Corporate Social Responsibility: How Far Does Your Business Go?

13 05 2014

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a trending topic for many organizations. As mentioned in an earlier posts, most businesses practice some form of CSR activity. This has not only created a tighter gap for differentiation, but it has also made consumers question the transparency of companies’ claims. It is crucial for business owners to understand the different responsibilities that compose CSR and promote their activities accordingly to avoid misconceptions of their efforts.

Mandatory Responsibilities

Mandatory responsibilities are the main reason for which CSR has gained popularity. These are responsibilities that companies must fulfill in order to survive as business entities. There are two specific responsibilities under this section: Economic and Legal.

Economic Responsibilities

Prior to looking at the outside world, organizations must address their financial standings. Profitability should be top-of-mind for all businesses. Companies that are profitable create job opportunities for their communities. Aside from this, these businesses can invest in activities to participate in other responsibilities.

Legal Responsibilities

This section of CSR pertains to legal acts companies must fulfill. Similarly to economic responsibilities, legal responsibilities are requirements for organizations to engage in business practices. Some legalities that businesses must enforce are security labour laws, environmental laws, criminal laws, and many others. In order to successfully execute this responsibility, organizations must be strongly aware of the laws that apply to them.

Company-Imposed Responsibilities

Unlike the mandatory responsibilities, self-imposed responsibilities are undertaken by businesses due to the owners and/ or employees’ desires to have a positive impact within their environment. These responsibilities can be described as Ethical and Philanthropic.

Ethical Responsibilities

Ethical responsibilities pertain to the duty of following a morally correct path. This is not an obligation for organizations but rather a self-imposed mandate. Some activities that fall under this umbrella are practicing honesty with all stakeholders, being respectful to customers, and ensuring that all promises made are fulfilled.

Philanthropic Responsibilities

The philanthropic responsibilities are those responsibilities taken on by companies that want to go above and beyond their call of duty. This section is highly denoted by organizations’ charitable actions such as service or monetary donations for specific community events and the implementation of processes to engage in environmentally friendly business practices. These are the responsibilities that truly differentiate businesses amongst their competitors while building a strong rapport with consumers.



Genghis Khan Environmentalist?

22 02 2011
The Khan dynasty, and the huge slaughters that came at the hand of the terrible Genghis Khan, are widely known. Khan lead the invasions of many areas throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, and it is estimated that possibly 40 million people died due to his conquests. History books have always taught that he was an incredibly cruel leader, and the high death rates of the people he slaughtered are devastating and horrible. Now, environmentalists have conducted recent studies that show Genghis Khan may have had one of the most positive effects on the environment in history, and are even praising his conquests for their positive impact on the environment, though this praise is a bit much for many people to handle.

For a long time, it was assumed that the major carbon pollution problems that have been hurting the environment started when technology advances led to the wide burning of fossil fuels for energy. Since we’ve started using fossil fuels, burned coal and oil has led to extremely heightened pollution levels, levels that have deeply concerned many environmental groups. However, a lesser known fact that environmental groups have known for a while is that fossil fuels were not the beginning of carbon pollution in our history.

For years before fossil fuels were used, the increasing use of agriculture meant serious carbon pollution for the world. As humans expanded across the world, into new territory, they began preparing the new land they found for agriculture. To do so they had to clear the current environment of forests and other natural vegetation, to prepare the land for growing crops. Countless acres of forest and plains were burned, to clear the way for the oncoming groups of people. These massive fires and burnings lead to huge carbon pollution in the world, and this pollution has been going on for hundreds of years, as humans continued to expand.

Obviously this brings into question how Genghis Khan is related. Environmentalists have noted that as humans expanded and burned forests, the carbon emissions always lowered during times of great devastation to humanity. During times of great death in the human population, more plants and vegetation was allowed to grow again, which removed some of the carbon dioxide in the air and got rid of the pollution.

Genghis Khan’s reign killed millions and millions of people. This also meant that the expansion of different groups of people was severely limited, and fewer farms and crops were planted and attended to. Forests were allowed to overgrow the existing farms and got rid of a great deal of the carbon dioxide that had previously been heavily polluting the air due to clearing the land and burning forests.

Other historical events that have lead to great human death, such as the Black Death, have also been studied to see what their impact on carbon emissions was. It was found that the impact of Genghis Khan was by far the largest impact, likely due to the fact that his reign was long and extensive. The other historical events were much shorter, and had a significantly smaller impact, so their impact on carbon emission was significantly lower.

Of course, it’s not easy for everyone to agree that the work of such a murderer was a good thing. Many are criticizing environmentalists for praising Genghis Khan’s killing sprees, and insist it is wrong to consider such extensive death a good thing. However, the findings still have a significant impact on understanding environmental implications dealing with pollution and finding solutions to current problems that the world is facing in dealing with our pollution.



Green Printer interviews entrepreneur Carmon Spagnola of m

10 06 2009

A Green Printer interview with Carmen Spagnola, entrepreneur and owner of m.

1. What made you want to start m?
I started m because I was a frustrated consumer.  I decided that  if I want to have access to smarter, more beautifully designed, more  responsible products and amenities for my home and family, I was going to have to create more demand.  Markets are a bit of a chicken-and-egg  relationship.  Many retailers will tell you that they only provide  what their customers want.  That is only part of my modus operandi. I want to showcase the possibility of a better performing future, so  much of what I sell and promote is currently considered ahead of the market.  But how will the market know what it wants if we don’t inspire it to want more?
Read the rest of this entry »



Ads Made of Sea Water: Three reasons to re-imagine your design

3 06 2009

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

This week, we scoured Google, we marveled and finally chose three design resources, trends and case studies from around the globe that inspire in their boundary pushing work. You’ll probably re-think using the colour green in your branding palette. And that’s a good thing.

