Social Responsibility 

Neighborhood Watch

Human Rights Watch’s corporate focus takes on labor rights and corrupt international revenue streams.

Borne out of Helsinki Watch in 1978, the present form of Human Rights Watch was introduced in 1988 as an investigatory organization publishing accounts of global-wide human rights abuses. HRW aims its exposure-based methodology at the executive and legislative levels, primarily through its first-hand reports of abuses filed by researchers in problematic countries. These reports are then used to put pressure on governments and corporations to motivate change.

A Holistic Approach to CSR

By integrating social responsibility and corporate practices, UnitedHealth Group and others are seeing healthy results.

Companies increasingly recognize they can no longer claim to create societal value simply by being engines of prosperity that complement the job of government. Similarly, those that approach CSR primarily as a reputation enhancer are beginning to understand that this relegates them to the margins of their business model. An optimal CSR program, instead, flows from and complements a company’s core work, operating at the nexus of both the company’s and society’s interests.

New Horizons in CSR: Risk and Security

FireHow companies can play an important role in addressing environmental, social and economic risk and security.

Imagine the next major disaster: a Katrina, a tsunami, a 9/11, in your hometown or city. Now imagine a situation where your local supermarkets and hardware stores do not close up, leave town and hire private police to protect them from looters. Instead, they open their doors, invite people in and give them the emergency supplies they need. Is it possible for companies to adopt these hypothetical risk assessment techniques?

Apple, Motorola in the RED?

High expense and low returns bring attention to RED's new philanthropic model.

The RED campaign, launched last year with the fanfare of celebrity endorsement and the involvement of Apple, Motorola and Gap to benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has come under attack following an AdAge article reporting that the involved companies spent $100 million on marketing and have raised only $18 million worldwide. The figures have drawn criticism from nonprofit and consumer watchdogs, along with a response from RED CEO Bobby Shriver.

Corporate Philanthropy Awards Honor Trend

While some companies are rewarded for their philanthropic work, others are forced to scale back.

GlaxoSmithKline, Salesforce.com and the National Academy Foundation were honored for their philanthropic initiatives by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) during the Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Awards luncheon Monday, Feb. 26, in New York City. On the same day, Fannie Mae announced it would be shutting down its foundation. 

Africa Needs the Private Sector

AfricaMany advocates for aid to Africa seem to be unaware of how important the private sector is for growth. After 40 years of aid that has climbed into the trillions, Sub-Saharan Africa is poorer now than it was in 1960.

Lack of money isn’t the problem -- the system just doesn’t work. The real question is: Why has Africa been left out of the business revolution?

Corporate Philanthropy Responds to Disasters

Hurricane Katrina and other recent major disasters are prompting corporations to make their philanthropic programs more responsive to unexpected events.

Global Citizen

Issue2 CoverAn interview with Pamela Passman, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.

Pamela Passman recalls her conversation with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington in the spring of 2002. Passman was new in her position as the software giant’s Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs. The discussion turned to Microsoft’s corporate citizenship initiatives around the world, with the theme being, “We’re doing an awful lot of different stuff.”

Ballmer wasn’t happy. “Steve said to me, ‘I feel like everything we do is pop guns!’” she recounts. “He was very dramatic. ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! It’s all nice, but... If we really focused our resources, we could do something very significant. Go figure it out, Pamela.’” That was quite a challenge...