Corporate Responsibility: Tell Us Whether Your Company Does It Right and Get a Chance to Receive a Free Book | Seventh Generation
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Corporate Responsibility: Tell Us Whether Your Company Does It Right and Get a Chance to Receive a Free Book

32 comments
Author: Inspired Protagonist

The Responsibility RevolutionNext month I will publish The Responsibility Revolution, a book that looks at companies that are on the right track when it comes to corporate social responsibility.

Do you think the company you work for is responsible?

Or do you wish the management team cared more about sustainability?

Tell us by commenting below, and we'll choose 10 Nation members to receive a free copy of The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win (Jossey Bass; March 15, 2010. $27.95).

The Responsibility Revolution looks at reimaging companies from within: innovating new ways of working; instilling a new logic of competing; redefining the very purpose and possibility of business.

To read a chapter from the book, click here (pdf).

-Jeffrey Hollender
Inspired Protagonist
Seventh Generation, Inc.

32
Comments

lemerts picture
lemerts
05/13/10
I work for a non-profit organization that makes an attempt at promoting sustainability, but continues to use toxic cleaning products. They are Assisted Living facilities and Nursing Homes so these toxic chemicals are used throughout the buildings. I have made suggestions about using green cleaning products, but so far it has fallen on deaf ears. I even printed out MSDS sheets for some of the products and gave to my supervisor, but I don't think they went any further than her desk.
smy509 picture
smy509
03/09/10
I work in retail and our company is starting to produce/carry eco-friendly products and more organic products as well. There are several of us moms at work who use 7th Generation products at home so hopefully what we do at home will carry over to work. It's a process--we may never be a 100% green company but ever little bit we can do, one person, one store at a time helps.
Green_Monster picture
Green_Monster
03/07/10
My workplace recycles cans. I would say that is the only "green" thing we do! I throw out dozens of cardboard boxes weekly and our cleaning products are far from green. I would love to win this book so that I can suggest making my workplace a green business!
stef42678 picture
stef42678
03/01/10
I work at a local aquarium, so our mission is to promote conservation for the oceans and wildlife, so we do a lot of things that are green everyday. I helped setup a recycling program in our office so that we can all recycle paper and bottles and cans, as well as all the trash that comes from guests is sorted and recycled. We are committed to sustainability by helping promote the seafood watch program to help seafood consumers make better choices for them and the planet. The company has also installed energy efficient appliances, as well as water conserving products in the restrooms. I would love to win this book!
kearley picture
kearley
02/28/10
I own a small home daycare & I included an environmental policy in my operational policies. Since my business is in my home it is not too hard to apply responsibility to my business. My policy is to buy ethically & environmentally responsible products, cleaners, paper, toys, biodegradable plastics, local & organic food, & to recycle or compost a minimum of 75% of household waste. I also try to reduce waste by cloth diapering & using cloth rather than paper towels whenever possible. I offer a tuition discount for parents who cloth diaper their babies in my care. The next step I eventually hope to achieve is to make updates to my home to make it more efficient & sustainable.
nnej88 picture
nnej88
02/28/10
I work in the art industry and see advancements every day to use products from sustainable forests. While I have noticed my vendors incorporating green slogans into their marketing I am concerned that they are not doing enough. The majority of sales are still made with products using harmful emissions and wasteful measures. I would love for there to me more options on green supplies and recycling programs. The industry's clientele are among some very open minded individuals who would be attracted by eco-friendly programs.
ang5785 picture
ang5785
02/27/10
my company has a so-called recycling program...until we moved. Now we have no places to recycle. Management tells us "they're working on it" while thousands of plastics bottles go to waste
jennpaolino picture
jennpaolino
02/26/10
I am an independent rep for USANA Health Sciences. They really walk he talk and are a company of great integrity. Here is a <a href="http://www.usana.com/dotCom/about/green" target="_blank">link</a> to their corporate vision - USANA Green. They are a founding reporter with the climate registry. Here is a link to their page about their green vision and within that, a brief presentation on the many steps they have taken and continue to take to lead their industry on this front. If this turns you on :-) I am always on the look out for like-minded folks to do business with. <a href="http://www.SynergisticEffects.usana.com" target="_blank">SynergisticEffects.usana.com</a> Changing lives, Jenn
jkeahey picture
jkeahey
02/26/10
I work for an environmental engineering firm. When I first came aboard, we didn't recycle anything but large white ledger paper from our plans, mainly because nobody had taken the initiative. I asked to start a recycling program and was granted my wish. We now recycle all paper products, aluminum and steel cans, glass, plastic bottles, and cardboard. I even found a recycler that takes #1-7 plastics (less styrofoam), and a co-worker who lives nearby drops them off periodically. Our city also has a great hazardous waste collection program, so we have a collection point for paint cans, light bulbs, toner, batteries, electronics, etc. and drop them off at the hazmat center a few times a year. Our staff has become much more conscious about recycling and waste reduction!
