Principles and Profits: The Container Store Story – The Minute



Profits versus virtue: that’s the cover story of the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. Its graphic illustration of two poles of business activity that have been historically thought of as opposing, but are increasingly looked to as complementary, define the point of the issue’s feature about the Container Store. The article reports the company’s DNA as “conscious capitalism,” a business strategy with a bottom line built on a higher purpose. By profit standards, the Container Store is doing very well. Its sales for 2014 are estimated at $790 million, with adjusted earnings of $94 million. It operates 70 stores with 5,000 employees. Principles are healthy, too. The company pays those employees an average of $48,000 a year, about twice the typical retail salary, and provides many other employee benefits.

Founder Kip Tindell has trademarked his business philosophy as “the Foundation Principles,” which include considering suppliers and customers as family. The Bloomberg story ranks the Container Store with Costco, Starbucks, Panera, Zappos, and Southwest Airlines as companies that are doing well while doing good. There’s just one catch: since the Container Store went public in 2013, its share price has dropped from $46 to $20. The story details the company’s solutions to benefit shareholders as well as stakeholders. It makes for compelling, compulsory reading.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

Video source: Principles and Profits: The Container Store Story

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KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Human Resources, Bloomberg Businessweek, Container Store, Kip Tindell, Costco, Starbucks, Panera, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, CSR Minute, 3bl media llc

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Your Seafood: Now Fair Trade Certified

SOURCE: Fair Trade USA


Look out Whole Foods: Safeway is pulling ahead when it comes to seafood transparency.

Whole Foods met its match when Safeway was rankedslightly ahead for seafood sustainability by Greenpeace back in 2011. Both retailers had much to celebrate when they came out with the NGO’s first ever seafood rating of “good.”

Safeway hasn’t taken its foot off the gas pedal in recent years, though. The company has continued to push ahead toward an audacious goal of 100 percent sustainable sourcing for all fresh and frozen seafood by the end of this year. The grocer’s latest commitment brings it up to par with your local farmers market when it comes to worker transparency.

Continue reading full article on Triple Pundit

Tweet me: Your Seafood: Now #FairTrade Certified via @triplepundit @FairTradeUSA

Contact Info:

Jenna Larson
Fair Trade USA

KEYWORDS: Ethical Production and Consumption, Business & Trade, fair trade, Fair Trade USA, certification, seafood, fish, sustainable seafood, tuna, Safeway, Fair Trade fish, ethical products, Ethical Consumption, Fishery, Indonesia


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Walmart Focuses on Improving the Lives of Mexican Farm Workers

by Vikas Vij

SOURCE: Justmeans


Mexico’s produce exports to the United States have tripled over the last 10 years, and currently exceed $7.5 billion a year. Major American retailers and restaurant chains that import Mexican produce include Walmart, Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger and Darden, which operates the Olive Garden chain.

In recent months, there have been reports about the unsustainable working conditions of farm laborers in Mexico. This has prompted Walmart to join hands with the Mexican government to launch firm steps to improve the lives of the farm workers. The Mexican government has announced the creation of an alliance of produce industry groups that will address issues related to wage law enforcement, housing, schools and healthcare for over one million laborers at export farms.

To continue reading, click here

Image Credit: Flickr via Praziquantel

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations “Decisions for Life” run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management. 

Tweet me: Walmart Focuses on Improving the Lives of Mexican Farm Workers via @Justmeans

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Business & Trade, Cause Global, Mexico, Walmart, darden, Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger, International Produce Alliance to Promote a Socially Responsible Industry, produce, supply chain, Whole Foods Market

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The Road to Community-Based Services for Children in Kazakhstan

SOURCE: Keystone Human Services


In November 2014, Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association (Keystone Moldova) was recognized by UNICEF Moldova as a Child Rights Champion for their efforts to protect children’s rights and the inclusion of children with disabilities in the community. Keystone Moldova now has an exciting opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise to make the world a safer place for children.

Keystone Human Services International (KHSI) and Keystone Moldova are participating in a new initiative to support community-based social and health services for children with disabilities and their families. Funded by UNICEF Kazakhstan, we will be providing consultation services to the Ministry of Health and Social Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan to develop a national strategic and evidence-based roadmap for community-based services for children ages 0-7 at risk of being abandoned or without parental care.

Kazakhstan is taking steps to ensure the protection of children’s basic rights, aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention protects children’s rights to grow up in a family environment, to education, to health, and to protection from harm.

Of Kazakhstan’s 5.3 million children, approximately 30,000 live in state-run child care institutions, and many have lost all contact with their families. We have assembled an international team of consultants to support the Ministry of Health and Social Development to develop a national roadmap to reform this system of care and develop community-based services for children at risk of being abandoned or without parental care. Over the course of a year, the team will provide technical assistance and consultation to strengthen the data management system and develop a preliminary plan for transforming the operation of infant homes and medical social facilities for children with disabilities, as well as providing additional technical advice.

