Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Stakeholder engagement as strategy development

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Feb 10, 2017 2:26:52 PM

The following is excerpted from The State of Corporate Citizenship 2017. To learn more about how you can prioritize the corporate citizenship issues that are most important to your stakeholders and business context, consider joining online from October 2-November 22, 2017 for our Materiality: Determining Priorities for Corporate Citizenship Strategy and Reporting course.

While the 2017 State of Corporate Citizenship shows a declining interest in formal stakeholder engagement among executive respondents, engaging with both internal and external audiences can be an important component of any corporate citizenship program. Through stakeholder engagement, companies can fully understand their social, environmental, and economic impacts, and prioritize the issues that are most important to both stakeholders and their business context.

Many companies, like CBRE—the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm—use the insights they gather from stakeholders to inform a materiality assessment, creating a roadmap for more strategic time and resource allocation, and more comprehensive reporting.

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Topics: Stakeholder, Materiality, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting, Strategy, Engagement, Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

Merck Investing in Mothers: to reduce preventable maternal mortality worldwide

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Aug 17, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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 contextand make the best use of your resourcesconsider 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.150921_MERK_UGANDA_DAY4_KAMPALA_127_855_high.jpg

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Topics: Member Spotlight, Health & Wellness, Materiality, Corporate Community Involvement, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Human Rights, Signature Programs

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 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: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Stakeholder, Materiality, Strategy

Corporate Citizenship Conference Recap Day 3: Taking on the Future Together

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Mar 22, 2016 4:03:51 PM

The final day of the 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference was rich with inspiration and ideas, as attendees solidified connections, learned from each other and from experts in the field, and were introduced to next year’s Conference sponsor—State Street—during the event’s closing session.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Conference, Materiality, Network, Professional Development

Securing a sustainable supply chain: lessons from CSR research

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Oct 13, 2015 12:04:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Materiality, Supply Chain Management, Triple Bottom Line, Best Practices, Business to Business (B to B), Business to Consumer (B to C)

Corporate Citizenship Conference Recap Day 3: Breakout Sessions

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Apr 22, 2015 11:00:00 AM

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On Tuesday, April 21, the final day of the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, the learning continued with more breakout sessions throughout the day. Heads filled with new ideas and inspiration from the day before, conference attendees had the chance to attend two additional breakout sessions before heading back to put what they learned into action.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Conference, Materiality, Network, Professional Development

Finding the right areas and the right issues for YOUR company

Posted by elizabeth.rogers on Jul 23, 2014 7:31:55 AM

Want to increase the effectiveness of your corporate citizenship? One of your first steps should be to determine what is most important to the company. However, deciding upon the specific matters which most closely align with the company’s vision can be daunting. Fortunately, a process exists to aid in making this determination: materiality.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Stakeholder, Materiality

The Buzz about Materiality: Defining what's important

Posted by Lynnette McIntire on Feb 4, 2014 12:35:48 PM

On April 16 in Denver, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship will launch a new course titled "Materiality: What Matters to Corporate Citizenship Strategy and Reporting." The author of this article, Lynnette McIntire, will be the instructor. To register, click here.

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Topics: Materiality, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting, Benchmarking