WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) today released a breakthrough business report called The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession. Among the nine different key findings from the research, BCLC and CRA found that the characteristics that define a mature profession, such as an educational curriculum and a career pipeline, currently are lacking in the corporate responsibility (CR) profession. BCLC and CRA also found that while few of the CR leaders in companies today entered the field deliberately, they have paved the way for “generation 2.0” CR practitioners.
“Corporate responsibility as we know it today has only existed for the past a few decades,” said BCLC Founder and Executive Director Stephen Jordan. “While the CR field is more intertwined than ever in smart business strategy, it stands at a critical crossroads in its development into a mature profession.
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?
When we use the term “CR” we define it as maximizing the positive impact while minimizing or eliminating the negative. A closer look at the survey shows that a good chunk of the respondents report a CR issue as among their top three priorities for the board, including risk and crisis oversight (27.1%), shareholder/owner relations (6.4%), and disclosure and transparency (4.7%). We argue that boards and CEOs need to take a more expansive view of CR and a more active role in CR leadership.
Following up on last week’s blog post about how, in the midst of the economic downturn, the best corporate citizens built more successful ways of working with governments and NGOs, we now look at how to help organizations establish them by shining a light on real-world examples and providing a platform for connecting with potential partners.
The recession started a renaissance in how companies, NGOs, & governments collaborate.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. With governments and non-profits facing yawning budget deficits and business facing one of its biggest trust-deficits in history, organizations are coming together in unprecedented ways to tackle some of society's greatest challenges. In fact, a distinct set of collaborative practices used by the “best corporate citizens” and their partners have emerged that others could adopt.
“Corporate Social Responsibility isn’t about giving money away and adopting the latest cause of activists. CSR and sustainability are approaches to business operation and execution that build employee engagement, improve environmental performance, create positive social impact, enable operational efficiency, reduce cost, foster innovation, strengthen relationships with customers and consumers and ultimately . . . create business advantage.”
—David Stangis, VP of CR for Campbell’s Soup; from, Thriving on the Value of Vice: Stop Making Too Much of CSR by Aman Singh
Susan Pullin, CSC Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, writes that:
There are many opinions about the real value to a company of corporate responsibility (CR). Aman Singh recently wrote for Forbes about these contrary opinions and posed the question: “Continue reading →
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