This isn't the way it was meant to be. I had a clear programme of articles ready, carefully not to say artfully crafted to guide the reader through the exotic world of Corporate Social Responsibility. But then as Tesco and a lot of other businesses are now finding out, it ain't always that simple. As Harold Macmillan once said, when asked why governments get blown off course: Events, my dear boy, events. And so we blame it all on the horse.
Actually, I don't think anyone is blaming the horse; what we're doing (at the time of writing) is what we usually do; we're blaming it all on a big foreign boy who did it and then ran away. It can't possibly be our fault and how can anyone ever imagine that we'd tolerate such behaviour. Last week we blamed the Poles, yesterday it was the Romanians and today's reports are blaming it all on the EU so no change there. It all sounds so bleakly familiar and sadly pathetic.
The principle thrust of any CSR activity is to ensure that our business practices are as open and transparent as is commercially practical. That way, everyone can see how things get done smoke, mirrors and loud bangs are kept to a minimum and we all sleep soundly in our beds. Of course, we all have to have trust in our suppliers as a practicing lighting designer I rely heavily, you could say totally, on the manufacturers and suppliers around me. But let's not imagine for a moment that I can afford to be complacent in these relationships.
One thing the world tells you is that everything changes and nothing stays the same. Organisations change and Macmillan's effects do their worst. Every link in the supply chain (from racecourse to dining table, if you will) has to be alert and pay attention to the way that the world is turning. From my position as lighting specifier, I'm able to maintain an overview on how companies perform. Every project that gets to site ensures that can happen. And consequently, I've had quite a few conversations where I've had to say that the service, or the product, hasn't been up to standard and so, with regret, goodbye and fare thee well.
Looking at the world from this CSR viewpoint, I'm not surprised to hear that a lot of people have been enjoying horsemeat with their chips. Stuff happens, corners get cut and chances get taken. What really surprises me is the complacency that global brands can exhibit; taking their corporate eye off the supply chain ball to such as extent that it comes arcing over and smacks them slap in the face. When did it become OK for global businesses to get so lazy?
Greenwashing: a guidline for good behaviour
The elephant box in the room
What Lighting Designers Should be Looking For . . . and Asking For
The Children's Fire
Products That Last - Redux
Products That Last - Review No.3
Products That Last - Review No.2
Products That Last - Review No.1
Products That Last
Talking about Waste - as we were . . .
Sustainability - They Seek it Here, They Seek it There . . .
Sustainability - the core message
The Life and Times of the LED - a series in ten parts
Sustainability: They Seek it Here; They Seek it There . . .
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room