Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Demonstrate your value through strategic measurement

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jun 1, 2016 10:15:46 AM

“I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.”—Bill Gates

When done right, corporate citizenship is a serious investment of money, resources, and time. To ensure that your CSR programs continue to receive the funding and attention they deserve, you must be able to demonstrate—to your leaders, your partners, and broader stakeholders—the return on that investment, or the ROI. What do your efforts offer the business? How do they advance the missions of your nonprofit partners? How are they benefiting your employees, customers, and shareholders? 

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Measurement

Understanding your material issues is essential to corporate citizenship success

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on May 4, 2016 8:56:18 AM

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”—Albert Einstein

What did Einstein mean by this? There have been two spins on this statement. The first being that some things are too complex to be understood fully and thereafter simplified and the second being that real understanding allows us to focus on what matters and describe the problem to be solved.

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Why is this relevant to the corporate citizenship practice? Our work context is incredibly complex. The arenas routinely touched by corporate citizenship programs include the natural environment, financial markets, investors, communities, employees. How do we balance those priorities? Creating a materiality assessment focused on opportunities for success and risk of negative outcomes is critically important. Understanding our goals as problems that we are solving for helps to keep in focus the most material facts of our case as they shift or intensify over time and guide our allocation of effort and resources. The Center has resources that can help you determine which issues are most important to your success.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, materality

Activate your corporate citizenship network

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Apr 5, 2016 2:20:55 PM

Just a few weeks ago, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship held our annual International Corporate Citizenship Conference. More than 500 CSR experts joined us in Atlanta for nearly three days of insights, information, and sharing.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Sustainability

Collaboration as key to a sustainable and prosperous future

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Mar 1, 2016 2:41:27 PM

We should not only use the brains we have but all that we can borrow.”-Woodrow Wilson

As corporate citizenship professionals, you have a uniquely important job. You are required to create, operate, and communicate in ways to differentiate your company from its competitors, and often expected to work with them—as well as with many other partners—to help address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Issues like climate change, global poverty and hunger, and future workforce preparation cannot be addressed by one program or organization alone—no matter how innovative or dedicated. Tackling these problems, and many others, requires the collaborative effort of many.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Executive Education, CSR, Conference

Want to build your company’s brand value? The research points to corporate citizenship

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Feb 3, 2016 9:30:00 AM

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” -Benjamin Franklin

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A company’s brand and reputation are important assets. They can influence consumer perception, increasing loyalty and purchase intent. They are important forces in attracting and retaining top talent. Perhaps most importantly, they are major components of intangible value, which can account for more than 80 percent of market value

We may call the value “intangible”, but the results of positive brands and reputations can and have been evaluated—and valued in cold hard cash. According to a 2010 study, brand and reputation have the potential to raise the market value of a company over and above the book value—and by more than just a little.[i]

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Topics: Business Perspectives

Build on corporate citizenship success in 2016

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jan 6, 2016 9:30:00 AM

“As an old ecologist I am also getting impatient. It’s been a long time. If we don’t convert all of this heat into light and all of this excitement into work, we will, I am afraid, be badly frustrated… Excitement cannot be sustained unless there are results... What I am concerned with is not what is wrong with the world, but what do we have to do to put it right.” - Peter Drucker, 1971

BuildSuccess_20150105.jpgIn 2015, we saw major advances in the way that world leaders, businesses, and the general public perceive and prioritize environmental, social, and governance issues. In September, leaders from around the world agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—complete with 169 targets—to eradicate poverty and hunger, foster safe and inclusive societies, and combat global warming by 2030. In December, representatives from 195 nations adopted the Paris Climate Agreement, with the vital aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to halt global temperature increases and maintain life as we know it.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Sustainability, Management Practices

Corporate Citizenship Conference : Global Citizens / Local Communities

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Dec 2, 2015 9:50:18 AM

2016ConferenceLogo.pngEffective corporate citizenship professionals are always looking ahead, analyzing the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that are emerging, and modifying their own efforts to plan and account for them. This is a complex task that only becomes more challenging as the global business context becomes more integrated.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Environmental Sustainability, Sustainability

Future trends in sustainability reporting

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Nov 4, 2015 2:49:45 PM

Today, investors use social and environmental performance KPIs as a proxy for assessing the quality of management and—increasingly—to measure risk. Now, the conversation is no longer about whether a company should report, but rather what they should consider when they do. How can companies gain the greatest possible value from their reporting efforts? Where should companies set performance goals? How and what should they measure? What frameworks should they use? How will report readers use the information?

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Sustainability, Reporting

Heating up the fight against climate change

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Oct 7, 2015 9:06:18 AM

Over the past year, the debate about what actions should be taken to halt climate change has continued in earnest. Involvement from experts, religious leaders, companies, activists, and consumers has reached a fever pitch, and governments have responded. The United States and China reached a historic agreement to curb emissions and promote renewable energy, which has led to advancements such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, and the world’s largest cap and trade program. The United Nations is ramping up for COP21—the 21st Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—and has included climate change in its new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were accepted in late September by all 193 member states.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Environment, Sustainability

Corporate citizenship progress through lifelong learning

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Sep 2, 2015 11:42:58 AM


I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi

LightbulbsThe importance of lifelong learning has been championed by great iconoclasts from Gandhi to Picasso. Through their own curiosity and desire to make things different and better, these people changed the world and the way that subsequent generations think about everything from art to citizenship. In many ways, the work of our members at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is similar. Bringing the assets of business to the table to solve some of our most intractable environmental and social problems demands new ways of thinking about the world.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Executive Education

About Us

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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