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.
Connecting business and social value is the goal of corporate citizenship work, and our member companies are continually finding creative and meaningful ways to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities into their companies’ day-to-day operations. According to the Center’s State of Corporate Citizenship 2017, integrating corporate citizenship creates business value for companies (see Figure A), so it’s no wonder executives plan to increase funding to these efforts in the coming years (see Figure B).
As more and more companies try to connect their social and environmental impacts to the bottom line, measurement and accountability are becoming a standard. One of the ways to accomplish this is by formally accounting for your company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts and integrating those metrics into the company’s annual financial reports. Dogeared, Inc. decided to formally incorporate ESG standards and transparency into its business by becoming a Certified B Corporation. Given the growing community of B Corporations around the globe, the Center reached out to co-founder, Merlin Clarke, who explained the process of becoming a B Corporation and how it has impacted Dogeared’s corporate citizenship goals.