But don’t think BSR is the place to learn the latest in fig leaf fashions for use by the PR department. Rather, the organization is supported by executives deeply committed to going beyond the letter of the law in cutting waste and in doing well by their employees.

BSR is far from alone. There are dozens of non-governmental groups ready to help businesses improve both process and policy. The World Wildlife Fund has made great progress in changing how some of the world’s biggest corporations buy their raw materials. The giant conglomerate Unilever, in partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council, has begun to reform how it buys fish and other seafood products. The Home Depot, meanwhile, has introduced a line of wood products grown through sustainable forestry practices.