Schneider Electric’s SVP of energy and sustainability services talks responsible reporting and the importance of transparency. By Steve Wilhite As a company that specializes in global energy management and automation—offering building and energy management systems, security controls, analytics, electrical utilities and renewables, industrial automation solutions, and data centers—Schneider Electric knows the importance of having a sustainable energy supply. One of its current goals is to build an ecosystem that helps customers reduce their own energy consumption by 30 percent through active energy efficiency and sustainability solutions. The company also helps its clients navigate their entire reporting process by determining the right framework to meet their goals, implementing productivity tools, and analyzing and verifying sustainability data—and 64 percent of their clients received an A or A- in this year’s CDP scores as a result.
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.
By The EditorsOur annual spotlight on the best of the best providers and practitioners in corporate responsibility. While strong leadership is an essential trait for executives in corporate responsibility, demonstrating this attribute while performing important tasks, practicing sustainable habits, contributing to the company's bottom line, and driving others to perform exceptionally is worth acknowledgement. CR Magazine honors those who demonstrate a superior dedication to CR that is evident in every aspect of their daily lives. The CR Superstar is someone who lives and breathes sustainability and encourages everyone around them to participate in creating a better business environment. This is our annual list of outstanding CR thought leaders—successful individuals who were nominated by their industry peers, CR Magazine staff, and the Corporate Responsibility Association for their groundbreaking ideas, high-level thinking, and impressive leadership.
The role and responsibility of companies, communicators, and citizens, according to Starbucks. By Corey duBrowa Today, more than ever, customers care about a brand's actions and what that brand stands for. Edelman's 2016 Trust Barometer found that 50 percent of respondents have lost trust in businesses because of their lack of contributions to "society's greater good," and 62 percent of earned brand respondents said they will not buy from a brand that fails to meet its societal obligations. It's clear that corporate responsibility initiatives can no longer be second tier priorities; they must be core to the business. Starbucks chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, posed the following question at the company's annual meeting of shareholders last year: "What is the role and responsibility of a public, for-profit company?" At this year's meeting, he asked a new question: "What is the role and responsibility of all of us, as citizens?" Schultz often speaks about the importance of "leading through the lens of humanity.
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.
By Marta Chmielowicz America's New Clean Water Rule affects business—what companies can do to mitigate the legislation successfully. Clean water is in abundance in the U.S. today, but that was not always the case. As recently as 45 years ago, U. S. rivers were so polluted that they were catching fire, Lake Erie was deemed "dead," and only 60 percent of drinking water met safety standards. The Clean Water Act (CWA) dramatically improved this situation, reducing the number of polluted waterways in the U.S. from more than 60 percent in 1972 to 35 percent in 2012. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent National Water Quality Inventory, the work is far from over. Of the total miles of water formally assessed, 55 percent of rivers, 71 percent of lakes, and 78 percent of shorelines were reported to be in poor condition—unfit for swimming, drinking, or fishing. Enter the Clean Water Rule, or Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. By reaffirming the connected nature of waterways and reducing ambiguity around the extent of the EPA's jurisdiction, the rule seeks to address some of the main limitations of the CWA.
By R. Paul Herman Solving human and environmental problems with investment portfolios builds a better world—and can yield higher income and profits too. Would a responsible executive purposefully invest their retirement money to underpay people, destroy nature, or foster corruption? Today's business world can be quite volatile, and if people choose to operate in this way— intentionally or not—their portfolios might not survive. Alternatively, why not intentionally invest retirement in companies that pay a fair wage, efficiently use natural resources and replenish them, and act transparently in balance with all of society? A retirement fund can help build a better world and—as real-world evidence and academic studies show—bear greater financial rewards. Investing for impact is a compelling theme—one that garners 21 percent market share as of 2016, and represents nearly $9 trillion of invested assets, according to the U.S. Sustainable Investing Foundation.
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By The Editors FedEx and UPS on why CR is so important to their business—here is a look at their sustainable initiatives by the numbers. Sustainability is extremely important in the shipping industry. Millions of packages are delivered every day in the U.S.—and logistics and transportation industry spending totaled $1.48 trillion in 2015, representing eight percent of the annual gross domestic product. Maintaining sustainable shipping practices benefits not only the environment, but the bottom line of the delivery service corporations themselves. CR Magazine spoke with Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx, and Tamara Barker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, about their sustainability efforts —and we compare their answers head-to-head in this look at shipping practices. History of the Company Corporate Responsibility Program FedEx and UPS discuss how each of the companies have supported their communities, improved their impact on the environment, and created sustainability initiatives.
By Dirk OlinAt PVH, CR is a lot more complicated than altruism. One of the defining traits of effective CR programs is that they take broader business objectives and translate them into real assurances. This is definitely true of Phillips Van Heusen's CR efforts, as the company lists "accountability" as a core value, and strives for transparency whenever possible. The company's treasurer and senior vice president for business development and investor relations, Dana Perlman, spoke with CR Magazine about PVH's core values, "source-to-store" approach, corporate storytelling, and commitments to humanitarian and environmental responsibility. At PVH, the corporate responsibility team takes its direction for CR storytelling from chairman and CEO, Manny Chirico. The team often cites Chirico's directive that they need to emphasize the importance of understanding the company's impact on people. Environment, and communities. Chirico, they say, grew up understanding that charity and the giving of oneself were very important—that, "to whom much is given, much is expected.
A look at the accomplishments of the 2016 Responsible CEO of the Year Awards winners. Christa Elliott What does it mean to be a great business leader? In the realm of CR, it means taking personal and professional risks to meet sustainability objectives and creating a business environment that is more socially and environmentally responsible. Here at CR Magazine, we believe that the winners of the 2016 Responsible CEO of the Year Awards have done just that. Since they were first distributed in 2008, this set of awards has annually recognized the achievements of exceptional CEOs who have exhibited visionary leadership, and, in turn, have taken strides towards more responsible corporate practices. This year's winners have proven their commitment in a variety of ways—from improving working conditions in factories and promoting gender equality in the boardroom to bettering energy management at their facilities and serving local communities. Each award winner was nominated by one or more of their colleagues.
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