Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Facts about Carbon Emissions

I am reading a book about CSR and it touched on trading of Carbon Credits. I don't know much about them at all and so I did some research. On this website:


I found out what carbon credits were. What I got from the website was that they were certificates given out to companies, governments and other entities that are reducing greenhouse gas pollution.
Examples of how they do this are:
-They are using renewable energy like wind and solar instead of fossil fuels.
-They could be becoming more energy efficient by using less electricity and fuel in general.
They are sold in carbon offset markets which are regulated by regional, national and international organizations. Who buys these credits are usually companies that need to keep up with regulations on how much carbon dioxide they are allowed to produce. Buying these credits allows them to produce more pollution and still follow the regulations. This keeps the companies brand name looking good. It is always a good way to have a competitive advantage over other companies who are not keeping up with regulations. Customers care about these things and are more likely to buy from a company who cares about how much pollution they are creating. These carbon credits are extremely helpful to companies who can't help the amount of emissions that they create. The revenue earned from the sales of the carbon credits are put back into emission reduction projects.

I wanted to learn more about the regulations of this carbon emissions. On the following website:


I found there are three groups used when calculating companies emission footprint. One is direct emissions. These are emissions coming from activities that are under the businesses controls. Examples of this are manufacturing and emissions coming from company owned vehicles. The second group is indirect emissions. This means the buying and use of things like electricity. The last group is also indirect emissions. This group includes things like business travel, employees commute and waste emissions. Group one and two are requirements in calculating carbon footprint. Group three is sometimes included. I think companies include group three because it is good CSR practice. Gives them a competitive advantage and great brand image.
Why companies calculate their carbon footprint can be for several reasons. It may be mandatory. The company can see better ways to reduce and manage their emission creations. This leads to reducing costs in most cases. It demonstrates better corporate social responsibility practices. It may be in response to requests from customers, shareholders, employees and trading partners.
I understand why we want to reduce the emissions. I agree with the group idea and even how they calculate carbon footprints. I'm not sure if I agree with carbon credit trading though. I think companies are falsely stating that they have good CSR practices by just purchasing other peoples or companies carbon credits. These companies are putting the effort and changing their business processes to reduce their impact. I don’t think its fair if other businesses can take credit for the hard work put into the change by throwing money at it. Customers shouldn't be fouled so easily by a company saying they are reducing their carbon footprint, it may just mean they are buying carbon credits. To me they are different things.

Leah McGarrett

Material ConneXion

If you have probably never heard of Material ConneXion it is a consulting firm that helps companies find new materials that are renewable and can be recycled easier. The materials that Material ConneXion provides are all environmentally friendly are of high quality and are usually higher quality then the materials used in every day product that we use every day. Dr. Andrew Dent is one of many employees with a PhD, and there are many scientists and engineers who work for Material ConneXion as well. Dr. Dent’s “main job is to direct research into innovative products and process for the global materials consultancy,” which basically means that he is the guy who you talk to if your company is looking for a newer, more eco-friendly, more durable material for let’s say a shoe. (Material ConneXion has consulted with both adidas and Nike for shoe designs both can be seen at bottom of blog)

They have so many Scientists, engineers, and PhD’s on their team because no one is asking for these new materials within their own companies and as a result they come to Material ConneXion to search for one and let their team look for the solution. At times the solution has already been found and created, with 45-60 new products to their “Library” (February’s Library additions at bottom as well), in total they have over 6500 materials in their library and it’s increasing every month.

I went through the materials that were added to their library and one really stood out to me. It was the last one on the list which was a carbon fibre reinforcement which increases the amount of damage it can tolerate and improves energy absorption. When I hear of this material I instantly thought of hockey sticks. I know that hockey sticks have to have a certain break point for safety measures but with this material they can still have that break point while having a stronger more durable hockey stick.

If every company found a way to incorporate at least one material that is found in Material Connexion’s Library then just imagine what the positive impact would be in the environment. Or imagine if companies were to design their own environmentally friendly, sustainable products without the help of Material Connexion and just use them as a springboard to get their design teams moving in the right direction. The possibilities are endless when it comes to innovating products to make companies “greener,” and that in itself is a CSR initiative.

Daniel Francavilla

Dr. Andrew Dent - Vice President, Library & Materials Research - Material ConneXion


Adidas Shoe


Nike Shoe




Material ConneXion


Greed is Good...Sometimes

I recently came across the story of Bodog gambling site founder Calvin Ayre as well as three other Canadians involved being indicted on charges of both illegal gambling as well as money laundering. I found this article to be of particular interest as it brings many interesting aspects of this course forward. A man of Calvin Ayre's stature and promise being once considered one of People Magazine's hottest bachelors has proven that all individuals have the possibility of a fall from grace.

