Community Development

Putting Capital In Communities

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 11.02.38 AM Non-profit CEO Terri Ludwig unlocks potential in underserved areas through impact investments. by Elliot Clark Prioritizing corporate responsibility can mean creating hiring diversity initiatives or reducing a company's carbon footprint, but for some, it radically reshapes the way they do business. Case in point: Terri Ludwig. This financial aficionado and president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners decided to use her Wall Street smarts to give back to underprivileged communities through investments in low-income housing. As a result of her efforts, she won the 2015 Responsible CEO of the Year Award at the COMMIT! Forum in October 2015. Here, she discusses the reality of poverty in America, her 15 years in the community investment market, and what she's doing to reach her goal of housing 1 million low-income families by 2020. Elliot Clark: You started life in southern Illinois but now you're in the Big Apple. And you went from investment banking, which is usually perceived as sort of a heartless business in many respects, to low income housing community investment.

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Acing Philanthropy Goals

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 4.23.57 PM By The Editors Ace Hardware Foundation's president talks charity initiatives and how other businesses can follow their lead. When it comes to serving communities on a global scale, Kane Calamari understands the value of entrepreneurship and creating unique buyer experiences. /4s president of the Ace Hardware Foundation, and vice president of human resources, organizational development, and communications at Ace Hardware, Calamari oversees the world's largest hardware cooperative. The "cooperative" designation means that more than 4,800 of Ace's stores are locally owned and operated by entrepreneurs all across the globe. The organization hopes that this business model will bring added value to communities and allow each store to give back through local, philanthropic initiatives. Companies are increasingly becoming more aware of how important giving is. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, corporate giving in 2015 increased to $18.46 billion—a 3. 9 percent increase from 2014.

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Responsible Lobbyists

Despite its bad press, the paid pursuit of influencing policy can offer real societal value.

 By Dr. Stephanos Anastasiadis and Dr. Sigrun M. Wagner

 Lobbyists paying elected representatives to place questions in the U.K. parliament. Arms manufacturers giving South African officials BMWs in exchange for army contracts. Smoke-filled rooms featuring stuffed brown envelopes. No wonder lobbying has a bad name. But these are not images of lobbying: They depict corruption, albeit in a policymaking setting. These actions are morally suspect and usually illegal. They also contravene the UN Global Compact: Principle 10 requires the combating of corruption. In fact, lobbying is far more often about committee meetings, reports, and other unspectacular activities. Lobbying can be understood as the focused provision of relevant information, with the intention of influencing public policy or process.

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State of CR

A synthesis of survey feedback from nearly 2,000 United Nations Global Compact companies.

With increasing and encouraging regularity, corporate sustainability is appearing on the radars and agendas of companies around the world. Corporate leaders recognize the growing relevance and urgency of global environmental, social and economic challenges. They see how sustainability issues affect the bottom-line and are looking beyond traditional business and financial factors to map out their priorities and strategies.

For these companies, corporate sustainability has immediate material relevance. In their own backyards, at their site locations and through their extensive supply chains, they increasingly
face the effects of extreme poverty, unacceptable working conditions, environmental degradation, systemic corruption, or eruptions of violence. In this environment, companies can choose one of two routes: uphold high standards or try to ignore the situation, muddle through and risk costly damage to growth prospects, long-term investments, and reputation.

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Wanted: More CEO’s on Board

The CR conspirators’ guide to getting your chief executive engaged.

  By Daryl Brewster

You will see leading CEOs at the Commit! Forum being recognized for their commitment to corporate societal engagement. Just think about how powerful that is; CEOs of the world’s largest companies taking time out of their day to talk about actions of their companies’ community affairs programs. But is that how these CEOs see it? Do they see corporate societal engagement as a separate function, apart from their core business strategy?

We’ve found that a certain subset of corporate CEOs, namely CECP CEOs, understands that it goes so much deeper (nine of the top 10 of CR Magazine’s 2013 100 Best Corporate Citizens List are CECP companies).

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Transparency—a Status Report

Where the sustainability movement might be headed.

 By Mike Wallace

After almost four years as director for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), I am about to end this amazing experience. At year’s done, I will be on to my next chapter in this field.I couldn’t be more proud than to have represented the concept that Drs. Massie and White created back in 1997 Accounting for Sustainability, or more honored to be able to support GRI’s expansion into the United States and Canada.

Due to an incredibly supportive North American network in conjunction with the awakening in North America as to the importance of credible sustainability reporting, GRI reporting has more than doubled since we opened offices here in the fall of 2010.

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Foundation Formation

eBay’s Head of Social Innovation gives up the goods.

By Dirk Olin

Lauren Moore runs global Social Innovation for eBay Inc., which includes oversight of the company’s giving activities. Part of Starbucks’ first CR team before joining eBay she had a background in the environmental community and community affairs. She recently answered a few more granular questions about eBay’s CR initiatives.

How do you bring the compliance side of CR to your workforce?
Each year, we have comprehensive compliance training requirements, which go to our inboxes. You receive different modules depending on your level or responsibility or reach within company—in areas such as ethics, diversity, sexual harassment. And you receive a lot of emails reminding you if you haven’t done it yet. And it comes up throughout the year. Both outsourced and tailored, they’re made very specific for us.

What about your environmental footprint?
Carbon and energy receive the most focus on that front.

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2013 Black List

Our annual inventory of America’s least transparent big-cap companies.

By Dirk Olin

The 2013 Black List

Affiliated Managers Group Inc. AMG
Alleghany Corp. Y
American Capital Agency Corp AGNC
Annaly Capital Management Inc NLY
Ares Capital Corp ARCC
Axis Capital Holdings Ltd AXS
Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO
Chimera Investment Corp. CIM
FleetCor Technologies, Inc. FLT
Hatteras Financial Corp HTS
Lazard Ltd. LAZ
Liberty Interactive Corporation LINTA
LinkedIn Corp. LNKD
MFA Financial Inc. MFA
Monster Beverage Corp. MNST
Partnerre Ltd. PRE
Proassurance Corporation PRA
Retail Properties of America, Inc. RPAI
Silgan Holdings Inc. SLGN
White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. WTM

What I Saw at the Revolution

A former CR practitioner looks back on the movement’s antecedents—and revival.

By Tom Kiely

Corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and shared value are terms I use all the time but don’t much like. Many people say (and I’ve joined this chorus) that the terms come loaded with too many meanings, have roots too deep in frameworks and concepts long-since outdated, and thus are only useful today in a short-hand kind of way. They are terms that seem to require clarification. “By CSR I mean…and I don’t mean…”

Terms and concepts won’t settle to clarity soon. During the last decade, momentum of activity and thinking within the business community on a broad range of issues that are clustered behind these terms has increased markedly. The number of late-comers (including me) who pitched in to help build on the work of others has been accelerating, as have the commitments of many executives and the attention of investors.

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