Corporate Citizenship Blog

The more things change...

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jan 3, 2017 8:00:00 AM

“To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”—Winston Churchill

Investment in a stable and prosperous society is an investment in future business performance. We’ve seen corporate commitment to this ideal in action during the development and ratification of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in the fight for  U.S. marriage equality. More and more, companies are vocalizing their support of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues—and are executing strategic plans to create the change they know is required to achieve a sustainable economy. 

The emerging U.S. policy agenda could make the work even more challenging than it has been for the last decade. Especially if it is in conflict with the policies of global market economies in which your company likely operates. So what is to be done? Cling tightly to your coffee mug that reads, “stay calm and carry on” and do just that. There is overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and human induced and socio-economic research that underscores the social ills that accompany inequality. The companies that have the courage to be among the first to make real commitments to improving the environmental and social conditions in their operating environments are the ones that have the opportunity to use those commitments as positive differentiators with institutional investors, customers, and the general public. 

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Corporate Citizenship, Sustainability, Reporting, Management Practices, Measurement, Sustainability Reporting, SDGs

A New Era of Sustainability Reporting: The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Oct 31, 2016 2:28:50 PM

Corporate citizenship is one of the most dynamic and exciting fields in business today – the urgency of global issues, the evolving expectations of stakeholders, and the improvements in our ability to track and communicate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activity are trends that have created a vibrant, challenging, and ever-changing business ecosystem.

In response to this complex environment, companies have called on organizations like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to create a uniform and structured way to report credibly on the ESG issues that matter to their company and its stakeholders. GRI has responded.

On October 19, GRI issued their updated Sustainability Reporting Standards after nearly a year spent collecting comments, suggestions, and feedback from a variety of stakeholders.

Reporting20161027.jpg

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Topics: Sustainability, Reporting, GRI/G4

Corporate Citizen Magazine Issue 18: Data Make Meaning

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Oct 14, 2016 8:56:54 AM

The Fall 2016 [Data Make Meaning] issue of the Corporate Citizen Magazine is now available!

TabletwithIssue18.jpgIn this issue, you'll learn about companies that are collecting and using data to create innovative programs, address social and environmental issues, and measure and report on their progress.

Highlights include:

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Reporting, Data Philanthropy, Value of corporate social responsibility

The GRI reporting framework is changing. What do you need to know?

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Sep 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM

GRI-1.jpgTo keep up with global trends and challenges, GRI continually refines its guidelines, employing a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure that the reporting tool aligns the current needs of companies with the needs of society to better support meaningful change through corporate action. This year, GRI is transitioning G4—its most comprehensive and up-to-date reporting framework—from guidelines to standards, and has proposed three Universal Standards, as well as 35 Topic-Specific Standards. The organization is in the process of receiving feedback from global stakeholders on its draft Standards, having released them in April.

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Topics: Reporting, GRI/G4, Sustainability Reporting

Reporting on meaningful change

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jul 2, 2016 9:30:00 AM

GRI-ReportingonMeaningfulChange.jpgIn the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that the efforts of the public and private sectors are inextricably linked. To meet ambitious social and environmental targets like those outlined in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress must be tracked and evaluated by all the estates and actors of society.

It is clear in contemporary society that most stakeholders see companies as the actors that have the resources, know-how, and efficiency to achieve the social and environmental improvements necessary to realize the SDGs and goals of the Paris Agreement.

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Topics: Business Perspectives, Reporting

The Role of Reporting in Achieving a Sustainable Economy

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Jun 9, 2016 9:08:16 AM

The following is excerpted from Issue 16 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how sustainability reporting can help inform and advance your efforts, joining us for our GRI and CDP courses. As a certified training partner for both GRI and CDP, we’ll help you understand and utilize two of the leading sustainability frameworks to drive both social and environmental progress—and business results.

In 2015, world leaders came together to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate, and the UN unveiled 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—complete with 169 targets—that aim to eradicate poverty and hunger, foster safe and inclusive societies, and halt global warming by 2030. Here, a group of top business and sustainability leaders discuss business practices that will assure progress toward these gamechanging sustainability targets.BCCCC_UPS_panel.jpg

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Topics: Reporting

Corporate citizenship reporting advances ESG issues and your business

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on May 18, 2016 8:59:01 AM

Today’s corporate citizenship reports are more engaging and relevant, and are communicating the positive environmental, social, governance, and business value that companies are creating. A corporate citizenship report was once a nice to have; now approximately 93 percent of the Global 250 issue them.

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Topics: Reporting

Integrating sustainability for maximum business and social value

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Nov 19, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Land-Ocean-Temp.gifEnvironmental sustainability is a critical business issue for companies across the globe. The world’s population is growing, nonrenewable resources are being depleted, and 2014 was the warmest year on record. All of this is expected to be accompanied by increasingly severe energy and environmental problems that could potentially threaten supply chains, production processes, and operations. Moreover, as businesses are often seen as some of the greatest contributors to pollution, waste, and environmental problems, they are increasingly pressured to not just reduce waste or use less energy, but to develop sustainable practices and policies that will preserve and even improve the environments around them.

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Topics: Sustainability, Reporting, Management Practices

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

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: CSR, Reporting, Research, Supply Chain

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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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