CSR Blogs

Sustainability ‘Pioneers’ Honored for Backing SDGs

The mechanics of corporate disclosure were a big part of my two decades on the management team of a commercial newswire service. 

As the biggest distributor of earnings releases and other time-sensitive data, our team worked with CFOs, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications to quench an insatiable thirst from stakeholders for market-moving financial information.

Fast forward to 2016 and we’re seeing thousands of companies providing varying levels of voluntary sustainability reporting and healthy respect for the handful of stock changes that are starting to mandate...

Nasdaq President Addresses Sustainability Reporting

The president of Nasdaq Inc. served as a different kind of market maker at a gathering of the Sustainerati this week.

Adena Friedman was celebrated at the United National Global Compact’s Leadership Summit as a role model for those just beginning their careers in sustainability and social impact work. Starting as an intern as she finished business school in 1993, she is now widely seen as the apparent heir to Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld, when he retires.

Friedman was also...

CEOs Urged to Talk ESG, Though Wall Street Wants EPS

CEOs need to ramp up communications about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues even when Wall Street is more concerned with short-term financial performance like earnings per share (EPS), according to a new report from the Conference Board.

While acknowledging that reporting about sustainability is at an all-time high, the failure of the investment community to engage can be remedied if CEOs take the lead, maintains Thomas Singer, principal researcher in corporate leadership at the Conference Board.

“In addition to incorporating sustainability into annual...

Innovation within Corporate Shared Value

Traditional corporate philanthropy’s methodology of simply giving funds to worthy causes is increasingly seen as unsustainable and fading into the past. Companies are now moving beyond their bottom lines to make a measurable difference in their communities by connecting CSR efforts with their core mission, products and branding shared value.

During the Social Innovation Summit in Washington this week, Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart’s CSO and president of the Walmart Foundation, called for companies to play a new role as problem-solvers and innovators. She cited the company’s...

Strategy Alert: Pros Focus on a Cause, Follow Trends to Maximize Impact

Staying ahead of the curve and in the know isn’t optional for world-class marketers.  It’s the reason brain trusts like the Cause Marketing Forum fill massive hotel ball rooms with corporate CMOs, nonprofits and communicators eager to create the next movement that awes consumers and changes the world for the better.

In the traditional realm of social responsibility, few brands connect business with social impact better than JetBlue.

“Inspiring humanity goes a long way. Whether it’s donations or volunteer hours, we strive to make sure it all counts,” Mike Elliott, JetBlue’s...

Brand Support for Sustainable Development Goals is Rising, Reveals 3BL Media Study

The United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) have sparked corporate and nonprofit communications activities that are growing each month, according to an analysis we’ve just conducted here at 3BL Media.

Brands have created 30 percent more digital content mentioning the SDGs or Global Goals so far in the second quarter of 2016 than the prior quarter. Consumer, pharmaceuticals and financial services were among the sectors referencing the SDGS more often.

The Global Goals were masterfully launched in September 2015 with great fanfare that included leaders of state,...

Cause Marketing Done Right: Bridging the Gap Between CSR & Brand-Building

Mining for the next big idea is constantly underway in marketing departments across the world. In today’s content marketing world, the next killer concept has to be better than a catchy slogan and a viral video.

As corporate social responsibility and cause-awareness continue to grow within the marketing world, some brands struggle to bring together the product and the cause seamlessly, according to brand and non-profit experts gathering at the annual Cause Marketing...

Corporate America honors fallen soldiers, supports veterans

On this Memorial Day, we salute the men and women whose lives were lost while serving in the U.S. armed forced.

To the fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, partners, children, grandchildren and friends whose loved one did not come home from military service, please accept our condolences for your loss and our gratitude for your loved ones' sacrifice.

Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day, celebrated in November.

Yet it is hard not to draw contrasts between those who died on the battlefield and those who returned home with scars, both mental and physical...

A Case Against the 'S Word'

For a few minutes today, it appeared the United Nations might have to rebrand the newly minted sustainable development goals as PDGs.

A soul-searching session on day two of the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) conference in Amsterdam took issue with the term sustainability, suggesting companies adopt “purpose” instead.

