Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Submit Your Video | Showcase Your Corporate Citizenship

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Nov 13, 2017 3:22:26 PM

The 10th annual Corporate Citizenship Film Festival—the largest film festival devoted exclusively to celebrating the work of corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals, their companies, and programs—has officially begun!

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The interaction between a company’s bottom line, its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts, and the way customers view both its product and its people is complex. Figuring out the right communications mix may be demanding at times. If you get it right, the rewards are more than worth the effort.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Storytelling, Signature Programs

3 ways corporate citizenship can improve brand and reputation

Every year, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship gathers 600+ CSR professionals together for its annual International Corporate Citizenship Conference. Some of the most popular aspects of this three-day event are the numerous breakout sessions, where attendees can learn from expert panels, practical workshops, and in-depth case studies. This April in Los Angeles, the 2018 International Corporate Citizenship Conference—hosted by Travelers—will again feature 30 breakout sessions, and now is the best time to register, because for a limited time you SAVE $600 on registration!

Below is a recap of one of last year’s most popular sessions: Brand and reputation. You can find this story, and more, in our quarterly magazine, The Corporate Citizen.

BrandandRep.jpgThe interaction between a company’s bottom line, its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts, and the way customers view both its product and its people is complex. Figuring out the right mix may be demanding at times. If you get it right, the rewards are more than worth the effort.

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Topics: Value of Corporate Citizenship, Reputation, Brand, Consumer, Intangible Assets

Creating CSR value with strong brand and reputation

View all resources on the Value of Corporate Citizenship >

“Reputation is what people expect us to do next. It is their expectation of the quality and character of the next thing we produce or say or do. We control our actions (even when it feels like we don't) and our actions over time (especially when we think no one is looking) earn our reputation.” – Seth Godin

Predictability is comforting. We like our daily routines, we wear the same jersey or sit in the same seat when our team plays, and we tend to remain loyal to the brands we like and trust. Unforseen events can shake our confidence in corporations, so companies spend a great deal of time preparing for the unexpected to ensure they consistently deliver on their brand promises. However, businesses today face a unique challenge in that most of their value is intangible, which must be protected and advanced in different ways.  

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In the 1970s, a company’s market value was comprised of 83 percent tangible assets, things like the physical property, products, and machinery that the company owned. Only 17 percent of the market value of a company was made up of intangible assets, like intellectual property, human capital or reputation.[i]

Fast forward to the present day and the proportion has completely inverted. Only 16 percent of a company’s value is comprised of tangible assets, while 84 percent is made up of intangible assets (see Figure A).

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Topics: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Value of Corporate Citizenship, Reputation, Brand, Consumer, Intangible Assets, Market

Corporate citizenship goals beyond 'better': How to get where you want to go

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Oct 31, 2017 3:15:00 PM

View all resources on the Value of Corporate Citizenship >

“To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

TabletwithIssue22.jpgWinston Churchill is considered one of the greatest strategic minds in modern history. He not only led Britain through World War II, he played an active role in the passage of the People's Budget—which introduced major social welfare reform programs—established Britain's first minimum wage, and even won the Nobel Prize for

 literature. He understood that continual progress could only be achieved through constant adaptation.

As corporate citizenship professionals, you are tasked with creating both the world in which we want to do business, AND the world in which we want to live. It's a lofty mission, one that requires us to challenge the status quo and innovate to create radical change.

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Topics: Engaging Employees, Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Strategy, Inclusion, 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

Engaging Employees at All Levels

View all resources on Engaging Employees > 

Every company aspires to have an engaged workforce in which employees are involved, focused, and committed to their jobs. Engaged employees are beneficial to businesses because they work harder, produce stronger results, and stay with the company longer.[1],[2],[3]

One of the greatest challenges of employee engagement is to identify each employee’s needs and motivations in order to determine how to best engage them. Complicating this challenge is the fact that some companies may have a disparate workforce that requires different engagement tactics.

For example, research indicates that employees at different stages of their career pursue certain engagements opportunities while rejecting others (see Figure A).[4] Employees in the early stage of their career are interested primarily in opportunities for recognition and networking in order to establish themselves and advance their career. While they don’t have much money to donate at this point in their lives, they’re likely to show up at volunteer opportunities—especially if senior leaders are present. On the other hand, mid-career employees tend to be more pressed for time, sandwiched by caretaking responsibilities for both children and aging family members. These employees prefer opportunities for recognition, education, and getting their family involved. Finally, late-career employees are motivated by the opportunity to build a legacy or mentor a younger colleague and, because their salaries have peaked, they are more likely to contribute financially to important causes.

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Topics: Engaging Employees, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Culture, Workforce

Drivers of corporate citizenship: Resilience, responsibility, results.

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Oct 2, 2017 11:52:03 AM

International-Corporate-Citizenship-Conference_Vertical.pngA few months ago, I wrote about the importance of operational resilience, and how corporate citizenship can play a role in helping companies survive and thrive. In order to compete and prosper over the long term—companies should do the work ahead of time that allows them to PASS through disruptions. To PASS, in short, is to:

Predict and prepare: Be proactive, not reactive.

Align your program with business strategy: Scan for risks, do what you can to avert them, and have a plan “B”.  

Sponsorship: Enlist groups across and beyond the organization to make sure that everyone knows their role and why it is important. 

Systems thinking: Consider technology systems, business processes, AND all of the people who interact with them.  How can you build flexibility and redundancy in the systems so that if one node in your network is compromised, you can continue to operate?

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Topics: Conference, Impact Measurement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Disaster Relief, Participation

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.  

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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 business benefits of sustainability reporting frameworks, straight from the experts

View all resources on Sustainability Reporting >

 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
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View all resources on Responsible Corporate Leadership >

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

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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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