The world of sport has been rocked by scandal after scandal recently, with corruption, doping and top athletes expressing abhorrent views. This is obviously a dilemma for sponsors, and we're seeing a trend of increasing activism by companies in defence of ethics in sport, and of their own reputations. But does it go wider than that? What role can sport play in companies' CSR programmes? And have recent events made that a more difficult proposition?
The Body Shop is reputed across the world for being a company that lives its values and is more to be trusted on sustainability than most. It's now just launched a new commitment that it says will place it as "the world's most sustainable global business." But does the programme match the scale of the ambition?
Apple has placed itself in direct confrontation with the FBI and the US Government, appealing directly to the hearts and minds of its customers in defence of its stand on privacy. Is it really a question of just getting access to this one phone, formerly the property of a now-deceased terrorist? Or is this part of a bigger game that has been brewing for some time?
Palm oil is big news at the moment. It's one of the world's most widely-used foodstuffs and in principle it could be quite sustainable, but its production at the moment comes at a terrible cost. Can the new 'RSPO Next' standard help? Or will it come down to the interesting science that points to a possible alternative?
In a miracle of timing, companies Nestlé, Cargill and Archer-Daniels-Midland have just been told they have to face a lawsuit concerning the presence of child labor and, worse, child slavery in the cocoa supply chain. What's going on, how can it be fixed, and what can you do as a consumer who wants to be able to consume guilt-free chocolate goodness?
Google hit the headlines this week with the news that it has agreed a £130m payment to the British taxman, an amount that critics, and even some investors, have dismissed as derisory. It's just the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of revolt against the big corporations that organise their operations to pay as little tax as possible.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in businesses has begun to recover after the low point following the financial crisis. But how significant is a growing "trust gap" between opinion formers and the broader population? What can we learn about how companies that have had a scandal can rebuild trust?
DuPont used a chemical called C8, or PFOA, in the manufacture of its world famous Teflon products. But when the company allowed the chemical to be placed in a poorly maintained landfill site, it had a devastating impact on the health of people living nearby. This episode is the story of how the company was called to account by a few individuals following a trail of lies and cover-up.
New research showing that putting a tax on fizzy drinks does successfully reduce their consumption has caught the attention of policy makers in different parts of the world. The growing determination to tackle the obesity crisis seems certain to take shape in a new assault on the business model of the likes of Coca Cola and PepsiCo.
Over the holiday season, controversy has been raging about revelations that the premium bean-to-bar chocolate producer the Mast Brothers may have been less than transparent in their early years about the fact they remelted high quality mass produced chocolate for at least some of their produce.