What motivates individuals to make decisions that could totally affect the rest of their lives? As 'Gordon Gekko' of the 1987 film stated simply put "Greed is Good." This seems to be the driving factor of the majority of individuals conducting their business nowadays. We look around us and we see all of the cases such as Tyco, WorldCom and Enron. We see the Jeffery Skilling's, Dennis Kozlowski's and Kenneth Lay's of the world and all we are drawn to is the negative impacts corporations have on our world. It is impossible for us to not see these abuses of corporate power and to not paint all business with the same brush. It is in our human nature to simply perceive what is given to us by what information is put forward we come to conclusions.

As hard as it may be to look past the indecencies of a few individuals we must come to understand that not all that is being done is awful their are companies genuinely trying to make a difference. The bottom line in business is to always make a profit but this does not have to be a bad thing. Taking Gordon Gekko's philosophy of Greed is Good can be spun in order to be a good thing. Somewhat like a Robin Hood taking from the rich and giving to the poor philosophy. As long as we do good with the wealth that we accumulate we are operating with the best interests of the majority of people as our first priority.

Increasing profits is important but doing what companies such as Bodog do is morally wrong. Breaking the law in order to pad individuals pockets is wrong. We must do what is best for all of us not the richest people. This is why the distribution of wealth has gone so far out of whack because the mentality of those at the top is that they need to be cut throat in order to stay where they are and their moral compasses become non-existent. We must work to get all individuals to have their moral compasses pointing North if we want to succeed in business and life moving forward.

Luke Riel

P.S. Here's the Article

Monday, February 27, 2012


This article was very interesting to me as I got to explore the Seven Best Practices to learn how to put your organization's best social and environmental practices in the spotlight:

The 7 best practices for good CSR are:
Set Measurable Goals
Stakeholder Engagement
Sustainability Issues Mapping
Sustainability Management Systems (SMS)
Lifecycle Assessment
Sustainability/CSR Reporting
Sustainability Branding

I thought these goals were a very important tip to follow when trying to incorporate social and green policies. Something as small as reducing waste and resources used can have a positive impact on the outlook of your company. If you can set measurable goals to improve the environment reaching these goals will have a very effective advantage to your business. Setting these measureable goals can lead to increased profits in the long term. If your goals are reached it shows the consumers your company is trying to focus on improving our environment which leads to positive press about your company.

The second goal is one that companies are always making mistakes on. It is so crucial to involve your stakeholders when your companies trying to jump on the green/socially responsible bandwagon. The most important part is ensuring everyone is on the same page when making decisions. Companies must always try to involve the stake holders from the very start of the decision making process to ensure accuracy. While creating your CSR plan companies must include your stakeholders to set values, missions, strategy.

The third focuses on finding solutions to sustainability issues that may arise. Companies must asses the situations that develop and look at several different ways to adapt to the situations. Research is the most crucial point at this stage as it can lead to saving your company time and money.

The next step is to develop a written plan to ensure that environmental, social, and economic concerns are considered throughout your companies’ decision-making processes. The first step is identifying and prioritizing sustainability aspects and impacts. I think this is a very important time to do research and observe the external contributors that may be involved such as laws and regulations. The next step is to outline your company's goals and objectives. After you have completed these steps it is important to implement them with your stakeholders and employees to ensure everyone is on the same page.

This step is very interesting to me looking at ways to take products and instead of throwing them out looking at ways to make additions to them. Re-using products can create a positive approach to your business.

The next step includes always supplying access to your customers to the companies CSR reports. Make sure it is available to the consumers so they can see your trying to incorporate ways to improve the environment. Positive CSR reports can be a key to maintaining a successful business and achieving higher profits.

Incorporating social responsibility along with sustainable practices will ensure that your company remains competitive. The most important thing to take out of this is “Don't wait to get the word out on how your organization is doing its part!”
Jesse Steptoe

Sustainability on McDonald's

One very large corporation in the world that almost everyone is aware of, is the big golden arches. McDonald's, McDonald's has been around for it seems like forever and this year really caught my attention when I started learning about CSR and what it was all about.

McDonald’s restaurant serves fast food to about 50 million customers a day around the world. There is many other fast food restaurants just like McDonald’s that serve the same sort of food but do not take as much of an impact that McDonald’s does.

It seems McDonald’s gets more interactive with society and the social part of the world then other fast food restaurants around. McDonald’s gives a lot of money towards charity’s and donations which is great and so they should, being a successful corporation such as themselves are very kind and seems they are very thoughtful about their customers, but are they really. They sell fast food and have been proven to not be healthy or make any impact on a well being lifestyle and McDonald’s is trying to do all these nice things to people but they are hurting them by the products they sell.

