Combatting Fake News: Advice for Brands

brandw By Dave Armon While Congress examines the impact of fake news on the 2016 election, corporate executives are partnering with media watchdogs so they are better prepared for the day a hoax targets their brands. The News Integrity Initiative, freshly funded with $14 million to combat fake news, is preparing to create an early warning network by linking together newsrooms with NGOs and corporate social media “war rooms” so misinformation campaigns can be identified earlier and quickly revealed to affected audiences. “Tech brings incredible opportunity to connect each other to do amazing things; but there are bad actors,” said Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY J-School and executive committee member of the News Integrity Initiative, whose funders include Facebook, Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and the Ford Foundation. Companies that find themselves in the crosshairs of sudden, high-volume social media attacks should take a deep breath before jumping into the fray, says Leah Gerstner, vice president of public affairs for American Express.

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Alternative Energy Provider Statements on U.S. Exiting Paris Climate Agreement

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 our recent alternative energy story to comment. Statements are below. Exelon: Exelon is committed to working with policymakers to drive progress on energy policies that benefit our customers, economy and the global environment, and so we continue to support placing a value on carbon emissions nationally, as well as the innovative policies coming out at the state level – such as zero-emissions credit programs and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – that reduce air pollution and protect human health. ExxonMobil: ExxonMobil supports the Paris Accord, which is an important step forward in the global challenge to reduce emissions. It’s the first major international accord to address climate change that includes emissions reduction pledges from both developed and developing economies.

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2017 Sustainability Leaders Survey released at Sustainable Brands 2017

Integrating sustainability values, demonstrating innovation and fostering transparency will be the defining characteristics of leading organizations in the next 10 years, according to the findings of a pre-release of the 2017 Sustainability Leaders Survey by GlobeScan and SustainAbility in partnership with Sustainable Brands, which was unveiled May 21 in Detroit. Unilever continues to be seen as the global leader on sustainability, receiving nearly half of total mentions cited (45 percent, up two points from 2016). Unilever holds this dominant position for the seventh year in a row. Continue reading →

Whole Planet Foundation Launches 2017 Prosperity Campaign

Austin, Texas—On Wednesday, March 1, Whole Planet Foundation will launch its 12th Prosperity Campaign, which funds microfinance organizations and microcredit loans to alleviate poverty in regions where Whole Foods Market sources products. The organization’s focus is on women in the developing world, where small loans can help entrepreneurs create a better life. The campaign’s goal is to raise $3.2 million during the month of March to fund microcredit loans, increasing the foundation’s current reach of 15 U.S. cities and 69 countries. Whole Foods Market shoppers can get involved by making donations at store checkouts or online. Because Whole Foods Market covers all of the foundation’s operational costs, 100 percent of every dollar donated directly supports Whole Planet Foundation programs. “The Prosperity Campaign is such an integral part of our work, not only because of the money we are able to raise, but because of the connections we make with Whole Foods Market customers who care about alleviating poverty,” said Joy Stoddard, Whole Planet Foundation development and outreach director.

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Yum! Brands Announces Expanded Parental Leave Policy

Louisville, KY—Yum! Brands has announced an expanded parental time-off policy as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to its people-first culture and investment in its employees. The expanded parental time-off policy offers birth mothers 18 weeks of fully paid time away from work, including six weeks of “baby bonding” time. In addition, the policy offers six weeks of fully paid “baby bonding” time away from work to fathers, partners, adoptive, and foster parents. Yum! Brands, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell employees at its U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Plano, Texas, and Irvine, Calif., as well as other company restaurant leaders across the country, can take advantage of the policy immediately. “As we transform Yum! Brands into a more growth-focused brand builder and global franchisor, investing in our unrivaled culture while engaging and attracting talent is a top priority,” Tracy Skeans, chief transformation and people officer at Yum! Brands, said. “This expanded parental time off and baby bonding benefit builds on our strong legacy of investing in our people and culture to fuel great results and continuously providing meaningful ways to help our employees contribute their best at work and at home.

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Walmart Introduces Science-Based Targets and Other Sustainable Initiatives

Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon recently outlined a roadmap that will guide the company’s role in society on critical issues over the next several years, pointing to a “new era of trust and transparency.” The roadmap adds new detail to Walmart’s sustainability agenda and contains new commitments that reflect a wider recognition of the company’s impact on communities and the planet. Walmart is the first retailer with an emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015. Under the approved plan, Walmart will use a combination of energy-efficiency measures, together with a commitment to source half of the company’s energy needs from renewable sources, to achieve an 18 percent emissions reduction in its own operations by 2025. Additionally, Walmart will work with suppliers to reduce emissions by 1 Gigaton by 2030, equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.

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Editor’s Letter: Superstar Status

Welcome to 2017! In this first issue of the year, we announce our annual list of CR Superstars. These thought leaders have impressive backgrounds, valuable industry contributions, and exciting futures. We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to this outstanding group.What does it mean to be a CR Superstar? There are traits that an executive needs to be successful, but being specifically recognized as a CR and sustainability leader requires something extra. This something extra is passion.Being passionate about your work is essential in this industry. We like to acknowledge leaders who live and breathe CR in their everyday lives—whether it's through volunteering in your free time, driving a hybrid vehicle, choosing to head up a philanthropic arm of the company, or even writing for us at CR Magazine to share some of your initiatives with our readers. We see your efforts and we wholeheartedly respect them.This year, we have more nominations than ever—meaning we have more readers who are encouraged to nominate their peers and increase their visibility.

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SC Johnson Earns Perfect Score On Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index

Company's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Recognized for the 15th Consecutive Year RACINE, Wis., Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SC Johnson, maker of trusted consumers brands like Glade®, OFF!®, Scrubbing Bubbles® and Ziploc®, today announced that it has earned a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. The HRC rates companies on a scale of 0 to 100 for their fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. This marks the 15th consecutive year that the company has been recognized on this prestigious list and the 12th time it has achieved a perfect score. By earning a perfect score, SC Johnson is designated a 2017 Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality by HRC. "We are honored to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for the 15th time," said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO, SC Johnson. "Receiving a perfect score is a tremendous testament to SC Johnson's commitment to create an inclusive workplace where people can bring their best to work every day.

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Overall Ladder Awards List

Each year, Corporate Responsibility Magazine engages its research partners in an in-depth and arduous process that ranks each Russell 1000 company according to its performance on 260 data points related to CR. These data elements are gathered from publicly available information, and are evaluated for our annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List that measures transparency, accountability, and business success.

To further expand on our 100 Best Ladder Awards, we have also published a list of the companies in the Russell 1000 that have climbed the largest number of spaces overall.

To view the Russell 1000 Overall Ladder Awards List, click here.