This international team is led by Dr. Ludmila Malcoci, the Executive Director of Keystone Moldova. It also includes Dr. Donald Wertlieb, President of the Partnership for Early Childhood Development and Disability Rights (PECDDR) and Professor Emeritus at Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University; Eugenia Veverita, an economist and expert in public finance management; and Dr. Anna Kudiyarova, Director of the Psychoanalytic Institute for Central Asia.

The work of this international team builds on Keystone Moldova’s experience and expertise providing inclusive, community-based systems of care in the Republic of Moldova. For the past ten years, Keystone Moldova has been actively involved in the reform of the social protection system for people with disabilities in Moldova and has supported the Moldovan Ministry of Labor, Social Protection, and Family in the transformation of the Orhei Institution for Children (Boys) with Intellectual Disabilities, including the development of the legal framework and policy for social inclusion, and the development and implementation of over 60 pilot community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities.

As we have seen in Moldova and we’re sure we’ll see in Kazakhstan, community integration opens many opportunities for children and adults at risk of institutionalization, from education in classrooms with their peers to employment opportunities. The entire community benefits from  inclusion.

Charlie Hooker
President and CEO, Keystone Human Services International

Tweet me: The road to community-based services for children in Kazakhstan. Read @chooker3’s message:

Contact Info:

Ann Moffitt
Keystone Human Services
+1 (717) 232-7509ext. 133

Charles Hooker
Keystone Human Services
+1 (717) 232-7509

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Business & Trade, Keystone Moldova, Kazakhstan, social services, community-based services, Moldova, Keystone Human Services International

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What to Consider when Choosing a Community Partner

SOURCE: SiMPACT Strategy Group


Trends indicate that companies with community investment programs are interested in partnering with community based organizations and institutions. By working with community partners, companies are able to directly benefit communities, while also strengthening relationships with their customers and employees.

For effective long-term partnerships, it is important for any company to consider what type of impact it would like to create through community investment, and how the community partner is positioned to enable and support these outcomes. To better understand the alignment between the company’s goals for community investment and partners’ goals for community development, compare your company’s mission, vision and values to that of the potential partner. Choosing partners strategically will allow both parties to achieve organizational goals.

Selecting a partner who is aligned with the company’s purpose and core function often enables the company to support the community organization more effectively (i.e. by leveraging know-how, in-kind donations, or key relationships).  A close connection between company and community organization’s focus areas also creates a more memorable affiliation – it ‘just make sense’ given the business that you’re in.

It is also beneficial to keep your employees and customers in mind when selecting community partners. Companies can build loyalty and goodwill by selecting causes that customers and employees support. Additionally, by choosing partners that employee’s support, organizations are able to build employee engagement and retention while creating a positive work environment. Often the most vibrant and enduring community investment programs have a strong personal connection to the cause the community partner is supporting- such as an executive with a family member who has experienced a disease. 

While any contribution will has an impact on the community, companies seeking to maximize the benefits of their contribution will focus on ensuring they choose the right partner- through carefully evaluating alignment, engagement and passion.

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KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Community Investment, Community Partner, LBG Canada

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How Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is Helping Solve the Diabetes Epidemic

SOURCE: America’s Charities


For millions of children and adults living with diabetes today, a cure would mean the ability to restore natural insulin production and normalize blood sugar levels without imposing other risks.

Finding that cure is why Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) exists.  Founded in 1971, DRIF was formed by a small group of parents of children with diabetes who were dedicated to finding a cure.  Today, the Diabetes Research Institute leads the world in cure-focused research, and is aggressively working to shrink the timeline toward the discovery of a biological cure for this disease.  DRIF is supporting the institute’s progress by providing the funds necessary to cure diabetes now. 

In this Q&A, President & CEO, Joshua Rednik, shares his role in executing the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s mission.

Q&A With Joshua Rednik:

What attracted you to this job & particular cause?

Diabetes is an enormous – and, unfortunately, growing – problem in the U.S. and around the world.  Current estimates put the total number of Americans living with diabetes at roughly 30 million, which represents about 10% of the country’s population.  That is a staggering figure for our country to face.  Worldwide, the situation is no better, with nearly 400 million people living with diabetes (inclusive of Americans).

Truly, the world is facing a diabetes epidemic.

What attracted me most was the opportunity to work on finding a cure for such a devastating disease, thus easing – and potentially saving – the lives of those living with diabetes.  I can’t imagine a more challenging yet interesting cause to focus on at this time in world history.

How are you making an impact through your work?

As an organization, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation serves as the fundraising and public relations arm of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).  We generate the financial resources that our colleagues at the DRI need to concentrate on their cure-focused research, moving us closer each day toward our goal.

Personally, in my work as a fundraiser and public representative of the DRI, I feel that I make an impact with each and every gift that I secure in support of our efforts.  

What advice would you give to anyone with a similar position, or to someone interested in working for a nonprofit like yours?

This probably sounds so obvious, but be sure to engage with the people most affected by your organization’s work – directly – as often as possible.  The day-in, day-out machinations of working in a non-profit are no different than they are working in any industry.  They can wear you down and remove you from your mission.  You can sit in an office and forget why you’ve chosen to focus your life’s work on a particular cause.  To combat that, I’ve found that it’s best to spend time – face to face – with the people most affected by your organization’s mission.  Doing so re-charges your battery and helps you stay focused on what is truly important in your work.