This leads to how sustainable McDonald’s is and how they are such a large market in the fast food industry and provide food that is not very good for people but make it work.

One of the key approaches McDonald’s take is that they spend billions of dollars on advertising and drawing the customers in because their food tastes good. It isn’t good if you eat it every day or every week but, McDonald’s bases their business on those one time customers that come in once a week or once a month with their families and provide them with this type of food as a treat once in a while.

The billions of dollars they spend on advertising impacts mostly the younger ages which pull their parents in and eventually they have four people buying their food instead of one. It is a lot of money to put out at once but they slowly make it back and it’s worth it, because it shows, it works.

Inside the doors McDonald’s empowers their customers to make the right personal choices by providing them with nutrition facts on all products they sell. They are also having a lot of flexibility and regional variety to meet customer’s preferences by having fun and playful pictures on happy meals and providing play places in certain locations.

Another reason that makes McDonald's so sustainable is putting their customer’s first and growing their employee’s with the skills McDonald’s provides. By becoming an employee of McDonald’s they will train the employee with many skills that will help them be successful in life down the road in many different areas of work. With making the customer’s their first priority shows the type of respect McDonald’s is looking for.

By having the highest food safety and quality standards from farm to fork allows working them to work towards sustainable agriculture production by addressing ethical environmental and economic challenges.

In the U.S nearly two thirds of their restaurants recycle used cooking oil for aftermarket use, including bio diesel. Even McDonald’s has sustainable packaging by approximately 81% of their packaging is renewable from all their major markets.

Overall McDonald’s puts the little things together which make a big difference in the end and it all shows how the biggest fast food restaurant can keep making it big after all these years.

Cameron Head

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Case against Corporate Social Responsibility

The Case against Corporate Social Responsibility.http://sloanreview.mit.edu/executive-adviser/2010-3/5231/the-case-against-corporate-social-responsibility/

The case I chose to read for this blog was The Case against Corporate Social Responsibility. The article begins with a very good question that can companies do well by doing good? I believe this is a topic that creates a very good discussion. There is always the outlook on large companies that they are strictly in business just for the profits and could care less at times on the public and how decisions may affect them. I disagree with this outlook, I believe that companies focus a lot of their efforts on creating good business and this leads to profits. Companies are always trying to produce healthier products and alternatives for consumers; however, you will never satisfy everyone’s needs. The problem is that sometimes these healthier products and alternatives are simply short term fixes that create the illusion that the business cares about the environment and making a change. Businesses tend to focus on making minor changes but ignore the real solutions.There article discusses several examples of increasing social welfare such as the fast food industry offering new alternatives with healthier options such as salads that create a positive outlook on the company.The second example displays the need for more fuel efficient vehicles. Both examples leading to positive environmental practices however, in the long term these companies have benefited largely through profits which is the real drive associated behind creating these products.The following quote is from the article “It is the relentless maximization of profits, not a commitment to social responsibility, that has proved to be a boon to the public in these cases.” I think this is a strong example as to how businesses really look at increasing profits rather than just a commitment to corporate social responsibility.The problem with companies not engaging in these opportunities results in a loss of social welfare and profits. After reading this article it really made me think about the benefits gained from executives trying to increase profits. The reputation large companies get with being associated with driving profits may not always be positive but in the long term there is good things that come out of it. There will never be a solution to fix everything involved with CSR in companies but practicing good tactics can always help the outlook consumers have on your business as a whole.

Jesse Steptoe

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fur In Fashion?

Fur in Fashion. This has been a hot topic for many years. High end brands have taken to making their clothing with fur and the debate has heated over whether or not they should be killing animals for a fashion trend. The animals that are used for clothing aren’t being killed in the most humane way; they are being shot, scalded, and tortured.

Some people, however, say that wearing fur is alright because they use the whole animal for meat etc. This unfortunately isn’t the truth because to be able to have fur for clothing, it has to be flawless. For the fur to be flawless the animal can’t get into any dirt, danger and this usually means that the animal is trapped and factory farmed so it’s controlled.

You would think that Wool and some other resources would be animal friendly because it’s not killing the animal. What most people don’t know is that Sheep will only grow enough wool to keep themselves warm and that’s it; so for farmers to get enough wool to make money, they will modify them genetically to grow wool faster.

