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  • Back in September, I discussed in a blog post the fact that open data was one part of a move for technology to help us become more open, collaborative, participatory, and connected. Open data is but one part of a wider suite of technologies currently being adopted for accountability in the value chain. We discussed these in a recent Engaging Stakeholders webinar featuring Leo Bonanni of Sourcemap. These technologies include RFID, apps, mobiles, and a number of different codes – alphanumeric, barcodes and QR codes. Collectively, this group of technologies …

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  • Copyright (c) Heather Mak

    Recently returning from a trip to Guangzhou to visit my grandmother, I found it remarkable how quickly the city had changed from when I was a little girl visiting for the first time, almost 25 years ago. I recall farmer’s fields with bumpy dirt roads that now, have magically transformed into eight lane highways. Small alleyways of hutong houses have been replaced by shiny new office bulidings and condominiums. Rickety bicycles carrying 10 times their weight? They’ve turned into luxury SUVs. Each time I go back, it is not …

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  • In March, a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance was released, mentioning that Wal-Mart was nowhere near meeting the Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that it had set out in late 2005 – that is, to be 100% powered by renewable energy, create zero waste, and …

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  • Sustainability labels should focus more on actual company performance

    When we talk about the “eco-label model” we’re really talking about a combination of three things.

    First, standards – a set of requirements, usually taking a consensus-based approach. Second, certifications – providing assurance of conformity against this standard. And, third, the eco-labels themselves – on-pack marks that indicate conformance with the standard.

    This model came into being over…

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  • In a previous post, I shared some insights on open data’s relevance to sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement. While the move to open data has many benefits, including enabling stronger stakeholder connections, companies have been slow to voluntarily go public with their datasets. At the same time, companies that are already moving down this path have recognized the challenge of ensuring the data they release is truly useful to stakeholders.

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  • Organisations as diverse as the US Government, the New York Mass Transit Authority and the World Bank have started publishing their previously-closed data for the world – and more particularly, their stakeholders – to see and use. This move to open data has many benefits, from fostering stakeholder participation in solving complex problems, to enabling third parties to dream up completely new services (such as mobile applications that tell you the fastest way to get around your city).

    Companies, however, have been slower to embrace the move to open data, and this was the subject of a recent webinar for our Engaging Stakeholders network members.

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  • In 2009, author Daniel Goleman wrote a book called Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. In it, he argued that we were facing an age of radical transparency – the underlying concept being that decision making will soon be public, and has to be transparent from the beginning of the process.

    Yet, we are in an era where there are many companies, private or otherwise, that pride themselves on being secretive. Private, family-run companies like Ferrero, ALDI, and Forever 21, and publicly traded companies like Apple, thrive on secrecy. Yet there other companies that, by virtue of their private ownership, could be more secretive but choose not to be…

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