The Secret to a Successful Business: Radical Transparency

I talk a lot about the concept of “radical transparency”  – in fact, it was one of the guiding principles in creating Seventh Generation – so I’d like to delve a little deeper into what exactly it means and how it can be a powerful tool to transform ordinary businesses into more responsible, conscious and profitable entities. I’ve written...

Business profits are an illusion, based on a slight of hand.

If business stopped externalizing its costs it would stop making money! I’m somewhat obsessed with the concept of “externalities” and its companion concept developed to capture them, “full cost accounting.” “Externalities” are the costs and negative impacts imposed by businesses onto society and the environment that are not paid for by those...

Corporate America: Killing us slowly

Recently the Michael Moss in a New York Times Magazine cover story on “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” examined how food companies have known for decades that salt, sugar and fat are not good for us in the quantities American’s consume them, and yet every year they convince most of us to ingest about twice the recommended amount...

The most evil organization in the world

I’ve said it before, but this quote floored me. Never expected this much transparency from one of the world’s most opaque organizations, the US Chamber of Commerce. From the Washington Monthly:  [A] large part of what the Chamber sells is political cover. For multibillion-dollar insurers, drug makers, and medical device manufacturers who are too smart and...

CEO Activist, or Just Another PR Stunt?

In late September of this year, H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson met with People’s Republic of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to discuss an increase in textile worker wages and recommend annual wage reviews. Why would the CEO of a successful fashion giant want to increase wages when their costs rely on that very thing being low? There are a few opinions...

The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behavior and Performance

A Harvard Business School “Working Paper” by Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou and George Serafeim investigates the effect of a corporate culture of sustainability on multiple facets of corporate behavior and performance outcomes. The authors find that corporations that voluntarily adopted environmental and social policies by 1993—which they call High...