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Sustainability Archives - Ideas for Leaders

How to Keep Your AI Ethical

While the technological capabilities and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought significant change to multiple facets of business and even society, the core of AI is still machines, not humans. And while these machines can learn, they cannot discern right from wrong—unless we deliberately step in to add an ethical dimension to AI. Where […]

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To Inspire Recycling, Describe the Product to Come

Governments, companies and consumers all generally agree on the importance of recycling for environmental reasons. The challenge is turning awareness into action. Governments and non-governmental organizations are taking steps to encourage consumer recycling through public service announcements and public policy, while companies are attempting to make more of their products from recyclable materials. Consumers, however, […]

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Typical Air Quality in Offices Hurts Cognitive Function

Over a period of six days, a team of researchers recreated a variety of air quality conditions, and simultaneously conducted cognitive tests of volunteers under the various conditions to determine whether poor or even average air quality impacts our cognitive abilities. Manipulating in a laboratory setting the amount of airborne Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which […]

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CSR Benefits to Society from Private Companies Are Greater than from Public Companies

‘Greenwashing’ is a new term that describes the actions of companies whose corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities prove to be more window-dressing than action. Two Michigan Ross professors, Jun Li and Di (Andrew) Wu used a set of databases as proxies to answer a complex and important question: Does corporate social responsibility really benefit society? […]

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Sustainability-driven Hybrid Companies Challenge Business Dogma

Corporate sustainability has become mainstream. Few companies would argue today – as they argued in the past – that the only responsibility companies have to society is to make a profit. Today, corporations proudly describe their social responsibility initiatives. Nardia Haigh of the School of Business at University of Massachusetts, Boston and Andrew Hoffman of […]

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Crisis Communication: Emphasize the Positive

Some people are motivated by growth goals — goals that reflect aspirations and ambitions. In psychological terms, these people are promotion-oriented. In contrast, prevention-oriented people are motivated by goals that stress responsibility and safety. The word ‘prevention’ is used since their motivation is often framed by something they want to avoid. For example, prevention-oriented people […]

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Meeting Sustainability Priorities in Competitive Operational Strategies

Company follow different strategies in their quest for competitive advantage. For example, some companies compete on price. Other companies try to differentiate themselves from competitors through their capabilities. Still others draw their competitive advantage from their flexibility and innovation. At the operations level, the strategic direction chosen by the company leads to a set of […]

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Collaborate with Suppliers to Ensure Green Practices in the Supply Chain

Many companies recognize the reputational risk of the environmental reputation of their suppliers. As a result, companies launch green supply chain management (GSCM) initiatives, working with suppliers to ensure that their activities and processes are environmentally friendly. There are two ways for companies to engage with suppliers on environmental issues. One is to monitor their […]

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How Social Movements Spark Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

What is the role of social movements in inspiring or sparking corporate social responsibility? To answer this question, Panayiotis Georgallis of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise builds on the academic research related to social movements and to corporate social responsibility, which are two distinct fields of research. Social movements are […]

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