Schmaron picture
Schmaron
02/26/10
I work for a big electronics retailer. Our break room has a garbage and a soda bottle receptacle (due to the deposit paid). They sent out a memo that recycling bins were going to be implemented soon. I'm still waiting. I am so appalled at how much paper is printed out then immediately thrown away. This company has a long way to go to be green in my mind. Mind you, they do recycle old products when you purchase new ones. They also have gift cards, totes and plastic bags made of post-consumer material. It is getting better I must admit. I just feel they need to pick up the pace. One thing I am excited about is that the company has a committee directly in charge of community relations, volunteer services and employee relations. I am on said committee and I have suggested a switch to Seventh Generation cleaning products and more recycling. As Sheldon Mopes AKA Smoochy the Rhino says "you can't change the world, but you can make a dent!"
catlady912 picture
catlady912
02/25/10
One of the great things about Half Price Books is that they strive to be so green. What we can't sell, we try to donate. We recycle magazines, plastic and paper bags as well as aluminum cans. We reuse the pages we print on for scrap paper and our gift cards are made of a corn-based recyclable material as well. Right now, we're promoting going bag-less (or at least using reusable bags) by donating a nickel to an environmental charity for each plastic bag our customers decline. Our store also has lots of green plants inside to improve our air and we sponsor a two-mile stretch of road through Adopt-A-Highway, which we clean several times a year.
cmoore71 picture
cmoore71
02/25/10
i work at a non-profit in atlanta called southface... we teach people how to save energy, water, and resources in their commercial and residential buildings. we - of course - have efficient buildings and have always hosted green meetings and used environmentally-preferred cleaning products. there's a little more we can do regarding transportation, but otherwise, we're on track to 100% "walking the talk". we're also pursuing the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Existing Buildings Operations + Maintenance certification for our buildings. It's a great program because it makes you look at all aspects of how you run your business.
l_obal picture
l_obal
02/25/10
I worked for a large printing company in Dallas, Texas for a year. Before I got their they had started to do some things right, like start using partially recycled paper, turn off the computers at night, and recycle their paper (because their was a ton of waste). However, while I was their they started using "recycling" as a cause to cut costs for simple things for their employees. Such as paper cups for the water fountain, instead giving us these huge, plastic cups with the company name on them that were not microwaveable and therefor no one used. Although I totally agree with "going green", they should have been even more aware of what the people in your company need. Especially if it is a microwaveable mug for coffee, because otherwise their is a hundred more plastic mugs in the trash.
cvs7997 picture
cvs7997
02/25/10
I am happy to report that when I needed a new job 3 years ago I found a position within a Tissue/Towel/TP manufacturer that has been nearly 100% recycled for the past 20 years. Originating from Canada, my company purchased an existing manufacturing facility in upstate NY, has recently announced their products are 100% recycled from existing materials and has a "Green Team" that makes as many changes to the existing 30 year old building to become more environmentally friendly. Working here never conflicts with the 3 R's policy and I consider them very progressive in today's time where consumer products are being sold as green but not every company is green or environmentally friendly whatsoever.
papernapkin picture
papernapkin
02/25/10
I am the principal and creative director for PaperNapkin design studio. We are striving to be as eco-friendly as possible. All correspondence is electronic and we discourage all printing. If we design print work for a client it is printed on paper from responsible sources and using vegetable-based inks. Any paper coming to the studio is recycled. Future plans include "non-flush" bathroom fixtures and solar panels to supply electricity and hot water.
kendallann picture
kendallann
02/25/10
I am the sustainability coordinator for dining services at a mid-sized university -- right off the bat, that institution is generating enormous amounts of energy/waste/consumption, but to further compound the issue, our dining program is actually a result of a contract with an international multi-billion dollar food service corporation (whose environmental footprint is staggeringly large). I straddle the line between grassroots student activism (I was an undergrad at this school, and it was then that I actually began the work that resulted in the creation of my current job) and corporate responsibility and see that, especially in a fairly transient place like a university or a food service location, turnover is quick and institutional memory is brief. Though I think students (or "customers") are the initial drivers of sustainable change, I also believe that positions like mine are vital to retaining a focus on sustainability long after the students have gotten busy with theses and caught up in social activities and graduated. At the same time, it can be disheartening at best to be regularly shot down by corporate headquarters for my notions that may threaten their bottom line. Since competition drives profit, I can only hope that it will also drive innovative -- and genuine -- environmental conservation in the process.
