Dow Chemical aims to ‘redefine the role of business in society’

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Most major companies have taken steps to improve their environmental profile, if only by becoming more efficient or cutting down on waste. Dow Chemical Co intends to go a lot further, declaring that it wants to change the very role of business in society.

Sustainability Drives Supply Chain Professionals to Learn New Finance and Accounting Concepts

Read the full story in Forbes.

At JDA’s Focus event, Rich Beck, the Sr. Vice President of Global Operations at PepsiCo, gave the keynote on the second day of the conference.  Rich said that their supply chain goals included “digitizing the value chain” (JDA was a key solution provider in this area) and “sustainability.”

I’ve been covering supply chain management for twenty years. Last year, I spent 20 percent of my time on the road.  And I hear many, many supply chain speeches.  I can count on a few fingers of one hand the number of supply chain executives I have heard say sustainability was one of their major goals.

That will change.  72% of the companies included in The S&P 500 Index® publish sustainability reports, up from just under 20% in 2011.  Over time, companies’ sustainability efforts become more mature and corporate sustainability goals filter down and become key supply chain goals as well.  And these are not incompatible goals.  At PepsiCo supply chain sustainability includes “reducing their inputs while optimizing outputs;” but really, that has always have been a goal for supply chain organizations.

Goodbye CSR, hello new normal

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

“CSR” has served us well for several decades, but now it’s time to go. Having been involved with CSR since the 1970s, parting is painful — but necessary. So many companies around the world have integrated the near-genius concept of doing-good-while-doing-well into their DNA that the distinction no longer resonates.

Anyway, the central concept of CSR is just further evolution of capitalism that’s been going on for decades, even centuries. Think of how companies have evolved in the U.S. through the Progressive Era, the New Deal and Ralph Nader and friends.

Today — and tomorrow — in an interdependent, inter-connected and inter-active world of many kinds of stakeholders, any notion of a CSR department is obsolete.