Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Co-op turns down £9.9m worth business

Althought the Co-operative Bank turned down nearly £10m business last year on ethical grounds, the bank calculates over one third of its £96.5m pre-tax profit can be attributed to its ethical stance reports the Guardian.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nike and Apple join forces

This is interesting as BBC reports that Nike and Apple have joined forces to launch products for runners. An increasing number of companies are co-branding. Retailers work with banks to provide store cards and financial services, or new outlets for their products. But what impact will this have on either companies' reputation, especially if there is disparity in consumer perceptions?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tesco tank parked on Sainsbury's lawn says King

In a Guardian report on supermarkets and environmental issues, Sainsbury's group Chief Executive says "It is a huge and hot topic at the moment, but it is core to the way we do business."

How business needs to be "a good neighbour"

Tesco's Terry Leahy is quoted in The Telegraph as saying, "The battle to win customers will increasingly be fought not just on value, choice and convenience but on being good neighbours, being active in communities, seizing the environmental challenges and on behaving responsibly." Todd Stitzer, chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes, also was quoted as saying companies needed to "loudly and proudly communicate our values... what we stand for, what we are doing and why we are doing it".

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

GE reports increase in "green" profits

The Financial Times reports that General Electric sharply increased its revenues from environmental goods and services last year, and more than doubled its future order book from these businesses.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The UN Global Compact launched Principles for Responsible Investment at the New York Stock Exchange at the end of April. At the launch Kofi Annan said "There is a disconnect between corporate responsibility, as a broadly stated management imperative, and the actual behaviour of financial markets, which all too often are guided primarily by short-term considerations at the expense of longer-term objectives".

Nike's "Considered" response

I feel like maybe I'm the last to know, but I'd never heard of Nike's "Considered" range of footwear.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blogs and corporate reputations

Julian Smith from Jupiter Research on BBC website confirms that 'blogging and other forms of 'consumer media' are increasingly important in shaping perceptions of companies. His report illustrates how individuals can influence corporate reputation. This report talks about Dell, but there are other examples of influential 'blogs; ipod and the Neistat Brothers, Microsoft and Scobleizer (who has now co-written Naked Conversations) being examples. Although to date 'blogs have been written by people who are very interested in technology, I expect that new forms of reputation systems (like the ratings we give each other on Ebay) will only increase the impact of consumer opinion in future. Howard Rheingold talks of this in his book Smart Mobs.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Report says government should make "greener" choices easier

The Guardian reports the findings of a joint exercise between the Sustainable Development Commission and the National Consumer Council that recommends the government should make it easier for consumers to make "greener" choices.

Monday, May 01, 2006

84% execs say threats to reputation rising

Reputational risk expert Peter Horn quotes a global survey of senior risk managers by the Economist Intelligence Unit says that 84% of senior executives think threats to reputation are rising. One of the major factors being increased scrutiny from regulators, another the expansion of global media networks.

Response to Macleans article

Macleans reported on our work in this article. Although I see the point they've tried to make (and I understand why), I did think that they'd misunderstood the purpose of the Ethical Index, so I wrote this letter to explain:

My company, the Fraser Consultancy, publishes the Ethical Reputation Index featured in your article "French fries and sneakers pure evil", April 28th. I’d like to explain that our report is not designed to criticize, or condone, any particular company’s policy. We are a research and strategy company and, as such, we measure only what consumers think about companies and how consumers perceive corporate ethics. This may, or may not, reflect the companies’ behavior, and therein lies our interest. In fact your article illustrates this point very well. If companies such as Nike “widely acknowledged…as one of the best companies in North America for ensuring that standards are met at its Asian suppliers” weren’t rated highly by consumers in our study, then perhaps Nike’s corporate values could be communicated better? We are neither anti-business nor anti-corporate. Our intention is to help companies convey their corporate responsibility commitment, practices and values as well as they possibly can.

Lloyds TSB executive calls for greater responsibility

The BBC reports that the Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland calls for businesses to take greater responsibility and that this makes good business sense.