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December 18, 2014
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The Widening Divide to Transforming Business Value

Art Stewart
Management Consultant; Writer; Speaker; Educator

As the reporting sector achieves new milestones in transparency, materiality and integration, other segments of the global responsibility movement struggle amidst the natural tensions created by the missionary zeal of the change agents – and the reflexive resistance of the old-guard establishment who perceives change (to say nothing of transformation) as threatening.

It’s no stretch to recognize some correlation between what characterizes America’s current public policy debates, and the tug of war to fully embrace and assimilate responsible behavior in the journey to a new business paradigm.

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How to Tell Staff About Your New Employee Giving Program

Ryan Scott
CEO
Causecast

The wrong way:
Email to employees that looks something like this:

“Team:

On behalf of [company name], I’m proud to announce the launch of our new employee volunteer program. We’re working with Causecast to make volunteering easy, so look for opportunities and information on our new online volunteer and giving platform. You’ll be receiving more emails that walk you through our new program, step by step, and you can always contact Linda in HR with any questions.

We hope to see you at our Done in a Day event next Saturday, in service for the local food bank. As you know, this nonprofit is a special one to me, and your participation means a lot to me and the rest of senior management.

 

 

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Making Sustainability Personal this Holiday Season

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

If you are like me, you’ll spend this week recovering from a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. At my house, our adult children and a close friend joined us for quite a meal that included a 27 pound turkey that seemed just a little better than average this year.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that may better than any other begin to help us understand the idea of flourishing. Recently, I wrote about flourishing as a higher level of sustainability. John Ehrenfeld perhaps defined it best when he stated in his book, Sustainability by Design, that sustainability means “the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the Earth forever.” As we sit in a state of “turkey contentment,” let’s consider this definition.

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A Look Back – A Look Ahead


Allie Williams, IOM

Executive Director, CRA

A Look Back – A Look Ahead

2014 rolled in with lots of excitement. The CRA advisory board met in Las Vegas to discuss the plan for the first full year under my reign and Jim Murren’s chairmanship. I’m thrilled to say that it was an incredible year. Membership nearly doubled as did engagement with the practitioners. We discussed a pilot webinar series – perhaps three or four educational opportunities. 

 

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From Where I Sit (December 2014)

Jim Murren
CEO and Chairman
MGM Resorts International

This is the time of the year when “community” takes on an even greater meaning.

In that spirit, my 50,000 colleagues in the Las Vegas area donated 1.6 million pounds of food to Three Square Food Bank, the region's largest food bank. We believe it was one of the largest food drives in the United States.

This year’s donation, collected during our fifth annual food drive, exceeded the previous record donation by 75 percent. That record was also set by my colleagues when they donated 922,000 pounds of food last year.

 

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Executive Director's Report (November 2014)

 

Allie Williams, IOM
Executive Director, CRA

The CRA Webinar Series provides members the opportunity to learn from some of the corporate responsibility community’s top thought leaders. In January of 2014, we initiated a pilot program to schedule four educational webinars. The Professional Development Thought Leadership Council (TLC) busied themselves - and by the end of our first meeting, we had the four scheduled. Would four be enough to share all the knowledge this team offers? No!

 

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Flourish or Perish: Taking Sustainability to the Next Level

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

New sources of value – in other words, successful opportunities for business - exist within the challenges of our times. This is not a call for benevolence or charity, but highlights opportunity.

We have heard the same thing said about sustainability. Sustainability, commonly defined as the merger of planet, people and profit (the “three Ps” or the triple bottom line), has been touted as a source of competitive advantage by authors such as Peter Senge and Chris Laszlo. Although more popular now than ever, a review of popular blogs suggest that sustainability initiatives may be flagging. Possible causes can include leadership changes or “sustainability fatigue.”

