Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility is Old. Growing a sustainable business is the next big thing. . . .and textbooks

Once the business case is clear, CSR moves from brand building to business building. Brand building is better done by always doing right by the customer and never ever lying.

The best business builder is Walmart. They got it right first on the chocolate stuff described in the snippet below.

Robert Reich has it right in Supercapitalism. (You can get it on a Kindle in 60 seconds) The job of business is not to be "corporate social responsible stewards of the earth." The job of business is to grow the business. If everyone just does their job and acts ethically, things will work out just fine.

I'm hoping that one of the Print globals will see the business case for fixing education. Once they do, they can build their business and the rest of us can fix education.

1. Real estate values go up when an area becomes desirable by working people.
2. Nothing makes an area more desirable than super public schools.

1. Take regular K-12 public schools and make them super K -12 public schools.
2. Working people will desire the real estate to save the money of private schools.
3.The real estate values will go up and local economic development will ensue.

Plus - super schools make safe neighborhoods. There's nothing like safe to increase real esate values. That's why bottom of the pyramid education is good business.

Hint: It's all about getting kids to love to read and replacing textbooks with wikibooks and wikinewspapers delivered in real time, not school-time.

Below is the snippet from FT.com about how this plays out for the chocolate business.
Why corporate responsibility is a survivor
. . . "Why are these companies acting in a way few expected? First, there are substantial business reasons. When Mars and Cadbury talk about their cocoa supplies being sustainable, they mean it. Chocolate manufacturers are worried about how much cocoa will be available a decade from now.

Worldwide cocoa production fell in 2008 for the fourth successive year. Cadbury says it is worried about how few cocoa farmers’ children intend to go into the business. It is hoping the investment in farms that Fairtrade encourages will persuade them cocoa farming is a worthwhile occupation.

Wal-Mart also has commercial reasons for its stance. The company has been encouraging companies to cut down on packaging. This enables it to fit more goods into each delivery truck, not only reducing its emissions, but also cutting the amount it spends on petrol. Its insistence that manufacturers produce concentrated laundry detergent has allowed it to save on both packaging and shelf space. Cost-cutting is vital to beating the downturn and if companies can boost their green credentials at the same time, why not?"

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