“The word sustainability is about as bad as it gets from a branding perspective,” said Ken Pucker, a former COO at Timberland who now teaches at Boston University, adding that CSR, CR, EHG and other corporate functions that are not fully integrated across a...

Watch 3BL Media updates from GRI in Amsterdam on Facebook Live at 10 a.m. ET, May 18-20

What a difference two years makes.

It’s been 24 months since corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability executives gathered in Amsterdam to discuss how their companies are tackling environmental and social challenges, and how best to report their progress.

As delegates of the fifth GRI Global Conference assemble in Amsterdam for a three-day summit beginning Wednesday, skeptics will be few and far between in the wake of two landmark agreements.

In Paris, leaders from 195 nations signed a universal, legally binding climate change pact that limits global...

‘Clean trillion’ is New Goal for $300 Billion Woman

The $300 billion woman is shedding her CEO title at the largest U.S. pension fund and adopting another monetary moniker: cheerleader for the “clean trillion.”

Anne Stausboll, who retires from CalPERS at the end of 2016, is urging global capital markets to remove barriers so the aggressive climate change goals agreed to by 175 global leaders in Paris can be achieved.

“The Paris agreement’s importance cannot be overstated. It’s unleased an unprecedented opportunity for institutional investors worldwide – a powerful, global green light to shape tomorrows low-carbon economy,”...

Gnarly Fruit Paves Way for Ugly Fish Jerky in Battle to Curb Food Waste

Misshapen carrots, oranges with bulging navels and pockmarked pomegranates have debuted at the Whole Foods and Giant Eagle supermarket chains, giving U.S. consumers a wake-up call about the issue of food waste.

Shoppers at Intermarche in France and Asda in the UK are already buying tons of wonky fruit in a successful campaign to reduce the unnecessary disposal of produce that was fresh but lacking in aesthetic appeal.

In January, Shark Tank investor Robert...

Senator Whitehouse to Ceres Conference: 'Denial Castle' is Crumbling

With the ink barely dry on the landmark Paris COP21 agreement signed by 175 countries, one New England lawmaker sees “real cracks in denial castle” and is calling on corporations to lobby Republicans in Congress to break party ranks and take a stand on climate change.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said industry associations opposed to stronger laws curtailing fossil fuels are now the only voices being heard in Washington.

“Talking to my colleagues about climate change is like talking to prisoners about escape,” Whitehouse quipped at the opening session of a conference...

Peso for Your Thoughts on Sustainability?

Acronyms make it easier to remember new concepts. The term PESO – paid, earned, shared and owned -- was useful in remembering the new paradigm for PR pros and marketers seeking to reach key audiences with their content in a highly fragmented media environment.

For those PR purists who find it hard to stomach paid as a mainstay comms tactic, try rearranging the letters and going with ESOP. This acknowledges that scoring coverage in a respected news outlet often commands more authority than the content a brand writes and publishes on its own.

Pitching a positive story about a...

Going At It Alone

Sometimes boldly going where no brand has gone before can be a lonely voyage.

Three multibillion-dollar companies, that received accolades for taking an early and socially progressive stance on controversial issues, have publicly acknowledged they expected their competitors to follow suit sooner.

“We’re the only big company that’s on the record for mandatory GMO labeling on the label,” Dave Stangis, VP of public affairs and corporate responsibility for Campbell Soup Company,” said during an Ethical Corporation event in New York City. “We thought we’d have some followers.”...

Turning Corporate Goals into a Movement: Impact 2030 Gains Momentum

With the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in place, the call to action is to harness the collective action of the public and private sector to fully realize this potential.

Few groups are as well positioned to get busy on meaningful social projects than a consortium of big multinational corporations dubbed Impact 2030.  The nonprofit, which formed in 2014 in anticipation of the SDGs, strives to put company-sponsored volunteering front and center.

“When our employees share their skills, there is a far reaching...

From Farmer to Aerospace Engineer, 4-H Launches Drones

The farm kids’ organization long associated with sheep shearing and canning vegetables will focus its 6 million youth members on drone aircraft as its official national science experiment this year, 4-H Council’s president and CEO announced Tuesday.

