I recently had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion as part of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship 2017 International Corporate Citizenship Conference. Phyllis A. James, executive vice president and chief diversity and corporate responsibility officer at MGM Resorts International, moderated the conversation, which also included Jack Bergen, vice president of corporate projects at Arconic, and Caroline Chambers, vice president and diversity programs manager at Comerica Bank. Together, we explored how an integrated approach to corporate responsibility and diversity and inclusiveness can help achieve business goals.
Helping communities rebound from a traumatic event or natural disaster requires multi-level and cross-sector effort. There are immediate needs to be met—such as trauma support—and in the case of extreme weather events—food, water, and shelter. To make the most of their disaster relief programs, corporate citizenship professionals must partner internally and externally to make the best possible use of all available resources, from community involvement efforts like corporate giving and volunteering to more operational activities like security, logistics, and supply chain management.
Disasters, no matter what their scale, have economic ramifications in addition to the social and environmental consequences. According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, wildfires, floods, droughts, and other natural disasters were responsible for more than a trillion dollars in economic damage in 2015 and that number is only expected to increase as climate-related natural disasters become more frequent.
The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can develop and execute a stakeholder engagement strategy, structure, and process to maximize business and social value, consider joining us in Phoenix, AZ on December 6-7, 2017 for our Stakeholder Engagement: Identify, Prioritize, and Act course.
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s 2015 Community Involvement Study finds that nearly 60 percent of companies engage employees at all levels and one-third of companies engage stakeholders other than employees and customers to help determine which social issues to support (see Figure A). Through its foundation, Northwestern Mutual exhibits the importance of strategic stakeholder engagement through its community involvement efforts, especially its signature Childhood Cancer Program.
The following is excerpted from the most recent issue of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can deliver maximum business and social value through strategic partnerships, consider joining us for our Effective Corporate Citizenship Partnership Management course.
For some companies, the best way to achieve significant progress on an issue is to develop an effective program and then bring it to scale in a way that stays true to its foundational purpose while remaining adaptable enough to account for local needs. Accenture—a leading global professional services company—has done just that. By taking a focused and customizable approach to establishing powerful partnerships, their Skills to Succeed initiative, which launched in 2009, has helped equip more than 1.2 million people to date with the workplace and entrepreneurial skills needed to compete in the global economy.
The following is excerpted from Issue 17 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can create programs that prioritize the corporate citizenship issues that are most important to your stakeholders and business context—and make the best use of your resources—consider joining online from October 2-November 22, 2017 for our Materiality: How to Determine what Matters to Corporate Citizenship Strategy and Reporting course.
Around the world, leaders are coming together to address social and environmental issues, and the role for business has never been greater.
In 2015, corporate citizenship took unprecedented steps forward. Multiple stakeholders—including business leaders—worked to develop multilateral agreements to combat climate change and ensure sustainable progress. The Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent years of work and hope. With 17 new objectives and 169 specific targets that address issues ranging from education and inequality to economic growth and the environment, the SDGs are encompassing.
Before Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship member company, Google, became one of the most successful companies of our time, and before co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin joined forces, the two incessantly argued with one another at Stanford. Despite their differences of opinion and background—Brin is from Russia and Page is from Michigan—the two found themselves working together on a paper, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” the findings of which became the intellectual basis of Google. These unlikely partners found common ground ultimately in their shared passion for data mining.
The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can engage your employees and contribute to your communities through employee volunteering programs, consider joining us for our Employee Volunteer Programs with Purpose course.
Community involvement efforts—once a way for well-intentioned companies to connect with people in their area—are now an essential part of corporate citizenship programs and have evolved to become a strategic component of business.
Nonprofit board placement programs have grown in popularity and importance as companies and employees realize the rewards of sustained, high-level engagement in community organizations. According to the 2015 Community Involvement Study, nearly 70 percent of companies offer a nonprofit board program to their employees as a part of their volunteer program offerings (see Figure A). This is a huge change from 2011, where the same study revealed that only 26 percent of companies offered nonprofit board programs to all of their employees.
The following is excerpted from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s most recent issue of the Corporate Citizen magazine.
Jessica Allen, standing, is an Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow, serves as caregiver for her husband Charles, and holds down a job with the Yellow Ribbon Fund. While serving in Afghanistan, Charles stepped on an IED and everything changed—he became a double amputee. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is one example of the nonprofits supported by USAA and The USAA Foundation to help military caregivers with programs that promote their emotional well-being and financial empowerment.
With a new comprehensive corporate citizenship strategy, USAA sharpens its focus to increase positive impact on military families and local communities. In 1922, 25 Army officers in San Antonio, Texas, joined together to insure their automobiles because they had difficulty getting insurance due to their high-risk professions. These officers formed an insurance company to help protect one another—an association based on trust and the bond of military service.
From that humble beginning, the organization has grown to become a leading brand for customer experience. Today, USAA serves more than 11 million military servicemembers and their families with insurance, banking, investments, and financial advice. The organization’s corporate citizenship focus through the years had been broadly focused and mostly oriented toward its San Antonio hometown.
The following is excerpted from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s most recent research report, the Community Involvement Study 2015. To learn more about corporate giving, consider joining us for Corporate Giving: An Introduction to Corporate and Foundation Giving.
To most effectively address social issues through community involvement efforts, many companies take a holistic approach, developing efforts that work in tandem to achieve the greatest possible business and social value. Workplace giving efforts are an important component of these efforts, and are often used by companies to augment the more traditional corporate giving and volunteer initiatives.