The environmental and societal issues that concern us all don’t have to be at odds with the bottom line, and the growing consensus is that they need to be part of the mission of organizations large and small. Social responsibility isn’t just a feel-good adjunct to business as usual. Shareholders, employees, consumers, and the general public have come to expect it of businesses whether they’re small nonprofits or giant corporations, public or privately-held.
Institutions that want to keep pace with the 21st century challenges of operating successfully while coordinating those goals with positive social impact need leaders who are skilled, knowledgeable, creative, and flexible.
How Can I Benefit?
Education is key to preparing yourself to be a leader in the field. A master of accountancy degree can give you more than practical knowledge. It can give you an understanding of the global environment and the critical role of creating and maintaining a sustainable and adaptable long-term business model within that environment.
Which Companies Are the Best?
A study by Reputation Institute, a private global consulting firm based in New York, found that 42 percent of how people feel about a company is based on their perceptions of the firm’s corporate social responsibility.
As gathered from a variety of sources, the updated list of companies operating worldwide whose CSR reputations rank highest are, in alphabetical order:
– Daimler (Mercedes-Benz)
– LEGO Group
– Survey Monkey
– The Walt Disney Company
– TOMS Shoes
These don’t include the national and international companies whose missions revolve around social responsibility, but organizations whose revenues are dependent upon providing for-profit goods and services. The way they go about their business, however, considers the environment and the positive impact of their operations on the people they serve and the public at large. The long-term value of ethical financial practices is that it brings both financial and social rewards.
How Does It Actually Work?
Jettisoning a company’s primary mission in order to align itself with an ideal of corporate social responsibility does no one any good. On the other hand, a recent article in the Harvard Business Review describes current pressures to demand that every CSR initiative delivers business results. The article outlines a systematic process for bringing coherence and discipline to CSR strategies that put them in sync with a business’ purpose and values.
In the course of a ten-year study, the Harvard Business School determined that most companies practice a mix of strategies ranging from pure philanthropy to the active pursuit of shared value. Well-managed companies, the report claims, appear less interested in integrating CSR with their business strategies and goals than they are in devising a program of social responsibility that, while not operating in lock step, is complementary to the company’s purpose and guiding principles.
Perhaps the easiest route, and the only one feasible for an organization, is to focus social responsibility on the basis of philanthropy, including donating money or equipment, participating in local community initiatives, and supporting employee volunteering. These programs aren’t designed to improve business performance or profits directly, though they add to a business’ image and standing in the community.
A more hands-on approach involves modifying a business with sustainability initiatives that conserve resources, reduce waste or emissions, and improve employee working conditions or health and education benefits. These programs certainly enhance a company’s reputation and may definitely have a positive effect on the bottom line.
Going even further, a company can reconstruct its business model entirely, with the purpose of achieving specific social or environmental results while keeping to its core mission. Companies whose products or services are compatible with this type of dramatic transformation reap rewards in both profitability and a glow on their CSR standing.
Of paramount importance is a leadership group that understands what social responsibility means, and has the will and know-how to pursue it while building and maintaining a healthy business.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”
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