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

Investing in a Brighter Future for All

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on May 12, 2017 2:43:52 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 19 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can align your corporate citizenship strategy with strategic business goals, consider joining us online for our Corporate Citizenship Strategy course.

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BBVA Compass relies on its bedrock principle of transparent banking to serve its clients, and invests significant time and money in its communities. 

It is firmly committed to reaching low- to moderate-income (LMI) areas. Every initiative BBVA Compass undertakes, every program that it develops and supports—whether it’s community development, education, or the arts—is designed to underscore the bank’s brand promise of building better, brighter futures for everyone in its communities.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Strategy, Community

Long-term measurement for long-term sustainability

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Apr 19, 2017 10:47:33 AM

The following is excerpted from The State of Corporate Citizenship 2017. To learn more about how you can use measurement tools to capture the value your corporate citizenship programs create for both the company and the community, consider joining in New Orleans on January 17-18, 2018 for our Advanced Corporate Citizenship Measurement: Logic Model and ROI course.

To achieve key business goals and make a lasting impact on social and environmental issues, companies are investing in corporate citizenship efforts. The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s State of Corporate Citizenship 2017 finds that when companies commit to an activity—such as the development of environmentally friendly products—for more than four years, executives are much more likely to report success in meeting their goals.

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Topics: Sustainability, Member Spotlight, Impact Measurement, Value, Signature Programs

Stakeholder engagement as strategy development

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Feb 10, 2017 2:26:52 PM

The following is excerpted from The State of Corporate Citizenship 2017. To learn more about how you can prioritize the corporate citizenship issues that are most important to your stakeholders and business context, consider joining online from October 2-November 22, 2017 for our Materiality: Determining Priorities for Corporate Citizenship Strategy and Reporting course.

While the 2017 State of Corporate Citizenship shows a declining interest in formal stakeholder engagement among executive respondents, engaging with both internal and external audiences can be an important component of any corporate citizenship program. Through stakeholder engagement, companies can fully understand their social, environmental, and economic impacts, and prioritize the issues that are most important to both stakeholders and their business context.

Many companies, like CBRE—the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm—use the insights they gather from stakeholders to inform a materiality assessment, creating a roadmap for more strategic time and resource allocation, and more comprehensive reporting.

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Topics: Stakeholder, Materiality, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting, Strategy, Engagement, Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

Responsible Sourcing at EILEEN FISHER

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jan 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The following is excerpted from a recent issue of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can connect with essential partners to make the most of the risks and opportunities present throughout your value chain, consider joining online either from September 18-November 10, 2017, or February 5-March 30, 2018 for our Integrating Corporate Citizenship Through Your Supply Chain course.

At EILEEN FISHER, the vision for fashion’s future is an industry where human rights and sustainability are not the effect of a particular initiative, but the measure of a business well run. To achieve this mission, the women’s clothing company has created an ambitious new model, entitled “Vision2020,” to guide the way in which their products are sourced and produced—and has ensured that its tenets are embraced at every level of its supply chain.

 

 

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Topics: Sustainability, Member Spotlight, Transparency, Supply Chain Management, Signature Programs

Understanding the executive perspectives for success

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Dec 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we have been busy finishing the analysis of our 2017 study on the executive perspectives about corporate citizenship, and expect the final report to be released in January 2017.

The Center has been surveying executives and reporting on the role of corporate citizenship in achieving business success in our State of Corporate Citizenship study since 2003. Over the past 14 years, much has changed. The global economy has recovered from two historic recessions, markets have become increasingly connected and electronic, and the threat of climate change has come to the forefront of popular consciousness.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Strategy, Executive

Northwestern Mutual Combats Childhood Cancer

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Nov 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can develop and execute a stakeholder engagement strategy, structure, and process to maximize business and social value, consider joining us in Phoenix, AZ on December 6-7, 2017 for our Stakeholder Engagement: Identify, Prioritize, and Act course.

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s 2015 Community Involvement Study finds that nearly 60 percent of companies engage employees at all levels and one-third of companies engage stakeholders other than employees and customers to help determine which social issues to support (see Figure A). Through its foundation, Northwestern Mutual exhibits the importance of strategic stakeholder engagement through its community involvement efforts, especially its signature Childhood Cancer Program.

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Topics: Engaging Employees, Stakeholder, Corporate Community Involvement

Accenture Offers Skills to Succeed

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Oct 20, 2016 1:57:18 PM

The following is excerpted from the most recent issue of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can deliver maximum business and social value through strategic partnerships, consider joining us for our Effective Corporate Citizenship Partnership Management course.

For some companies, the best way to achieve significant progress on an issue is to develop an effective program and then bring it to scale in a way that stays true to its foundational purpose while remaining adaptable enough to account for local needs. Accenture—a leading global professional services company—has done just that. By taking a focused and customizable approach to establishing powerful partnerships, their Skills to Succeed initiative, which launched in 2009, has helped equip more than 1.2 million people to date with the workplace and entrepreneurial skills needed to compete in the global economy.

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Topics: Partnerships, Member Spotlight, Corporate Community Involvement, Signature Programs

Continual improvement at Dogeared: For the business and the community

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Sep 12, 2016 3:37:00 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can engage your employees and contribute to your communities by developing a strategic corporate citizenship plan, consider joining us on online or in Los Angeles on February 7-9, 2018 for our Corporate Citizenship Strategy: Connect to Your Business and Community course.

For companies with a smaller operational footprint—even though they may have national or even global brand exposure—great value can be achieved by developing a foundational ethos, applying that mission to every aspect of business, from design through delivery, and incorporating it into community involvement strategy.

Founded in 1991 by Marcia Maizel-Clarke and Merlin Clarke, Dogeared, a global accessories brand that focuses on handcrafted jewelry, was built on the premise of community. The company sources the majority of products and materials locally from vendors around the Los Angeles area. Local artisans handcraft all of the company’s unique charms, and jewels are designed and assembled on-site in their Southern California studio.

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Topics: Partnerships, Member Spotlight, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Strategy, Reputation, Culture, Brand, Signature Programs

Merck Investing in Mothers: to reduce preventable maternal mortality worldwide

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Aug 17, 2016 8:30:00 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 17 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can create programs that prioritize the corporate citizenship issues that are most important to your stakeholders and business contextand make the best use of your resourcesconsider joining online from October 2-November 22, 2017 for our Materiality: How to Determine what Matters to Corporate Citizenship Strategy and Reporting course.

Around the world, leaders are coming together to address social and environmental issues, and the role for business has never been greater.

In 2015, corporate citizenship took unprecedented steps forward. Multiple stakeholders—including business leaders—worked to develop multilateral agreements to combat climate change and ensure sustainable progress. The Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent years of work and hope. With 17 new objectives and 169 specific targets that address issues ranging from education and inequality to economic growth and the environment, the SDGs are encompassing.150921_MERK_UGANDA_DAY4_KAMPALA_127_855_high.jpg

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Topics: Member Spotlight, Health & Wellness, Materiality, Corporate Community Involvement, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Human Rights, Signature Programs

EY: Building a better working world

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jul 20, 2016 12:32:14 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can inform and improve your programs through stakeholder engagement, consider joining us for our course: Stakeholder Engagement: Identify, Prioritize, and Act.

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Topics: Stakeholder, Member Spotlight, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Engagement, Outcomes, Signature Programs

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The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is your resource for insights, research, trending topics, and executive education in the corporate citizenship field.

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