October Corporate Citizenship Highlights

As corporations work to stay on the cutting edge of corporate citizenship practice, business leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the role that company citizenship plays in overall business strategy, and how—if effectively aligned—environmental, social, and governance dimensions can result in increased performance. The forthcoming 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship study reports that executives whose companies integrated corporate citizenship programs with their overall business strategy and were more likely to report success than those whose companies considered it an add-on activity. In October, we witnessed several Center members aligning their unique values and skill-sets with ambitious corporate citizenship initiates in an effort to combat two of the most imminent global threats: the Ebola virus and climate change. Reynolds American is providing tobacco leaves to produce doses of ZMapp, an experimental drug used to treat Ebola, while Nestlé and Hershey join the fight against the disease by working with the World Cocoa Foundation in an effort to provide aid to affected workers is West Africa. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems, 3M, and Kimberly-Clark are doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking part in the Solar Community Initiative, conceived by the World Wildlife Fund, and offering employees solar systems for their homes at lower rates. Corporate citizenship efforts of this scale require support from the top, and leaders can do a lot to drive initiatives when they’re effectively informed and motivated. For more on how leaders perceive corporate citizenship, as well as what corporate citizenship practitioners can do to gain executive support, check out the following offerings from the Center.

Open for all
  • Katherine V. Smith, executive director at the Center for Corporate Citizenship, provides a glance into the forthcoming 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship in her most recent blog.
  • Senior executives at New Balance, Campbell, Fed Ex and the Walt Disney Company share their views on corporate citizenship.
  • The most recent edition of the Corporate Citizen magazine offers four ways to engage your CFO and COO.
  • Research finds that firms that engage with corporate citizenship decisions at the board-level are more likely to consider the interests of multiple stakeholders, resulting in better engagement with customers, employees, and external stakeholders, and also a higher return on equity overall for the firm.*
Members only
  • Earlier this month, Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability, Nielsen joined Smith to discuss key findings from the forthcoming 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship in an hour-long webinar, providing the most up-to-date empirical research on executive opinions and consumer actions.
  • The Center’s 2013 Profile of the Practice finds that executives are leading corporate citizenship efforts more frequently.
  • Research finds that leaders in U.S. firms believe that corporate citizenship positively impacts corporate image and reputation, stakeholder satisfaction and employee morale.
  • A study finds that rational arguments, data, and analysis that demonstrate the benefits of a proposed program will help gain support for corporate citizenship initiatives from senior executives.

* This research brief is being provided freely to nonmembers. Research Briefs are distributed monthly to Center members, and provide summaries of recent or seminal research findings from corporate practice and academic study that offer insights and tools corporate citizenship practitioners can apply to their work.