What’s Happening?

Corporate Social Responsibility: An Introduction

The Dubai Chamber Centre for Responsible Business at Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry held a seminar ‘Corporate Social Responsibility An Introduction’ on February 10, 2010 in Dubai.

This seminar gave participating companies the opportunity to learn about Corporate Social Responsibility as a concept and its importance. The seminar focused on building the business case for CSR and how being a responsible business enhances business performance. The participants got a chance to hear from practicing local and international companies on why and how they adopted CSR and their journey from there. This seminar provided ample opportunity for companies to network, learn and share experiences.
Source: http://www.csrinternational.org/?p=6054

What is the future of wood? The first ever Eco-Wood Congress

The ONE GOOD WORLD ECOngress was held on January 31, 2010. This was the first-ever summit that tackled both sourcing legal wood and building green markets.

“We have actually passed a point of no return in terms of nvironmental awareness, and although the future of the supply chain looks complicated to all of us, the ECOngress will help us move forward with a plan for sustainable growth, as opposed to leaving it to chance,” said Robert Maricich, World Market Center Las Vegas’ president and chief executive officer.

The choices we make for the furnishings we purchase for our homes may seem straightforward, but as we dig deep into the origins of a new couch or table, there is a vast web of global and health issues that impact our planet. How the wood for our furnishings gets sourced is changing.

The Sustainable Furnishings Council partnered with World Market Center and numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations (World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship) to stage ONE GOOD WORLD ECOongress conference to better understand the impact of the Lacey Act on the home furnishings industry and how to build legitimately sustainable products. The Lacey Act is a U.S. law bans commerce in illegally sourced plants and their products, including wood and paper products.

The Lacey Act amendments goes into effect in April, which calls for legal prosecution of anyone found guilty of importing, transporting, selling or purchasing furniture using illegally harvested wood from the U.S. or abroad.

The goal of the ECOngress was to identify pragmatic solutions that are good for business and the planet.

This “ONE GOOD WORLD ECOongress” represented major organizations from all points in the supply chain, including U.S. government officials, academic institutions, forest landowners, Top 10 furniture manufacturers and retailers, interior design associations, and consumer media.

“As the third biggest user of wood products, the furniture industry has a responsibility to take a leadership role in legal wood sourcing, and the ECOngress represents a groundbreaking step by bringing together every vital constituency for the very first time to show support, discuss challenges and share ideas,” ~ Jeff Hiller, president of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Right now, the best determinant for knowing if the furniture we buy comes from sustainable wood is from Forrest Stewardship Council. The FSC was created to change the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide. FSC has developed a set of Principles and Criteria for forest management that is applicable to all FSC-certified forests throughout the world.

8 questions about wood to ensure that the furniture we buy adheres to high environmental, health and human rights standards:

  1. What is the origin of the wood the furniture is made from?
  2. What are the materials used and are they healthy for adults, children and pets?
  3. How were the workers treated in regards to wages, hours and health?
  4. How were the ecosystems near the factories affected?
  5. How is the packaging made and transported?
  6. What are the shipping and fuel and implications?
  7. How durable is the product? Can it be passed down for generations?
  8. Does the company give back? What does the environmental and sustainability sections say about its commitment to the planet?

Source: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/ future-wood-congress-answer. html?campaign=daylife-article

B4E, the Business for Environment Global Summit

B4E, the Business for Environment Global Summit is the world’s leading international conference for dialogue and business-driven action for the environment. It will be held from 21 – 23 April, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea.

The summit addresses the most urgent environmental challenges facing the world today. Important topics on the agenda include:

  • Resource efficiency
  • Renewable energies
  • New business models
  • Climate policy and strategies

CEO and senior executives join leaders from government, international agencies, NGOs and media to discuss environmental issues, forge partnerships and explore innovative solutions for a greener future.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Georg Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact
  • Maanee Lee, Minister for Environment, Republic of Korea
  • Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group and Virgin Unite
  • Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize Winner, Founder, Greenbelt Movement
  • Jeff Seabright, VP Environment and Water Resources, Coca Cola Company
  • John Elkington, Founder & Director, Volans Ventures
  • Neil Hawkins, SVP Sustainability & EHS, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Bryan Walsh, Energy and Environment Editor, TIME Magazine

For further information, please visit the B4E website at: http://www.b4esummit.com/

TBLI Conference™

In existence for over 10 years, TBLI Conference™ consists of two annual conferences, in Europe as well as Asia. These two-day events give the world’s leaders on sustainability an opportunity to network and exchange information on the latest developments in screening, auditing, reporting, SRI analysis, corporate citizenship, indexes, and research. This year this Conference will be held on 27 and 28 of May, at Tokyo, Japan.

Leaders are people who can discern the inevitable and act accordingly. When people talk about business acumen, discernment is a big part of it. It’s a bit like gut instinct, but a little more developed.
Donald Trump

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