Saturday, November 20, 2010

Project Social: Seeing Green

Although briefly distracted by the news that Google employees will be getting a 10% increase and servants to run errands and assemble their IKEA furniture for them – have you ever tried to assemble IKEA furniture?? - I've managed to shrug it off and focus on what really matters:

Sustainability.

I was recently asked to write a Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) for my company, so I've been busy researching Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and existing sustainability reports.

Just to be clear, I will not be getting any servants for doing this but my passion for corporate sustainability is reward enough. I'm proud to work for a company that takes this topic seriously.

I beleive sustainable business practices are key to long-term economic viability and human well-being. Growing up in Los Angeles you learn to turn off lights (black outs) and not waste water (droughts) but my big picture view didn’t come until my first child was born.

Suddenly, guardian of this precious and trusting new life, I started noticing waste everywhere:
  • products designed to break or go out of style in a few years or even months;
  • cars that offer about the same mileage they had back in the 50s;
  • plastic bags, utensils, bottles, packaging and where it all goes.

I could see how wasteful production processes create economic activity but no real value or quality. And I started wondering how much longer 9 billion people can peacefully share a limited earth with such wasteful habits.

Of course, as a working mom I’m a big fan of comfort and convenience. I try to do my part with good habits and informed purchasing but we won’t save the world by turning off lights, boycotting bottled water and buying cloth shopping bags.

We should still do these things but it's not enough.

What needs to change is how companies design, manufacture and package their products and services. This includes everything from how energy is produced to the recycling and re-use of components to create new products.

My Project Social partner Dave Ryan feels the same way (he'll be posting on a similar topic over at HR Official - his post here) and we want to do our part to encourage the growing movement toward corporate social responsibility.

That’s why we decided to put a stake in the ground around green HR and sustainable business practices and start gathering case studies, metrics and other sources of good information to share with you.

Here are a few resources to get the ball rolling…

Companies That Walk the Walk:

Other Resources:

Whether you are a parent, a professional or a citizen of the world, we invite you to weigh in on this topic, share information and toot your own company’s horn if applicable. Let's get those success stories out there!

Or think about how we can create more...

1 comment:

  1. It's only common sense: the world's resources are limited and eventually we'll run out. The sooner we change our thinking and start concentrating on the intelligent and sustainable use of our resources, the better off we'll be.

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