Ugg boots are the most commonly worn boots by teenage girls and they are made with Sheepskin. It’s ironic because many girls are worried about eating meat and wearing fur. The fact that their boots are covered in Sheepskin and contains fur from sheep on the inside just proves that this brand is NOT worried about killing sheep to make a pair of overpriced boots. The Ugg brand website talks about the quality of the sheepskin and how they make it seem it’s alright to wear it.


One of the problems that have helped in the carelessness of fur collars, skin/leather clothing, and fabric is the endorsements from celebrities and the runways. Once women of all ages see’s their idols and super models wearing these fashions, they think that it’s alright because they are accepted by the wealthy and popular. More than likely, these celebrities (and obviously models) are being paid to wear these products and aren’t dishing out their own money for them. Young girls think that wearing fur is also luxurious but many people are sure that it’s not so luxurious for the animals that had to suffer through life and get slaughtered.

I think it’s definitely changed from centuries ago when people traded furs as a form of money. The reason it’s different is because during the fur trade, they used every part of the animal for meat, weapons, and jewellery. Now, it’s just to get the fur and then trash the rest of the body, and it’s only to look like you have money. Priorities are definitely different in this day and age.

In the end, if you want to stop hunters from killing millions of animals for their fur, you have to stop buying the fashions that use these furs. It’s the only way because if there is no demand, then the supply will stop.

I would love to hear everyone’s opinions on wearing fur and whether or not they should kill animals for fashion.

- Sara Davey

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cosmetic Companies and CSR

By: Julia Isslamow

If you are into the beauty world – mainly cosmetics – you would know that there are numerous arguments regarding cosmetic companies and being ethical. The main issue which seems to arise is regarding PETA and the ethical treatment of animals.

One of the major companies which take pride in their CSR and ethics is “The Body Shop”. According to their website they have over 2,500 stores and they are located in over 60 markets worldwide. They take pride in the fact they are 1) against animal testing 2) fair trade 3) five core values [support community trade, defend human rights, against animal testing, protect out plant] 4) their charitable foundation. All of these values are without a doubt absolutely amazing. However, one issue which I have found is their actual product. I find their cosmetics incredibly over-priced for the quality, the pigmentation is definitely lacking, their cosmetic brushes shed, and lastly I find their make-up “heavy”. Again, this is completely a personal observation.

The negative aspects of their products to me, outweigh their amazing values. I would much rather spend that money on a product which I love on a company which vales may not be anywhere close to theirs. I feel like if they were to improve their products, people such as myself may purchase more ethical products.

By saying this, I read here that L’oreal has made the change in being ethical. L’oreal is the world’s largest cosmetic company. They have made significant changes in the “environmental” and “social” aspects. They are trying to master their environmental impacts of their activities by:

- Increasing awareness

- Reduce environmental impact with industrial sites, shipping centres, administrate sites

- Decrease volume of point of sale displays in weight and quantity while putting an emphasis on recycling

- Reduce volume and weight of their packaging

- And much more

As for social aspects they have implemented

- Aim of zero accidents in the workforce

o Impoved safety levels by 23%

- Partnered with UNESCO in the “For women in science”

- The belief that the contribution of women is vital to the future

L’oreal has ‘higher end drug store’ cosmetics. They are accessible through any drugstore, however you will not find these products as Sephora which is a higher end cosmetic store. Their quality and price is very reasonable, especially if you cannot get to or afford a Sephora brand. The pigmentation of most of their products is really well, along with its consistency.

It is nice to see a company with good products take a stand on social responsibility. I hope that with companies such as L’oreal and The Body shop coming together to make a change, that some of the larger “prestigious” companies such as “Urban Decay”, “Too Face”, “Make up Forever”, “MAC” and many, many more will follow in their footsteps.

