Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education

Stewart is the Director of Executive Education at the Center, he has more than 11 years of sustainability education, communications, and advisory experience working with leading companies across the globe. Stewart has designed and implemented workshops, sustainability strategies, policies, programs, and performance management systems that connect sustainability to the business, reduce cost, engage stakeholders, and produce impact. Prior to the Center, Stewart was the Regional Head of North America at AccountAbility, a Sustainability advisory, research, and standards organization, and was a Director at Saatchi Sustainability, a sustainability strategy consultancy within the global communications firm. Stewart is a graduate of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where he received both his bachelor's and master's degree in international relations and social anthropology.
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Recent Posts

Join us for the Accelerated Certificate Summit

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Jul 16, 2018 1:37:21 PM
Summit-Basecamp

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship offers four certificate programs to help corporate citizenship professionals at all stages of their careers—earning a certificate gives practitioners access to a host of valuable tools while also adding notable credentials to their resume. Corporate citizenship professionals can earn these certificates, or take individual courses, in a variety of formats—from in-person events throughout the country to on-demand, online options. 

Now, we are excited to offer even greater flexibility to those seeking to earn their Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Practice through our Accelerated Certificate Summit, a week-long hybrid learning experience that dives deep into CSR best practices and connects core skills with elective courses most relevant to corporate citizenship practitioners’ work. The Summit is being offered from January 14 to January 18 in San Diego, CA—attendees can come from the whole week, one day, or anything in between—registering early means locking in the best rate.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Leadership, Professional Development, Benefits, Best Practices

Integrated corporate citizenship and the B Corp evolution

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on May 1, 2017 3:18:02 PM

Connecting business and social value is the goal of corporate citizenship work, and our member companies are continually finding creative and meaningful ways to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities into their companies’ day-to-day operations. According to the Center’s State of Corporate Citizenship 2017, integrating corporate citizenship creates business value for companies (see Figure A), so it’s no wonder executives plan to increase funding to these efforts in the coming years (see Figure B).Figure9-A.jpg

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Topics: Sustainability Reporting, B Corp

Tracking progress toward environmental sustainability goals

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Feb 24, 2017 10:04:02 AM

Today’s companies face substantial pressure from stakeholders—both internal and external—to monitor and report on a variety of environmental metrics. The benefits to the company are clear, as research shows that successfully managing a company’s environmental footprint can strengthen a firm’s financial performance[i], help them maintain that performance over the long term[ii], improve the company’s image,[iii] and identify and mitigate potential risks to operations.[iv]

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Topics: Environment, Sustainability Reporting, Value of Corporate Citizenship

Corporate Disaster Relief: Strategic efforts to rebuild and strengthen communities

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Jan 30, 2017 2:45:17 PM

Helping communities rebound from a traumatic event or natural disaster requires multi-level and cross-sector effort. There are immediate needs to be met—such as trauma support—and in the case of extreme weather events—food, water, and shelter. To make the most of their disaster relief programs, corporate citizenship professionals must partner internally and externally to make the best possible use of all available resources, from community involvement efforts like corporate giving and volunteering to more operational activities like security, logistics, and supply chain management.

Disasters, no matter what their scale, have economic ramifications in addition to the social and environmental consequences. According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, wildfires, floods, droughts, and other natural disasters were responsible for more than a trillion dollars in economic damage in 2015 and that number is only expected to increase as climate-related natural disasters become more frequent.

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Topics: Partnerships, Philanthropy, Engaging Employees, Volunteer, Giving, Corporate Community Involvement, Disaster Relief

Year One of the Sustainable Development Goals

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Dec 6, 2016 11:28:50 AM

In 2015, corporate citizenship took unprecedented steps forward. Multiple stakeholders—including business leaders—came together to commit to combating climate change and ensuring sustainable progress. The resulting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent years of work and hope. With 17 objectives and 169 specific targets that address issues ranging from education and inequality to economic growth and the environment, the SDGs are encompassing.


Watch: 'We The People' for The Global Goals

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Topics: Sustainability Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

A New Era of Sustainability Reporting: The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Oct 31, 2016 2:28:50 PM

Corporate citizenship is one of the most dynamic and exciting fields in business today – the urgency of global issues, the evolving expectations of stakeholders, and the improvements in our ability to track and communicate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activity are trends that have created a vibrant, challenging, and ever-changing business ecosystem.

In response to this complex environment, companies have called on organizations like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to create a uniform and structured way to report credibly on the ESG issues that matter to their company and its stakeholders. GRI has responded.

On October 19, GRI issued their updated Sustainability Reporting Standards after nearly a year spent collecting comments, suggestions, and feedback from a variety of stakeholders.

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Topics: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting

The business case for youth mentoring

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Sep 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

In the United States, approximately 5.6 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are disconnected from school and work, and many are not getting the support they need to drive greater engagement. One in three young people— nearly 16 million— will reach the age of 19 without having ever had a mentor in their life of any kind. These rates are even higher for at-risk youth, who experience higher rates of poverty, limited networks, and under-resourced schools.[1] Research shows that even one positive, consistent, caring, relationship with an adult can offset nearly every risk factor in a young person’s life and improve their chances of success.

Today, companies of all sizes are recognizing the role they can play in filling this “mentorship gap” and have simultaneously discovered that they can use mentorship programs to realize both business and corporate responsibility goals. According to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s most recent Community Involvement Study, companies consistently rank youth programs as one of the most important social issues addressed through their community involvement efforts (See Figure A).

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Topics: Management, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Business Case, Youth, Return on Investment (ROI)

The GRI reporting framework is changing. What do you need to know?

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Sep 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM

GRI-1.jpgTo keep up with global trends and challenges, GRI continually refines its guidelines, employing a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure that the reporting tool aligns the current needs of companies with the needs of society to better support meaningful change through corporate action. This year, GRI is transitioning G4—its most comprehensive and up-to-date reporting framework—from guidelines to standards, and has proposed three Universal Standards, as well as 35 Topic-Specific Standards. The organization is in the process of receiving feedback from global stakeholders on its draft Standards, having released them in April.

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Topics: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting, Framework, Standards

Data philanthropy: The high-tech future of social impact

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Aug 30, 2016 10:36:25 AM

Modern businesses use data primarily for competitive advantage—to give their customers the best experience, to gain entry into new markets, to become faster, smarter, better. Whether they are gathering data on their customers’ purchasing habits or planning flight patterns, companies are collecting more detailed information than ever.

How this information is collected, stored, and used is a growing area of corporate citizenship focus. As reported in the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship, nearly 80 percent of executives consider consumer data protection and privacy to be a top corporate citizenship priority (see Figure A).

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Topics: Philanthropy, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Data Protection

Proving corporate citizenship success: What to measure and how to gather data

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Aug 5, 2016 3:00:00 PM

MeasurementArt.pngMeasuring and evaluating corporate citizenship efforts are critical steps in managing and improving programs. Increasingly, your stakeholders—executives, investors, customers, and employees to name a few—expect that the results of corporate citizenship investments can be quantified. Research shows that careful planning and evaluation can strengthen corporate citizenship performance, and deliver benefits such as improved reputation, higher employee engagement, and better resource management. One recent study showed that firms that create formal corporate citizenship programs that included specific targets and measures outperformed financially companies that did not over the long term.[i]

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Topics: Impact Measurement, Logic Model

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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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