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September 02, 2014
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Sandy's Big Price for Small Businesses

 According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, up to 90% of small businesses get the majority of their business from within two miles of their front doors. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) estimates that between 60,000 and 100,000 small businesses have already been negatively impacted and as many as 30% of them will fail in the coming months.
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COMMIT!Forum Shines a Spotlight on Evolving CR Issues

 Internet freedom, human rights, trust, transparency and youth programs were just a few of the issues discussed at the 2012 COMMIT!Forum this past October in New York City. The speakers –CEOs, government leaders, policy-makers and heads of non-profit organizations – noted in the follow-up interviews that the Forum allowed them to engage the 700-person audience in how important these issues are to business leaders and their stakeholders. 

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A Gold Medal for Corporate Philanthropy

Hershey Foods Teams with Former Olympian Carl Lewis to Teach Kids Fitness and Moderation

I wrote a column a few weeks ago about corporate fitness and wellness programs. I decried the lack of planning “responsible” companies were directing at the health of their employees in the area of wellness. Shortly after the article ran I received a call from a Hershey’s representative about programs they were running to instill healthy values in kids. The spokesperson for the program was none other than Carl Lewis, the great Olympian who was voted the “Olympian of the Century” for the Twentieth Century by none other than the International Olympic Committee.

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Making the "Body Corporate" Healthy Starts with Employees

CSC—Computer Sciences Corporation—just announced that it had been awarded Gold Level Achievement in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2012 Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition program. I wanted to immediately congratulate CSC on the achievement. Then I wondered, why is this award special? Why aren’t all companies at a gold level for this kind of achievement in promoting their employees’ health?
One of the most clearly defined areas of crossover between corporate responsibility and other departments of any big business is the intersection between corporate responsibility and human resources. Employee health and wellness should be at the core of any executive leadership agenda. I have spent considerable time in my career in the presence of the CEO’s of major companies. When you ask them about what concerns them, talent is always near the top of their lists. Concern for talent needs to extend well past the recruitment and retention of competence to the availability to perform physically, emotionally and mentally.
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Building Our Body of CR knowledge

What makes a corporate responsibility (CR) program successful? Do an organization’s structure, staffing, budget impact success in achieving goals? What’s the effect of executive engagement in CR?

These are just a few of the questions CR Magazine and NYSE-Euronext have sought to answer over the past couple of years of research into CR practices.Thanks to strong response from the CR community, we’ve learned a few things about the state of corporate citizenship...

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As More Companies Develop Corporate Responsibility Strategies, Gaps in the Profession Remain

U.S. Chamber of Commerce BCLC and CROA benchmark the evolving professional field.

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Climate Science is Useless (to Business): Time to send scientists to b-school & business leaders back to science class

Kyoto. Montreal. Durban. Rio.Venerable cities all, but, with the exception of Rio (only because it hasn’t happened yet), each is also synonymous with failure. Failure to get consensus on the future of the environment and sustainable development.
 
But why? When I speak with individual business and government leaders a broad consensus exists on the need for action. The barrier seems to be politics. So let’s by-pass the politics. To do that, though, we need a different kind of collective-action—one based on science and grounded in data.
 
The problem with science is that it’s mostly aimed at scientists. The “big science” coming out of scientific academies and institutions is aimed either at other scientists or at the big multi-national conferences. Let’s flip that on its head.
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Where CSR Fits On The Board's Agenda

According to the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) 2011 Public Company Governance Survey, when asked to name the top three issues for the board,only 1.5% of corporate directors picked “Corporate Social Responsibility” among the highest priorities for the board in 2011.

 
But what counts as corporate responsibility (CR) and when and how should boards and CEOs take an interest in it?  Read more...
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Do Corporate Responsibility “Best Practices” Really Exist?

In short, no. 
 
Although there are a growing number of examples of “successful practices”. More often than not, companies are still sorting out what CR really means for them. While companies have an important role to play in tackling some of our most pressing challenges, each company’s CR strategy has to make sense for their industry, their business model, and the identity of their individual organization. So rarely does CR look the same at different companies. Moreover, this remains a nascent field, making it a little early declare any practice “best”.
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Leveraging Deficits: How the Best Corporate Citizens drove more effective cross-sector collaboration during the Great Recession

In last week's blog post, I pointed to the emergence of a "renaissance" in how companies, NGOs, and governments are collaborating to tackle some of our toughest challenges. This week I'm going to look in-depth at the specific new models and practices we're seeing emerge. 
 
Throughout 2011 we looked for successful practices in cross-sector collaboration by examining commitments made as part of the annual COMMIT!Campaign and by talking with CR Magazines Best Corporate Citizens. There were stark differences in the way these organizations engage with NGOs and governments as compared with most companies and donors. The best:
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