one of the leading environmentally conscious apparel manufacturers in the world. (Ranked in the top 20 Best Companies from Better World Shopper in addition to leadership partnerships such as Pepperdine University’s MBA Environmental Entrepreneurship Development (EED) program). Walmart as we all know is the worlds largest retailer and has often, over the last decade, weighed heavy under scrutiny regarding a variety of corporate practices. However, since Walmart announced its own initiative for environmental indexing in 2009, through a collaboration with the Sustainability Consortium, one would ask why does this seem such an “unlikely partnership” between the two companies?
I think this is a quite obvious partnership and a testament to what could potentially be one of the biggest shift in corporate governance, transparency and forward movement for universal quality standards on CSR - particularly in areas focused in environmental concern. Why wouldn’t Walmart look to the best example for learning and development of environmental standards and why wouldn’t Patagonia offer a willingness to educate the largest retailer in the world? It would appear to me to make sound business sense for both companies. Walmart has the opportunity to further expand sustainability practices and Patagonia has the opportunity to positively influence environmental practices that would effect consumer goods manufacturers globally. This seems like a winning proposition for all, including the environment. Perhaps the only downfall is that the expectations and proposed standards will far exceeded the normal practices of suppliers who are struggling under costs of production, shareholder demands on profit margins, and our insatiable demand for low cost consumer price indexing.
However, with a growing legion of companies, NGOs and government agencies involved in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition including: Adidas, Arvind Mills, C&A, Duke University, Environmental Defense Fund, Esprit, Esquel, Gap Inc., H&M, HanesBrands, Intradeco, JC Penney, Kohl’s Department Stores, Lenzing, Levi Strauss & Co., LF USA, a division of Li & Fung Limited, Marks & Spencer, Mountain Equipment Co-op, New Balance, Nike, Nordstrom, Otto Group, Outdoor Industry Association, Patagonia, Pentland Brands, REI, TAL Apparel, Target, Timberland, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Verité, VF Corp and Walmart, perhaps consensus can be found around the key imperative variables - Planet, People, Profit and an index delivered to the consumer that allows for educated purchasing and growing awareness around the impact of our consumption.
A few last questions…
1. What happened to the relationship with the Sustainability Consortium? Hopefully what is not happening is that industries are breaking off from higher than expected standards to create their own more palatable indexing of sustainability and in the end do little to shift our necessary paradigms.
2. If the American Apparel and Footwear Association is in support of these initiatives are they planning on becoming a member like the Outdoor Industry Association, and encouraging membership from their association members? One would think that their input and influence would help in achieving an index which would have additional global reaching proportions.
3. Will the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association of brands and manufacturers (licensors and licensees) apply indexing information to their products and become further involved in the sustainability conversation? Read Carol Spieckerman’s recent blog post on the LIMA website. Carol is the CEO of New Market Builders
4. Where is the National Retail Federation on the proposed indexing? No announcement on their site.
If any group has additional information to share please forward to Jen@thegoodroundup.com
After contacting a former colleague and friend at Sony and inquiring about how they were all doing this morning, which she assured me they were doing the best they could in the wake of the current disaster and working together which made her feel quite proud…I then asked if there was news of the Corporation response…
Press Release from Sony Corporation:
Sony Support for Japan Earthquake Relief Efforts
(Tokyo, March 13, 2011) - Sony Corporation today announced that, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the northern region of Japan on March 11, Sony and its group companies will donate 300 million Japanese yen to help relief and recovery efforts in communities affected. Additionally, a disaster relief fund will collect donations across the Sony Group from employees worldwide, and their contributions will be matched by the company through a matching gifts program. The company will also donate 30,000 Sony radios to assist the relief of earthquake victims, while the Sony Group will prepare further product donations going forward, taking into account the local needs.
The Tohoku region is historically important for Sony, with a high concentration of manufacturing sites, and many employees and their families have also been affected by these devastating events.
“In times like these, we are reminded of how important and fragile we are and of the positive impact we can have - both as individuals and, collectively, as a Company - to assist those in need,” said Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation. “We will continue to make the utmost effort to help the swift recovery of the affected communities in the region.”
In addition to the corporate relief efforts by Sony, who has a significant presence and interest in the immediate region, many other companies are making commitments in the millions of dollars to support Japan as it faces what is being considered the most costly and devastating natural disaster in history. See the current report from the Business Civic Leadership Center.
See Jeff Hollender’s article for CSRwiretalkback. I am a big fan of Mr. Hollender, but one piece he left out of his 10 point plan is how to communicate to the consumer companies that are manufacturing here in the United States and how do we support those companies with our purchasing power. If you knew those details would it matter to you? Over the years we have seen “made in the U.S.” campaigns and now we have numerous certifications on “Fair Trade”, but what are we doing to keep the consumer aware of the strength of their purchasing power and how it can influence social and economic change? Keep an eye on The Good Roundup as we begin to report on the valued economy building companies in the U.S.
Jeffrey Hollender has a 10-point plan to get the U. S. economy back on track.
By Jeffrey Hollender
Don’t be fooled by the recent rise of the Dow or declining unemployment numbers – our economy is still in a terrible mess. Here’s what we need to do NOW!
The reason America’s…
A very worth while read…
Originally posted on the BCLC Blog.
By Emily Drew
If you were a woman in rural Benin today, you would spend 10 hours each week carrying food and water. As a Tanzania Masaai woman, you would walk up to 30 kilometers to collect water in the dry season and, of course, walk back…
After a year of blogging, it was time for a little overhaul. I wanted to give Good Works Work a new look and also create community conversation around all the “Good” I have been seeing. As I have refocused my career from traditional brand licensing and brand management to non-profit and corporate social responsibility, I am intrigued by the abundance of “Good” messaging and how effective it is on us as consumers. I am also interested in the changing way that companies are building in ideals of “Good” into their business plans. So The Good Roundup is a place to have a full blown conversation around ” What is Good ? “. Is Good the new black? Are we really changing the way we build community, business and the politics of living?
A big thank you to my friend Heather Mulcahey for helping with the new icon - a bit more serious, but keeping with a little humor on a topic having such a big impact.
Please send leads and ideas that are local, national and global and email email@example.com. Join in the conversation and keep coming back, this is just the beginning...