Cities are rapidly changing and the business community is contributing to this evolution. Looking ahead, the city of tomorrow will have more concurrent infrastructures than ever before. Improved transportation systems will have a significant impact on lifestyle. Neither cars nor trains nor buses will become obsolete, but they will be joined by newly customized transit solutions.
Urbanization patterns differ in the developed and developing world. For example, in the United States as the industrial economy emerged, large migration movements and motorization occurred in urban areas. Suburban sprawl developed as a response to population density and access to goods and services. In developing economies, urbanization has developed without a rapid rate of motorization. Therefore the transit systems available in that city are supporting a large population.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is driving innovations in vehicular, rail and air traffic management due to increased population and rapid rates of urbanization. As more people move to cities, modes of transportation become congested, which leads to traffic, pollution, increased fuel consumption, and an inefficient transportation infrastructure.
Car2go, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, promotes a strong sense of sustainability and responsibility to its...
At Amway, nutrition is a core business line. The company’s Nutrilite product is a global leader in nutritional supplements, with more Nutrilite supplements distributed globally than any other brand. Nutrilite products include plants grown, harvested, and processed on the company’s own 8,500 acres of certified organic farms, making Amway the largest organic farmer in the world! The nutrition line of business includes a supplemental education focus to train people about healthy foods and lifestyles.
CHINA’S RURAL CHILDREN:
In 1992, the company expanded operations to China. Amway China has been active in identifying social issues that require attention. For example, they recently learned that an overwhelming majority of the country’s 71 million rural, grade school-aged children are undernourished, living in near poverty conditions, and not receiving a proper education. Amway’s nutrition expertise and commitment to helping...
I think we can all agree that for the field of corporate citizenship, 2012 was a momentous year. It was for BCLC as well. Our new website and blogging community grew tremendously, covering issues such as economic empowerment, community resiliency and social innovation. Our staff bloggers and guest contributors wrote more than 300 articles this year. That’s almost an article a day on how business makes a difference in society.
Here are the five most popular articles among our readers in 2012. I encourage you to read and join the conversation.
1. How Environmental Innovator Lube Stop Became the "Netflix" of Motor Oil
In 2012, businesses proved that being “green” can work in any industry. See how Lube Stop revolutionized a core business function to be more environmentally friendly.
2. So What About the Board?
How can your company successfully align your business strategy and social priorities? Nigel Cameron argues that the key is bringing shared value to your board of directors.
3. Hurricane Sandy: Tips for Business Donors
When Hurricane Sandy made landfall two months ago, businesses across the...
Stephen Jordan and I have been debating what makes a great corporate CSR blog. There are many reasons why companies create blogs, and of course, there’s no right or wrong way to do them. But you can tell a really well-managed blog when you see one. That’s what this post is about – a nod to the corporate blogs that have caught our attention and keep us coming back to read more.
By no means is this an exhaustive list – in fact, we’ll revisit the topic of digital platforms for CSR several times in the future. For now, consider this post our inaugural “watch list” of corporate blogs – especially those focusing on innovations and impact in society.
Well-managed corporate blogs tend to fall into one of three categories, based on the main purpose of the content: 1) to move the needle on issues, 2) to humanize the company and create connections with one or two key audiences, and 3) to give voice to specific leaders whose personal brands are closely linked to the company’s reputational or operational success.
Without further ado, here’s what we’re reading lately:
Blogs that Move the Needle
It was tough to list only three here, but alas, that’s my task at hand. You get the sense from the following blogs that the companies are deeply involved as corporate citizens in solving societal challenges and creating improved opportunities for people and communities. In alpha order, today...
BCLC’s fall events -- the Global Conference and the Citizens Awards -- were an inspiration. Personally, I couldn’t help but be inspired by so many companies tackling the world’s problems so thoughtfully. Interestingly, among the many topics companies cover, I noticed a common thread: measurement is sorely needed in CSR, and there is a lot of ambiguity about the best way to measure success.
As a self-described “data nerd,” many of these issues are quite familiar to me and I thought some advice might be helpful.
In particular, I think there are three common “myths” that impede good measurement of corporate responsibility initiatives. These aren’t the only issues (by far), but they do get in the way of attempts to measure impact. If we can get past these three myths, I think measuring impact would be a great deal easier.
Myth #1: Certain things just can’t be measured.
This common wisdom is found throughout the business community, not just in CSR. The idea shows up in many different guises – one often hears about “intangible effects” and “incalculable benefits.”
Certainly many phenomena are complex and difficult to measure – yet everything can be measured. In all of my experience gathering quantitative and qualitative data, I’ve found that there is no human interaction so irrational or elusive that it couldn’t...
