Social Responsibility

Brand Names


Four large companies share how they are working toward a more sustainable tomorrow.

Belinda Sharr

One of the main reasons executives attend conferences is to learn, and Sustainable Brands annual conference provides just the platform. The collaborative confab allows CR leaders to get insight into how organizations are achieving their sustainability goals. CR Magazine attended the event, and was able to speak with several prominent brands about their sustainability efforts at their organizations. CR is No Game at Caesars Entertainment Corporate responsibility is a priority—not a gamble—for Caesars Entertainment. The company strives to exceed guests'—and their own— expectations for sustainability. Gwen Migita, vice president of sustainability and corporate citizenship at Caesars, spoke with CR Magazine about sustainability in the gaming and entertainment industry, and what Caesars' goals are for the future.

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Sidewalks: Path to better health

Direct & indirect steps businesses can take

By Richard Crespin

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.

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It’s Time To Stop Trash Talking and Start Talking Trash

By Richard Crespin, Collaborate Up and Danna Pfahl & Kellen Klein, Future 500

Fast-forward 20 years in the United States. Landfills are becoming obsolete. Market-based incentives have been implemented at a large and harmonized scale. Companies no longer pay for trash collection; they get paid for their trash. Waste has intrinsic value as a resource.
This is a future where the theory of a circular economy can actually live, be real and uniquely American. But
how do we get there? With a broad consensus and a willingness to engage across sectors, that’s how. We have to stop fighting over trash and start talking constructively about trash. In fact, as a society, we’re perched on the precipice of some pretty exciting possibilities if we can navigate the hazards of cross-sector collaboration.

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Human Capitalism

Your company’s balance sheet is incomplete until people are valued as financial assets
By R. Paul Herman
What is your organization’s most important asset?
CEOs often respond that the organization’s people are its greatest asset. But if this is true, where are people accounted for in the financial statements?
Today, people are generally classified as expenses on the income statement and liabilities on the balance sheet— not as an investable asset. Thus, when CEOs seek to increase profit, they cut costs—like people—rather than investing in assets—like people—that can appreciate.
“The most valuable assets of a 20th-century company were its production equipment,” said management guru Peter Drucker in 1999.

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Want frontline employees to develop strong identification with your company?

New research hints at how, and shows the risks and rewards

By Bill Hatton

Just how important is corporate social responsibility (CSR) to your frontline employees? It turns out the answer could be crucial.

Here’s why: When employees value CSR at high levels, they have a strong intrinsic motivation that can either
be encouraged or discouraged based on external factors, such as management or customer support for CSR.
And conversely, if frontline employees don’t value
 CSR, they aren’t likely to change their opinion of their company or its customers based on support for CSR.

That’s according to a recent study of CSR and job performance by a team of researchers representing 
the fields of international relations, business/marketing, and behavioral sciences. At stake are two key employee- engagement concepts:

• How strongly customers identify with the organization.

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CEO’s Letter: The Two Towers

CEO's Letter: The Two Towers

By Elliot H. Clark

No, in the headline, I am not revisiting the Tolkien trilogy in our philosophical analysis of the corporate responsibility world (but remember the little guys win in that story, so it is inspirational). I propose and we will highlight two important components of the corporate responsibility world at our upcoming COMMIT!ForumTM in New York, October 8-9. These two towers are the “sustainable workforce” and the “responsible supply chain.” And, yes, we would argue that they are linked.

First, the sustainable workforce is a complex thing to describe. To view the workforce from the perspective of sustainability, you have to look at not only the functioning of the current workforce, but the foundations of the workforce of the future.

This futuristic aspect brings in a lot of different perspectives.

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From Where I Sit

From Where I Sit

By Jim Murren
Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International

In 2006, the MGM Resorts Foundation created an event that today we call the Women’s Leadership Conference.

The idea behind the conference – or WLC — was to provide women, and their colleagues with an enrichment experience that would help them advance in the professional world. A nonprofit event, WLC is also an opportunity to enrich our community and give back to those in need.

The 2014 WLC is right around the corner, Aug. 6 and 7. All proceeds collected from the conference, after costs, will be donated to a Nevada- based nonprofit that supports women and girls. After 2013’s conference, the Foundation donated $20,000 to Safe Nest, an organization that assists victims of domestic violence.

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Investigating Motivations

Getting to the heart of the matter

By Bill Hatton

Why are you here?
No, why are you really here?
No, why are you really really here?

At the June 2-6 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, speaker Rich Fernandez encouraged the thousand-plus- person audience to dig into their motivations for attending. Once you know your motivations, it’s easier to figure out your goals. (Rich is VP of learning and development at a leadership and wellness consultant firm, Search Inside Yourself Institute. They do leadership training, specifically, mindfulness and emotional intelligence training.)

The exercise went like this: You breathe quietly, and then you ask yourself why you are here, and you answer it .

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Opening doors for youths

Opening doors for youths

Help for young people struggling to find jobs

About 74 million youths worldwide are looking for jobs and can’t find one—and that’s just one part of a larger youth-unemployment story: 290 million 15- to 24-year- olds are neither working nor going to school, according to the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency. That’s a lot of lives and careers on hold.

What can companies do to help? One effort from Hilton Worldwide might serve as an example. Hilton has committed to helping one million young people prepare for the workforce in the next five years, by 2019. (That’s Hilton’s 100th anniversary.) Its plan, called “Open Doors,” includes some approaches that other companies can consider in their own programs.


Hilton Worldwide has more than 300,000 employees in over 4,000 locations.

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How culture works in the real, messy world

One company questions itself, another moves away, and researchers make a link between doing good and doing well

By Bill Hatton

The mission’s baked in, or supported to be

Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s
by Brad Edmondson. 280 pp. Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc. $18.95.

Plot summary: Vermont hippies learn how to make homemade ice cream. They sell some, try out ideas about some cool new flavors, and before they know it they perfect a way to mass-produce chunks of flavorful stuff in ice cream. They become major players in the premium ice cream market. Their business success gives them the opportunity to run a social- mission-oriented business, operating the company in a way they’d always thought one should be run—promoting values others would imitate such as sustainable agriculture and environmental awareness.

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