Social Issues

All posts in the Social Issues category

Why CSR is more than just about being responsible?

Published June 21, 2012 by goodify

Jason Clay, vice-president of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), presented brilliant strategic plans at a TED Talk in 2010 to convince mega corporations to go sustainable. He identified the top 15 commodities that pose the biggest threats to the places that have the top biodiversity because of deforestation, water use, over-fishing, soil loss, and pesticide use. Then he identified the top 100 companies that consumed at least 25 percent of the top commodities, which includes, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Kraft, Starbucks, Walmart, Gap, and Nestle. At that time, he got 20 companies to sign an agreement and had more on the way.

I loved how Clay said that it’s not just about conserving our planet, but also to help companies stay in business in the future. When companies rely on resources that could possibly be gone in the future, companies could go out of business or completely change their products:

[Mars doesn't] want to be an I.P. company; they want to be a chocolate company, but they want to be a chocolate company forever.

Cocoa beans, the main ingredient used to make Mars’ chocolate, come from cacao trees that are found commonly in the equator zone, in hot, rainy tropical areas.  Thus, this case certainly argues the need to conserve plants in order to continue to produce Mars’ chocolate and Nestle’s chocolate.  Who would miss Nestle’s Toll House chocolate chip cookies should if cacao trees become extinct?  What about Hershey’s chocolate bars too?

Coffee originates from coffee beans that are grown on coffee trees.  Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Nestle certainly need to conserve coffee trees in order to continue earn profit from coffee.  There would be no Cocoa Cola if sugarcane gets wiped out.  Nestle and Starbucks would without any doubt be out of business too, as sugar is one of their biggest resources.  Many products from Gap, Walmart, and Ikea come from cotton plants.

Watch the video from TED.com to hear the details on his strategic plan:

After watching the video, I searched to see where WWF is today in working with companies to go sustainable.  As of September 2011, WWF got three more of top 100 companies to sign an agreement and was in discussion with 44 more companies.[1. Click here]

 

Can we live on $1.50 a day too?

Published May 12, 2012 by goodify

In this past week, the Global Poverty Project organized a five-day campaign, Live Below the Line, to raise the awareness of 1.4 billion people who are living in extreme poverty, below $1.50 a day.

An executive director of a non-profit organization, Rainforest Foundation, participated in the five-day campaign to not only call attention to global poverty by raising money for groups fighting it, but also spending only $1.50 a day, the amount that the world’s poorest people live on.  She ate only rice, beans and pasta.

Laura Sesana who is on quest to raise $1,000 for UNICEF, a non-profit organization that is partnering with Live Below the Line, shares stories about three people who live with no money on daily basis to show that is possible to choose to live below the line.  She also shared her husband’s and her personal struggle in being able to spend only $15 on food together for the week and came to realization that they’d be only be able to eat lots of starches, rice, pasta, and white bread.

The US director of Global Poverty Project, Michael, speaks about collaborating with a man from Haiti, Wilfrid, whom Michael consider him a hero because he saw him enduring an amputation to the leg due to being trapped in the rubbles of the earthquake and overcoming the obstacle by leading a soccer team and training for the Olympics as a runner.  Both are living below the line.

Gemma Tumelty, a campaigner for Live Below the Line also shares her struggles of eating a different diet and also issues relating to access to water.

After reading these articles, I realize that these are very serious challenges, but I also realize that I should take for granted for the life in which I have been born.

World Autism Awareness Day

Published April 2, 2012 by oliviadufour

 

 

Stamps from United Nations Postal Administration

 

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.  While the awareness supports the research for development of treatments, it also seeks support, respect and acceptance.

More children are diagnosed with autism than childhood cancer, pediatric AIDs, and juvenile diabetes combinedOne in 88 children in the US has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Tens of millions of individual have ASD.

While there is no established explanation for the root cause of ASD, there are many ways to support those who are affected and their family and friends.

Here are ways to support World Autism Awareness Day:

 

What is exactly CSR and why should we care about it?

Published February 27, 2012 by oliviadufour

As individuals are facing many global issues everyday, companies are taking roles to save the world by implementing policies for responsible practices into daily business operations. This action is known as “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR).

When shopping online, many of us will come across a link on the footer section of companies’ home page or their under “About US” page, stating “Corporate Responsibility” or “Being a Responsible Company” or “Responsibility.” These links lead us to pages explaining how companies are being committed to being socially responsible. Their responsibilities can include combating environmental-related issues, minimizing hazardous labor conditions, donating their profits to non-profit organizations, or participating in volunteer activities in their communities.

Companies are sharing their CSR reports because more and more consumers are becoming concerned about companies’ commitments to being socially responsible. 89% of millenials say they are likely to switch brands if linked to a cause. 69% of millenials consider companies’ CSR reputation when deciding where to shop.

Furthermore, companies’ CSR reputation are also affecting employees’ decision on where they should work. 61% of millenials say that if they were given two job offers, they would choose the one that is committed to CSR.

At last, companies play a large role in creating an impact on the society. They hire people and determine the living wages, working hours, and the design of workplaces. They also determine how well employees can become engaged by volunteering for and donating to non-profit organizations. Employees’ lives are affected by their working conditions. Many of companies’ products come from natural resources. The way companies obtain natural resources and build their facilities impact the environment.

First World Problems

Published February 15, 2012 by oliviadufour

I’m not going to deny that I look in the refrigerator and say, “There is absolutely nothing for dinner,” when there is really more than enough food to create a creative dish. When I see there is no more toilet paper in the bathroom, I groan about the need to walk across the hall to get more from the closet. I moan when I have to walk in the rain and worry about my hair frizzing, my MacBook Pro stops working, my favorite restaurant closed for good, and there is no hot water in the shower.

Because we live in a world where many of us are fortunate to live in well-developed shelters with highest quality of faculties including toilets, sinks, and refrigerators and food are readily available to us, our perception of problems are certainly going to be very different from those who are living in the third world where many lack access to water, toilet, health care, etc.

Scooter Magruder, the creator of “Top 100 First World Problems,” summarizes well what issues many human beings living in first world believe that they are facing on daily basis.

While it is true that many of us in first world should acknowledge that we are living in a very stable life, we should also recognize that there are still many people in North America who are facing poverty along with millions of other people in third world. As I mentioned in the previous post about “Third World Problems in the US,” many people in the US lack access to food, quality shelter, and Internet. Many are also facing AIDs and death from childbirth.

So, when we are facing minor problems while living in a high quality lifestyle, let’s take a moment to reflect about how we can help those who are not living in the highest standard of lifestyle. Life is calling! There are hundreds of organizations who have their doors opened and are waiting for volunteers and donors to make a difference!

Here are a few more aside from last week’s listing to get started:

Give blood

Mentor college students

Donate funding to American Diabetes Association

Assist foster children

 

 

Third World Problems in the US

Published February 8, 2012 by oliviadufour

How can you help solve the issues?

Locate a Food Bank and donate food.

Join Habitat for Humanity and help build homes for the poor.

Educate yourself on preventing AIDS and raise funds for research.

Offer free tutoring for homeless children.

Offer free tutoring for struggling high school students by calling your local public high school’s counselor office and let them know you’re available!

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