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.
To tackle global issues like climate change, poverty, and health and wellness, individuals across sectors have to work together cooperatively.
Every day at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we work with companies to realize their full capacity to create global change, and we know that work is not undertaken alone.
Our members think carefully about how their local engagements contribute to the bigger picture and about their impacts on a variety of stakeholders. Our members engage with those outside the corporate walls to understand where they can put their assets to work and how they can prevent negative impacts. These companies engage a broad range of supporters AND critics to ensure well-informed decisions based on a variety of perspectives.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” -Benjamin Franklin
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]
Since 1995, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship has studied how companies invest in communities and how these efforts connect to their businesses—and has published the findings in the Community Involvement study. Over the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed the role of community involvement evolve to become a strategic component of business.
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?
At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we have been busy finishing the analysis of our 2015 study of how companies are managing and executing the community involvement activities within their corporate citizenship efforts, and expect the final report to be released this fall.
Effective corporate citizenship programs look not only at the social issues they seek to address, but also at the root causes of those issues, assessing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues both at the macro and micro levels simultaneously.
Trillions of dollars are invested in sustainability. But trillions are not. What gives?
This year's International Corporate Citizenship Conference demonstrated that good progress has been made for the sustainability investment case, but also that much has not changed in the past decade. Michael Dell, CEO of recently de-listed Dell, described that going private to attract business investors with a longer-term mindset was a strategic, sustainable investment decision.
The holiday season is a great time for corporate citizenship, as companies and consumers come together to give back to the communities in which they live, work, and do business. During December, CSR practitioners have been called upon to organize countless corporate giving and volunteer initiatives, with impressive results. Just a few weeks ago, companies rallied to gain support for #GivingTuesday, and saw a whopping 36 percent increase in donations. Some companies, like Center member Microsoft, stepped up their game by matching donations benefiting Microsoft Youthspark, a company-wide, global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youths by 2015.