Paul Klein's blog

Paul Klein founded Impakt in 2001 to help corporations become social purpose leaders and is considered a pioneer in the areas of corporate social responsibility.

Paul has helped Fortune 500 companies and other large corporations including BC Hydro, Canada Post, The Co-operators, De Beers, Hain-Celestial, Home Depot Canada, McKesson, Nestlé-Purina, National Bank, Petro-Canada, Pfizer, RONA, Shoppers Drug Mart, Starbucks, sanofi-aventis, and 3M to improve the value of their social purpose programs. Paul has also helped many leading non-profit organizations to build shared value partnerships with corporations.

 Paul is a regular contributor to Forbes, has served on the Advisory Council of the Queen’s School of Business, and has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Aboriginal Human Resource Council of Canada, Association of Canadian Advertisers, Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Business and Community Partnership Forum, Canadian Stewardship Conference, and the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada.

Paul is regularly featured in the media as a corporate social responsibility source, was included in the Globe and Mail’s 2011 Leading Thinkers Series, and was recognized as one of America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior.

More Barn: Neil Young and CSR Leadership

“I once went down to Neil’s ranch and he rowed me out into the middle of the lake—putting my life in his hands once again. He waved at someone invisible and music started to play, in the countryside. I realized Neil had his house wired as the left speaker, and his barn wired as the right speaker. And Elliot Mazer, his engineer, said ‘How is it?’ And Neil shouted back . . . ‘More Barn!’” —Graham Nash, talking about how Neil Young first played him Harvest...

6 Criteria for Selecting a CSR Consultant

As companies  embed corporate social responsibility into their businesses, the value of working with CSR consultants isn’t always clear.

In many cases, companies don’t need to hire outside consultants. For example, if you understand your company’s social purpose, your communications team should be able to get the...

The Coming End of Corporate Charity, and How Companies Should Prepare

The end of corporations giving money to charities and getting nothing in return is close at hand.

As the pressure to quantify all results intensifies, businesses are finding that the most meaningful social change happens when they stick to the business of business. This is evident in the way corporate social responsibility has evolved. Once primarily a vehicle for corporate philanthropy, CSR as it is practiced today usually consists of...

Communicating CSR: Four Lessons from Chevron and IBM

By PAUL KLEIN

“You got me there.” That’s what a vice president of marketing for a global pharmaceutical company told me a few years ago when I asked about the impact of her company’s corporate social responsibility communications. At the time, this company was spending millions every year on communicating its programs.

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Ten Ways to Make a Bigger Difference in 2013

By PAUL KLEIN

As a follow up to the article I wrote last week (Three Ways to Secure Your Social License to Operate in 2013) here are ten practical ways that businesses and civil society organizations can improve the impact of their social purpose initiatives in 2013....

Why Has Corporate Social Responsibility Stalled?

CSR has come a long way in a very short time. But while CSR remains a high priority, social performance has been lackluster and corporate leaders want to know how to increase the value of their investments in this area. In this context, it’s no surprise that Fast Forward is the theme of Business for Social R...

Defining the Social Purpose of Business

 

It’s ten years into companies’ efforts to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the returns for business still aren’t good enough.

On the one hand, CSR isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s an important business discipline that has become the equivalent...

Four Ways to Make Mining More Responsible

“Wanting to be socially responsible is different than having to be socially responsible,” says Juan Pablo Duque, CEO of Four Points Mining, a Colombian-British company devoted to the exploitation and exploration of gold and silver in Colombia.

I’ve spent the last two days participating in the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Annual International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange – the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral exploration industry. I 

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Ten Ways for Mining Companies to Work Better with Indigenous People

Why is there such a big gap between what’s important to indigenous people and how mining companies are addressing their priorities?

As a follow-up to the piece I wrote last week (see: Why the Future of Mining Depends on Social Change) I felt it was important to explore this question and to provide some direction for what should mining companies could do differently to improve their relationships with indigenous people.

I got  perspective on this issue

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Why the Future of Mining Depends on Social Change

“CSR represents mining companies of the future. The mining industry, more than any other, is aware of the problems more than other industries and understands the impacts of the past.” –Wes Hanson, President and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd.

From March 4th – March 7th the world’s largest annual gathering of people, companies and organizations connected with mineral exploration will take place in Toronto at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s

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Why Social Change is Good for Business

The most important thing I’ve learned over the last year is that social change has real business value. While corporations that are seen to be “responsible” benefit in many ways including improving reputation, attracting employees, and increasing market share, the real value goes to corporations that understand their social purpose and profit from making social change.

“We talk about the penetration of new markets that are profitable, we talk about saving money through energy efficiency and conserving resources, we talk about the markets for new products and services that...

When CSR Should Be Risky Business

Aligning business purpose and social purpose is a cornerstone for better CSR. Examples of this include pharmaceutical companies investing in health care organizations that align with their therapeutic products, financial institutions supporting financial literacy, and electrical utilities providing free electricity to low income people.

This isn’t rocket science – it just makes good business sense and feels like the right thing to do. Aligned programs that are integrated at an operational level and well communicated internally and externally are...

