Category Archives: Social responsibility


The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a.k.a. Rio +20 Summit, kicks off this week and, along with population growth, urbanism is expected to be a main topic of study and conversation.

The event is massive and complex. Aside from the main event — a meeting of heads of state that will span June 20 to 22 and likely include marathon talks in an effort to scratch out actionable international agreements — there are more than 500 side events taking place in Rio.

In his Monday morning email to readers, executive editor Joel Makower wrote:

Jay Carson, executive director of C40, the sustainable cities initiative started by Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton, told me by phone from Rio over the weekend: “The vast majority of the conversation here is around cities” — a big change from two years ago in Copenhagen, when cities were barely on the agenda.

Building better cities, in fact, is the topic of a presentation Makower will give during the World Green Summit, an event sponsored by Phillips and a number of other blue chip firms.  Rest

Sonoco’s Team Green

HARTSVILLE, S.C., May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Sonoco Recycling, LLC, a unit of Sonoco (NYSE: SON) and one of the largest packaging recyclers in North America, today announced that Sonoco CorrFlex’s Rural Hall, N.C., facility has successfully diverted over 95 percent of its waste to landfill. The plant is the second CorrFlex facility to receive a silver-tier Star Award.

In September 2011, employees at Sonoco CorrFlex’s Rural Hall, N.C., fulfillment facility formed Team Green, focused on achieving landfill-free status in two years. Since the plant is a fulfillment facility, its materials mix frequently changes based on the current customer and project. One of the major challenges for the team was staying on top of the flux of materials and determining the best outlet for each. To better understand their current program, the team began tracking landfill and recycling tonnage. Dumpster contents were monitored, assessing those areas that needed work to reduce the plant’s landfill tonnage. Common recycling areas were set up in production and office areas, and employees were encouraged to bring in their recyclables from home.  Rest


Green Crowdsourcing

EDF is the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund that looks for solutions to environmental problems. The partnership between InnoCentive and EDF is based on the premise that “we is smarter than me,” and their first initiative together has produced a clever solution to an old agricultural problem. Using InnoCentive’s Internet platform, the two companies challenged the public to find ways to battle agricultural nitrate pollution.

The winner, Patrick Fuller, a PhD student in chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern University, has won $5,000 for his contribution. He presented a report on the benefits of recycling nitrogen-rich water to grow algae as fertilizer, which when implemented will cut down on fertilizer run-off and algae-filled dead zones.  Rest

Moskowitz Prize

Firms with strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) scores enjoy consistently lower costs of capital financing than firms with weaker CSR track records, according to a study that has won the 2011 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI).

The Moskowitz Prize, awarded annually by the Haas School’s Center for Responsible Business in cooperation with the Social Investment Forum, went to four co-authors of the study:

  • Sadok El Ghoul, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Omrane Guedhami, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
  • Chuck C. Y. Kwok, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
  • Dev Mishra, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Their winning study, “Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Cost of Capital,” was published in the Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol. 35, Issue, 9, Sept. 2011).     Rest