Healthier employees are more productive and engaged in their work. They are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time for illnesses. They also perceive their companies as invested in their well-being and as more attractive places to work. However, the risks of an unhealthy workforce are as significant and numerous as the benefits of a healthy one.
Topics: Employee Health and Wellness
Nonprofit board placement programs have grown in popularity and importance as companies and employees realize the rewards of sustained, high-level engagement in community organizations. According to the 2015 Community Involvement Study, nearly 70 percent of companies offer a nonprofit board program to their employees as a part of their volunteer program offerings (see Figure A). This is a huge change from 2011, where the same study revealed that only 26 percent of companies offered nonprofit board programs to all of their employees.
To tackle global issues like climate change, poverty, and health and wellness, individuals across sectors have to work together cooperatively.
Every day at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we work with companies to realize their full capacity to create global change, and we know that work is not undertaken alone.
Our members think carefully about how their local engagements contribute to the bigger picture and about their impacts on a variety of stakeholders. Our members engage with those outside the corporate walls to understand where they can put their assets to work and how they can prevent negative impacts. These companies engage a broad range of supporters AND critics to ensure well-informed decisions based on a variety of perspectives.
With longer work hours and shorter tenures on average, it is more difficult than ever to keep employees engaged with their jobs. The Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace study describes engaged employees as people who are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations. In that study, it was found that 87 percent of employees are disengaged from their jobs.[i]
Impact investing is an emerging area that companies are beginning to add to their philanthropic portfolios. The definition of impact investing is twofold: fund a worthy social cause to provide value to the community while returning financial value to the investor.
A new notice put out by the IRS in September makes this a particularly favorable time for companies to begin operationalizing the task of impact investing. The 2015 IRS report, “Investing Made for Charitable Purposes,” affirmed the private foundation’s right and ability to invest in a way that advances their charitable goals, even if the expected rates of return on those investments may be less than other possible investment options.
A company’s corporate citizenship impact extends well beyond the four walls of the corporate headquarters. A significant amount of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact occurs within supply chains, whether it is greenhouse gas emissions, vendor performance, labor conditions within a supplier’s factory, or the sourcing of materials.
Environmental sustainability is a critical business issue for companies across the globe. The world’s population is growing, nonrenewable resources are being depleted, and 2014 was the warmest year on record. All of this is expected to be accompanied by increasingly severe energy and environmental problems that could potentially threaten supply chains, production processes, and operations. Moreover, as businesses are often seen as some of the greatest contributors to pollution, waste, and environmental problems, they are increasingly pressured to not just reduce waste or use less energy, but to develop sustainable practices and policies that will preserve and even improve the environments around them.
Corporate citizenship professionals are becoming increasingly adept at tying CSR programs to overall business strategy, creating programs that make the most of their employees’ unique skills and their companies’ products and services, and tackling the problems that are most relevant to their stakeholders and operating contexts. In this way, they are addressing environmental, social, and governance issues while contributing to important business goals. To ensure that they are efficiently investing their time, skills, and financial resources, effective CSR professionals are relying on careful measurement and evaluation tactics.
A company’s corporate citizenship impact extends beyond its headquarters. To address environmental, social, and governance issues effectively, CSR professionals today must look beyond their own operations and deep into their supply chain. How and where are materials sourced? How are the components of products developed? What are the environmental and human rights ramifications of those processes? Issues as serious as child labor, conflict minerals, and climate change can only be effectively tackled when a company’s commitments to corporate citizenship and reporting are adopted by their suppliers and partners.
Climate change is again trending as a topic within corporate citizenship and the larger business community. The release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si” (Be Praised), which highlights the impact developed economies are having on our planet and our responsibilities to act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, and the upcoming COP21—the 21st Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—are creating a buzz.