Corporate Citizenship Blog

Responsible Sourcing at EILEEN FISHER

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jan 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The following is excerpted from a recent issue of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can connect with essential partners to make the most of the risks and opportunities present throughout your value chain, consider joining online from February 20-April 17, 2017 for our Integrating Corporate Citizenship Through Your Supply Chain course.

At EILEEN FISHER, the vision for fashion’s future is an industry where human rights and sustainability are not the effect of a particular initiative, but the measure of a business well run. To achieve this mission, the women’s clothing company has created an ambitious new model, entitled “Vision2020,” to guide the way in which their products are sourced and produced—and has ensured that its tenets are embraced at every level of its supply chain.

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Topics: Sustainability, Supply Chain, Member Spotlight, Transparency

The more things change...

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jan 3, 2017 8:00:00 AM

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

Investment in a stable and prosperous society is an investment in future business performance. We’ve seen corporate commitment to this ideal in action during the development and ratification of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in the fight for  U.S. marriage equality. More and more, companies are vocalizing their support of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues—and are executing strategic plans to create the change they know is required to achieve a sustainable economy. 

The emerging U.S. policy agenda could make the work even more challenging than it has been for the last decade. Especially if it is in conflict with the policies of global market economies in which your company likely operates. So what is to be done? Cling tightly to your coffee mug that reads, “stay calm and carry on” and do just that. There is overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and human induced and socio-economic research that underscores the social ills that accompany inequality. The companies that have the courage to be among the first to make real commitments to improving the environmental and social conditions in their operating environments are the ones that have the opportunity to use those commitments as positive differentiators with institutional investors, customers, and the general public. 

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Sustainability, Reporting, Management Practices, Measurement, Sustainability Reporting, SDGs

Understanding the executive perspectives for success

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Dec 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we have been busy finishing the analysis of our 2017 study on the executive perspectives about corporate citizenship, and expect the final report to be released in January 2017.

The Center has been surveying executives and reporting on the role of corporate citizenship in achieving business success in our State of Corporate Citizenship study since 2003. Over the past 14 years, much has changed. The global economy has recovered from two historic recessions, markets have become increasingly connected and electronic, and the threat of climate change has come to the forefront of popular consciousness.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Research, Value of corporate social responsibility

The Power of Storytelling

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Dec 14, 2016 9:08:28 AM

Every year, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship holds the International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival to celebrate not only the great work that companies are doing to achieve social, environmental, and business value, but also the creative methods in which they communicate their efforts. Public voting for the 2017 Film Festival—presented by FedEx—is now open. Vote for the winning video before February 17, 2017. Winners will be announced during the 2017 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, held in Boston on March 26-28.

For the 2016 competition, the Center introduced compe­tition categories for the first time to recognize a wider selection of terrific programs. The award ceremony, sponsored by Mary Kay Inc., was held during the 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference in Atlanta. There, Kirsten Gappelberg, director of corporate social responsibility & sustainability at Mary Kay, shared the mindset that enables her team to create award-winning videos that increase engagement around their signature cause—domestic violence.

2016_film_festival_winners.jpgFrom left to right: Jamie Mercurio of athenahealth, Catherine McGlown of Humana, Chandra Gruber of St. Jude Medical, and Sarah Andersen of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

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Topics: Conference, Corporate Communication Strategy, Film Festival

Companies Commit to Climate Progress

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Dec 7, 2016 10:02:00 AM

ClimateBlog-20161207.jpgLast month, leaders from around the world gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco to build on the tremendous achievement of the 2015 Paris Agreement during COP22. There, they recommitted to a collaborative target-driven effort to limit climate change. During the conference, 11 countries—including Italy, Japan, Malaysia, and Pakistan—ratified the Paris Agreement, bringing the total number up to 111, far more than the 55 countries covering 55 percent of global GHG emissions required to elevate the accord to international law. The United States, Canada, Mexico, and Germany released strategies for radically cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. The U.S. report outlines plans to meet an 80 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2050, referencing an ambitious transition to a low-carbon energy system and innovative carbon storage and removal tactics.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Sustainability, GRI/G4, Sustainability Reporting

Year One of the Sustainable Development Goals

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Dec 6, 2016 11:28:50 AM

In 2015, corporate citizenship took unprecedented steps forward. Multiple stakeholders—including business leaders—came together to commit to combating climate change and ensuring sustainable progress. The resulting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent years of work and hope. With 17 objectives and 169 specific targets that address issues ranging from education and inequality to economic growth and the environment, the SDGs are encompassing.


