Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 12, 2013 04:34 PM
AT&T has landed at top spot on CR Magazine's 14th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, beating out other top Russell 1000 large-capitalization companies on merits including human rights and corporate governance.
Rounding out the top 10 on the new list: Mattel, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eaton Corp, Intel, Gap, Hasbro, Merck & Co., Campbell Soup Co. and Coca-Cola.
The ranking crunches 298 data points of disclosure and performance measures across seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.
Notably, 26 companies on the 2013 list were not on the 2012 list, while 11 companies have appeared on the list every year since 2007. For those that were bestowed the honor, many were quick to highlight the significance of employee participation to the success of the company's initiatives.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 22, 2013 01:44 PM
When can the pot call the kettle black? When the pot is Walmart — and when it's warning suppliers that it is adopting a "zero-tolerance policy" for violations of its global sourcing standards.
The world's most ubiquitous retailer has announced it plans to sever ties with any company that subcontracts work to factories without the retailer's knowledge. The move follows a November fire at a Bangladesh garment factory that not only killed 112 people but also revealed Walmart clothing was made there without the company's knowledge.
The tougher new policies replace Walmart's previous "three strikes" approach to policing suppliers. "Obviously [that policy] wasn't working as well as it could have," Rajan Kamalanathan, vice president of ethical sourcing, told
the Wall Street Journal.
"Our message of zero tolerance is meant to get people's attention."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2013 04:40 PM
The Lance Armstrong saga is turning into a miniseries.
The OWN Network announced Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey's interview with the tarnished cyclist, taped on Monday in Austin, Tex., will air over two nights — Thursday and Friday — instead of one.
Winfrey calls her "no-holds barred" interview the biggest of her career "in terms of its exposure."
During the interview, Armstrong is said to confess to Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. Both he and Winfrey have not spoken publicly about the specific details revealed, but Winfrey told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday: "By the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2013 05:33 PM
Strange bedfellows, Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey, but their "emotional" interview that was taped on Monday and will air on OWN and run on Oprah.com on Thursday, may be the million dollar ticket back for the struggling former queen of daytime as she returns to what she does best.
Oprah’s Midas touch for grabbing celebrities remains golden at her own cable network, including an exclusive with Whitney Houston’s daughter following the singer’s death, then the artful dodger, David Letterman, and now Armstrong, the iconic super-athlete dragged down by a doping scandal of unprecedented proportion that saw sponsors including Nike pull their support.
The Armstrong interview will set a record for the Discovery-backed OWN and for Oprah.com, also a vindication for Brand Oprah, whose OWN has struggled since launching two years ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2013 05:04 PM
The leaders of Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and The Container Store on Monday exhorted fellow retailers to increase transparency, stand on principle and to see themselves as part of a "wider circle of responsibility" to ensure their success.
Speaking sequentially to an audience of 27,000 at the National Retail Federation's BIG Show in New York, the CEOs offered a combined keynote address that advocated lifting up employees and valuing vendors as the major brands assume heightened global leadership in a time of government retrenching.
Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, said retailers should strive to create an environment of "conscious capitalism."
"Charity alone won’t do it," he said. "We need business and capitalism, purpose and profit.”
Tindell said focusing on the well-being of employees "pays off and reflects on customers. It’s not what you sell, it’s what you stand for. Customers and employees become your evangelical supporters. We want our vendors to think of us as their favorite customers, and this causes the universe to conspire to assist you.”
Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb agreed, saying that “business is making a wider wake in the world, not just doing the minimum, but part of a wider circle of responsibility.” The company's approximately 75,000 employees comprise a 40 percent ownership stake in the company, and 86 percent have health insurance.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2013 12:08 PM
American consumers may have a hitch in their gait and feel worn down, but they're still arguably the most reliable engine powering the global economy these days. The latest example comes from Rolls-Royce: U.S. luxury customers returned to their previous status as the world's largest market for one of the ultimate brands in automobiles last year, overtaking China as sales growth cooled there.
Overall, the luxury brand reported great news for 2012: It was a record year for Rolls-Royce Motor Car vehicles, with worldwide sales rising to 3,575 units. It was its third straight year of global growth, with the only negative that sales rose only by one percent, a growth rate much slower than the previous two years.
But considering that Rolls-Royce — like other auto-luxury brands — was battling a cooling of the market in China, a challenging European market and continued pressure on upscale buyers in the United States, the 2012 performance was satisfying enough to Rolls-Royce brass. "We had an outstanding year in spite of the challenges we faced, and Rolls-Royce now leads the ultra luxury market by some considerable margin," CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos said, according to Reuters.
"We are the pinnacle of all luxury brands in the world," he told CNBC. "We are interested in constant growth over the years to come, but sustainable growth." Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2012 12:07 PM
Executives at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, were already having a bad week, with its holiday-heightened labor dispute on the current cover of Bloomberg Businessweek and brisk business making Bushmaster rifles the #1 assault rifle in America criticized in the wake of the Newtown, CT, school massacre. Still, at least the Mexico bribery scandal that besmirched its corporate reputation earlier this year, when a New York Times investigation was published, was dying down. Until Tuesday night.
That's when the New York Times' follow-up to its April expose was published online, with the headline, "How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs in Mexico." After examining thousands of documents and talking to local officials and Walmart's own executives, the latest chapter in the NYT expose concludes, "An examination by The New York Times found Wal-Mart de Mexico to be an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited."
The story is featured on the New York Times homepage today, smack in the middle of the gun debate raging among its readers, editors, writers and the population at large — a debate in which Walmart's brand is also involved as America's largest seller of guns, and the Sandy Hook rifle, in particular.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2012 05:39 PM
The notion of civet coffee is strange enough — it's pricey java (approx. $500/pound) brewed from lightly digested coffee cherries that are plucked from the dung of a nocturnal, long-tailed, catlike animal that prowls the coffee-growing lands of Southeast Asia.
But now an entrepreneur in Thailand, Blake Dinkin, has gone the nascent civet-coffee industry one better. His Black Ivory Coffee brand is produced after elephants at the Golden Elephant Triangle Foundation are given Thai Arabica beans, removing some proteins in the digestion process, and expel the half-digested coffee. The company plucks out green coffee beans and processes them into a smooth brew that it claims tastes less bitter than regular coffee because Dumbo's process of semi-digestion strips out much of the protein.
Dinkin says he can take the inevitable humor. "There's always going to be an element of [poop] jokes in doing Black Ivory Coffee," Dinkin told the Associated Press. "But the reason why it's taken me nine years to develop this is I'm really trying to make a serious product."Continue reading...