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.
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.
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!
For an in-depth training on how to prepare senior leaders to engage in skills-based volunteering in the local community, take the course: Nonprofit Board Service: Getting Your Team Ready to Serve on Feb 7-8, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA.
Serving on a nonprofit board is more than a high-impact way for executives to perform community service— it also provides benefits to the executive’s company.
Nonprofit boards provide an excellent, low-cost training opportunity for senior leaders. Executives that serve on nonprofit boards are able to expand their skillset by applying their expertise in a new context, all while engaging with and learning from people and communities from different professional and personal backgrounds.
At its core, nonprofit board service is a specialized type of skills-based volunteering, which is found to add value to the workplace. According to Deloitte, 91 percent of HR professionals agree that skills-based volunteering builds and hones business and leadership skills. Regina McNally, vice president of strategic workforce programs at State Street, summarized this effect: “Those [that engage in skills-based volunteering] learn in a whole new environment to let their brain work in a different way and bring those new skillsets back to the office.”
For more than a year, Dave Stangis—Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company—and I have working together to help corporate citizenship professionals align environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives with business goals to create long-term success. Our first book, released earlier this year, served as a step-by-step handbook for developing and implementing effective corporate citizenship programs.
Now, we’re pleased to share a second book—a guide for the business executive who is working to build a more ethical, resilient, sustainable, and profitable company. Titled The Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship, the book provides the information needed to understand how corporate citizenship builds reputation, delivers value to the bottom line, and mobilizes an organization’s employees and customers.
A company’s corporate citizenship impact extends beyond its headquarters. To address environmental, social, and governance issues effectively, CSR professionals today must look beyond their own operations and deep into their supply chain. How and where are materials sourced? How are the components of products developed? What are the environmental and human rights ramifications of those processes? Issues as serious as child labor, conflict minerals, and climate change can only be effectively tackled when a company’s commitments to corporate citizenship and reporting are adopted by their suppliers and partners.
Warren Buffet tells a story about Charlie Munger that illustrates a great life lesson,
At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we are privileged to spend our days working with corporations to help them achieve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives—objectives that—if successfully achieved—will make the world a better place. This purpose informs our mission, strategies, and goals. We try to make your hours efficient by doing some of the work for you.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. The world is a very different place than it was 30 years ago. When the Center was established in 1985 with just 35 people from 35 companies connecting to our mission to help companies know more, do more, and achieve more with their environmental, social, and governance investments, debate about the human contributions to climate change had just begun in earnest and institutionalized corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs were new practices.
Today, most business leaders recognize the importance and value of adopting a formal sustainability platform. According to the Value of sustainability reporting, in addition to the cost savings, effective sustainability practices improve operational efficiencies and natural resource stewardship. However, one of the main challenges is ensuring employees and team leaders incorporate sustainability in their day-to-day decisions in the workplace.