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No such thing as a free gift, by Linsey McGoey

Over the years I’ve talked about philanthropy a fair bit on the blog, from billionaire donors at The Giving Pledge, to more everyday generosity through Giving What We Can. I’ve explored the Effective Altruist movement, and the opportunities we all have to make a difference. I believe that the best use of wealth is to […]

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The Fashion Transparency Index

This weekend saw the 3rd anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,134 people. As you may remember, the building hosted several factories, making clothes for global brands including Benetton, Primark, Monsoon and Walmart. When cracks appeared in the building, shops and offices closed and evacuated. The clothing […]

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What is carbon insetting?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about ‘carbon onsetting’ as a creative alternative to carbon offsetting. And then no sooner was the metaphorical print dry on that blog post, I came across ‘carbon insetting’. So what’s that when it’s at home? And does it matter? Unlike ‘onsetting’, which is more of an eye-catching name […]

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When 99% cheaper is not enough

Every city has its treasures. It may not be particularly famous, but here in Luton we have the Wenlock Jug. It’s a bronze piece from the early 1400s, made to order by a bell foundry and incredibly rare – there are only three such jugs that we know of, and the other two are in […]

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The Seven Deadly Sins of banking

All is not well in the City, and last week saw the latest in a string of banking scandals. Despite the regular declarations from the industry and their apologists, none of these scandals have seen any serious change either to banking behaviour or to the way the industry is regulated. The banks are caught, fined, […]

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When development campaigns go wrong

Last week I got the latest mailing from the World Development Movement. They’re an organisation that does some useful work, their campaign on the tar sands in Madagascar being one that I personally got involved in. But their latest mailing is on the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and it made me […]

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What socialism looks like upside down

I’ve just started Michael Carolan’s new book, Cheaponomics, and he begins with a provocative thought – socialism has two sides. When we usually talk about socialism, we’re talking about ways of organising our economics and politics so that everybody in society benefits. But Carolan suggests the benefits aren’t the only thing that can be socialized.  […]

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The Fair Tax Mark

Today sees the launch of a new accreditation scheme for businesses – the Fair Tax Mark. It aims to reward those who are transparent about their tax affairs and act responsibly. It’s been developed by members of Ethical Consumer and the Tax Justice Network, Richard Murphy et al. It has been deliberately kept simple so […]

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McDonalds’ sustainable beef ambitions

Last week I wrote about Intel’s announcement that it was going to phase out all conflict metals from its production lines. It’s a big story in the corporate responsibility world, but not the biggest this year. The one that’s caught my eye is McDonald’s. In a statement that got almost no coverage at all in […]

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Businesses call for a low-carbon economy

There was an interesting advert placed in some newspapers yesterday. It’s a call for the government to take its climate change promises seriously and stop ignoring the need to create a low-carbon economy. But it’s not from the green lobbying group or environmental charity you might expect. It’s from a coalition of  businesses and NGOs […]

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