McDonald's Improving CSR

McDonald’s Improving CSR
One corporation for Corporate Social Responsibility that has
really caught my attention is McDonald’s. McDonald’s is estimated to serve 50
million people worldwide every day. I guess you could say their bit of a target
for CSR. McDonald’s is making great progress towards becoming socially responsible
by reducing their waste with their use of water, salt, and energy. Not to
mention McDonald’s works with a number of outside organizations including academic
ones as well as other advisors to every year to develop their CSR strategy for
that year. This is a good example or at
least attempt to become corporately responsible. McDonald’s use to have a bad reputation
about the way they treated the animals, and the meat that is used in the Nuggets
for some time. But since the mid 1990’s
McDonalds has been working on their treatment on animals, and even developed an
animal welfare auditing program with the animals they use for their products. Not
only has McDonalds improved the quality of their burgers and chicken, they are also
offering healthier products like their salads which are becoming a good seller.
Besides McDonald’s is a fast food restaurant chain, if someone sat at home and
ate burgers every day that person is still going to gain weight, whether or not
he bought his burgers from McDonalds or not. At least McDonald’s does offer
some healthier options like a salad.
McDonald’s also believes in improving their environmental impact,
by creating what they called an “Environmental Scorecard”. The score card keeps
track of things like air emissions, energy use and what type of energy they are
using, and using recycling programs. McDonald’s has reduced their environmental
impact to what they believe to be 20%.
This kind of commitment to the environment and their willingness to
continue to carry on that commitment shows that McDonalds does care what impact
they are taking on the environment.
One also can’t forget about Ronald McDonald house Charities when
discussing CSR. The Ronald McDonald House charities provide community grants, Scholarships,
and their core programs like housing, family oriented activities, and their
Care-mobiles, to help families with transportation. Through this program
McDonald’s helps families with illness or in need every day, and for being a
burger joint I think they are making major progress in terms on CSR. They sometimes
are slammed for advertising to children with the happy meal, and etc. but at
least McDonalds is giving back to those children through scholarships,
community grants, and Ronald McDonald House. Maybe you don’t like their burgers,
but I do believe that McDonald’s is becoming more socially responsible every
year and will continue to do so in the future.
By Kyle Saunders


Corporate Social Responsibility and the Mining Industry

I was exploring the Natural Resources Canada website when i came upon a page that talks about the mining industry and its effect on society and the environment as well as what companies are doing to make up for it. The mining industry is obviously harming our environment by extracting the various natural metals and substances that are contained under our planets surface. The first system condition of the natural step says that our planet is not subject to systematically increasing substances that are extracted from the earth’s crust, and since the mining industry is drastically harming the earth’s crust they need to implement CSR processes to give back to the environment and society.

This article tells us that there are many mining organizations out there that have not responded to the call to action and are not implementing and CSR practices. These mining companies typically do not receive support for their operations from their active communities, and the reason that they can continue operations is because mines are often located in very remote areas and are the only economic activity around.

For mining companies to operate in specified locations they must obtain a social license. This social license is administered based on the companies reputation and their actions in other current operations because CSR cannot be an activity that occurs at only one location, it must be implemented company wide. This is understandable because if they only implement CSR processes at one location and try to claim that they are socially responsible, the processes that they implement do not nearly make up for the damages that they are causing at their other mining locations.

Over the recent years, more and more mining companies have been creating codes of conduct to follow and have been releasing sustainable development reports yearly. These reports are an excellent idea to release because it shows the public, and potential shareholders what the company is doing economically, socially and environmentally. I think that since mining is one of the most destructive industries to our planet that it should be made mandatory that these companies take action to minimize their destruction and increase what they give back to the community. There are many companies out there that are trying to pave the way so that others will follow, but there is an enormous amount of companies in other countries that do nothing for society or our planet, mainly because they are not as informed and concerned as the organizations here in Canada. I just feel that if you are doing so much damage then you should be taking measures to give back to the earth and the community and this article lists many but here are a few that I feel would be the most effective.

- Training and Education
- Capacity Development - increasing local business, and economy to reduce dependence on the mine
- Assist in the creation of local jobs
- Partner with local businesses
- Scholarships
- Studies to determine community needs

By Jason Mulligan


Commercials: CSR reviewed

Over the last couple weeks I have really been noticing that Corporations are really targeting consumers on how they are being socially responsible. This became aware to me when I was watching television a couple weeks ago and a new Aquafina commercial that all they talked about in the commercial is how they are doing what they can to help the world and showed what they are doing to help. This brought a huge light to my head as I realized that what we had talked about in class was right. Corporations now have a new competition in the world of business and that is in CSR and making it so the consumer knows that when they buy your product its not affecting the world. Since this is a really big problem in our world today with Global warming and companies ruining the world we live in they need to make us feel like the products we buy are helping the way we are changing the world.

This is a clip that I found just for a funny commercial however you could clearly see how the green frame of mind is the main focus of this commercial. Honda shows us in this commercial that the biggest thing people are worried about in a vehicle isn’t what it looks like or how it runs, but how is it on the earth and our environment. I also thought that this was a pretty clever funny commercial, but when it gets right down to it corporations know that we care about the way the earth is being shown love and bettering our planet is in the best interest of the company.


For corporations to be able to be seen as green, and socially responsible they’re has to be someone to show that they are caring for the world. To do this most corporations use celebrities or famous people to be able to “show” the world that they are doing their part in our society. After looking on youtube for commercials I came over this one of Miley Cyrus. Disney is trying to show that they are doing things to help the planet however; they are using a person who has a huge green footprint on the world. Miley Cyrus uses tons and tons of greenhouse gases from year to year from going on planes, to drinking plastic water bottles. So why would a company use someone who isn’t doing there part for the society as a role model for other viewers around the world.


