The buck stops... where?
DuPont is only one of the big companies who have called on Congress to take action on climate change, Nicholas Varchaver reports in the most current issue of Fortune. (See "Chemical Reaction")
Our Going Green special report also lists 10 companies that have gone beyond government regulations to operate in an environmentally responsible way.
If the private sector is leading the way on preserving the environment, does that mean the government is failing in its responsibility? Or are companies, which we expect to be more innovative and efficient than government, the best candidate for the job?
In its going green package in the April 2 issue, Fortune identifies 10 companies that are going beyond what the law requires to operate in an environmentally responsible way.
What companies did we miss? Should your employer have made the list?
What will 2007 look like?
Will private equity finance a whopping $100 billion buyout? Will mobile entertainment make a splash like MySpace? Will oil hit $70 a barrel? 10 top leaders and thinkers told us what they think will happen in 2007 -- tell us if you agree.
Calling a spade a spade (or "guacamole")
In his most recent column, Marc Gunther points out that many food labels are misleading. Do you think that Kraft should be able to label its dip "Guacamole" when it contains less than 2 percent avocado? Or is it OK as long as the ingredients are disclosed on the packaging?
Where will the market go in 2007?
Markets are hitting new highs. The real estate bust is officially underway. And how much longer can the U.S. consumer carry on? Tell us where you think the market is headed in the next year, and what you're doing to position yourself.
Who's socially responsible?
About one in every ten dollars of assets under management in the U.S. - an estimated $2.3 trillion out of $24 trillion - is being invested in companies that rate highly on some measure of social responsibility. That's a $2.3 trillion wager that socially responsible companies will outperform companies that don't engage a wide array of stakeholders, from shareholders and customers to employees and activists, in an ongoing conversation about what can be done better.
Which is why Fortune, for the second year in a row, is ranking the world's largest companies according to how well they conform to socially responsible business practices. See the top 11 here.
The survey, conducted by AccountAbility (a London think tank on corporate accountability) and CSRnetwork (a British for-profit consultancy), measures six criteria, ranging from stakeholder engagement to performance management, at the top 50 companies on Fortune's Global 500 list.
Many of the highest-ranking companies are not what you'd think of as do-gooders. Oil giants BP and Shell are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, and four of the top ten on the list are utilities. That's because the rankings don't measure performance outcomes such as CO2 emissions. Instead, they look at management practices: Does a company have procedures for listening to critics? Are its executives and board members accountable? Has it hired an external verifier?
What do you think of the companies on this year's list? Who would you pick? Are there better ways to judge companies?
Should Hurd resign?
HP CEO Mark Hurd is apologetic for approving the strategy of lying to the news media, but unwilling to question what that says about his own moral compass. He regrets not having paid more careful attention to the details of the leak investigation on his board, but says even now that it's simply impossible to catch everything. (Read Adam Lashinsky's Sept. 29 interview with Hurd.)
He says the buck stops with him, yet he isn't considering resigning. Meanwhile, HP's stock remains near the top of its 52-week range, despite the controversy.
Should Mark Hurd resign? Or is he still the right person to lead HP?
Google's next big score
There's nothing to suggest that Google's current growth engine - ad-supported search - is in trouble. But it's clear that the company is searching for ways to grow beyond that well-run core. (See Chaos by design, from the Oct. 2 issue of Fortune.)
Depending on how you count, Google has released at least 83 full-fledged and test-stage products, but none has altered the Web landscape the way Google.com did.
Will Google come through with another big win to justify its $400 stock price? Or will the search phenom prove to be a one-hit wonder?
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