Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

The key to leadership is learning

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jul 30, 2018 8:54:32 AM

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. KennedyTabletwithIssue25

As a corporate citizenship professional, you are a leader. As corporate citizenship becomes better understood as a means by which companies can differentiate themselves and meet business goals, your leadership—even if you don’t sit at the top of the organization—is critical to your company’s success in achieving its purpose.

You may be tasked with developing an employee volunteer program that tracks measurable employee wellness and health care cost-reduction goals. You may be asked to set science-based targets to reduce your environmental impact, or partner with human resources to create programs that make all employees feel accepted and valued. Increasingly, you may be asked to help develop a corporate response to a broad social issue such as immigration reform, climate change, or gun control—on the fly and in the midst of public debate.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Environment, Engaging Employees, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Employee Volunteer Program (EVP), Professional Development

Innovating for Economic Mobility

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jul 24, 2018 9:06:57 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 24 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can develop effective corporate citizenship programs that deliver business AND social value, consider joining us in San Diego January 14-18 for the Accelerated Certificate Summit—and earn our Certificate of Corporate Citizenship Practice in HALF the time at HALF the cost!

InnovatingforEonomicMobilityAlly Financial is recognized as a leading digital financial services company with a reputation for delivering innovative approaches to online banking. Unlike most of its competitors, Ally Financial is a completely digital finance company (all customer interactions happen online or on the phone).

This unique approach enables Ally customers to save and invest for their futures while on the go. Its trajectory of success illustrates the powerful potential of integrity, adaptability, and a tireless dedication to improving the lives of its customers.

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Topics: Responsible Corporate Leadership, Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Youth, Best Practices, Mission, Equity

Join us for the Accelerated Certificate Summit

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

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

Demystifying corporate citizenship rankings and indices

Rankings-Ratings-WebinarThe seemingly inexhaustible list of ratings, rankings, and indices can puzzle even the most seasoned corporate citizenship professionals. They are as varied as the industry itself—from the Best Corporate Citizens and the Best Places to Work lists to the Environmental Performance Index. Through them, a company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts and efforts are ranked and reported to large audiences—affecting both internal and external audience perceptions. As a company’s brand and reputation continues to be one of its most important intangible assets, contributing to up to 80 percent of a firm’s market value[i], understanding what CSR and sustainability rankings genuinely report about a company is vital.

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Topics: Sustainability Reporting, Strategy, Reputation, Brand, Rankings, Ratings

A strategic approach to public policy engagement

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jul 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

21st Century Corporate CitizenshipIn our current climate, companies are being looked to increasingly to take a position on social issues—sometimes to the point of engaging directly in public debate, or even in the political arena. As companies become more active in issues of public policy—from education, to immigration, to human rights—corporate citizenship professionals should be prepared to advise leadership on what issues best align with their companies’ values and business goals. To help firms effectively address questions like navigating the corporate advocacy space, Dave Stangis—Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company—and I released two resources last year.

First, the book 21stCentury Corporate Citizenship: A Practical Guide to Delivering Value to Society and Your Business serves as a how-to guide for the corporate responsibility professionals leading and implementing programs on the ground. We followed up by publishing The Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship, which informs more senior managers on the business value of integrating sustainability and social impact into strategy. 

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Topics: Responsible Corporate Leadership, Human Rights, Governance, Education, Policy, Public Relations

Partnering across lines of business to achieve CSR goals

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jun 11, 2018 1:56:42 PM

When we talk about good corporate citizens, we think about those companies that balance financial results with the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of business. The complexity of this practice demands diverse skills and experience, and the engagement of employees at all levels.

While the active involvement of all employees is essential to corporate citizenship success, respondents of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Profile of the Professionals 2018 report indicated that of CEOs, executives, managers, and staff, executives are the most likely to help them achieve their objectives (see Figure A). 


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Topics: Engaging Employees, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Employee, Professional Development, Workforce, Workplace

Scan, analyze, experiment, and evolve for corporate citizenship success

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jun 6, 2018 11:50:46 AM

CorporateCitizenIssue24_CoveronTablet“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

Progress presupposes change. The ability to anticipate change, and thrive through it, is resilience. Corporate citizenship delivers resilience—the capability to prepare for challenges and opportunities in our operating contexts—to deliver the results that we seek for our companies and in our communities. As corporate citizenship leaders, we should cultivate four important behaviors to develop resilience: we should scan, analyze, experiment, and evolve—our programs, our contexts, and ourselves.

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Topics: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Responsible Corporate Leadership, Impact Measurement, Change

Harnessing employee skills to improve financial literacy in youth

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jun 4, 2018 4:22:12 PM

The following is excerpted from Issue 23 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how your community involvement efforts can connect to overall business success, read the Community Involvement Study, available exclusively for members. Not a member? Learn more about corporate membership with the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. 

Vanguard_My Classroom EconomySince first opening its doors in 1975, Vanguard has flourished using a business model that is built on three foundational values: integrity, focus, and stewardship. A "mutual" mutual fund company, at Vanguard there are no outside owners—instead, the company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders. As such, Vanguard has the privilege of serving as a dedicated steward of not only its clients' investments—but also of its communities, as the firm understands that strong communities are key to sustainable growth and prosperity. 

Vanguard also understands that these communities are only as strong as their most vulnerable members—children. That's why Vanguard's Office in Community Stewardship focuses its efforts to advance early childhood development and education.

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Topics: Finance, Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Youth, Education

Achieving compensation equality in the workplace

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on May 2, 2018 2:32:16 PM

The merits of diverse and inclusive workforces are well-documented. They drive innovation, bolster financial performance, capture new markets, and increase customer loyalty.[1] Fair and equal compensation is the prerequisite of cultivating an inclusive company culture, and is an issue that is receiving attention increasingly from policymakers, corporate leaders, and the popular media.

The negative effects of inequality are felt across our entire economy. As income and wealth become concentrated at the top, fewer can participate fully in the economy. This hampers growth at all levels.  The American Dream, once thought to be a birthright, has proven to be available more readily to children of the educated and affluent than to others.[2] Income equality is a corporate citizenship and economic imperative. Corporate citizenship is not what happens in the corporate citizenship department. Good corporate citizenship is reflected across the operations of the company in how the company exercises as an entity its rights, responsibilities, obligations, and privileges

Research shows that racial and gender income inequality affects every country, industry, and field.  For example, respondents to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Profile of the Professionals 2018 study report that women fill most corporate citizenship positions. Their representation drops off, however, in more highly compensated executive positions (see Figure A). Women respondents also reported earning less than their male counterparts, and receiving lower bonuses (See Figure B).

PoP-Fig37 (1)


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Topics: Responsible Corporate Leadership, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Inclusion, Workforce, Gender, Race, Glass Ceiling

Corporate Citizenship Conference Recap Day 3: Resilient, Responsible Leaders Driving Results

Posted by Jessica Shearer on Apr 10, 2018 5:57:00 PM

UPSThe final day of the 2018 International Corporate Citizenship Conference was rich with inspiration and ideas, as attendees learned from a wide array of CSR experts, solidified connections during networking events, and were introduced to next year’s Conference sponsor—Mary Kay—during the event’s closing session.

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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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