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.
If you are a corporate citizenship professional, industry leader, or you simply want to support great corporate citizenship work that is being done across the globe, today's your day—voting is now underway for the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship's 10th annual Film Festival!
At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s International Corporate Citizenship Conference, CSR leaders from around the world gather to share insights, tools, and tactics. Below, we share a story from last year’s conference, appearing originally in Issue 20 of The Corporate Citizen magazine, which details how State Street—the event’s 2017 convening sponsor—is working with five partners to advance job readiness today while strengthening its future workforce.
This year, our 2018 convening sponsor Travelers will share the benefits of a long-term approach. Other speakers will include award-winning writer and speaker Terri Trespicio, as well as experts from EY, UPS, and more. Now is the best time to register, because for a limited time you SAVE $200 on registration!
The Winter 2018 issue of the Corporate Citizen Magazine, “Resilience, Responsibility, Results,” is now available!
In this issue, you’ll learn about companies that have cultivated resilience, committed themselves to continued corporate responsibility efforts, and are—thanks to all of their hard work—seeing tremendous results in their bottom line, within their company culture, and in the communities where their employees live and work.
- Managing Corporate Citizenship through Organizational Change —a look into how corporate citizenship professionals assess giving strategies to ensure that programs maximize both social and business value.
- Cause Marketing and Corporate Citizenship—an issue brief on the difference between cause marketing campaigns and corporate citizenship programs.
- The Virtuous Cycle of Sustainability—insights from two leading companies about their transformative environmental sustainability contributions.
- Corporate Citizenship with a B2B Focus—a deep-dive with four corporate citizenship leaders of B2B companies exploring how they focus their efforts to champion corporate citizenship.
- Education & Innovation: A Win-Win—a closer look at how two prominent companies have designed STEM education initiatives that align with business priorities.
- From Start to Finish—an exploration of how Kimberly-Clark has worked to create and maintain sustainable a supply chain.
Time is running out to submit your video to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship's 10th annual Film Festival, the winners of which will be honored at our upcoming International Corporate Citizenship Conference, held April 8-10 in Los Angeles.
If you haven't yet submitted a video—you should!
A variety of relevant research highlights the impact companies can make through video: Axonn Research found that seven in 10 people view brands more favorably after watching an engaging video about them, while an Animoto survey revealed that one in four customers lose interest in a product if it is not marketed with a video.
“Optimism is a force multiplier” ~ Colin Powell
As corporate citizenship professionals, our task is to create the world in which we want to do business and the world in which we want to live. This has never been an easy objective, but recently the challenges facing us have become even more apparent.
The past year has been a time of great change—and for many of us—those changes have at times been difficult to accept. However, while the past 12 months have been tumultuous, they have given me plenty of reasons to maintain, and even increase, my optimism.
2017 may have been full of events, both man-made and natural, that have caused all of us to pause and take stock of what it is that we value—withdrawal from the Paris Accord, exposure of pervasive sexual harassment, natural disasters of immense scale. It was gratifying to see that each of these and many other challenges elicited responses from corporate America as CEOs took action to affirm their companies’ core values.
Throughout the year, corporate leaders have acted decisively to commit to social and environmental progress like never before, advocating for immigration, LGBT rights, and environmental innovation. For example, following the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement—firms rallied to show that We are Still In, and solidified their pledges with strategic efforts—to such a great extent that the UN environmental chief announced recently that the United States will likely live up to the accord due to corporate efforts. Companies rallied around the victims of natural disasters around the globe, and are starting to send a decisive message that the workplace climate for women MUST change. It is these actions that give me cause to be optimistic.
To maximize results from corporate citizenship investments, CSR professionals must be sure to measure and evaluate the impacts created by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities. By properly measuring impact, companies gain the data and insights necessary to communicate maximum business and social value to stakeholders, strengthen corporate citizenship programs, and demonstrate a strategic link between corporate citizenship and business success. However, strategically measuring corporate citizenship means moving beyond the reporting of activities and outputs, and instead emphasizing outcomes and long-term impacts.