CR Blog

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.

As a CEO, I’m so proud of the people who came together under our core value of teamwork to surpass all expectations. The amount is staggering. The benefit to the community: humbling.

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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!

We launched a full effort and by the end of December 2014 – the Corporate Responsibility Association, along with the PD TLC will have concluded nine webinars.

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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.

If sustainable product selection is part of your company’s sustainability agenda, there are a few key questions to ask when developing an evaluation strategy.

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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.

As a part of its advocacy, Taproot is now the champion of Continue reading →

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
Managing Director, Strategic Impact Partners

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?

On the one hand, many market-leading organizations and their C-suite leaders have driven a firm stake in the ground on responsible business practices: From CVS’ ban on selling tobacco products, Burt’s Bees efforts to establish a standard for ‘natural’ food products, and GE’s Ecomagination initiative to improve environmental performance – to the Nestlé Lanka effort to build up domestic dairy production in civil war-torn Sir Lanka, or Microsoft’s “Youth Spark” project that connects hundreds of millions of young people to education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

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

Ryan Scott
CEO
Causecast

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

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.

Amongst other business “fails” resulting from this sort of a wide engagement gap, unengaged employees do not create engaged customers.

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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):

  • Ratings & Rankings TLC – Chaired by Mike Wallace, BrownFlynn
  • Professional Development TLC – Chaired by Bart Alexander, Alexander & Associates, LLC
  • Brand & Reputation Management TLC – Chaired by Barry Coburn, Coburn & Greenbaum,    Kristina Kloberdanz, IBM & Maureen Kline, Pirelli Tire North America
  • Diversity & Inclusion TLC – Chaired by Natasha Harrison, CommunityBuild Ventures & Jessica McGlyn, Forum for the Future
I’m excited to announce the launch of new council:
  • The Responsible Supply Chain TLC – Chaired by Mike Wallace, BrownFlynn
Once established, the focus of this Thought Leadership Council will be to explore several key areas: corporate culture, how supply chain policies and processes influence the values companies hold, long term commitments due to media and shareholder pressure, and how responsible companies buy from responsible companies.

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