The effects of climate change are already beginning to change the ways companies do business: Stakeholders are asking what steps businesses are taking, renewable energy is revolutionizing the energy industry, and investors are already shifting dollars away from high-carbon, negative-impact businesses. Gonzalo Muñoz, co-founder of Sistema B and CEO of … Read More
The term “corporate governance” can conjure images of closed-door meetings and classified documents. But responsible businesses are finding the value of being a transparent business, meaning employees, shareholders, customers, clients and all stakeholders have access to a business’s inner workings. But why would this be beneficial?
For socially conscientious businesses, corporate governance and financial transparency is often required by discerning customers and employees to prove the company’s responsible claims aren’t just greenwashing. Third-party verifications and certifications, such as the ones listed in this chart of 12 highly regarded ecolabels and ratings, go a long way to assure clients and workers of various conscientious claims’ validity. Many of these certifications, including B Corporation certification, evaluate a company’s corporate governance transparency so stakeholders have a means to review how open a business is about its operations.
Financial transparency can be especially valuable to employees. With rising levels of income disparity between low-wage earners and CEOs, more workers and customers are investigating the ratio of a company’s top-wage earner to its lowest-paid worker’s wages in order to decide where to work and shop. Various states are addressing this disparity by experimenting with raising minimum wages, and other companies have written into the company’s bylaws a set ratio to keep CEOs and other executives from making more than a certain amount of money compared with their entry-level employees. Ben & Jerry’s, for example, has set this ratio at 5 to 1, and has kept it at that ratio for 20-plus years.
Another way to create a more transparent business is to create a more transparent workspace. Rearranging to allow for more open floorplans or replacing solid conference room walls with glass are two examples. An open work strategy’s benefits can be surprising and personal, as was the case for Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power.
For a conscientious business to set itself apart from other companies with green marketing claims, operating as a transparent business is key. The advantages a business experiences by engaging in corporate social responsibility can be negated without openness about the company’s basic operating, financial and governance procedures. (Learn more about why CSR is important and the benefits such a strategy has incurred at several businesses in our free report.)
CEO Mike Brady and Head of External Affairs Jonathan Halperin at Greyston Bakery wrote about social enterprise and open hiring at Greyston Bakery, and how they have dovetailed successful growth with more inclusive business practices. This modest bakery with a great, big, disruptive idea. … Read More
Corporate activism works, and CEO Jostein Solheim says the proof is in the ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s is growing, it’s profitable and its customers are extremely loyal.
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The recent acquisition of Seventh Generation by Unilever raises many questions, including whether Seventh Generation’s mission will remain intact and, more broadly, whether a purpose-driven company can have a successful exit without losing commitment to its values and the trust of its customers. … Read More
Dr. Bronner’s discusses its 2016 corporate social responsibility report: a success in company transparency and design. … Read More
Can a social media strategy and social welfare be soul mates? If you introduce them and ensure that they get to know each other, they can indeed be soul mates and very compatible ones at that. … Read More
Communication after your CSR Report goes live is about closing the loop. It demonstrates your ongoing commitment to sharing your accountability and performance with your stakeholders. … Read More
It’s sometimes difficult to assess how “good” a business is for the world without understanding internal context for operations. Transparent business practices along with B Corp certification help us understand each company’s efforts in detail. … Read More