Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Share and Borrow – A New Business Trend?

A manufacturing trend to produce fair priced products that break after a short period of use started in late 1980s. That trend allowed manufacturers to save on quality, attract customers by low prices, and generate recurring needs to repurchase. Not surprisingly, the majority of consumers felt deceived by this approach and never returned to the same manufacturer again. Recent studies confirmed that today’s consumers would rather share and borrow high quality products than own medium or low quality ones. The public opinion analysis survey of the European Commission conducted in 2001 identified that 72% of Austrians are willing to buy second-hand products.

The same is true in many other countries and the number of on-line tools designed for exchange of goods is growing rapidly on a global scale.

A research conducted at Harokopio University in Greece in 2010 identified that all surveyed respondents occasionally reused, reduced, and recycled, and more than 50% did it regularly. Concepts of re-using and using instead of owning were keynote themes of the 2013 CeBIT business information technology trade show.

Are businesses embracing the trend? Car and bike sharing services can be found in all major cities in North America. A growing number of products, software, and equipment is offered as a service. Pley Inc. is an example of a successful business which offers LEGO® children toy sets to be ordered by mail, played with, and returned. Do you see a new business opportunity related to the trend? Please share with us your thoughts on the topic.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Grow Your Business by Being a Good Citizen: CSR Case Study


Gilden Tree (gildentree.com) is a Nebraska based company that specializes in foot, hand and body care products.
The majority of their ingredients are Certified Organic or Wild-crafted and the products are effective and delightful to use.

The Company originated in 1990 in Pakistan and was from the very beginning committed to environmental and ethical practices.

In Pakistan, they employ village women who hand-produce the products.

Wanting to give something back to the community, Gilden Tree began paying for the education of
their employees’ children, and later for the education of the women themselves.

The idea of providing the education  to the kids in Pakistan attracted a lot of media attention that boosted the sales over 25% and greatly benefited to the business growth.

What is your CSR story?

More Free resources on Social Responsibility

Monday, June 16, 2014

Measure Company's Impact on Society and Environment

As a Consumer, you might be wondering how to evaluate a company’s social responsibility track record.

B Lab (www.bcorporation.net) will help you with that.

www.bcorporation.netB Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
As of today, over a 1000 corporations from 34 countries and 60 industries are certified as B Corps and are working together toward one goal: to redefine success in business.

Certified B Corps pledge to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance.

They offer higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities.

Measure Your Company's impact on society and environment - take a free B-Assessment!

Related Training courses
SAS11 Social Responsibility and ISO 26000 CAE14 Energy Management and ISO 50001 BLSM93 Sustainable Development through quality management
Social Responsibility and
ISO 26000
Energy Management and
ISO 50001
Sustainable Development
Quality Management

Monday, May 26, 2014

Progress toward Sustainability

              by Natalia Scriabina

Progress toward sustainability can be compared with an unsuccessful weight loss program. More than 20 years ago the world concluded that it was rapidly progressing toward self-destruction. The main reason for this was identified as an overconsumption and unsustainable use of natural resources (Rio, 1992). Since that time the world has developed about a thousand sustainability indicator initiatives worldwide (IISD, 2014). The world has created rapidly developing institutions, theories, schools, international standards, industry norms, and national legislation. As a global community, we sliced and diced our problem. Now we understand sustainability issues on the level of eco-systems, regions, communities, cities, financial markets, businesses, and specific production processes. We have restricted consumption, emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and created systems to identify and penalize offenders (Kyoto 2014).

The world’s progress toward sustainable development has been measured and reported at follow up UN conferences such as Rio 5+ (1997), Rio 10+ (2002), and Rio 20+ (2012). Unfortunately, results are largely disappointing.

The patient of a weight loss program is gaining a lot of weight in spite of all tools and efforts. The patient knows what to do but can’t help doing completely the opposite. According to Rio 20+ (2012), overconsumption is still the world’s problem number one. It is accompanied by other top issues where either regression or lack of progress has been observed. These issues include increased unplanned urbanization, inadequate housing and working conditions, catastrophic climate change, increased pollution, and unsustainable use of land and other resources.

Is there a hope in this seemingly disastrous situation? Sustainability results are derived not from plans and intentions, but from everyday actions of all business players in the world. These actions should be measured and controlled. Thus, sustainability auditing and accounting can be a large part of a solution. While many believe that auditing and accounting is used as window dressing and green washing, there is another well-established school of thought which suggests that business conduct toward sustainable development is greatly facilitated and encouraged through consistent gathering and analysis of relevant information.

