Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services

Colleen leads the strategy and operations related to the recruitment and retention of member companies. Since joining the center in 2001 Colleen has had thousands of conversations with business professionals on the challenges and opportunities corporate citizenship presents to them. In her current role she uses her knowledge and experience to provide direction on content connected to member services. Prior to joining the Center, Colleen worked in the non-profit sector. She received her MBA and MSW from Boston College.
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Recent Posts

Partnering across lines of business to achieve CSR goals

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jun 11, 2018 1:56:42 PM

When we talk about good corporate citizens, we think about those companies that balance financial results with the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of business. The complexity of this practice demands diverse skills and experience, and the engagement of employees at all levels.

While the active involvement of all employees is essential to corporate citizenship success, respondents of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Profile of the Professionals 2018 report indicated that of CEOs, executives, managers, and staff, executives are the most likely to help them achieve their objectives (see Figure A). 

PoP-Figure17-Executives

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Topics: Engaging Employees, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Employee, Professional Development, Workforce, Workplace

Harnessing employee skills to improve financial literacy in youth

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jun 4, 2018 4:22:12 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 23 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how your community involvement efforts can connect to overall business success, read the Community Involvement Study, available exclusively for members. Not a member? Learn more about corporate membership with the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. 

Vanguard_My Classroom EconomySince first opening its doors in 1975, Vanguard has flourished using a business model that is built on three foundational values: integrity, focus, and stewardship. A "mutual" mutual fund company, at Vanguard there are no outside owners—instead, the company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders. As such, Vanguard has the privilege of serving as a dedicated steward of not only its clients' investments—but also of its communities, as the firm understands that strong communities are key to sustainable growth and prosperity. 

Vanguard also understands that these communities are only as strong as their most vulnerable members—children. That's why Vanguard's Office in Community Stewardship focuses its efforts to advance early childhood development and education.

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Topics: Finance, Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Youth, Education

Emphasizing both process and product to achieve sustainability goals

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Mar 29, 2018 11:56:28 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 23 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn how to differentiate your company by developing strategic commitments to managing natural resources, consider joining us in Dallas, TX May 2-3, 2018 for our Environmental Sustainability 101 course.

ArcelorMittal-10ListArcelorMittal’s business operations are undeniably widereaching: The company has 199,000 employees across 60 countries who together contribute to the annual production capacity of approximately 113 million metric tons of crude steel, which is used to serve markets such as automotive, construction, and household appliances. While the scope and impact of ArcelorMittal’s work is impressive, the sustainability efforts undertaken by its employees are arguably even more so.

In 2014, the ArcelorMittal team completed a thorough and strategic materiality process, which laid the groundwork for the creation of a sustainable development framework. “We knew we had really good CSR initiatives that were having positive impacts, and that we had great relationships with our partners,” said Marcy Twete, executive director, ArcelorMittal USA Foundation; division manager, corporate responsibility, ArcelorMittal Americas. “But what we were missing was a big-picture strategy that would match our work to what the company was doing commercially.”

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Topics: Environmental Sustainability, Partnerships, Materiality, Impact Measurement, water

New Research on Corporate Citizenship Careers: Profile of the Professionals 2018

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Feb 20, 2018 9:09:21 AM
New Research: Profile of the Professionals 2018

Here at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we're pleased to release our Profile of the Professionals 2018 study, a research project that examines the roles, responsibilities, development, and compensation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals. Its findings—based on survey results from 932 corporate citizenship professionals—provide insight into how CSR professionals at all levels assess the skills they need to be effective in their roles and what they perceive as the greatest challenges they must overcome.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Responsible Corporate Leadership, Engagement, Workplace, Identity, Gender, C-Suite, Organizational, Managers, Metrics, Recruitment

The ROI of environmental sustainability

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Dec 13, 2017 12:43:40 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 22 of The Corporate Citizen. By evaluating your environmental sustainability impacts, you can gather the data and insights to create long-term targets and lasting change, much like TD Bank Group. Consider joining us in Los Angeles, CA on February 7-8, 2018 to learn more about how you can use the CDP reporting framework to measure and manage your environmental impacts.

Committed-to-Zero.jpgAs a leading financial services company, TD Bank Group (TD) has a unique understanding of the business and social value that can be derived from environmental investments. When developing strategy, the company embeds environmental considerations throughout its operations and looks at the benefits of natural capital in its decisions.

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Topics: Environmental Sustainability, Reporting, CDP, Carbon, Signature Programs

Measuring progress toward a bold goal

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Oct 27, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Humana.ImpactMeasurement.pngThe following is excerpted from Issue 19 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can demonstrate the value of your corporate citizenship programs through data and metrics, consider joining us Dec. 6-8 in Pheonix, AZ for our Measurement and Evaluation course, also available online Jan. 8-Mar. 2, 2018 . 

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Topics: Health & Wellness, Impact Measurement, Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Signature Programs

Environmental sustainability: The bold look of net zero

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Sep 29, 2017 9:12:06 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 21 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how to make a well-informed, strategic decision about which corporate citizenship reporting frameworks, standards, and rankings are right for your company, visit our topic page on Sustainability Reporting.  

DesigningaSustainableFuture.jpg

Founded in 1873, Kohler Co. is one of the oldest and largest privately held companies in the United States. Today, the Wisconsin-based company is a leading manufacturer of plumbing products, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators. Despite its closely held corporate structure, the company and its 35,000 associates have an outsized investment in the six continents in which its 50 manufacturing locations operate. The end goal? To reduce its global environmental footprint to net-zero by 2035.

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Topics: Environmental Sustainability, Innovation, water

The community involvement program you probably aren't doing, but should

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Aug 21, 2017 11:07:53 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 19 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can use your unique resources to ensure  your corporate giving efforts are delivering business and social value, visit the Community Involvement topic page.

Say the word philanthropy and people generally think of contributing money. There are many other resources corporations have to give—volunteer time and products and services, for example— but here's one you may never have thought about: giving data—either directly, or through analytics and expertise.

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In the current digital era, nearly all companies create, collect, and mine data as part of their business, and this data has quickly emerged as a vital asset to mitigate common challenges, from tracking diseases to relieving traffic congestion and aiding development. For nonprofit partners, access to the right data—and the analytic capability to make the most of it—is essential for community involvement success. Data philanthropy achieves many of the goals sought by traditional corporate social charity: It allows companies to give back in a way that produces meaningful impact, and reflects the businesses’ core competencies while preserving or expanding value for shareholders.

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Topics: Community Involvement, Philanthropy, Giving, Community, Impact, Charity

Providing Clean Water Access in Africa

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jul 11, 2017 2:22:33 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 19 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can determine your sustainability strategy, identify and mitigate your environmental impacts, and disclose risks and opportunities, visit the Environmental Sustainability topic page

Navigating the logistics and issues around providing access to clean water is overwhelmingly complex and challenging, but the basic facts are clear. There is a limited amount of this precious resource—and for many, what’s available is either unclean, or inaccessible.

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Topics: Environmental Sustainability

Offering aid when disaster strikes

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jun 13, 2017 10:10:58 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 20 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can meet your corporate citizenship objectives by better managing your internal and external partnerships, consider joining us in Chicago on September 13-14 for our Corporate Citizenship Partnership Management course.

 

CVS Health, a Rhode Island-based pharmacy innovation company, is an industry leader committed to helping people on their path to better health and giving back to the communities in which it operates. The company’s high-profile decision in 2014 to stop selling tobacco products at its retail locations garnered nationwide attention, but it isn’t the only arena where CVS Health has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship.

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Topics: Corporate Community Involvement

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