Sidewalks. Three times they came up for a vote and three times they got voted down in my suburban neighborhood outside of Washington, DC. Our community grew up at the height of the automobile and walkability didn’t factor into the plan. The established (read older) neighbors love their lawns and giving up ten feet of grassy suburbia, especially if you don’t have kids or walk to the Metro, sounds like an attempt to steal their American dream.
But sidewalks highly correlate with health, Dr. John Peters of the Anschutz Center at the University of Colorado told the audience of over 100 Denver-area leaders at the first-ever Better Health Through Economic Opportunity Forum. The least obese cities in America – New York and San Francisco – also have the most sidewalks per capita.
Evidence tends to be ‘all or nothing’
By Steve Rochlin & Stephen Jordan
For 20 years the Corporate Responsibility (CR) function has looked for the “Holy Grail” – the business case to justify spending on environmental, social, and governance (ESG). The evidence – if researchers could only find it – would neutralize the skeptics, unlock budgets, and bring CR into full bloom as an essential business discipline. It would establish that the profit motive and sustainability walk hand-in-hand.
Our research with Babson College (supported by Lead Sponsor Verizon and Supporting Sponsor Campbell Soup Company) shows that some programs are realizing this promise. Our report, Project ROI: Defining the Competitive and Financial Advantages of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, (available for download at www.ProjectROI.com) shows the return of high performing CR/Sustainability initiatives on factors like market value, sales, reputation, human resources, and risk mitigation.
At Hasbro, creativity and integrity are not only two of our key corporate values but also critical to executing our mission of “Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences.” Our Hasbro brand portfolio is the growth engine; the fuel that drives this engine is our people.
As Millennials increasingly represent a greater percentage of today’s workforce, we know that they fully expect companies to respond to pressing social and environmental issues. These 18-26-year-olds are not just demanding greater action—they are forging a transformational re-evaluation of what corporate social responsibility (CSR) means.
Employee, Consumer, Citizen
Millennials’ push towards deeper CSR does not come without a personal stake. They want to actively participate in the change they wish to see in the world, in partnership with business.
“This is the most pressing issue in our lives,” says Bill Walton. “Sustainability, energy production, resource management – all leading to the clean air and clean water that we have to sustain.”
Walton is a NBA Hall-of-Fame Center who played for two championship teams and anchored the UCLA Bruins basketball from 1972 to 1974, during legendary coach John Wooden’s run of 10 championships in 12 years. He sat down for a few minutes to speak with Corporate Responsibility Magazine about sustainability and renewable energy during the June Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego.
Walton is down-to-earth and speaks his mind, just as he’s known for. Without much prodding he’s riffing, one part motivational speaker, one part advocate, and one part student of sustainability:
“There has never been a better title to a magazine,” says Walton of CR Magazine.
Editor’s Note: Games people play–on climate change
By Bill Hatton
Companies that are looking to build stronger emissions programs to combat climate change have another ally -- Pope Francis. At press time, he was scheduled to release an encyclical (essentially, a letter written by the pope to other bishops covering a specific topic) on climate change. According to a draft leaked to an Italian magazine shortly before the scheduled release, Pope Francis came down strongly on the side of a need for action. That would include the need to develop alternative sources of energy, reduce emissions of methane and carbon dioxide, and conservation. The pope also apparently called for governments to work together.
I got you now, you ...
As with most public-policy debates these days, particularly in the United States, the debate over climate change has become more and more politicized.
When a guy who lives in a palace lectures nations on setting a good example for environmental stewardship you have to revisit the definition of “smug hypocrisy.” The papal encyclical just released by Pope Francis does not accomplish anything that justifies the energy that it took to print and ship it.
Let me first say that I agree with the Pontiff that climate change is real. I know people on the political left are cheering me on but sorry wait before you lavish praise because I also believe that that it is unclear as to whether climate change is due to a natural warming cycle or the result of human habitation and green house gas emissions. Before people on the political right start hoisting me on their shoulders, understand that I actually don’t care which is true. See, the problem is while the politically polarized argument on causation is taking place, no one can really deny effect.
John Naisbitt’s leading research on the “megatrend” futuristic trends of society— the economy, governments, lifestyles, the workplace—over the last three decades has observed and further predicted the seismic global changes in those and other areas of life that have been largely facilitated by technology.
His research, first published in 1982, has also informed and impacted actions across all pillars of societal institutions. (http://www.enotes.com/topics/megatrends)
Key to Megatrends is the breakdown of hierarchies. Rigid controls have given rise to pluralism, individuality, and diversity which, when joined with mega-data, has sped the volume and velocity of change, particularly in business.
The CRA Thought Leadership Councils have been functioning full throttle lately. A quick recap of some of the latest activities include educational webinars, providing session material for consideration at the COMMIT!Forum in October, deep dive presentations and open discussions with some of the top ratings and rankings research firms. I will highlight a couple of TLC’s here:
The Ratings & Rankings TLC conducts monthly calls some of the most influential ratings, rankings and research firms to share and discuss their methodology at a very high level while receiving insightful and constructive feedback from the group. The TLC collectively pulled together a comprehensive list of known ratings, rankings and research entities and the CRA created a survey to poll TLC members on the order and type of questions the TLC would like to discuss with these entities.
Ecolab’s Doug Baker on how CR priorities get set – and met
By Elliot Clark
(Editor’s Note: Corporate Responsibility Magazine honored Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. with a CEO of the Year Award in October 2014. Under Baker’s leadership, in 2014 Ecolab reduced total water use by 6.9% and GHG emissions by 7% from a 2012 baseline, and helped businesses around the world significantly reduce their use of water and energy and achieve their own sustainability goals. The company’s “Total Impact Approach” takes into account the economic, social and environmental impacts of its products and services to deliver sustainable results for customers and for Ecolab’s own operations. To learn more about what drives Baker’s leadership, CR Magazine’s CEO Elliot Clark traveled to Minnesota to sit down with Doug Baker in Ecolab’s headquarters.
The 12 highest-ranked companies in each of our measurement categories
By The Editors
Each year, Corporate Responsibility Magazine engages its research partners in an in-depth process to rank each Russell 1000 company according to its performance on 303 data points related to CR.
These data points are gathered from publicly available information, and thus our lists – 100 Best Corporate Citizens and 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Industry Sector: Sustainable Buyer’s Guide—measure transparency, accountability, and business success. We also run another list to recognize those companies that are improving the fastest as compared to their peers –the Most Improved Corporate Citizens. And now we announce a new list: the category winners.
The 303 data points we measure are arranged according to seven categories of business performance: