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An editor's insights
Jeremy is the editor-in-chief at Corporate Knights Magazine. He also serves as a board member at Green Thumbs Growing Kids. He was previously named a Mining Country fellow by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.

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Tax avoidance and corporate social responsibility

The last several years have seen a parade of increasingly cringe-worthy explanations from various multinational corporations seeking to justify their complicated tax avoidance schemes.

When pressed about Apple’s sophisticated offshore tax avoidance regime on CBS’s 60 Minutes last December, CEO Tim Cook dismissed the accusations as “total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.” At a hearing in front of a British parliamentary committee this past February, Google tax chief Tom Hutchinson asserted that the company wasn’t unfairly gaming the system. “We are paying the right amount,” he said.

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The simplest way to tackle poverty

Proposals for a guaranteed minimum income have been gaining momentum over the past few years. What's all the fuss about?

There was a brief moment in time when both the Republican and Democratic nominees for the U.S. presidency supported a guaranteed minimum income (GMI).

Economists and politicians from across the political spectrum had begun to warm to the idea in the 1960s as a poverty reduction measure – from Nobel laureate and free-market evangelist Milton Friedman to left-leaning economists like John Kenneth Galbraith. A petition in the spring of 1968 calling for its adoption was signed by over 1,000 economists, bolstering similar conclusions from multiple presidential and state commissions.

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Following the Oregon trail

By Jeremy Runnalls
Adjusting minimum wage based on population density

The push to increase minimum wages in the U.S. has picked up steam since the financial crisis, spurred on by mounting public pressure to combat income inequality. President Barack Obama has become a vocal advocate for boosting the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, while Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders support increases to $12 and $15, respectively.

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Heroes & zeros: Kering and Fiat + Starbucks

By Jeremy Runnalls
Kering releases new environmental profit and loss report, while Fiat and Starbucks attract the EU’s wrath.

Hero: Kering

French luxury goods holding company Kering took another step towards fully measuring its ecological footprint by publishing a consolidated 2014 environmental profit and loss (EP&L) report in November. This pioneering accounting system is intended to place a dollars-and-cents value on the environmental impact of its operations.

The results found that the company had produced an environmental impact of around € 793 million in 2014, a 2.2 per cent year over year increase. Ninety-three per cent of this impact was generated through its supply chain, with the remaining 7 per cent resulting from internal operations. A full quarter of Kering’s impact came from the leather used in many of the company’s products, while another 17 per cent was linked to cotton.

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