Corporate social Responsibility – a new concept of “market”
Maybe Ben & Jerry’s and The Body Shop set themselves up for a fall by appearing to have a monopoly on making an honest buck. But their struggles are a lesson on how little we know about the minefield of “ethical” marketing.
The Body Shop, along with the American ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s, was hailed as a new breed of green, or environmentally conscious, business.
Ben and Jerry’s
A Ben & Jerry’s offers a very sweet benefits package to employees. First, every one of the 700+ Ben & Jerry’s workers is entitled to three free pints of ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt per day worked. (Some workers use allotments of their free treats to barter for other goods and services in town such as haircuts.) Beyond the freebies, personnel receive a 50% discount on the company’s frozen goodies, a 40% discount on merchandise and a further 30% break on non-Ben & Jerry’s foods at company outlets.
B Workers are further entitled to paid family leave and may take advantage of the Employee Stock Purchase Program to purchase company stock (after six months with the organization) at a 15% discount. Beginning in 1998，316 stock options are awarded to each worker (excluding directors and officers) and stock is also assigned to each employee’s 40IK plan at the end of the calendar year. These contributions are intended to achieve the company’s goal of linked prosperity, i.e. to assure that future prosperity is widely shared by all employees…….
Can We Hold Back the Flood?
A Last winter’s floods on the rivers of central Europe were among the worst since the Middle Ages, and as winter storms return, the spectre of floods is returning too. Just weeks ago, the river Rhone in south-east France burst its banks, driving 15,000 people from their homes, and worse could be on the way. Traditionally, river engineers have gone for Plan A: get rid of the water fast, draining it off the land and down to the sea in tall-sided rivers reengineered as high-performance drains. But however big they dig city drains, however wide and straight they make the rivers, and however high they build the banks, the floods keep coming back to taunt them, from the Mississippi to the Danube. And when the floods come, they seem to be worse than ever. No wonder engineers are turning to Plan B: sap the water’s destructive strength by dispersing it into fields, forgotten lakes, flood plains and aquifers.
B Back in the days when rivers took a more tortuous path to the sea, flood waters lost impetus and volume while meandering across flood plains and idling through wetlands and inland deltas. But today the water tends to have an unimpeded journey to the sea. And this means that when it rains in the uplands, the water comes down all at once…