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Addressing Sustainability through Product Selection

Lisa Owen
Vice President of Business Development & Marketing
RSC Bio Solutions

When it comes to sustainability, definitions are not “one size fits all”— they are specific to the industry, company structure and internal culture and influenced by a number of factors that are unique to a company. To some, sustainability could mean a percentage of their products are from sustainable resources and, to others, it could mean offsetting the company’s carbon footprint. It is important to understand what sustainability means for your company specifically and tailor sustainable initiatives to those particular views, goals and objectives.

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‘Tis the Season for Giving Campaigns and Matching Gifts

Ryan Scott
CEO
Causecast

The holidays are here (just about), and that means that seasonal giving campaigns are cranking into high gear. Before you know it, we’ll be bombarded with holiday viral campaigns like

Office Max’s

popular time-killer, Elf Yourself, and opening earth-conscious holiday e-cards from companies instead of the snail mail kind. Since an increasing percentage of shoppers use mobile platforms to do their holiday shopping, our cell phones will be hit with seasonal promotions that benefit charities, like the ones that Starbucks did for

The Global Fund

to help fight AIDS in Africa. It’s that time of year when most philanthropic giving transpires, so now is when companies are pulling out all of the stops to grab the attention and charitable dollars of their customers.

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Pro Bono Week: A Time For Skills to Shine

Ryan Scott
CEO
Causecast

What’s so special about pro bono?

According to Taproot, the leading national advocate for pro-bono service, pro bono has been a quiet partner in many of the key social movements in our nation’s last 75 years. Taproot should know; the organization has long been an instrumental player in the pro bono movement. Through award-winning programs, groundbreaking thought leadership and partnerships with companies to develop and scale corporate pro bono programs, Taproot works to engage the nation’s millions of business professionals in applying not just their time, but their skills, in the service of the nation’s nonprofit community.

 

 

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How Good People Get Caught in Ethical Traps

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

It has been over 10 years now, but I remember it like a scene in a movie. Work was progressing normally, overviewing spreadsheets for the various individually-managed real estate projects owned by the company for which I worked as the Chief Financial Officer.

The spreadsheets had always made sense to me, but now the numbers weren’t adding up. Sources of money were unclear. I began to see a pattern: bank loan proceeds designated for one project was being unethically (and perhaps illegally) shifted to other, unrelated projects. What was worse, this activity appeared to have been going on for some time and I’d unknowingly signed off on several of these transactions.

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The Contradictory Nature of Progress

Art Stewart
Management Consultant
Research Fellow, Center for Business Ethics - Bentley University

Are things becoming a bit too paradoxical lately, or is it just me?

Many of us in the CR movement are encouraged by developments of late that support a maturing of the practice.

However, we are equally bewildered by contrary indicators that at best suggest we still have a long way to go in C-suite consciousness. Could it be that we have lost our grip on the push to restore public trust and confidence in the integrity of business? Have we abdicated the moral high road in the obligation of business to reconcile the gap created from its past sins?

 

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Your Company is Socially Engaged, But Do Your Employees Even Know?

Ryan Scott
CEO
Causecast

Another year, another grim report on employee engagement.  Gallup’s 2013 “State of the Global Workplace Report” reveals that only 13% of employees are engaged at work. 

That abysmal number is undoubtedly related to the fact that, according to a different study, only 42% of employees know their organization’s vision, mission, and values.  That same report found that management transparency is the top factor when determining employee happiness.

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Executive Director's Report (September 2014)

Allie Williams, IOM
Executive Director, CRA

LEARN – NETWORK - ADVANCE

The Corporate Responsibility Association has been working steadily to educate and engage leaders at all levels to use corporate responsibility in the service of good business.  We promote the practice of sustainability and responsible organizational behavior as good for both society and companies. Currently, the CRA engages with hundreds of members to transform ideas into action and these talented practitioners, consultants and providers, promote and influence positive change globally by serving on one of our five Thought Leadership Councils (TLC’s):

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National Clean Energy Summit

Jim Murren
CEO and Chairman
MGM Resorts International

On September 4, MGM Resorts International will again co-sponsor the National Clean Energy Summit with The Center for American Progress, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center.

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