Nine Ways to Make Mining More Responsible

Last week I attended the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC),  the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral industry.  The convention, which included trade and mining investment shows, attracted more than 22.000 people involved in exploration, discovery and development of mines around the world, and featured more than 1,000 displays from mining companies and suppliers to the industry.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was front and centre at PDAC. There

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Campbell’s Nourish: Authentic Social Purpose or Smart Marketing

As reported by Jessica Leeder in today’s Globe and MailCampbell Canada‘s new Six Grain Vegetable formulation, branded Nourish, is the first Canadian private-sector, not-for-profit product tailored to address the growing problem of world hunger. According to the Globe, Nourish was developed by socially conscious Campbell staffers and will only be distributed to food banks

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A CSR Best Practice at Barrick

According to a report released yesterday by Human Rights Watch, private security personnel employed at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been implicated in alleged gang rapes and other violent abuses. The Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mine has produced billions of dollars of gold in its twenty years of operation, and  is operated and 95 percent owned by Barrick Gold, a Canadian company that is the world’s largest gold producer.

Barrick’s response to this finding has been commendable and should...

Rethinking Capitalism

If you’re interested in corporate social responsibility you need to watch Rethinking Capitalism. In this video,  Harvard Business School Professor Micheal E. Porter explains why business leaders should create products and services that benefit not only the company but also society. It’s an overview of Creating Shared Value, the subject of a recent article in...

Cause Marketing: Which side are you on?

North American corporate cause sponsorship spending should expand by 5.0% in 2011. According to the IEG Sponsorship Report, this will be “driven by marketers seeking to earn goodwill from consumers and other stakeholders still recovering from the recessionary economy”.

A majority of Canadians consider themselves to be ethical consumers and are willing to spend more for products and services from socially responsible companies. An Abacus Data, survey conducted in late 2010 revealed that most...

CSR Messages: Raising the Bar

Do your CSR messages differentiate you from your competitors? Do you tell your CSR story in a way that captures the attention and imagination of your customers and your employees? I thought it would be interesting to look at some real examples – in this case from the oil and gas industry. See what you think: 

“Making the most of energy resources is about more than oil and gas production — it is about...

Social Purpose: The Fifth "P" of Marketing

“Purpose is now the fifth P of marketing. It’s a vital addition to the age-old marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion,” said Mitch Markson, chief creative officer, Edelman, and the founder of Edelman goodpurpose.

Last week, Edelman released the 2010 Goodpurpose Study. The study conducted in 13...

Cause Sponsorship: The New Model

The way corporations sponsor causes is changing dramatically. Sponsors are moving from investing in “properties” that deliver quantifiable ROI in terms of impressions, interactions, and sales to developing proprietary social programs that deliver qualitative ROI such as employee and customer trust and engagement.

Here’s the old paradigm: your corporation identifies a cause property (i.e. an event such as a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure or the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the...

Return on Integrity Is the New Bottom Line for Marketers

What do a small chocolate maker, a global tire manufacturer, a natural-foods company and an insurance company have in common? They all believe that acting with integrity is helping their businesses perform better.

The recession was caused by a culture of capitalism that was characterized by an all-consuming pursuit of profit that put integrity on the back burner and made irresponsible business practices acceptable. As the recession eases, our expectations of corporations have changed radically. Today, we expect corporations to have a social purpose, and we need new ways to assess performance that are not just in black or red.

How should we account for the feelings that employees have toward their employers? What are the best ways to measure the bottom-line impact of a partnership with a community organization? What is the value of authenticity and transparency? What is doing the right thing really worth?

While there are no easy answers to these questions, integrity has become a common denominator to many of the intangible assets that together are adding up to a new idea about what business success looks like. And return on integrity is a new measure that will help redefine how business operates.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently launched a global call to action for business integrity. Its framework for integrity involves: establishing integrity as a C-suite and boardroom priority; putting integrity at the core of a company's mission and making it a business, not a moral issue; establishing company codes and standards based on models recommended by leading standard-setting organizations; establishing internal controls to ensure compliance; and reinforcing standards with rewards and compensation schemes.

The New CSR Frontier: Integrating Sustainability and Community Investment

A Salary Cap for the Non-Profit Sector

Within the community investment community there’s still too much thinking about the money that goes in and not enough about what’s coming out the other end in terms of social capital.  In Canada, a good illustration is the recent debate about salaries for executives in non-profit organizations.

In today’s issue of Charity Village’s Village Vibes weekly e-newsletter there’s an excellent piece by Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf about...

Do You Need a Corporate Responsibility Expert?

If you do, don’t bother calling me. Unfortunately, I’m just a beginner and wouldn’t be much use to a company that needs someone who really knows what they’re talking about. The good news for you, however, is that there now an extraordinary number of corporate responsibility experts, authorities, advisors, and consultants.

Employee Engagement Rethought

The post I wrote on Sunday about the institutionalization of corporate responsibility and the need for more innovation seems to have struck a chord. It’s also made me think more about how specific aspect of corporate responsibility have become ubiquitous and, as a result, may have lost a degree of meaning and impact.

 Employee engagement is a good example. One the one hand, this area is one of the first elements of corporate responsibility to have a been documented as a business driver and direct contributor to key business metrics including recruitment, retention, productivity,...

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