Watch: 'We The People' for The Global Goals

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Topics: Sustainability, Sustainability Reporting, SDGs

Northwestern Mutual Combats Childhood Cancer

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Nov 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can develop and execute a stakeholder engagement strategy, structure, and process to maximize business and social value, consider joining us in Dallas, TX on December 7-8, 2016 for our Stakeholder Engagement: Identify, Prioritize, and Act course.

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s 2015 Community Involvement Study finds that nearly 60 percent of companies engage employees at all levels and one-third of companies engage stakeholders other than employees and customers to help determine which social issues to support (see Figure A). Through its foundation, Northwestern Mutual exhibits the importance of strategic stakeholder engagement through its community involvement efforts, especially its signature Childhood Cancer Program.

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Topics: Community Involvement, Employee Engagement, Stakeholder Enagement, Corporate Community Involvement

2017 Film Festival Call for Entries is Now Open

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Nov 3, 2016 8:00:00 AM

We're delighted to announce that the call for entries is now open for our 9th annual International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival, the largest film festival devoted exclusively to celebrating the work of corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals, their companies, and programs. Part of the 2017 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, this year's Film Festival is presented by FedEx.

“Each year, through video storytelling, we highlight the tremendous work accomplished by corporate citizenship professionals from around the world,” said Katherine V. Smith, executive director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. “By showcasing these exceptional programs and initiatives—and the creative ways in which they’re shared—we strive to inspire others to do even more great work.”

Since the inaugural event in 2009, the Film Festival has received more than 400 submissions. Among last year’s winning entries were films that featured STEM education, lifelong fitness and well-being, and access to quality healthcare for uninsured individuals. Here's an overview of last year's finalists:

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, CSR, Conference, Film Festival

Reflecting on the season of giving

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Nov 1, 2016 9:41:37 AM

HiRes.jpgThe holiday season is upon us, and with it comes an increased focus on corporate giving initiatives. From localized donations such as food and toy drives to broader efforts like the annual #GivingTuesday campaign, companies are ramping up their corporate giving programs.  As our calendar year comes to an end and many are moving into new budget cycles this spring, it is a good time to assess your giving strategy and make sure it is designed to maximize both social and business value. All giving is good AND you can increase the effectiveness of your company’s giving program by employing the resources and capabilities unique to you, addressing the causes most relevant to your business operating context, and mobilizing your employees. If you activate your program on all three of these fronts, you will make an impact that continues well beyond the holidays.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Workplace Giving, Employee Engagement, communications, corporate giving

A New Era of Sustainability Reporting: The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Oct 31, 2016 2:28:50 PM

Corporate citizenship is one of the most dynamic and exciting fields in business today – the urgency of global issues, the evolving expectations of stakeholders, and the improvements in our ability to track and communicate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activity are trends that have created a vibrant, challenging, and ever-changing business ecosystem.

In response to this complex environment, companies have called on organizations like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to create a uniform and structured way to report credibly on the ESG issues that matter to their company and its stakeholders. GRI has responded.

On October 19, GRI issued their updated Sustainability Reporting Standards after nearly a year spent collecting comments, suggestions, and feedback from a variety of stakeholders.

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Topics: Sustainability, Reporting, GRI/G4

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Welcome to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship blog, we are your resource for corporate citizenship insights, research, trending topics and executive education. Our blog is a place to exchange ideas and learn about corporate citizenship.

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