Today, 600 CSR professionals traveled to Los Angeles to kick off the 2018 International Corporate Citizenship Conference—an event dedicated to helping CSR professionals strengthen the connections between resilience, responsibility, and results. The afternoon was filled with numerous networking opportunities and an illuminating dinner session—and was capped off by the annual Film Festival award ceremony—setting the stage for two more days of insights and connections.
Each year, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship gathers CSR leaders from around the world for two and a half days of learning, sharing, and growing. This year, the Conference is hosted by Travelers, a company who has, for more than 160 years, helped individuals and organizations foster resilience, invest in responsibility, and deliver results.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir
The interconnection of issues we address in our corporate citizenship work becomes especially evident in attempts to achieve environmental sustainability. From sourcing, to product development, to waste management, our strategies must accommodate shifting constraints and opportunities presented by our natural environment and other stakeholders.
The following is excerpted from Issue 23 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn how to differentiate your company by developing strategic commitments to managing natural resources, consider joining us in Dallas, TX May 2-3, 2018 for our Environmental Sustainability 101 course.
ArcelorMittal’s business operations are undeniably widereaching: The company has 199,000 employees across 60 countries who together contribute to the annual production capacity of approximately 113 million metric tons of crude steel, which is used to serve markets such as automotive, construction, and household appliances. While the scope and impact of ArcelorMittal’s work is impressive, the sustainability efforts undertaken by its employees are arguably even more so.
In 2014, the ArcelorMittal team completed a thorough and strategic materiality process, which laid the groundwork for the creation of a sustainable development framework. “We knew we had really good CSR initiatives that were having positive impacts, and that we had great relationships with our partners,” said Marcy Twete, executive director, ArcelorMittal USA Foundation; division manager, corporate responsibility, ArcelorMittal Americas. “But what we were missing was a big-picture strategy that would match our work to what the company was doing commercially.”
As we watched the Olympics and Paralympics, we saw athletes from all parts of the world pursue their goals without letting anything or anyone get in the way. Their commitment and mindset teach us essential lessons for how we, as corporate citizenship professionals, must approach our work every day.
Congratulations to the nine newest Corporate Citizenship Film Festival finalists!
Public voting for the 2018 Film Festival has closed and YOU have chosen this year's top nine submissions. Thank you to all the companies that entered. The Corporate Citizenship Film Festival—presented by Wells Fargo—is proud to honor excellence in corporate citizenship and recognize the great work being undertaken by companies across the CSR landscape, including impactful disaster relief programs, innovative STEM and financial literacy educational initiatives, community involvement campaigns, and partnerships designed to improve health and well-being.
Last year, Dave Stangis—Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company—and I released two books to help corporate citizenship professionals align environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives with business goals to create long-term success. One book, titled The Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship, offers a guide for the business executive who is working to build a more ethical, resilient, sustainable, and profitable company. The other—21stCentury Corporate Citizenship: A Practical Guide to Delivering Value to Society and Your Business—serves as a step-by-step handbook for CSR professionals who are developing and implementing effective corporate citizenship programs.
Here at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we're pleased to release our Profile of the Professionals 2018 study, a research project that examines the roles, responsibilities, development, and compensation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals. Its findings—based on survey results from 932 corporate citizenship professionals—provide insight into how CSR professionals at all levels assess the skills they need to be effective in their roles and what they perceive as the greatest challenges they must overcome.
Long-term sustainability has taken a backseat to short-term profitability since the 1970s when the quarterly earnings report became standard operating procedure and the horizon of return was shortened to that period. Today, however, the global community is shouldering collectively the burden of looming and interconnected universal challenges, such as climate change, food security, humanitarian crises, and inequality. Because of their scale and complexity, these issues cannot be solved by one government or one company or even one industry or one sector. Instead, they demand a concerted effort that harnesses the best resources and talents of governments, NGOs, the private sector, and civil society.
“There’s a way to do it better—find it.” Thomas Edison
Corporate citizenship professionals lead their companies to ‘better’—better workplaces, better communities, even a better planet. Progressing to ‘better’ requires a critical assessment of where we are now, and the courage to adapt, plan, and—ultimately—change our future path.