Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

The business benefits of sustainability reporting frameworks, straight from the experts

 Reporting20161027.jpgSustainability reporting—also known as corporate citizenship, CSR, ESG, or non-financial reporting—is widely considered a best practice of companies worldwide. The reporting process—and the resulting report—has become essential for strategic decision-making, enabling stronger long-term planning, stakeholder relations, and data-driven insights. With the growing popularity of disclosure, reports are becoming more sophisticated and useful for decision makers and leaders in the company, as well as for external audiences such as investors—who are using the information to make more accurate market evaluations.  

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Topics: Transparency, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting, Align, Framework, Performance

The Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship: An Excerpt

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Sep 5, 2017 11:49:16 AM

For more than a year, Dave Stangis—Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company—and I have working together to help corporate citizenship professionals align environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives with business goals to create long-term success. Our first book, released earlier this year, served as a step-by-step handbook for developing and implementing effective corporate citizenship programs.

Now, we’re pleased to share a second book—a guide for the business executive who is working to build a more ethical, resilient, sustainable, and profitable company. Titled The Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship, the book provides the information needed to understand how corporate citizenship builds reputation, delivers value to the bottom line, and mobilizes an organization’s employees and customers.

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Topics: Responsible Corporate Leadership, Best Practices, Purpose

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, consider joining us in San Francisco for our Corporate Giving course, running from October 25-27, 2017.  

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.


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

ACHIEVE MORE in corporate citizenship

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Aug 15, 2017 12:13:18 PM


The enhanced design of grants CSR professionals the ability to achieve more by providing quick access to a wealth of information—including tools, resources, and educational opportunities—curated to help identify and address sustainable business challenges, drive transparency,  inspire new ideas, and solve problems. One of the great benefits of our enhanced, mobile-friendly site is that it’s now much easier to browse through and take advantage of the in-person and online classes featured in the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s extensive executive education catalog.

The new allows users to seamlessly explore all of the Center’s learning tools to determine the kind of learning they want to engage in, whether it be general coursework, classes geared toward a specific certificate, or customizable onsite training developed with a unique company or project in mind.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Digital Media

Modern Slavery: Driving solutions to detect and eliminate human rights abuse in supply chains

 Slavery_SupplyChainManagement.jpegToday, leading companies understand that they must look beyond their own operations when assessing and addressing their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts. To deliver maximum business and social returns, they should consider and incorporate their supply chains when developing corporate citizenship programs.

Those that do are presented with the opportunity to address inefficiencies and risks—many of which could have severe ramifications to a firm’s reputation, as research finds that consumers are likely to hold a firm responsible for unsustainable activity regardless of where it occurs within the supply chain. A 2014 study finds that, while the severity of the incident increases backlash, the relationship the supplier has to the firm (direct vs. indirect) and the importance of the supplied product in no way mediates consumer anger.[i] That means that the behaviors of even a supplier that makes a negligible part of a product could pose a serious threat to company reputation and profit.

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Topics: Supply Chain Management

DO MORE in corporate citizenship


We recognize how extremely busy corporate citizenship professionals are—as a result, one of the chief aims of the new was to make it easier for folks to access Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship resources both when they’re at the office and when they're on-the-go.

In addition to offering an extensive, easy-to-search digital resource library, the new features a more attractive, seamless, and adaptable user experience. By providing a more intuitive and responsive interface, we are connecting you with essential tools that will help you to get your job done faster and more effectively.

For example, you can now easily browse through and register for any of our upcoming webinars, in addition to watching archived Center webinars on any of your devices at any time.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Digital Media

Continuous learning for sustainable progress

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Aug 1, 2017 2:41:57 PM

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein is lauded for his brilliant intellect, his kindness toward students, his humor, and—most importantly—his boundless imagination. What made Einstein unique was his ability to look beyond the limitations of others to see their capabilities, to laugh at absurdity rather than become depressed by it, and to imagine ways that current constraints could be overcome.

Though 99.99 percent of us will fall at least slightly short of Einstein’s intellect, we can adopt his behaviors and attitudes and make the most of the gifts we do possess. In our day-to-day work we, as corporate citizenship professionals, assess key challenges of our time, and imagine how our companies’ unique capabilities can be used to achieve progress. Increasingly, we will be asked to understand more—about social and environmental issues, our regulatory and political landscapes, the capabilities of our industries, the way we set goals and communicate progress. The list goes on...

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Topics: Responsible Corporate Leadership

Supporting veterans and their families with corporate citizenship efforts

Veterans.jpgCorporate citizenship initiatives focused on veteran hiring and engagement are becoming increasingly popular because they provide a win-win situation for companies and military families alike: Veterans provide companies with valuable transferable skills and consistently prove to be dependable and hardworking team players, while companies provide veterans with the stability and purpose to help their families thrive.

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Topics: Corporate Community Involvement

KNOW MORE in corporate citizenship

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Jul 19, 2017 12:12:40 PM

479520746-webad-small.jpgWelcome to our new website! We encourage you to explore our newly enhanced, mobile-friendly platform. To help guide your experience, we’re sharing some of its most exciting and useful features.

Our new website has a robust resource library that is completely searchable in a variety of ways, including by topic. For example, if you want to learn more about employee engagement, you can access focused information about the topic, including relevant articles from our magazine, The Corporate Citizen, as well as research findings from management practice and academic study, recent regulatory decisions that may impact your corporate citizenship efforts, and webinars.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Digital Media

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, consider joining us online for our CDP Reporting course, available from September 18 through November 10, 2017. Participants who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion from CDP.

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