There are also many commercials on TV that are against what corporations are doing for our society and our environment. This is shown in this anti Wal-Mart commercial that was put out in 2008. This is a very powerful commercials especially for mothers as it really challenges them to be conscious of what they are buying and giving to there kids, as many of the products from Wal-Mart, over 70 %, are from China where they have lower standards and then the product is shipped here. I used this commercial to show that all of the media that we use isn’t always just perceiving good things in a negative world like most commercials do. They try and make it seem like the product is more environmentally safe then it really is. These people are trying to warn people that you know what maybe we need to think of where we are getting what we are giving to our kids, and we should know that it is going to be safe, and know exactly where it was from and made.


After looking into commercials about CSR I can tell that this type of competition is only rising from company to company as they are all trying to get there share of consumers that are wanting environmentally and sustainable products. Before corporations only thought about the benefit to the consumer, now they have to be able to be know exactly how safe and green there product is and how to be able to market these products so that the consumers sees the CSR value in it. After watching these videos I am certain that in the next few years more and more of these types of commercials will be on showing viewers how socially responsible they really are.

By Quinn Stringer


Thursday, February 23, 2012

We are Generation Y

I myself am part of Generation Y. Are views differ from the generations before
us as a general trend. One of the ways it does is how we may not accept everything (I know I don’t) but we have a more open mind. We are open-minded about lifestyles and habits that were once considered La Vie Bohème or taboo, such as gay marriages.

The shift in population is moving closer towards us. If majority of Generation Y is of age why is our voice barely registered? For example, with gay marriage laws, if it is mainly Generation Y, and X to be fair that want it to happen why do many governments say no? Because the decision is not made by us, it is made by older generations that have a more traditional view.

I have a problem with that and the trend it is creating. Right now, the older generations are calling the shots while mine is frustrated at the side by not being heard correctly and often. If we don’t get a major say and change things to how we want them until we are older, won’t that mean the generations after us will be in the situation we are now?

That can be called intergenerational tyranny. That is when the older generations make decisions that effects the younger generations without their say or input, then when that generations grows up they inherit the problem and put the blame and hate on the ones before them.

It can even be seen on a small scale in the US. President Obama is under a lot of pressure for the state he put the country in, such as increased the US deficit. What they forget is that President Obama inherited that, before he was even elected they were already 1.3 trillion dollars in the hole.

One of the ways we can have our
voice heard is when we participate in elections. The problem with the Canadian elections is that many young voters are not using this chance. In the last election only 37% of youth voted. One of the reasons is because they don’t have a voter’s card and don’t know how easy it is for them to vote. If they don’t have the card they need only phone a number or show up the day of with identification proving who they are. Thankfully there are groups out there who do their best to encourage and promote youth to vote.

Think about it. While many issues, concerns and problems were created before I was born my generation can make an impact. We want to help create solutions for the existing problems out there. We want to express our opinions and have the government listen. We want our voice to be heard. It starts with baby steps, so maybe next election we will increase the amount of people who actually voted.

Kat Stacey

P.S. Real Pirates have never “walked the plank”, only been thrown overboard. Thank you Hollywood.

Soil Excavation

By Danielle Rodo


Who thought soil could be such a dirty business? For many excavation companies it is hard to find places to dump contaminated soil. Also, along with those complications, it costs a lot to dump soil, which changes with the percentage of contamination. This Article is about a man named Gord Hamilton, who just wanted to make a level spot for his wife to park her bus. A company called Earthworx Industries contacted him, offering $8500 to dump and grade about 500 truckloads of soil on his land. Mr. Hamilton jumped at the opportunity because many of his neighbours have been offered some similar chances. After the company was finished, a neighbour walked by and notices a rotten smell coming from Mr. Hamilton’s land. Gord got his soil tested and the results were that it was indeed contaminated with Gasoline. After many calls and much work he got in touch with the CEO (Of Earthworx) Patrick Dovigi, which agreed to take the soil away.

The four System Conditions of the Natural Step comes to mind when I think about this article because we need to eliminate our contribution to the physical degradation and destruction of nature. We must stop digging up soil and leaving massive scars in the earth. Also then thinking that we can use to put contaminated soil just hurts us in the long run. We need to find a new process with dealing with contaminated dirt. It also says in the article that a 6.3 million tonne site has only an 8-10 year capacity, and with the rate we are going we will soon have no more room. Companies need to stop and think about how they can make this industry sustainable.

