The following is excerpted from Issue 19 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can demonstrate the value of your corporate citizenship programs through data and metrics, consider joining us Dec. 6-8 in Pheonix, AZ for our Measurement and Evaluation course, also available online Jan. 8-Mar. 2, 2018 .
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.
The following is excerpted from Issue 16 of The Corporate Citizen magazine. To learn more about how companies are using corporate citizenship to achieve business and social value, check out our issue archive.
As a global commerce leader that connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world, eBay empowers people and creates opportunity. In late 2015, the company decided to make a large investment in the engine that drives this success—its people. In December 2015, the commerce leader announced new paid family and medical leave policies, joining the ranks of tech companies such as Google that have recognized that a healthy and engaged workforce is key to retaining talent and staying competitive.
Healthier employees are more productive and engaged in their work. They are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time for illnesses. They also perceive their companies as invested in their well-being and as more attractive places to work. However, the risks of an unhealthy workforce are as significant and numerous as the benefits of a healthy one.
In America, heart disease  is the #1 killer, taking more lives each year than all cancers combined. And although diseaseprevalence is similar across genders and ethnicities, awareness of risk factors and disparity in treatment rates are not. Close the Gap, a Boston Scientific educational initiative, was established in 2006 to address disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. Initially focused solely on cardiovascular health, Close the Gap recently expanded its mission to address healthcare disparities that exist in other disease states, including asthma, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.[2-5]
Humana is a health care company that’s committed to helping people achieve life-long well-being. And for us, this starts with our associates. Encouraging everyone at Humana to focus on their health is a top priority not only because we know it helps us live better, but also because we know a culture of health fosters a more engaged workforce.
It is generally accepted that volunteering is a good thing to do and a common method by which members of a society helps those most in need. But is it true volunteering also benefits the volunteer? UnitedHealth Group wanted to look into this phenomenon further so they decided to conduct a comprehensive survey and analysis on what effect volunteering has on an individual. Carol Simon and Kate Rubin from UnitedHealth led our recent Webinar, Doing Good is Good for You, relaying findings from their 2013 Health and Volunteering Study which supports the positive effects employees and employers receive from volunteering.
For the people of UnitedHealth Group our business goals and social mission are entwined. To help build healthier communities, we believe it is necessary to be active and responsible citizens. Volunteerism plays a vital role in making this happens, leveraging our greatest asset – our people – in making a difference.
At UnitedHealth Group we invest in workplace volunteerism because it reflects the core values we hold as an organization, and is meaningful to our employees. Last year, 81 percent of our employees and 96 percent of executives volunteered in their local communities.
We’ve also invested in research demonstrating that volunteering is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In our study with the Optum Institute, Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study, we found that people who volunteer feel better – physically, mentally and emotionally. And volunteers tell us that they are convinced their health is better because of the things they do when they volunteer. Doing good is good for you!
Every day for more than a year, residents of Bell County (pop: 28,750) in southeastern Kentucky have been taking steps – literally – to improve their health and wellness. They’ve strolled in two new fitness parks, vigorously exercised outdoors, taken walks together, used the community swimming pool more often and grown an organic garden. They’re participating in one company’s unique corporate social responsibility initiative – and they’re helping make a tangible difference.
Humana, a leading health and well-being company, along with partner Microclinic International, a public health and development nonprofit, is spearheading and funding this first-of-its-kind approach called Team Up 4 Health. The goal is to curb preventable chronic diseases through behavior changes that are encouraged and supported by friends and family. The program seeks to determine if, by working together, people (in this case, an entire county) can eat better, get more exercise and encourage each other to make healthier choices.