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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    In your previous blog entry Clean Palate Towards Sustainability you challenge us to build with you a prototype for a “sustainable company”.  Here in this media clip you make it clear that to be a sustainable company means being very transparent about the “walk you talk”.  While, as in the case of this water filter company, it is admirable to offer an alternative product to the “28 billion  single-serve water bottles that Americans purchase each year – 86% of which end up in landfills” it seems clear that reporting on a company’s own use of plastic and disposal would need to factor into our estimation of a filter company’s offering an alternative product to bottled water.  It would therefore be safe to assume that an audited sustainability report is an essential artifact of a sustainable company.  Thanks for reminding us that if we want to clean our palate and build a clean company we need to start with some personal housekeeping and a lot of transparency about our own home habits.
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  2. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan
    Neal, though it appears naïve to assume that you would not be in the know, but since you have posted the one-line blog, it deserves a comment, I felt, and hence as cryptic as the question one suggestion followed by a validation (!) for your attention, please.

    1
    Suggestion: Adopt Management Systems Standards.
    To know more the following may please be referred to:
    “How ISO’s technical programme and standards contribute to a sustainable world”
    http://www.iso.org/iso/sustainable_world_2008.pdf

    2
    To validate the above suggestion, the following is quoted from FIAS_ICT Report:
    “Implement management and performance measurement systems to manage social and environmental issues. Management systems establish processes, procedures and appropriate incentives that eliminate the root causes of non-compliance with standards, and therefore eliminate the need to correct problems after they arise. Suppliers are familiar with management systems used to manage quality; they can apply similar systems to labor, ethics, environment, health and safety as well.”

    “Management systems and performance measurement: Both customers and suppliers agreed that developing management systems is the most important element to ensure long-term conformance with CSR expectations. Management systems establish processes, procedures and appropriate incentives that eliminate the root causes of non-compliance rather than correct problems afterward. Suppliers are familiar with management systems used to manage quality (e.g. ISO9000) they now need to apply similar systems to labor, environment and ethics as well. While upfront costs include investment in such management systems and initial increases in manager time to establish the processes, the long-term result is more efficient and productive management. Specific management systems include ISO14001, SA8000 and OHSAS18001. These are often referenced in international customers’ or investors’ codes of conducts. Additionally, the best-practice examples that were found in the ICT, retail, footwear and apparel sectors involve incorporating key CSR performance indicators in managers’ performance measurement and compensation. This approach aligns the incentive structure to ensure that managers work toward both production and CSR performance goals.”
                                                                                                   – from the FIAS_ICT Report

    For full details, may please refer:
    Corporate Social Responsibility in China’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector, July 12, 2007, FIAS, Leaders in Investment Climate Solutions
    A multi-donor service managed by the IFC, MIGA and The World Bank
    http://www.eicc.info/downloads/FIAS_ICT_Report_ENG.PDF

    sam anbazhagan

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    1. Neal Levin Post author
      Terrific input, Sam.  Thanks for contributing.  Before going into detail, have you viewed the video regarding Culligan which is associated with this post?

      Neal

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      1. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan
        I listened to the video.
        I was wondering whether it must be a precondition for Culligan to set his home right before helping others in their Sustainability Committments or like anyother company to takeup their own sustainability committments as part of their business process.
        Whichever contribution is larger and relevant may have to be taken on priority.
        All said it may be business first and then done sustainably!
        And on keeping their house clean there would not be second opinion for sure.
        So the lesson appears to be that if we are availing so claimed Green service from anyone better to ensure it sure is so!
        My worry about the urgency is not disappearing, though.
        Sam Anbazhagan
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  3. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan
    Neal,
    Another way may be to check how others are doing?
    In one’s own sector, that is, in ICT, first.
    1
    We find there is GeSI, Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
    ICT Sustainability Through Innovation
    http://www.gesi.org

    Their Vision is:

    Create an open and global forum for the improvement and promotion of products, services and access to ICT for the benefit of human development and sustainable development

    Stimulate international and multi-stakeholder cooperation for the ICT sector.

    Encourage continual improvement in sustainability management and share best practice.

    Encourage companies in developing countries to join and share benefits of GeSI.

    Promote and support partner regional initiatives and liaise with other international activities.

    Promote and support greater awareness, accountability and transparency.

    GeSI is principally concerned with sustainable development matters and does not take a position on matters of telecommunication regulations or standards that are determined within other international forums such as the ITU. GeSI will also not be used to circumvent standard commercial relationships between customers and suppliers.
    http://www.gesi.org/index.php?article_id=10

    2
    And there is EICC, the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition.
    Unified for Social Responsibility and Shared Efficiencies in the Global Electronics Supply Chain
    http://www.eicc.info/index.html
    The EICC is a group of companies working together to create a comprehensive set of tools and methods that support credible implementation of the Electronic Code of Conduct throughout the Electronics and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) supply chain. Membership in the EICC is open to all to electronic manufacturers, software firms, ICT firms, and manufacturing service providers, including contracted labor, that design, market, manufacture and/or provide electronic goods.
    http://www.eicc.info/membership.html

    Companies may choose to join them and be part of such initiatives, to start with.

    A look at the list of members shows that they are mostly from electronic manufacturers. 
    Participation by software firms may be beneficial, if ‘How?’ is the question.

    Sam Anbazhagan

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