Warner picture
Warner
02/25/10
I think my agency could do more to be green, but at least we are trying! The agency is pretty strict on recycling and paper use. Some of the products we buy could be more eco-friendly (i.e. recycled paper, recycled paper towels). I would like to see a "mug club" instead of wasting paper cups for the coffee. We could also do a lot in regards to saving energy. Although we turn the lights off at night, computers remain turned on. I guess going green sometimes takes baby steps.
zuburbia picture
zuburbia
02/25/10
Just want you to know that you helped to inspire me to make my online vintage clothing boutique the greenest on the web! At Zuburbia.com we offer free carbon offset shipping (which is an incentive to minimize packaging and use the most efficient shipping methods). We also launder our vintage clothes with eco-friendly detergents and eco-friendly dry cleaning, plant 10 trees with every purchase, participate in 1% for the Planet and try to educate customers with little Eco-Notes on every product page. I'm really looking forward to reading your book and the new ideas it will inspire in me as I continue my quest to change the world one vintage dress at a time!
BalanceAlaska picture
BalanceAlaska
02/25/10
At Balance Alaska we strive to recognize the interdependence among the environmental, economic and social values of Alaska. Balance Alaska is first and foremost a community network that examines how Alaskans can combine our knowledge and efforts to achieve a sustainable balanced lifestyle for present and future generation The decision of who can "qualify" to be listed in Balance Alaska is not always an easy one to make. We meet with and evaluate every potential advertiser and organization in a preliminary interview to determine whether or not that organization offers our readers "a substantially better choice" than business-as-usual. Our Goal is work with businesses or organizations that offer goods and services that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, or health-oriented. We have a website and are working on a 2010 print directory. We sponsor community workshops in order to connect the people in our community with learning and networking opportunities. We are always looking for ways to get people involved and engaged sustainable in Alaska. Connect ~ Promote ~ Inform BalanceAlaska.com
LindaDianeFeldt picture
LindaDianeFeldt
02/25/10
In Washtenaw County, Michigan, the county has set up a reward system to recognize companies that are doing substantial work to reduce, reuse, and recycle. There is a directory on line so people can easily find and support these companies. There is info sharing and networking. Each year there are demos and reports on innovative work in the area. For more information the website is <a href="http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/planning_environment/dpw/waste_knot/wk_html" target="_blank">here</a>. The program is called Waste Knot. It is a great idea worth replicating elsewhere!
Italygirl08 picture
Italygirl08
02/23/10
I work at a club and they use styrofoam plates, plastic glasses and we throw away approx.4 grey garbage bags per night. I wish plasics and styrofoam were taken off market shelves.
SarahRMartin picture
SarahRMartin
02/22/10
I work for a company in central Kentucky that takes PRIDE in the environment! We have an awesome Environmental Management System that includes an extensive Environmental Policy for our guests and employees. I have been the head of our environmental team and we have made great strides in the past 5 years. We just recently completed our second Audit, and passed with good scores. We recycle everything possible; aluminum, paper, cardboard, steel, glass, magazines, used oils, light fixtures, bulbs, batteries, spray cans, etc. We have not used any stryo-foam in over 8 years in our restaurant. We use "green" chemicals to clean with in all of our operation, and our steering committee does a great job looking for the "good-to use" chemicals! All of our to-go drink/beverage cups are made of cornstarch (and the do start to break-down in the sun), corn resin to-go flatwear. We only use paper products that are made from recycled materials. We have an AWESOME company to work for that cares for the environment in many ways! Many people do not realize just how a person/company must adapt to make these changes. The prices of items that are recycled or made of recycled content is not cheap, but to be the best in the business; you MUST go above and beyond. Everyone from the President/CEO to the janitorial staff have a part in making our company the best in the business by using our environmetal policy to it's fullest effect!
Bethany-sensei picture
Bethany-sensei
02/22/10
I work for a large retail chain, and we are actually REQUIRED to throw many things in the garbage. We have very little opportunity to recycle (cardboard and beverage containers), and of course the people in charge of the corporation say they "care about the environment" at the same time as they implement policy changes that make the stores even MORE wasteful. I was so horrified on the day when I had to throw away a heap of useable product that was the size of a small car. Not kidding.
aloupy picture
aloupy
02/22/10
I work in the food service industry. Nothing is recycled. Beer bottles tossed in the trash, Styrofoam cups as employee and kid drinks, I could go on and on. It's all about the money. Where I live, the is no law requiring large businesses to recycle. Even my apartment complex only recyles #1 & 2 bottles/jars. I bring other things to my inlaws to recycle (I think that slightly annoys them!).