1. Did you ever wonder what all those old marketing posters for saving the endangered spotted owls could be made out of? In 1980s, you could have conjured nasty words like ‘subterranean chemicals’ or ‘volatile organic compounds‘ (VOCs). Read the rest of this entry »



Green designers take heed: ‘Sharing’ a tidalwave 2009 trend

28 05 2009

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

Here and there in 2007, I saw the idea of the ‘share economy’ pop up.  In 2009, car sharing, bike sharing, vacation sharing and even, clothing sharing seem to have more clout as tidalwave trends as opposed to mere passing trends.

From conference keynote titles like “Is the Share Economy the New New Economy?” at the May 5-7 Next09 Conference to the hit $40 annual fee Smart Bike Program in Washington, D.C., sharing is on the rise amongst even ‘mainstream’ consumers.

Sure, when times were high, the idea of car-pooling with the guy next door who grows petunias seemed like a nuisance best avoided (“I have to get to my superimportantmeetingnow!”). Read the rest of this entry »



Core Industry’s MacMurray on ‘Garden Electric’ and making the invisible visible

25 05 2009

Thank you to Daniel Schutzsmith for this fabulous tip.

Green Printer has interviewed rockstar interactive and strategic marketing, design and development firm Core Industries before (who clients include Live Earth, Pepsi and 1% for the Planet) and has been in touch with Megan MacMurray, Production Designer at the agency.

So, we were excited to learn that the Brooklyn-based MacMurray, along with fellow artist Angela Pablo, showcased her Garden Electric exhibit at the Futuresonic Festival and Conference in Manchester, England. Read the rest of this entry »



Clearly Green Design on “zag!” and bucking the marketing trend

20 05 2009

A Green Printer “Design Goes Green” dispatch. An interview with Deb Ozarko, Director, Creative Services of Clearly Green Design.

[digg=Being “green”, socially aware and committed to the planet doesn’t mean that design solutions have to be serious and dull]

1. If a client comes to you saying that they want to market themselves as a green company, what kinds of advice would you give them in terms of identity and design?
Before I would give them any advice, I would accurately determine their motives. As both a visual communicator and a social/environmental activist, I have a very large responsibility to the public and the planet – as well as my own personal ethics. Clearly Green Design takes our commitment to the environment, animals and social justice causes very seriously so its critical that we understand the motivating factors for a company before we go any further. A green claim or green identity no longer has the same validity that they used to because of excessive greenwashing. Greenwash is rampant because so many companies have simply jumped on the green bandwagon in order to keep up with the trend. Personally, I find this really sad because there is alot at stake here – namely, planetary survival. A glaring example of greenwash are the green claims made by the Walmart corporation. I honestly don’t know how the folks at the communications agency who market Walmart can sleep at night. Read the rest of this entry »



Three coolest, new tech tools to shake up your green marketing….

14 05 2009

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch

As we are gearing up for week full of interviews from Clearly Green Design and the Futuresonic Festival and Conference (a sneak peek photo of the Futuresonic interview above!), this week’s uber-short post is on some valuable and unique tools for business owners looking to refresh their green marketing efforts.

1. Widgetbox allows you to search for widgets and once you find a good match for your busines, it lets you customize the mini-application and add it to your own Web site or blog. Green Printer even has one too.

2.  Volusion. Because Barack Obama used it in his campaign and well, look where it took him. No seriously, Volusion’s Gold Plan edition offers new social commerce features and affordable plans for tech-savvy entrepreneurs.

3. Besides Google AdWords, Clickable Pro for Advertisers is an affordable and simple online advertising Web service that helps small to medium sized businesses to create and manage search marketing campaigns from a single location.

That’s it! We told you it would be short. Stay tuned for the blog-blitzrieg next week through our “Design Goes Green” series.



Substance 151: Modular design systems and visual vocabularies

30 04 2009

By contributing guest author Ida Cheinman, Principal and Creative Director of Substance 151, a strategic design agency for Green Printer‘s “Design Goes Green” series.

We live in a time when “sustainability” is topping the buzzword charts and a wave of greenwashing is flooding the mainstream. We live in a time of intense competition, gloomy economic forecasts and rapidly disappearing marketing budgets, but also in a time when more and more companies and organizations strive to uphold higher environmental and social values, making the shift to the triple bottom line economic model. Sustainability and social responsibility are the forces that drive many of today’s business decisions; they also change the way organizations re-think their branding and marketing strategies. As marketers and business leaders, we are faced with the challenge of finding differentiation by creating empowering and memorable brand experiences for our audiences in the increasingly crowded sustainable marketplace.

So, What are the rules? Read the rest of this entry »



Wild, green business card ideas to re-ignite your brand

22 04 2009

So, the economy is down the tubes and it’s all over the tube.

Why not take this time to incubate your business (from a caterpillar into a butterfly metamorphosis, if you will) and re-invest in your brand.

This is likely a slower client year than most businesses may be used to so lack of time is no excuse not to get started. And money?  When business is scarce for your retail neighbours down the street, consider that suppliers may be more willing than usual to negotiate high volume orders. Read the rest of this entry »