Topic Archives: Ethics & Values

Business Advocacy: How to Cut Through in a Crisis

This article was written earlier in the year before the rise in global demonstrations following George Floyd’s death. While the article focuses largely on climate change, companies might consider the general messages it contains while framing their responses to this important outcry for equality and social justice. We at SustainAbility believe that companies have an

A New Role for Brands

Last year, Sustainable Brands launched a three-year initiative to explore our sense of changing global societal aspirations. What we’ve found so far, through extensive research that we’re unfolding around the world, has validated that there is a mainstreaming shift in our collective vision of what the “Good Life” looks like today. More and more consumers

Why the ‘Decent Work’ Agenda is Reshaping Sustainability Goals

This is the final part of a 6-part series revealing findings from SustainAbility’s recent report, “Targeting Value,” with a focus on how the landscape of sustainability goals around the decent work agenda is evolving. The “Decent Work” agenda is not new. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has been promoting decent work standards since 1919, and we have come a long way

Fear of Missing the Mark can Subvert Ambitious Targets

This is part 3 of a 6-part series revealing findings from SustainAbility’s recent report, “Targeting Value,” which focuses on how to maximize impact through corporate sustainability goal setting. Part 1 explores the idea of maximizing the impact of corporate goals and Part 2 discusses what companies are missing about water goals. The No. 1 reason companies do not set ambitious

Corporate Advocacy as a Cornerstone of Sustainability

In recent months, we have seen a surge in headlines featuring corporations and their leaders alongside contentious social issues, in both positive and negative ways. Leaders of Merck, Under Armor and Intel stood up for racial justice after the Charlottesville protests, Heineken was praised for producing an ad that encouraged people to connect across political

Fairtrade versus Fairly-traded

Trade and the progress of human civilization have always been inextricably linked. However, the fact is that trade is not always civilized… far from it. Power imbalances and the egregious buying practices of international traders have resulted in the marginalization of millions of developing world producers. These are the very producers that we rely upon

Meet Our Network: Matthew Powell, Breaking Barriers

Denise Delaney interviewed Matthew Powell, CEO of Breaking Barriers, a young charity working with refugees and business in the UK to break down the barriers to meaningful employment. What’s the scale of the challenge in the UK? There are over 125,000 refugees in the UK with the legal right to work from countries such as

The Business Response to Displacement & Migration

More than a million refugees crossed into Europe in 2015 alone, part of the 50 million refugees worldwide. According to the World Economic Forum, if a country was created from all the displaced people it would be the 24th largest in the world. Migration is not new, but the scale in Europe in contemporary times

Cultivating Purpose: Sustainability Innovation and Employee Engagement

Fostering an environment where people can work with purpose by innovating for more sustainable outcomes can help inspire and retain employees. “There is an ugliness in being paid for work one does not like,” Anaïs Nin penned in 1941 in her diary. We may have to admit that the global workplace may indeed be in

Meet Our Network: Sean Ansett

Having held senior corporate responsibility positions at Burberry and Gap Inc., Sean Ansett now provides strategic advice on ethical trade, human rights and environmental sustainability. Zoë Arden spoke with him about his work with LaborVoices, a social enterprise that polls workers through their mobile phones to provide real-time visibility inside supply chains. Zoë Arden: Can