Book Review: The Social Entrepreneur Revolution

My review of this book was originally published on the CSR International website

Author(s): Martin Clark

Publisher: Midpoint Trade Books Inc.

Year: 2009

Pages: 208

One of the most discussed concepts in the world of sustainability and sustainable business today is that of social entrepreneurship. If you have heard the term being bounced around and have been vaguely intrigued by what it is, then this book is for you.

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More on eco-friendly mobile phones…

Samsung EvergreenI came across an interesting blog post the other day, which fits in well with the topic of one of my earlier posts –  eco-rating.  7 of the Most Eco-Friendly Cell Phones on the Market by Megan Treacy has some points I do not agree with (like the iPhone – that logic can be applied to most smartphones today, and Apple is not a good example to use particularly considering their recent withdrawal from EPEAT certification, basically a snub to the eco-labeling movement).

But there is some good info about a few exciting handsets out there, like the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate and the Samsung Replenish which have a significant amount of post-consumer waste and recyclable material in them (which would give them high scores in the “eco-friendly design” category of the eco-rating methodology used by Orange in Armenia) as well as the Micromax X259, which is solar powered (and would therefore score high in the “limitation of CO2″, which also includes the amount of electricity the phone uses, how often it needs to be recharged etc.)

Let me know what you think of the article and which “green mobile phone” appeals to you most!

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Sorry _insert company name here_, this is not a CSR Report…

On a recent trip to Lebanon, I came across a magazine called Responsible Business published by CSR Lebanon.  Before I get to the specific article I want to write about today, I have to say that it was inspiring to find a magazine dedicated to CSR in a country like Lebanon, mostly because on that trip I found  a lot of similiarities between Armenia and Lebanon (not to suggest that the main difference between our two countries is that we don’t have a CSR magazine in Armenia… yet).  My better half spotted an ad for the magazine while we were in the city and then pointed out an issue to me in a book store… thanks! :)

Anyway, issue no. 3 (July-September 2012) of Responsible Business had a very interesting article titled Sorry Bank Audi, this is not a CSR Report.  The article was authored by Khaled A. Kassar, founder and CEO of CSR Lebanon, and was basically an analysis of the first CSR Report by Bank Audi.  As the title suggested, the author was not particularly happy with the report, and with good reason.

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Eco-Rating of Mobile Phones – an Important Day for CSR in Armenia!

In June 2012, Orange launched the eco-rating of mobile phones in its shops in Armenia and online store.  To some extent, this was a landmark moment for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the country and here’s why.

 

But first things first – what is eco-rating?  To put it simply, it is a way for customers to know more about the mobile phone they are considering to buy, specifically the environmental impact that is associated with making that particular product.  You can read more about the specific methodologies that are used by Orange, Vodafone, O2 and AT&T  – they’re different from company to company, but the basic purpose is the same.  If you’re a customer who is concerned about the environment, you are now better armed to make an informed choice about the next mobile phone you will buy.

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CSR Armenia returns… again!

It’s been more than 10 months since my last post, which is close criminal… No specific commitments (didn’t work last time) but I will do my best to update more frequently.  Thanks for visiting!

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Ken dumps Barbie: Greenpeace’s latest success!

As most people who’ve read on the history of CSR will know, Greenpeace features big with their campaign around Brent Spar.  They are the perfect example of what some researchers call ‘confronters’, i.e. organizations that attack the corporations in order to raise their awareness on CSR/Sustainability issues.  Another example of how they did this was against Nestle’s Kit Kat, protesting against the use of Palm Oil, which led to the destruction of Orangutan habitats.  Their campaign featured a series of gruesome videos, which you can see on YouTube, including this one and this one (please take the “gruesome” warning seriously before watching!).

Personally, I’m much more a fan of the ‘engagers’, i.e. those organizations that work with the corporations to improve practices, realizing that change doesn’t happen in a day.  But, of course, ‘confronters’ can be just as successful, as Greenpeace demonstrated in their campaign against Mattel, the makers of Barbie and her boyfriend Ken.  There is a little less aggression in this campaign and a little more wit, which is perhaps why I enjoyed it a lot.

It turns out that the packaging for Barbies comes from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a company that destroys Indonesian rainforests (home of the threatened Sumatran tiger) to get their product. What would you do if you were Greenpeace?  Continue reading »

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A brilliant CSR initiative from eBay – the eBay box!

This is truly an excellent initiative.  Think about it – eBay is a huge name and is responsible for thousands of boxes being shipped from one end of the globe to the other, on a daily basis.  This is an important issue in their value chain and the company’s team has come up with an excellent initiative to add a measure of sustainability to this – the eBay box!

In addition to being especially designed to encourage reuse, the company will also allow users to see data on the top traveled boxes and the aggregate positive impact on the environment as a result of the reuse of this box.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?

Read more about this initiative on the company’s Green Team site or this article from  the MIT Sloan Management Review.  Too lazy to read?  Watch the clip below.

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CSR Armenia is back!

Hi everyone,

After a long break of more than 6 months, CSR Armenia is back.  I’m struggling with whether or not I should commit to a specific frequency of updates (obviously, that didn’t work the last time I did it…), but at the moment I hope to be able to bring something new to my readers (hi Mom!) at least once a week.  Enjoy! :)

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PRNews CSR Awards

It’s been a while since my last post! I’ve got together some material that I will be publishing in the posts to come, but one thing I wanted to bring to you while it is still ‘fresh’ is a summary of the results of the PR News Corporate Social Responsibility awards.  There are a number of categories such as best report, best CSR blog, cause branding and more.  You’ll notice that the companies are all American (someone please correct me if you spot a European or non-American company in there), so obviously this is not a perfect reference, because many of the leading companies in CSR and sustainability come from the other side of the Atlantic (or even the Pacific!).

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CSR Blogs: Forbes

I came across another good CSR blog today.  It has a straightforward title  – The CSR Blog – but bears a name  that even many non-CSR people in the business world will recognize instantly – Forbes.

I was drawn to a particularly interesting recent blog entry about an article written in the Harvard Business Review by Michael E. Porter and Jerry Kramer, two big names in the CSR world.  The article, published in the January-February 2011 issue of HBR, focused on how CSR should be redeveloped into a new idea – Creating Shared Value or CSV.

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