The drone project aligns with a high-tech makeover aimed at encouraging girls to pursue science and engineering careers which, if successful, could make it easier for big U.S. defense contractors like Lockheed Martin to recruit female engineers in the year ahead...

Corporate Responsibility Needed at Uber, Says GreenBiz Presenter

It’s routine for massively successful startups like Uber to inspire or unnerve executives of the legacy businesses being disrupted by the sharing economy.

But Monday was anything but routine at GreenBiz, where an opening session on the circular economy took a detour to focus on Uber’s lack of corporate responsibility.

“That’s not the kind of design we want to put into the world,” Steelcase Inc.’s Angela Nahikian said of Uber’s focus on growth rather than ensuring the safety of customers and the communities where the ride-sharing service operates...

How Much is Too Much?

A Look at Wounded Warriors Project & Operating Costs

Should not-for-profit organizations operate more like for-profit businesses?

In this age of “value creation,” improving the operational efficiency of charitable organizations has become a top-of-mind issue as businesses seek more measureable outcomes for social initiatives. On the other side, leaders from the non-profit sector often cite that “not-for-profit” is a tax status designation, not a business model.

During my time working at Boys & Girls Clubs America in the strategic marketing department,...

News Sites Emphasize Sloths, Social Good

A “help wanted” posting by an executive editor at The Huffington Post caught my eye recently.

Few news organizations have keener insights into the type of content that compels readers to click and share, so the fact that HuffPost is beefing up its “Good News” section is indeed good news for CSR and sustainability communicators.

“Do you communicate with your friends in GIFs? Do you have airtight journalism standards? Can you...

Thaw and Learn: 14 Winter, Spring 2016 CSR & Sustainability Conferences

Accountants have been around since the abacus. Personnel managers began issuing pink slips to unlucky employees as early as 1910. 

Corporate social responsibility and sustainability officers are a much more recent breed of corporate professional. Their numbers are growing, with more than 7,000 organizations now issuing sustainability reports, up from a few dozen in the early 1990s.

Because few companies have long-established departments staffed with generations of veteran CSR pros to teach newbies the ins and outs of corporate citizenship, learning often takes place during...

CVS Tobacco Ban Wins Market Share, One Octogenarian at a Time

Larry Merlo gets a gold star from retired pre-school teacher Reva Sipser.

The president and CEO of CVS Health banned sales of cigarettes at the chain’s more than 7,900 stores in 2014, proclaiming, “Tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered.”

The move sacrificed billions in cigarette-related retail revenue. But the positive reaction of Reva Sipser, age 88, suggests CVS Health’s reputation boost may be worth far more in the faster growing health and pharmacy segment.  

“When I saw that CVS was no longer selling cigarettes, I decided to...

UN Sustainable Development Goals are Pfizer's 'Christmas Windows' Display

Just two blocks from Grand Central Terminal, Pfizer’s headquarters on East 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan gets plenty of vehicular and foot traffic.

While it’s not Times Square, the location would earn a solid B+ from marketers if they could use the pharmaceutical giant’s office tower as a billboard.

So the site takeover procured by Pfizer’s Chris Gray is a feat worthy of acknowledgment.

When I last saw Chris, Pfizer’s senior director of global institutions and corporate responsibility, at the BSR Conference in San Francisco, the United Nation’s 2030...

Eco-Innovator Ellen MacArthur Partners With H&M to Recycle Clothes

While attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe 11 years ago, British sailing champion Ellen MacArthur had plenty of time to think.

Sure, she probably considered how success might lead to being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II – and how she’d have to reprint her business cards to include the title Dame before her name.

But her 71 days alone at sea also allowed her to ponder weightier topics like ecology and industrial engineering.

“Without looking for it, I found something quite fundamental. That was that when you sail around the world in a...

No Unicorn Sightings at BSR

Just blocks from a San Francisco construction site that will become the new home of the 61-story Salesforce Tower, executives from across the globe gathered yesterday at BSR Conference to learn how to be better corporate citizens.

Salesforce, with a $53 billion market cap, dedicates 1 percent of its value – defined as profit, equity, and employee time --...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs