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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The 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens

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Our 18th annual ranking of responsible organizations 100 Best based on seven categories and 260 data points is revealed. Being a good corporate citizen is a goal of most leading organizations, but actually achieving this can be a challenge in today’s business climate. There are many working pieces of a responsible operation—risk management, diversity and inclusion, and the supply chain for example—that make efficient and effective operations quite onerous. So when a company succeeds at being transparent, responsible, and accountable—with all aspects backed up by data—they end up earning a coveted spot on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. Compiling the 18th annual list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens began with our research team documenting 260 data points of disclosure and performance measurements for the entire Russell 1000. The data was gleaned from publicly available information and each company was ranked in seven categories: • Environment; • Climate change; • Employee relations; • Human rights; • Corporate governance; • Financial performance; and • Philanthropy and community support.

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Building a Greener World

Building  a Greener World

Four best practices leading companies can implement to improve their sustainable construction strategy. Four best practices leading companies can implement to improve their sustainable construction strategy. By Marta Chmielowicz In a society that is increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, “green” building is quickly becoming a top priority. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings are the largest consumers of energy worldwide, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total U.S. energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. Given this vast impact, it is no surprise that responsible building practices have seen such rapid growth, with a 2016 Dodge Data & Analytics study reporting that demand for green buildings continues to double every three years. “Green building is evolving to become the new normal,” says Curt Radkin, senior vice president and sustainability strategist at Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group. “It is becoming a part of consumers’ baseline expectations and will eventually not be seen as a differentiator, but a requirement.

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Responsible Construction

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A business’ commitment to CR starts within its own walls. Here are the top sustainable headquarters serving as prime examples of green construction.

By The Editors

Companies today are looking to improve their sustainability track records in every way possible, including the structures in which they operate. Building in accordance with specific environmental standards allows corporations to position themselves as CR leaders. The following is a list of organizations that best represent responsible construction. This list was compiled from editorial research and nominations that were vetted by CR Magazine staff.

Click here to view the 2017 Most Sustainable Corporate Headquarters list.

Alternative Plans

Leading power providers are doing better business by utilizing clean energy.
By Christa Elliott
Once confined to the realm of idealistic buzzwords, the phrase “alternative energy” has evolved into a concrete and actionable business objective for major companies around the globe. This is especially true for utility companies—which were some of the first to answer the call for renewable resource use— because of product nature and the sheer scale of environmental impact. Despite the costs and long-term, strategic planning involved in providing sustainable energy, companies that make the right investments will find clean energy initiatives help get consumers interested in their brand, illustrate a commitment to the world in which they operate, and even improve the bottom line. Continue reading →