In the January-February 2011 edition of HBR, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer made the case for shared value. As a consultant to companies on innovation and social impact, this was one of the most welcome articles I have read in the past several years. When - arguably - the biggest name in the study of management lends his voice to the case for social good AND shows correlation to profitability, people listen.
Until this article came out, explaining the difference between the return owed to shareholders (those whom you owe a financial return under an investment contract) versus the return owed to stakeholders (those whom you owe a financial return under the social contract) seemed to be at odds with each other.
Porter and Kramer eloquently make the case for using the creative and innovative solutions that are spawned by capitalism to create new opportunities for companies to grow revenues while simultaneously addressing and solving some of the world’s most difficult problems. In their framework, creating opportunities for shared value center around three opportunities, 1) Reconceiving Products & Markets, 2) Redefining Productivity in the Value Chain, and 3) Enabling Local Cluster Development.
Shared Value reasons (and with good anecdotal evidence) that the opportunities for companies to both “achieve social results” and “business performance” is not only possible, but also...
The Reputation Institute held a webinar early December on its 2012 Global RepTrak 100 poll to announce which global companies earned “The Best CSR Reputation in the World.” While this was surely a celebratory event—featuring a nice holiday gift for the winners!—the topic under discussion was a potential downer: “Is CSR dead or just mismanaged?”
Why the gloom? There was evidence aplenty in the RepTrak poll that it has been a bad CSR year for the world’s 100 best-known global companies. Here are some of the depressing findings (based on consumer ratings of individual companies):
- Only 35% believe these companies are good corporate citizens that support good causes and protect the environment
- Only 36% believe these companies are appealing places to work that treat employees well
- Only 40% believe these are responsibly run companies that behave ethically and are open and transparent in their business dealings
Moreover, the majority of consumers in each of 15 countries sampled are neutral or not sure if the rated companies can be trusted to deliver on their Citizenship, Governance, and Workplace responsibilities.
So, is CSR dead or just mismanaged? Cheer up; these aren’t the only two options….
This month we're dedicating a blog series to sharing information about business-led efforts to fight the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. We're looking specifically at corporate workplace programs that help companies and their employees manage the disease.
As part of our December Series - Workplace Solutions to Beat AIDS - BCLC caught up with Dr. Murray Coombs, Health Director for Middle East and Africa for the Dow Chemical Company. Dow, which received a GBC “commendation” in the Workplace/Workforce Engagement category of the 2011 Business Action on Health Awards, has a workplace HIV/AIDS program that has resulted in lower new infection rate for employees in Africa and zero employee deaths from the disease for five years.
Here are some of the highlights we learned from Dr. Coombs:
- Dow's workforce in Africa faced death, ill health, absence, and low productivity due to HIV/AIDS in the early years.
- Dow's HIV/AIDS policy and program has...
Followers of this blog realize the great importance of CSR work for tackling society’s challenges. But beyond this fundamental understanding there is a lot of ambiguity in the world of corporate responsibility. In particular, there is a lack of understanding of basic facts. No one quite knows how many companies are tackling social and environmental issues, which issues they are tackling, and where they are tackling them. Take recent survey results as an example.
Corporate and investor relations firm Adam Friedman Associates (AFA) recently conducted a survey on global corporate social responsibility. The survey focused on “on how [CSR] executives within Fortune 1000 organizations develop, measure and report the results of their CSR initiatives.” Interestingly, among the 77 executives who responded, they reported initiatives focused on: environmental issues (96%), health issues (68%), educational issues (59%), human rights (55%), labor issues (50%), and safety (11%) as a program focus.
There is a lot of ambiguity in the world of corporate responsibility. In particular, there is a lack of understanding of basic facts.
In theory, this survey shows some foundational research on the work of CSR programs – foundational information that is sorely needed. What’s fascinating about this...
By Katie Loovis, Director of U.S. Community Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement, GlaxoSmithKline
What do Sanlin Town, Shanghai China and Nairobi’s Kibera slum in Kenya have in common? They are two poor communities where GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) employees are deeply committed to local partnerships and both partnerships were recognized last week as gold standards in global corporate citizenship.
|Katie with BCLC's Stephen Jordan and ARAMARK's Rick Martella (BCLC chairman)|
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) recognized GSK’s Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education (PHASE) program as a Finalist in the “Best International Ambassador” award during their annual “Citizens Awards” on Thursday, December 6, 2012 in Washington, DC.
PHASE helps combat the devastating spread of diarrheal disease, which takes the lives of three million people every year, most...