Earth Hour adapts itself to the local sunrise/sundown times. In Canada, Earth Hour was from 20:30 to 21:30. You may hear about Earth Month as well. Earth Month is more or less a loose term to extend Earth Day activities throughout the entire month and focus on sustainability challenges.
A fun fact
Earth Day will be 45 years old this year. Actually, the first Earth Day was celebrated also on April 22, but in 1970.
In these past 45 years, many non-governmental, private, and public organisations have worked hard developing the science to understand how our planet’s climate is changing – what is normal historically speaking and what seems like ......[more]
03 March 2015 · By Andrée Gosselin O’Meara
As part of customer service, I have the opportunity to have direct conversations with our readers and subscribers regularly. Our readers are passionate, smart, and vocal. As such, it’s important to use plain and clear language when redacting any documentation that will pertain to readers’ personal information.
As we stand now, privacy policies amongst media publishers have similarities but none follow a particular architecture.
04 February 2015 · By Andrée Gosselin O’Meara
The ability to deliver relevant editorial content is fundamental to any news organisation. You fail in that department and you basically don’t exist – or you won’t for long anyway.
Delivering relevant advertising, however, offers exciting new opportunities to engage and better serve the reader while uncovering potential issues regarding ......[more]
08 January 2015 · By Andrée Gosselin O’Meara
A well-known Canadian fashion reporter recently explained the difference between fashion and style: “Fashion is what you're offered. Style is what you choose.” Style, in other words, is unique to each one of us.
In our modern world, what we wear, what we share, and what we care about are now mere data points on the huge spectrum of infinite relationships, links, and permutations that represent a distinctive and discrete human being.
As publishers, we both collect and analyse a vast amount of data and monetise it in some form or other; we may improve our product offering or our customer service, make use of flexible pricing, or make our Web site behave differently.
Most Web sites’ basic data collection consists of a computer’s IP address and links it with time spent, articles read, games played, videos watched, and a few other hundred – if not thousands – of additional data points.
If a person comes to a site as a guest, the information collected is ......[more]
11 December 2014 · By Andrée Gosselin O’Meara
In a promotional video for South by Southwest 2014 (SXSW), organisers talk about how fast transparency and privacy concerns have risen to top of mind for conference attendees.
One organiser claims that back in 2012, only two sessions dealt with privacy and that, in 2014, close to 30 sessions were being held on the subject.
Take a quick look at the SXSW 2015 Interactive agenda and we can see 17 sessions specifically on privacy are already planned.
Transparency and privacy are clearly different concepts, however it’s important to consider ......[more]
09 November 2014 · By Andrée Gosselin O’Meara
The programme is global not only in focus but also in its execution, as the classes are held in five different locations over the course of 24 months – such locations being “creative centres” as per the school’s Web site.
Kudos to INMA executives for such a progressive move!
Keeping one’s management skills sharp and current is more important than ever.
I recently went through such an exercise by focusing on ......[more]
15 October 2014 · By Chad Park and Brendan Seale
From retailers to telecoms, insurance companies to oil and gas firms, most major businesses now have a sustainability strategy and function in their organisations.
The same is true in other sectors as well. Most universities are adopting sustainability policies and implementing sustainability programmes on their campuses. Most municipalities (in Canada at least) have community sustainability plans.
The approaches to sustainability range from window dressing to deeply embedded drivers of innovation. Whatever the approach, it’s clear that something important is happening.
Yet, despite having its fair share of heroes, villains, and brand-name players, this dynamic movement gets very little media attention. Why?
One reason might be because the word sustainability is overused and misunderstood. It is often equated with vague terms like “going green” or the “triple bottom line” of social, environmental, and economic considerations.
It is sometimes even used in seemingly contradictory expressions such as “sustainable growth,” or in entirely different contexts (e.g. the sustainability of our health-care system).
It’s no wonder ......[more]
17 September 2014 · By Andrée Gosselin O’Meara
If you are new to the world of sustainability, it won’t take long before you find the name of John Elkington in your research links. Mr. Elkington coined the concept of triple bottom line (TBL) back in 1994 while working at SustainAbility, the consultancy firm he co-founded.
The TBL was developed as an accounting framework that not only considered the financial aspects of an entity but also its social and environmental dimensions.
Since its inception, companies that considered themselves value-based organisations have more or less figured out how to embed these values within their corporate structures.
Over the past few decades, stakeholders and shareholders that cared about socially responsible investing (SRI) have also organised themselves to make their voices heard. In a typical capitalistic response, specific stock market indices were created to report on companies’ performance on their respective TBL dimensions (see the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices or the Thomson Reuters Corporate Responsibility Indices).
Such endeavours, however, are largely based on industry self-regulation. The B Corp certification offers guidelines, goodwill, and intentions, and incorporates them into ......[more]
31 July 2014 · By Andree Gosselin O'Meara
Back at the INMA World Congress in May, I privately lamented to a staff member that there’s no easy way for me to use the popular blog formula of “3 steps to this,” “Top 10 rules of that,” “6 lessons from so and so,” or any type of easy enumeration when addressing sustainability issues.
The topic of sustainability is complex, and I am having a tough time in reducing the subject down.
Last month, I attended the Accelerate Collaborating for Sustainability Conference organised by The Natural Step in Toronto, Canada. The focus of the conference was, as the title suggests, to foster collaboration to solve sustainability issues.
However, the subject of complexity was quickly brought out with force by ......[more]
27 May 2014 · By Andree Gosselin O'Meara
In the spring of 2013, I conducted a research project, titled “Key Factors Motivating Canadian Companies to Show Leadership in Sustainability,” to fulfill the requirements of a master’s degree at the University of Guelph’s College of Management and Economics.
I created a dataset of the top 30 companies (by revenues) of the largest six sectors of the Canadian economy (180 companies in total) and assembled and tabulated their sustainability activities on a massive spreadsheet.
The study used datasets from The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine, from Corporate Knights, and a review of each company’s Web site and/or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. All the Canadian data reviewed were for activities that occurred in 2011.
An increase in staff productivity? In this post I will review one of the findings: Revenues per employee are higher for companies taking an active role in sustainability activities – such as a Web site-dedicated section, awards, CSR report, and/or officially reporting on specific sustainability metrics – as reviewed and analysed for activities alone, not performance.
Below, I reproduced one of the charts showing revenues per employee for each of the six sectors under study. Our industry, news media, is part of the Consumer Discretionary sector, is one of the least active sectors in terms of “reporting activity.”
Nevertheless, the sector’s most active companies (top 20%) are still ......[more]