Author Archives: Audrey Roth

Value Added: What corporate foundations can do to enhance their philanthropic agenda

Jennifer Levine Hartz By Jennifer Levine Hartz Though corporate giving is a small percentage of all philanthropic monies given to non-profits in the U.S., it has an outsized opportunity to drive societal improvement and influence the hearts and minds of their stakeholders and the nation. (The organization Giving USA reports that about 5 percent of all philanthropy comes from companies each year.) Corporate and business owner foundations complement the work of annual social responsibility budgets. Foundations donate to non-profits to increase capacity and address targeted community needs. Corporate budgets focus on employee engagement in civic leadership, hands-on volunteering, and skills-based service, as well as involving others outside of the company. Enabling others to contribute is not a substitute for direct investments, and companies know that. Increasingly, corporations seek to extend “philanthropic leverage.” This means using their products, services and other assets to inspire all stakeholders—employees, customers, vendors, elected officials, investors and media—to become involved with specific charities or issues.

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Engage vs. Demand: Seeing the world from the eyes of your supplier

Jennifer Anderson1 By Jennifer Anderson Supply chains are a critical element of sustainability success for most companies. Yet working on supply chain sustainability is a challenging task. It’s hard enough to get people in your own company to change their behavior, but influencing the actions of those in another company—even as a large customer—can seem nearly impossible. Truth be told, sustainability management itself is messy, complicated, often frustrating work. And acknowledging that is the first step to success in engaging your suppliers. Suppliers who are not responding to your information requests or are not scoring well on your assessments are simply in the same place your company was (or maybe still is) just a few years back. If you are fortunate enough to work for a company that has a sustainability team in place, a little discussion and self-reflection can go a long way toward improving engagement with suppliers. Ask yourselves questions like: “Where do/did we struggle in accomplishing our sustainability goals?” “What helps/hurts our efforts when it comes to our relationships with our customers?” “What worked for us in overcoming challenges?” and “What did our customers do that helped us?” The answers you come up will begin to pave the way toward building a better, more productive relationship with suppliers around sustainability.

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Places to be: The most sustainable corporate hospitality chains around the world

Sheraton Grand Phoenix By the Editors CR professionals know that every venue they utilize should meet certain sustainable standards. To help companies with future event planning, CR Magazine has compiled a list of the most sustainable corporate hospitality chains, ensuring that the facility chosen is dedicated to corporate responsibility. The following corporate chains were researched by the editorial staff and are in unranked alphabetical order. Company name: Caesars Entertainment, Inc. Website: Overview: Environmental stewardship is one of the four pillars of Caesars’ Code of Commitment. The company created a “CodeGreen” program in 2008, dedicated to environmental sustainability. Company name: Carnival Corp. Website: Overview: The 10 cruise brands are committed to reducing their emissions and improving air quality by evaluating new and established technology solutions.

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Executive Director’s Report – Social Responsibility in a Time of Change

AW headshot Many companies are dedicated to social responsibility—they have social responsibility programs, advertise and market their efforts, form task forces and working groups and reach out to the local and global communities to “do good” in their respective areas. But like those wooden labyrinth ball games, moving the levers to adjust the board and getting the silver ball through the end of the maze, the path to “social responsibility” is not a direct one, and it’s one that is navigated in an environment that is constantly shifting. So how should a company achieve social responsibility in a situation that is buffeted by change—like political upheavals in the United States and abroad; regulatory changes of the like not seen since the New Deal; trade and economic relationships shifting with multinational agreements like NAFTA and Paris environmental agreements being laid bare or laid aside. How can companies cope? The short answer is, they can’t. That is, if you see “social responsibility” as a destination.

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CEO’s Letter – A New Home for CR

Dave headshot resized Our logo hasn’t changed and the masthead contains familiar names like Belinda Sharr and Allie Williams. But this is my first issue as publisher. And it’s an honor. In April, the company I have called home for the past several years, 3BL Media, acquired four assets from SharedXpertise Media. The transaction included the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA), CR Magazine, COMMIT!Forum and the 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking. For those unfamiliar with 3BL Media, the name refers to the Triple Bottom Line and the company was formed in 2009 in Northampton, Massachusetts, as a corporate communications software platform for brands and non-profits to distribute blogs, articles, videos, infographics, photos and press releases concerning sustainability and social impact topics. 3BL Media now serves 1,000 companies globally and has grown through the acquisition of Justmeans, Social Earth, CSRwire, Ethical Performance and ReportAlert. We formed a new entity, the Corporate Responsibility Board, to house CR Magazine and the CRA, whose board of advisors will continue to set the programming agenda.

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Editor’s Letter – Changing yet Staying the Course

Belinda headshot As I’m sure you have already read in the recent press release, CR Magazine has been acquired by 3BL Media from SharedXpertise Media. While we acknowledge that this will be a bit of a change, we are excited to transition to the new company and further improve on our dedication to corporate responsibility. 3BL Media is a great fit for CR Magazine. The news distribution company specializes in all things CR, and has an impressive group of platforms like CSRwire, Ethical Performance and Report Alert. Topics like sustainability, philanthropy and the environment are crucial, and 3BL seeks to deliver information that readers like you need to be aware of. We look forward to continuing to bring you CR Magazine, the COMMIT!Forum and the Corporate Responsibility Association as you know them, but even better. The 100 Best Corporate Citizens is the most important feature that CR publishes every year. For 2017, we have decided to break down each sector of the list to further acknowledge good companies doing great things.

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Better Alternatives

Solar power plant What major power providers are doing with their efficient operations and how companies can utilize renewable energy solutions By Belinda Sharr Editor's Note: On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord. CR Magazine asked companies we interviewed for this story to comment. Click here to read their statements. Legacy energy producers and distributors have been the target of disruptive business models and technology for decades. Adapting to competition and increased demand for low-carbon power, even the largest electric utilities and multinational gas and oil giants are behaving like innovative startups in today’s economy, engaging with one-time foes and leaning on corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners in an increasingly chaotic political atmosphere.

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Alternative Energy Provider Statements on U.S. Exiting Paris Climate Agreement

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord. CR Magazine asked companies we interviewed for our recent alternative energy story to comment. Statements are below. Exelon: Exelon is committed to working with policymakers to drive progress on energy policies that benefit our customers, economy and the global environment, and so we continue to support placing a value on carbon emissions nationally, as well as the innovative policies coming out at the state level – such as zero-emissions credit programs and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – that reduce air pollution and protect human health. ExxonMobil: ExxonMobil supports the Paris Accord, which is an important step forward in the global challenge to reduce emissions. It’s the first major international accord to address climate change that includes emissions reduction pledges from both developed and developing economies.

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2017 Sustainability Leaders Survey released at Sustainable Brands 2017

Integrating sustainability values, demonstrating innovation and fostering transparency will be the defining characteristics of leading organizations in the next 10 years, according to the findings of a pre-release of the 2017 Sustainability Leaders Survey by GlobeScan and SustainAbility in partnership with Sustainable Brands, which was unveiled May 21 in Detroit. Unilever continues to be seen as the global leader on sustainability, receiving nearly half of total mentions cited (45 percent, up two points from 2016). Unilever holds this dominant position for the seventh year in a row. Continue reading →