Rise of Forest Fires

By: Danielle Rodo


Global warming is a serious part of business all over the world. This article above explains how because of the rise of global warming, there is an increase of forest fires all around the globe. In last year alone there was 350,000 million hectares burned with a total fatality of 340,000 people. Dr. Mike Flannigan, (an expert on fire and the potential impact of climate change) explained that the fires are becoming more intense and are harder to control. The basic firefighting strategy of attacking it from front is no longer effective and now you have to try to flank the flames from the side. Places like Alberta last year, had to evacuate 7000 people from their hometown, where the fire claimed 200 houses.

This is relevant to corporate social responsibility because if businesses don’t see the importance of global warming and the output of their own emissions, then they obviously don’t care about their business’ own sustainability. In a study from last year 52% of emissions were produced from industries. As people become more CSR orientated they will look to businesses that care for the environment and their customer’s wellbeing over those that don’t. In the Environic s survey they realised that impressions that a company makes really matters. 49% of consumers said they respect companies’ bases on labour practices and business ethics, environmental impacts and demonstrated responsibility to broader society. Companies that don’t take this seriously are sure to fail in the long run.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Natural Gas Accessed

By: Danielle Rodo


Gas emissions are a continuous growing concern for our future sustainability. We are now finally seeing some improvements to reduce those emissions that cause greenhouse gas. This above article explains that there is a “new” alternative transportation fuel that has finally been accessed. Our improvement in technology has enabled us to come out with a new super drill bit that can be turned horizontally into gas-bearing rock. By using this fuel we will be producing cleaner emissions than before and is estimated to last America 100 years. This is also an opportunity for Canada and its companies such as IMW industries in British Columbia. Two years ago, natural gas equipment manufacturers, producers, distributors and transporters joined in an alliance called the “Natural Gas Use in the Canadian Transportation Sector Roadmap”. This focuses on converting all public sources of transit to natural gas.

I believe that this is one small step to help better reduce emissions. This new source of fuel will contribute to the four systems conditions of the natural step by watching the concentrations of substances extracted from the earth's crust. Between this and the advancements in hybrid cars, I believe that we will be able to finally have the chance to give global warming a run for its money.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Phone Hacking Scandal Across the Pond

After reading the article it is quite obvious that money had a lot do to with how long this phone hacking fiasco went on unchecked by Scotland Yard. Majority of the of the victims have
been or are in the process of being compensated but that is not the question here the real question is why Scotland yard is getting off with an apology and no heads are rolling or charges pending. This is idiotic! The police lied to parliament over and over again regarding the phone
hacking. They told parliament that they contacted all the victims which in fact they didn’t contact any. Also when asked to produce the information that was gathered by their failed investigation by Mr. Bryant, they refused. If this was a private investigation by a private company they would have had no choice but to produce what makes Scotland Yard so special. It has been proven that they screwed up and that they did not follow proper protocol. They did not protect the people for who they have taken an oath to protect. And still the reasoning as to why they didn’t do their duty to the best of their abilities is still somewhat of a mystery. A simple apology is all that is
required. Appearing at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers said “581 of those people had been contacted. However, 231 could not be identified, and 17 had not been told due to operational reasons”. An operational issue really?!? Is that their get out of doing your job right card?
I mean seriously, it is pretty apparent as to what happened I don’t think you need to be a part of Scotland Yard to figure out what happened here. Big business influenced this investigation from the get go, and people’s pockets got a lot fuller for looking the other way. No one is taking responsibility and they are sweeping it under the rug, hoping it will just go away. It shouldn’t. What makes Scotland Yard above the Law? There is corruption here and no one is doing anything about it. If this was the game of Clue, I’m sure an 8 year old would come to the conclusion that SCOTLAND YARD IS GUILTY; IT WASN’T A MISTAKE, IT WAS INTENTIONAL AND PEOPLE BENFITED FROM IT.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bribery - The ultimate ethical dilemma

I was reading the article “Ethics Must Be Global, Not Local” written by Bill George and it got me thinking about how as people, we tend to not care about whether or not our decisions are ethical if there is no direct effect to us. I find it funny that when reading the different articles that the same company names keep popping up, for instance Siemens. The article goes on to talk about how the powerful people in these industries are willing to throw away the reputation of their companies to make a little money. I find it easy to see both sides of the coin when reading articles like this because companies are “spending” billions to make billions. It is hard to understand how the whole thing works. This article title creates a mind bender for be because from what I am reading a lot of the places where “bribery” happens it is custom for companies to give “gifts” or gestures of good will when entering into a new business partnership . Although bribes seem to still be a big part of business many companies are beginning to take the ethical high road. These companies are setting the guidelines and forcing there upper management to follow them to the letter, and if they deviate from the original guidelines then they are losing their jobs. I was very amazed to read this because I feel that companies are starting to see that the “cost” of doing business is not always money, and that if they can set standards and get there people on board they can run their business ethically. I personally feel that by holding your upper management responsible for their actions all the time, not only when they get caught by the law, starts to force change in the way business is done. Of course I do not think for one second that there will never be bribery or corruption but if we can all start to work ethically it will force the hands of those who continue to lurk in the shadows to do their business.


