Why should we and our companies participate in the CR 100 Best Corporate Citizens assessment, and the CRA?
By Pete Sherrard
Sustainability Manager, Duke Energy
Why should we and our companies participate in the CR 100 Best Corporate Citizens assessment, and the CRA? Cynics might say that participation is just a self-serving pursuit to get recognition. They’re wrong.
Sure, the recognition is nice for our companies, and frankly may be an initial attraction for many. But as companies and their professionals engage, some great things happen.
When we study the criteria used for the 100 Best assessment, we learn, or at least get confirmation of, the things that are important to stakeholders – including many of our companies’ shareholders. Like them or not, surveys or “data review opportunities” are a rich source of hints on the changing landscape of what’s important to sustainability management. And the scores from ratings and rankings provide valuable hints on where we are strong, and where we can improve. Like other sustainability assessments, just publicly disclosed information is considered in the 100 Best. As companies work through the process of improving their transparency and reporting, they learn more about their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
We as corporate responsibility or sustainability professionals benefit from each other’s perspectives and experience. Every time I attend the Commit! Forum, CRA Board meeting or other CR event, I hear about emerging issues, how companies manage, what worked and what didn’t work, and how senior company leadership was approached. Fellow professionals report similar experience as they engage with the CRA: awareness and skills are sharpened, eye-opening perspectives are gained, and new ideas for both strategic and tactical sustainability management are generated.
Of course we only “get out of it what we put into it,” and that’s true of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens assessment and the CRA. I encourage you and your company to join us, take advantage of the
many benefits of membership, get involved, and encourage others in our field to get involved, too.