wowmya picture
wowmya
02/22/10
I worked for a German company, and now work as a consultant with the same firm. We had green technology, and did number of things to support sustainability in business. I think, in general, Germans are more eco-conscious. For example, they do eat less processed food, good amount of salads, and fruits produced locally, recycle pretty much every single thing as the government demands. There are no take outs, or drive through in every corner. There clothes' dryers are shut off during warmer months, makes so much sense! Yes, there are rules governing their behavior, and in this case, works in the favor of the environment. I wish we, here in America, had some regulatory bodies, governing citizens (& employees) and holding them responsible. The reason I go on and on about the people, and individuals, is because, it's a group of people who constitute a business, a company, and management and every single effort that an individual can do will collectively bear results. I know, there is only so much a company as a stand alone can do, but it always amazes me how little effort it takes for us to change. Get your own coffee mugs, water bottles, simple fruits etc. etc. Really how hard is it? Not all of us are meant to be business leaders, or CEOs making these big production changes, regulating suppliers, into green or trying to put sustainability in the forefront - better still if that were the case - but if you work in a place which can do better for the environment, stand up and speak. As Churchill said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." I guess, knowing when to do what makes a world of difference!
olivia.heimsness picture
olivia.heimsness
02/22/10
I am employed by a mechanical contracting company that works hard to market, design and install high efficiency HVAC and plumbing equipment as well as geothermal heating and cooling systems. We are committed to helping our customers save energy and money as well as lower their impact on the environment. Not only do we strive to be more environmentally aware in our office and our personal lives but we push others to do the same.
Shanny010 picture
Shanny010
02/22/10
I work in a hospital, and it scares me how wasteful we are! We have boxes of gloves mounted on the walls, when you take a pair out five fall on the ground, and you can't reuse them! It's one easy fix, for probably thousands of issues. Is there such a thing as a GREEN hospital?
kristifrancis4669 picture
kristifrancis4669
02/22/10
I work for Vision Service Plan in California. I know that we are green and working hard to become even greener. We have organized a team of "Green minded" employees, (Myself included) and we meet a few times every month to dicuss new ideas, revisit old ones and provide feedback from our peers on existing processes. Our 6 story head quarters building is LEED Platinum Certified and we are working on the remaining 3 buildings on our beautiful campus.
josierossmac picture
josierossmac
02/22/10
I think my workplace can do better, we've taken steps to improve our behaviours like defaulting the copiers to double sided copies, changing the lighting, encouraging car pooling... We do have a team of employees who champion these efforts, but no offical corporate position has been taken. I appreciate the changes that have been made, but would like to see more, as I feel there is always roon for improvement.
puttysauce picture
puttysauce
02/22/10
I work for a nonprofit organization that really wants to do the right thing in terms of sustainability and environmental awareness but, because of strapped funding, seems to often make very short-sighted decisions when a long-sighted view could ultimately save us much more money in the long run--money that could be put towards our mission and programs. I believe that many non-profits want to be more sustainable and that it would ultimately benefit the community being served by those organizations. But those who fund these organizations--be they government departments or private donors--tend to define "efficiency" in a very short-term way. Instead of spending extra money up front to make facilities, operations and practices more environmentally friendly and sustainable, they opt for whatever is least expensive. From the inside, it's very frustrating to watch decisions being made this way over and over again, but it's the reality of how we are funded.
Sarend1pty picture
Sarend1pty
02/22/10
I am one of the millions who work in a VERY irresponsible workplace. We can't even keep trash out of the recycle bins let alone take it a step further by using green cleaning products, composting food waste and cutting down on our paper use. The main problem, of course, is that the people in charge don't care. It's hard to implement any sort of system when the most influential people won't comply (or even try!) and who scoff at the attempt.
earthgirl26 picture
earthgirl26
02/22/10
I own Earth Mart, an eco-retailer that walks the walk. I see many businesses who say they are "going green", but don't really have a clue. I hope to help small and medium businesses learn how to grow their own green revolution, not only by using recycled paper, but how to use less paper. Build with better materials, from floors and paint, to lighting, cleaning and more. And it is not only the material we shoudl look at. Sustainability is a way of life and our human resource policy also needs to reflect this. We need to ensure new parents have flexible schedules and nursing mothers can either work from home, have access to on-site child care or at the very least, a private, comfortable space to express milk. We need to ensure our employees have an understanding of how important they are to the organization and to thier community.