Ethical Corp produce complimentary insight, analysis, and reports that are greatly received by the responsible business community, and it's great to see that certain pieces can really create a spark and inform business change
However, the most useful, practical analysis we produce is available only to subscribers. The monthly magazine brings with it pages upon pages of fascinating intelligence which professionals worldwide come to swear by, and utilise in their daily roles.
Whether you're a subscriber, a regular visitor to EthicalCorp.com, or even if this is you're first time visiting, you'll find this list of the top 10 most popular premium articles - as dictated by the tastes and reading habits of EC's global subscribership - to be most interesting...
The December issue of Ethical Corporation magazine reviewed the year just passed, delving in to the major events, obstacles, and goals in each of the major global regions, with this piece crowning the project. Climate change, MDGs, SDGs, corporate misdemeanours and other all-ecompassing issues are addressed, culminating in a view of the year ahead. Which topics will dominate the coming 12 months? John Elkington provides his view.
It's pretty well acknowledged at this point that partnerships of all varieties are going to be vital if we're to make any significant advancements in sustainability, particularly towards achieving the SDGs. In January, we sought to drive this point forward with a case study on perhaps one of the most notable examples yet: the partnership between Target and Walmart. The American market giants are partnering with UK-based non-profit group Forum for the Future with the aim of setting the standard for safer, more sustainable products in the beauty & personal care industry.
January's issue of EC magazine took up where December left off, and provided an extensive look to the year ahead. With the Paris agreement on climate change not long passed, and companies still fired up to set ambitious sustainability goals, we took a look at the implications for investment, divestment, regulation and supply chain management.
For those not aware, every month we produce reviews of two of the most important, influential, interesting or individual sustainability-related reports published. Ever the impartial commentator, our June review of Apple's Environmental Progress Report begins by saying that "Apple has won plaudits for its sustainability initiatives, but its environmental reporting is selective and short on measurable targets." This kind of reliable, balanced insight into the successes (and failings) of some of the world's most important reports provides readers with a great opportunity to benchmark themselves and their own reporting standards.
Another regular intelligence provision: in-depth and comprehensive briefings on the the key issues facing businesses globally. In October, we decided to address the issue of slavery in global supply chains, and subscribers responded resoundingly by making this one of their most-read articles. Slavery is still pervasive across the world, and has proven difficult to tackle for multinationals whose leaders are far removed from the people producing their raw ingredients. This half of the two-part briefing demonstrates how projects are being set up to expose the issue in its true magnitude, and how companies are acting to work down the supply chain to eradicate the problem.
Even more popular was September's water briefing. It's no secret that the impending (and existing) shortage of fresh water everywhere is a nightmare, not just for business but for communities across the world. Responsible professionals are constantly seeking further insight into how to forestall or even overcome this gargantuan issue, and while this briefing doesn't hold all the answers, it - backed by the input of pioneer Arjen Hoekstra and non-profit WWF - urges companies to reconsider how they measure and report upon their water usage. Examples of better practice proffered include the lifecycle assesments (LCAs) used by Levis, and the "intensive" water risk assessments undertaken by SABMiller.
Recently, we supplemented the array of intelligence formats available to subscribers with fully-searchable, multimedia recordings of conference sessions. Generally well-received, this recording of eRevalue, Onimpact, Hermes Investment Management & Munich Airport discussing how sustainability professionals can uncover new areas for improvement was particularly popular. Note: recordings are fully-searchable, meaning that with the use of advanced tech running in the background, you can quickly and easily pinpoint mentions of particular phrases, words, company names etc. A great research tool!
One of the most controversial topics in global business over the last few months has undoubtedly been the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Where proponents herald the TPP as the agreement to "promote economic growth, enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness, raise living standards and reduce poverty" in the twelve Pacific Rim countries, critics can provide numerous counterpoints; namely compromised sovereignty, food safety, public health and environmental quality. Beleaguered negotiations came to a head in September when failed resolutions and missed deadlines seemed to have sunk any hope for an agreement.
Companies seeking to improve their reputation - particularly following a series of debacles and controversies - are always going to generate the most interest. Sustainability in particular loves such stories, as they provide so much to learn from, and so it's no surprise that a great number of subscribers were interested in seeing how Nestlé are performing. An objective review of a comprehensive report from a controversial multinational company is summed up well: "Nestlé’s report is a methodical reflection of its audiences’ needs, and this is where it succeeds."
This report from Unilever generated the largest response from the EC subscribership, and rightly so. The human rights report "sets high standards for other multinationals to follow" and is "the first of its kind" in addressing some of the key challenges faced by companies (particularly of such size and status) when trying to balance human rights with economic imperatives. Given the standard (read: impartial) EC treatment, the review provides an excellent opportunity for companies of all shapes, sizes, and origins to follow Unilever's lead on reporting more comprehensively on their treatment of such an increasingly imperative issue.
These are of course just a handful of the articles published at EthicalCorp.com over the last few months, a fraction of the more than 9,000 pieces published since 2001, and a great insight into what we have planned. Subscribing provides access to all past & future articles - as well as videos, audio, whitepapers, reports and magazines - and provides a depth of analysis and support you won't find anywhere else.
Find out more about how you and your team can benefit from complete access to Ethical Corporation's responsible business intelligence resources; download the brand new Subscriptions Brochure.Target Walmart partnership Apple Nestlé Unilever trends water slavery supply chain