*** NEW AWARD***
My book ETHICAL CHIC: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love
has just been named one of the Best Business Books of 2012 by Library Journal
This book analyzes six well-known companies that are seen as socially responsible and hip, to see if they really deserve their sterling reputations.
Find out the real story about Starbucks, Apple, Trader Joe’s, American Apparel, Tom’s of Maine and Timberland:.
I am a prize-winning author and journalist with over 20 years of experience specializing in health care, retirement issues, and the nexus between business and public policy. I write regularly for The New York Times, Newsday, The Scientist, Institutional Investor, and more
Has Corporate Social Responsibility Sold Out?
Should an ethical consumer/investor/parent be glad that suddenly, the corporate social responsibility movement has become so big and so mainstream, that there is now capitalist-style competition to be The business-ethical leader? That Fortune has created a list of “Companies That Change the World” (to go along with its Fortune 500 biggest capitalist behemoths)? That there’s a magazine called “Conscious Company,” which is not to be confused with the group “Conscious Capitalism,” which sneers at the ESG ethical-investing designation (which replaced the SRI designation)? And is ESG the same as impact investing? Does all this popularity mean that the corporate world really has changed, and business leaders now accept that they have a responsibility to use their wealth to help the earth, the workers, and the consumers that make their success possible? Or is this just the corporate-ethics version of greenwashing? Can a small-store, buy-local movement really be part of Big Business? The Conscious Capitalism group seems to be a PR front for Whole Foods and The Container Store, which largely fund it. At this point, I think we CSR activists should warily accept the alliance that’s offered — use the resources to good ends — but be always alert to keep our supposed allies honest. If we’re careful, we can buy without selling out.