What excites you most about your organization’s work right now?

We are preparing to activate the first few patients in a new clinical trial that will allow us to test a new site for the transplantation of islet cells.  Islet cells express insulin in response to blood sugar and are the particular types of cells that the immune system kills off during the onset of type 1 diabetes.  The new transplantation site we are testing is the omentum, an apron-like lining inside the abdomen. Transplanting islet cells into the omentum is appealing because islet cells require the most oxygen of any cell in the body and the omentum is rich with oxygen. Encouraging preliminary data in experimental and pre-clinical models has shown that islet cells in the omentum can engraft and improve blood glucose control.

What we learn from this trial – and, potentially, others we hope to launch in 2015 – could significantly move the needle in terms of our ability to restore natural insulin production to those living with diabetes, type 1 or 2.  Nothing excites me more than knowing we’re getting closer to our goal, and, while completely solving this problem may still be years down the road, being on the path to that eventual success is truly gratifying.

Our thanks to Joshua Rednik for sharing his time and expertise with us!  To learn more about the impact Joshua’s organization is making, click here to visit their website, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and support their work with a donation.  

Tweet me: How Diabetes Research Institute Foundation @Diabetes_DRI is Helping Solve the #Diabetes Epidemic via @AmerCharities

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility, employee giving programs, diabetes, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, America’s Charities, Employee Engagement, cause marketing, workplace giving, csr


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The Allstate Foundation's Leadership Program Takes Nonprofit Professionals from Good to Great

SOURCE: Allstate Foundation


Feb. 18, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Nonprofit professionals looking to put their careers in high gear are invited to apply for the Greater Good Nonprofit Leaders Program from The Allstate Foundation and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The program is designed to prepare highly motivated individuals to confidently take on expanded leadership roles, and to use their newfound knowledge to transform their organizations and communities.

Greater Good, which began in 2014, offers program participants a combination of cohort-based formal instruction and individual development opportunities outside the classroom. Leaders also receive access to leadership coaches and a stipend to attend additional training outside the program, such as conferences in their fields or additional academic or professional development courses.

“Nonprofits do such important work to make our communities healthier and more vibrant,” said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility, Allstate. “Through Greater Good, we’re providing passionate individuals the tools they need to strengthen their organizations and to create positive change.”

According to a 2014 study from the Center for Effective Philanthropy, an estimated 73 percent of nonprofit leaders felt they lacked sufficient resources and opportunities to develop their skills.

“Greater Good is helping give nonprofit professionals permission to grow, and the sector is stronger because of this program,” said Liz Howard, director of nonprofit executive education at Kellogg’s Center for Nonprofit Management. “The comprehensive approach of this program enables nonprofit leaders to grow their capacity and have a greater impact on the sector.”

Applications will be received from Feb.15 to March 30, 2015. The 2016 class, which starts in Sept. 2015, will be comprised of 25 emerging nonprofit leaders. The program is open to nonprofit leaders from around the country whose professional experience and organization profiles meet the eligibility criteria for the Greater Good Nonprofit Leaders Program.

In keeping with the goals of the Greater Good Program, The Allstate Foundation offers these tips for nonprofit professionals seeking to grow their careers:

  • Give yourself permission to develop.
    Setting aside time and attention to focus on your professional development might seem impossible given the competing priorities you face as a nonprofit leader. However, taking time each day to focus on your goals and to seek out opportunities will help you manage and grow your career and ensure the successful future of your organization.
  • Identify your strengths and skill gaps.
    Take steps to identify and fill in these gaps through formal or informal education opportunities. Utilize self-assessment tools to help chart out your strengths and opportunities, and gather feedback from your teams.
  • Create your own “Board of Directors.”
    Emerging leaders should think about creating a personal board of directors. Identify mentors or sponsors who can shape your development in different aspects of your life and career, and provide resources for your growth.
  • Join or establish a nonprofit networking group.
    Seek out opportunities for networking with like-minded peers on social media or in person. You will learn to collaborate with nonprofit peers — a skill you will need when you lead a nonprofit in the future.

To determine if you are eligible to apply to the 2016 Greater Good program, visit

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit

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KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Awards and Recognition, Allstate foundation, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Greater Good Leadership Program, Leadership, Allstate

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News Updates for Deloitte's "Team USA Road Show"

SOURCE: Deloitte


Deloitte’s culture is focused on empowering our exceptional people to leverage their strengths, thrive as leaders and turn their passions into reality.  Olympians and Paralympians are the perfect example of this concept in action. So for the fifth consecutive year Deloitte is working with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as part of the “Team USA Road Show: It’s Your Race, Take the Lead”; where these athletes will motivate students from across 10 campuses through their stories of high performance, ambition and passion.

Here are some recent media posts about the Deloitte initiative:


Tweet me: Check out latest news updates on @Deloitte’s “Team USA Road Show”; visiting colleges everywhere! #USOC

Contact Info:


KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Diversity and Human Resources, Deloitte, Olympians, Paralympians, USOC, Deloitte Campus Roadshow, Team USA Road Show, United States Olympic Committee

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