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August 16, 2014
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COMMIT!Forum 2012 Video Interviews

Over 600 CEOs, heads of corporate responsibility, sustainability, investment analysts, NGO and government leaders, and academics gathered in New York City in October to attend the COMMIT!Forum where thety discussed the future of corporate responsibility and the challenges their companies facd when trying to implement CSR initiatives. Following the forum, attendees offered their comments and reflections and talked about their biggest "Aha" moment from the forum.  You can view the videos here. 

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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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How Governments Can Tap Corporate Responsibility to Address Public Issues

 

 

Often, government looks to the private sector for best practice ideas regarding operational efficiency, cost reductions, and technical innovation. An emerging new approach to industry collaboration taps into the consciousness of corporate responsibility to meet very specific needs.
 

The concept of corporate responsibility covers a broad spectrum of corporate “give back” including governance, social responsibility, philanthropy and, most recently sustainability.  Generally, corporate responsibility focuses on an individual organization’s relationship with its community, stakeholders, and customers, and the way in which it contributes to the world around it beyond profit and shareholder value -- sharing and contributing to something bigger than the immediate economic well being of the organization. 

 

 
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The Truth Will Out: CSR is a Profession

The following guest post is part of a CSRHub series focusing on 10 trends that are driving corporate transparency and disclosure in the coming year.

How many US companies do you think have positions that include the word “sustainability” in their job title? Would you guess 100? 1,000? According to ZoomInfo, the answer is 12,660 This statistic proves that sustainability jobs exist, but does not necessarily prove that there is an established career path within the sustainability profession.

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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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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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The Campaign to Change the World

We call it the COMMIT!Campaign because it does exactly that: it calls on organizations to make commitments that will change the world. But people often ask exactly how does it work? Sometimes, others see you more clearly than you see yourself… 
 
"Oh! I get it. It's like Match.com for corporates and causes."
 
"Makes perfect sense. Nothing major gets done in government without a deadline and a press conference. Why would corporate responsibility be any different?" 
 
These two quotes perfectly sum up the essence of the COMMIT!Campaign and Forum. Earlier this year, over 600 people gathered in New York City at the COMMIT!Forum, a place the GRI's Ernst Ligteringen called, "...full of ideas, full of commitment."  The Forum called upon people to come together to make commitments to change the world. The 2012 Campaign and Forum picks up exactly where the Forum left off.
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