Vol. 8 No. 4 – July/August 2017

Companies and CEOs Increasingly Speaking Out on Social Issues

When companies take a public stance on social matters, their influence extends far beyond the typical corporate boundaries. By Daryl Brewster When it comes to companies speaking out publicly on social issues, events in North Carolina, Indiana, Baltimore, and several Executive Orders drew significant attention from business leaders over the last 12 months. When companies take a position, reactions from consumers can cause whiplash. While some companies advocate forcefully, others don’t, and any approach is subject to public challenge. In an increasingly polarized environment, it’s likely a company will both gain and lose brand supporters, and the loudest advocates or detractors will use social media as their bullhorn. To better equip corporate leaders with strategies on how to respond to social issues, CECP asked members of our corporate coalition to weigh in on how attention received by other companies is affecting their company strategy for speaking out on a social issue.

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How to Align Your Citizenship Strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN_SDG_Logo Care about brands taking stands? Join Terracycle CEO Tom Szaky to talk diaper recycling, Leidos CEO Roger Krone on the corporate response to the opioid epidemic, and more at the 2017 Commit!Forum in Washington DC this October.  By  Mandy Ryan, Managing Director at Changing Our World Have you been tasked with addressing how your company supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Are you hoping to connect and align your corporate citizenship efforts to a shared global strategy to put your activities in context and amplify your impact? It’s been about two years since the SDGs – a set of 17 goals such as No Poverty (#1), Quality Education (#4), and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (#16) and 169 associated targets – were adopted as a part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Helping the Honey Bee: General Mills Works to Protect Pollinators

pollinator-habitat COMMIT!Forum will convene hundreds of corporate social responsibility leaders and CEOs from CR Magazine’s annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking.  The event includes a pre-conference workshop on integrated CSR and sustainability reporting from BrownFlynn.  Emcees for COMMIT!Forum include Aman Singh, editor in chief of Futerra, and Icema Gibbs, head of CSR at Jetblue Airways. More information here By Jim Witkin Could you do your job if you were kicked out your house, had no food, and under constant attack by parasites and poisons? Not likely. But this is what life is like for many species of birds, bees and other insects who pollinate our crops and help grow one-third of the global food supply. The numbers are not pretty.

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5 Research Studies on ‘Brands Taking Stands’ Trend

lgbtq flag stand COMMIT!Forum will convene hundreds of corporate social responsibility leaders and CEOs from CR Magazine’s annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking.  The event includes a pre-conference workshop on integrated CSR and sustainability reporting from BrownFlynn.  Emcees for COMMIT!Forum include Aman Singh, editor in chief of Futerra, and Icema Gibbs, head of CSR at Jetblue Airways. By Dave Armon With 50 Fortune 500 companies and more than 400 small businesses voicing opposition to a proposed Texas bathroom law, the phenomenon of brands taking stands shows no sign of abating. But there was a pause, immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump was inaugurated, when large companies showed signs of retrenchment from publicly advocating for progressive policies on environmental, social and governance issues, according to a poll from the nonprofit CEO-led coalition Continue reading →

C-Suite Support Plays Integral Role in Corporate Social Responsibility

Alexander Mann Solutions employees are given one paid day a year to volunteer in their community. To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 A company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) program says a lot about its business values. In today's business world, companies are judged not just by the quality of products and services they offer but how willing they are to invest in the communities they call home, and how engaged both their workforce is in demonstrating those values. And as one international corporation has discovered, corporate leadership engagement is often critical to ensuring a vibrant and successful CSR strategy. Alexander Mann Solutions, which was founded by Rosaleen Blair in 1996, is considered a global leader in talent acquisition and management.

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Time for Media Trainers to Start Sweating

4775027305_6fc0b26d10_o By Dave Armon For corporate responsibility professionals who want to show the positive impact of their work, video is often the medium of choice. But hold off on powdering your CEO’s nose and firing up the teleprompter. Authenticity suffers when those appearing on camera look like they’ve just completed Media Training 101, says Vern Oakley, a veteran filmmaker who founded Tribe Pictures in 1986. Oakley will lead a session aimed at helping CSR and sustainability pros tell better stories using video during COMMIT!Forum, Oct. 11-12. “While media training prepares you for some specific situations, it can suck all the authenticity out of you and leave nothing but a corporate taking head,” warns Oakley in his new book, Leadership in Focus. “It teaches people to pivot, to avoid, to squirm, and to dodge. Media training helps people go on Fox News or sit with Charlie Rose or get in a good quip at the debate, but what happens in media training is the total opposite of what it takes to be you on camera.

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Today, Earth Overshoot Day

mike-wilson-113304-woman-in-crowd-e1501447611364 To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Tom Schueneman Today is Earth Overshoot Day. As of today, the year is done for planet Earth, she has given a year's worth of natural resources.  It may seem counter-intuitive at first. Obviously, we aren’t done with 2017 yet. How can we take more than the Earth makes, for decades on end? Have you ever run out of money before running out of month? If not, pat yourself on the back. You know how to consistently manage your resources. For the rest of us, we borrow against our future ability to fill in the gaps, keep things flowing. What about running out of Earth before running out of year? We all do that.

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How Mosaic Manages Environmental Impacts of Fertilizer Mining

6258029304_ebcdb05e57_z To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Gina-Marie Cheeseman There are over seven billion people in the world and every one of them needs to eat to live. Feeding a growing world population means that crop yields have to be improved. Fertilizers are important to improve crop yields in order to feed a growing global population. As the world population grows, the demand for food will continue to grow while the amount of cultivated land will not significantly increase, making methods to improve crop production important. American farmers are the most productive in the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The U.S. is a big producer of fertilizers for both domestic use and to be exported. The USGS maintains that applying mineral fertilizers in “increased quantities...is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve soil fertility.

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Smithfield Foods Advances Animal Care and Emissions Reductions

sage-pork-smithfield2016 To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Gina-Marie Cheeseman Our pork chop and bacon habits require a lot of pigs. Which means those in the pork business are in the pregnant sow business. Unfortunately, industry standard "gestation crates" are pretty miserable due to their tiny size. Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog producer, is committed to transitioning all pregnant sows on company-owned farms to group housing systems by the end of 2017. The company is well on its way to meet the goal. As of the end of last year, 87 percent of its company-owned farms house pregnant sows in group systems. Smithfield recommends that all of its contract sow grocers in the U.S. transition to group housing by the end of 2022. Although it is only a recommendation, the company states in its latest sustainability report that “if growers choose not to participate, their current contracts will remain unchanged, although extensions are less likely.

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Corporate Responsibility Practitioner Roundup: Totem Power

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 11.47.29 AM At the recent Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit, CR Magazine spoke with Brian Lakamp, Founder and CEO at Totem Power. Totem's smart hub combines modern communications, advanced energy, and distributed intelligence into a single, powerful platform for modern campuses, retail centers, commercial facilities, cities and more. We spoke with him about being a practitioner in the clean energy space. CRMag:As a practitioner, how does telling the Corporate Responsibility (CR) story feel different from everyday sales & marketing? Brian Lakamp: Totem is the first smart city platform that is dedicated to telling its CR story through its core offering. Totem was founded to grow and connect responsible and resilient communities– and that is at the heart of the company. Corporations are missing out on massive opportunities to leverage their CR and sustainability investments beyond their PR and company messaging. By installing Totem into their campuses or parking lots, corporations can breed awareness and engagement with corporate sustainability commitments across customers and employees in ways that that haven’t been available previously.

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