Companies need training, communication, regulatory, and consulting support to properly evaluate their sustainability impacts, choose appropriate sustainability frameworks and criteria, understand and mitigate rebound effects, foster sustainability innovation, develop proactive sustainability strategies, and establish independent and effective sustainability auditing and accounting functions. The main drivers of the changes are reputational, competitive, and business risks as well as the pressure from the public, media, customers, and other stakeholders.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Related Training courses
SAS11 Social Responsibility and ISO 26000 CAE14 Energy Management and ISO 50001 BLSM93 Sustainable Development through quality management
Social Responsibility and
ISO 26000
Energy Management and
ISO 50001
Sustainable Development
Quality Management

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lessons Learned

Howard Rosen, former president Alza's Corporation mentioned, "Part of anything innovative is that a lot of what you fail to do."

Learning from mistakes and failures as well as multiplying good practices is an essential part of innovation activities and successful business environments. On a project level such learning is realized through formal lessons learned activities.

The auditor should seek to determine the effectiveness of lessons learned activities when assessing projects and continuous improvement activities. Our checklist will help the auditor to find performance gaps and opportunities for improvement in Lessons Learned Processes.

Download Lessons Learned Checklist

Free presentations and documents on our Downloads page.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Information Security Mangement Resources

For any business, information is an asset and has to be viewed as such.
In recent years, more and more attention is paid to the security of sensitive information..
Businesses throughout the world are seeking software and information security programs that will help protect their information.

In 2013 ISO published  'ISO/IEC 27001 - Information security management' that defined  requirements for an information security management system (ISMS). ISMS includes people, processes and IT systems and can help businesses in any sector to protect their information assets.

We put together a collection of articles, links and videos that cover various areas of ISMS:

http://www.pinterest.com/centauribg/iso-27001-information-security-management/Follow this board @ Pinterest for more Information Security presentations, articles and videos.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Transit Agencies Make Positive Sustainability Impacts: King County Metro Transit

King County Metro Transit (KCM) is the public transit authority of King County, Washington, USA.
It began operations on January 1, 1973, but can trace its roots to Seattle Transit, founded in 1939, and Overlake Transit Service, founded in 1927.
As of 2008, it operated 1,443 buses on 223 routes and its annual ridership in 2008 was 118 million.

KCM is committed to providing transportation services in an environmentally sound and responsible manner by establishing an Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS).

In recent years, King County Metro Transit replaced diesel buses with fuel efficient hybrid buses and added zero-emission electric vehicles

.Using customer feedback to improve communication, The Eye on Your Metro Commute blog and e-mail Transit Alerts system were introduced.
As a result during 2008-2011
  • air pollutant emissions were reduced by 10%
  • water usage per unlinked trip - by 35%
  • waste - by 34%
Learn more about Sustainability good practices in Public Transit:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sustainability indicators are growing in number

New sustainability indicators have being developed continuously:

Organizations dedicated to sustainability accounting have been established in Europe and North America.

Many financial markets sustainability indicators:
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
  • FTSE4Good Index
  • MSCI Global Sustainability Indices 
The number of standards related to sustainability is also growing:
  • ISO 26000 Guidance on social responsibility
  • ISO 50001 Energy management systems
  • ISO 14000 Environment management systems
  • OHSAS 18000 Occupational health and safety systems
  • ISO 21929/30/31 Sustainability in building construction
  • SO/TR 37150:2014 Smart community infrastructure
  • IWA 9:2011 Sustainable development in business districts
  • ISO 20121:2012 Event sustainability management systems
  • AccountAbility AA1000 Assurance Standards

Related Training courses
SAS11 Social Responsibility and ISO 26000 CAE14 Energy Management and ISO 50001 BLSM93 Sustainable Development through quality management
Social Responsibility and
ISO 26000
Energy Management and
ISO 50001
Sustainable Development
Quality Management

Please share your view on the following topics for a chance to win $200* credit to spend on any CBG product:
  • Why the field of sustainability is getting more and more specialized and diverse?
  • Do you believe that there is a growing overlap between different sustainability indicators, approaches, and standards?
*the credit to be spent on CBG products only, no cash value

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Free Resources on Social Responsiblity

What is Social Responsibility?
What is the difference between Sustainable Development and Sustained success?
What International standards were influenced by the concepts of sustainability and social responsibility?
Are there ways to measure and manage social responsibility?

If you are looking for the answer for those questions - please visit our reference pages Social Responsibility Facts and Links and Social Responsibility Key Terms and Definitions.