Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

21st Century Corporate Citizenship: An Excerpt

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jul 5, 2017 9:30:55 AM

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For more than 30 years, we at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship have worked to provide the resources and tools to help organizations make the most of their corporate citizenship programs.

While we’ve worked hard over the past few decades to deliver valuable research and insights, I—along with many of the leading corporate citizenship professionals with whom the Center has had the privilege of working—have felt that there was a need for a practical guide to take CSR to the next level. Dave Stangis, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company, shared this belief, and offered to co-author a book with me to fill this gap. The result: 21st Century Corporate Citizenship: A Practical Guide to Delivering Value to Society and Your Business. Our intention is to help you align environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives with business goals to create long-term success.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Responsible Corporate Leadership

Korean business positioned to practice corporate citizenship the 'right' way

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Feb 5, 2013 9:00:34 AM

At the end of 2012, I was honored to be invited to speak to a group of 500 executives in Seoul at the Korean Institute for Social Responsibility (KOSRI) meeting and film festival (original news item on Korea’s EtodayEnglish translation). Business has been an impressive engine of change in Korea – moving the country over the past 60 years from war-torn poverty to levels of prosperity that are on par with developed economies. It seems like progress can be endless in Korea and that anything can be achieved with hard work.

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Topics: Business Perspectives

Center survey reflects growth in importance of environmental concerns to business

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jan 8, 2013 5:49:30 AM

There is no shortage of perspectives about climate change, its causes, or the effects it has on the Earth and its inhabitants. With New York and the Mid-Atlantic States experiencing two “100-year storms” in the past 10 years, climate change has been on the minds of many. The economics are worth considering. According to a recent report issued by Munich RE, just shy of half of overall losses due to natural catastrophes happen in well-insured countries (the U.S. and Canada, the EU and Australia) but almost 90 percent of insured losses happen in those countries. As we think about how to manage risk, and as more people and corporations in developing economies seek to protect their economic progress, this challenge looms larger.

Executives who participated in our 2012 State of Corporate Citizenship survey make it clear that environmental concerns are growing in importance to their companies’ business success and survey respondents predict environmental programs will have the highest increases in investment among corporate citizenship priorities.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Environment, Sustainability

Exciting news and events coming soon from the Center

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Dec 6, 2012 8:15:07 AM

We’ve been on the road extensively and have met with executives from across North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe over this past year. Consistent with the findings in our 2012 State of Corporate Citizenship research report that will arrive in members’ inboxes this month, we continue to see evidence that business leaders recognize that corporate citizenship delivers real business results. This fifth biennial survey of the attitudes and commitments of business executives toward corporate citizenship will be available to members in print and via our website as well as in an executive summary PowerPoint presentation. Highlights of the report will be available to non-members in a PowerPoint presentation on our website.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Conference, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

Freedom from want

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Nov 21, 2012 9:57:26 AM

Norman Rockwell’s painting “Freedom from want” is perhaps the most iconic image of our national Thanksgiving holiday — a proud mom and pop presenting an enormous turkey to the head of a table of scrubbed family members. I had forgotten about this painting until listening to drive-time radio on my way to work and had not remembered it as anything other than an innocuous image of Americana.

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Topics: Business Perspectives

A transformation story: Engaging employees during our transition to Xylem Watermark

Posted by Michael Fields on Nov 12, 2012 6:30:19 AM

The past two years have been transformative for Xylem, and our company’s social investment and corporate citizenship program, Xylem Watermark.

Launched in 2008 by ITT Corporation, Watermark began as a three-year, $4 million commitment to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to children and families in need, and grew into a cumulative $14.5 million investment to engage employees and serve more than 1.5 million people globally. Watermark became a core part of our company and a tangible way for employees to live ITT’s values, so when, in January 2011, ITT announced its plan to separate into three individual businesses, it was no surprise employees were concerned about the program’s future. We received questions on Watermark’s Facebook page and ITT’s intranet asking if employee volunteer trips and matching gifts would continue, and if Xylem, the new standalone water company, would maintain the program’s nonprofit partnerships.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Engaging Employees

Public policy and private investment – Global corporate citizens as agents and ambassadors

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Oct 30, 2012 11:30:08 AM

In September I attended the Concordia Summit as the guest of a young Boston College alumnus. The Summit convened political and industry leaders from across the United States and around the world to discuss and promote industry/government initiatives in developing economies. This august group included U.S. political leaders President Clinton and Senator John McCain, Woodrow Wilson Institute leader and former congresswoman Jane Harmon; current and former world leaders, including Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former president of Poland, Laurent Lamothe, prime minister of Haiti; leaders of organizations that routinely intermediate between public and private interests, including Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank, and Ian Bremmer president of the Eurasia Group; and leaders from corporations including Donna Karan (represented by herself), Kate Spade New York, and Abbott Pharmaceuticals. Much of the discussion centered on how companies might think about their global citizenship and the need for private investment.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

CSC’s journey toward strategic corporate responsibility

Posted by TSimpson on Oct 3, 2012 7:35:47 AM

Corporate responsibility as a function is fairly new to CSC. Its first CR report was published only four years ago. Despite this short length of time, CSC has made rapid, impactful growth in its CR program and has been successful in integrating it into the overall strategy of the company.

Mark Delisi, CSC's Director of Corporate Responsibility, shared his thoughts recently with the Center on CSC's progress in sustainability and CR.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Membership, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Executives recognize value of corporate citizenship

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Sep 10, 2012 11:00:29 AM

We all know the imperatives that are used to compel corporations to make social and environmental investments. Whether talking about poverty, climate change, food security, or water scarcity – it is clear that we need solutions, and our need becomes more urgent each year.

Corporate decision makers may sometimes agree that those investments are needed but may also feel that they are not appropriate for the corporation to make because they do not see the connection to business success.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Research

The Corporate Citizenship Leadership Academy: How to effectively influence change

Posted by Tim Wilson on Aug 21, 2012 6:25:13 AM

At the heart of advancing corporate citizenship is organizational change, and that change comes in many forms. Whether it's the creation of strategy, the development of management structures, systems and policies, engaging employees and senior management, aligning initiatives to support the business, or embedding corporate citizenship into the culture and fabric of the business – these are all change challenges faced by corporate citizenship professionals. But no matter which challenges they face, the ability to lead effectively is critical.

Strong leadership skills are important to managing any aspect of business, but corporate citizenship leadership poses unique challenges. Managers responsible for advancing corporate citizenship rarely have formal authority to direct

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

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The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is your resource for insights, research, trending topics, and executive education in the corporate citizenship field.

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