By Robert Truckle

Friday, February 17, 2012

Building Social Reasonability through Brand Values

By: David Roberts

Social responsibility is a huge growing trend in both Europe and in North America, with symbols like fair trade and others directly impacting customer buying decisions and loyalty. Industry and corporations are now implementing this new demand into their product line ups and distribution channels. Although social responsibility in corporations for the most part is still a major downward spiral effect, leaving people, farmers and employees exploited and over exposed. This knowledge is now reaching the light of the customers as a direct influence of the major growing technological advancements that people now have, creating an age of a customer knowledge based society and a major level global connectivity.

With this new age of customer knowledge and connectivity it has become a lot easier for customers in a marketplace to connect and research what these present corporations campaigns are. Therefore translucent companies are an ever growing demand for customers; we want to feel trust and a level of connection with the companies we purchase goods from. Through the fast growing knowledge of brand impact towards a market, corporations and other companies are now seeing the importance of these values that the market demands. Branding towards a corporation is hypothetically, the corporation’s personality. The personality is what bonds customer to company (loyalty) and once built up in a marketplace it is one of the most crucial aspects of the company, it creates that affinity between product and person. http://www.marketingpower.com/AboutAMA/Pages/AMA%20Publications/AMA%20Journals/Journal%20of%20Marketing/TOCs/SUM_2011.4/emotional_brand_personality.aspx. The next aspect of the brand is its promise to the customer, and example would be Toyota and its promise to deliver the highest quality vehicle in the market. For years Toyota was dominating the market because it had that promise and the company delivered on that promise, building the trust and affinity the customer demanded for. Until a few years back when Toyota had to recall a major amount of its new vehicles for having faulty gas peddles, which diminished the trust they had worked so long to build, which proved to have a major impact on the company. http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/04/toyota-prius-ford-gm-business-autos-recalls.html. The point of this along with so many other stories is to show the impact that brand betrayal has on a company and how it may open a window to gain social responsibility in the market place and in a company. As ethical responsibility gains popularity in our digital world, it will not be long till we see a lot of companies adopt these values into their brand. Once it becomes a part of their core values and promise, it will be very unwise and expensive for companies to stray from them. Ethical brands and company translucency is a major demand in our knowledge based society and the implementation of those values could be one way for companies to focus a lot more on social corporate responsibility.

Are we in a period of enormous turmoil? Maybe we are more alert then ever, maybe we are supersaturated with news, maybe there is, indeed, more global volatility than previous eras. So then we find our selves asking for future tense, what happens to brands during these times of turmoil? How is affinity and the principles of building brands effected in these volatile times? As we push further into the 21st century we are realizing the importance that affinity will have on building brand loyalty and trust. This very premise will be guaranteed to become one of the biggest factors in a companies growing social responsibility.

What is a code of conduct?





What exactly is a code of conduct? I have a feeling some people in this class have no idea the answer, so I am writing my final blog on just that. Above I posted 4 examples of codes of conducts from my field of study, Sporting Goods Business. So to understand a code of conduct, we must first look at the written definition which is as follows:

a set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group.

Of course, we can also have it so that it equates to just one person, as is the point of the project in this course. So now we analyze it.

What is a correct principle? What is a valid expectation?

For my personal code of conduct I have to ask myself a lot of questions, as should any person who is planning on making a code of conduct. Questions such as, what are my values? Who will be the people around me that I must consider when making my decisions? What are my views on ethics? What do I expect from myself?

All of these questions are hard to understand without some deep thought. The next thing that must be answered is how do you write one?

The rules must be strict, to the point, and as detailed as possible. A simple rule as "I will always act ethically" is not appropriate. It is too susceptible to other questions being asked. You must go into detail about what you view as ethical behaviour. What situations you could come across to apply your ethical behaviour.

Next you must cover all of your values. You must have a set list of values and ensure that you are willing to meet all of them no matter who or what gets in your way.

The final thing you must do is the hardest. You must stick to it. A code of conduct is useless if you never use it. If you take things situation by situation and constantly change your values and goals when different situations arise.

So the major question for people writing a code of conduct is this. Are you willing to stick to your core beliefs, even if it means hurting other people who get in your way?

By Noah Crowley