Collaboration as key to a sustainable and prosperous future

We should not only use the brains we have but all that we can borrow.”-Woodrow Wilson

As corporate citizenship professionals, you have a uniquely important job. You are required to create, operate, and communicate in ways to differentiate your company from its competitors, and often expected to work with them—as well as with many other partners—to help address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Issues like climate change, global poverty and hunger, and future workforce preparation cannot be addressed by one program or organization alone—no matter how innovative or dedicated. Tackling these problems, and many others, requires the collaborative effort of many.

With more than 600 CSR practitioners in attendance, The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s annual International Corporate Citizenship Conference is the perfect occasion to make the connections that will deliver lasting business, social, and environmental value.

During last year’s Conference, UPS Foundation President Eduardo Martinez put it well: “The fact is that the world faces many challenges, which the global community must address—and they must do that together. I want to underscore the vital importance of the private sector, engaged like never before as a key stakeholder, in achieving our global aims. After all, these are our communities too.”


As part of this year’s Conference, I will have the pleasure of speaking further with Ed on this topic during our Monday morning General Session. Joining Ed will be Michael Meehan, CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Lance Pierce, president of CDP North America, and Tony Pipa, international policy adviser to the administrator and deputy assistant to the administrator at the USAID Bureau of Policy.

During the session, we’ll take a look at the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and discuss the collective action that will be necessary to meet the 169 SDG targets. The SDGs are ambitious—they aim to eradicate poverty and hunger, foster safe and inclusive societies, and halt global warming by 2030. The only way to meet such aggressive goals is by determining where we’re having the most impact—both positive and negative—and where progress is most lacking.

We’ll talk about how companies like UPS are utilizing reporting frameworks to measure, evaluate, and communicate their efforts, and working with the public sector to form strategic partnerships that make the most of an organization’s core competencies. We will highlight not only the powerful collective impact of collaboration, but what steps are necessary to achieve it.

I look forward to hearing from you during that session and the many others at the Conference. The event offers 2.5 days of illuminating sessions and opportunities to network and “borrow the brains” of more than 500 of your most accomplished peers. I hope that during that time, you’ll not only learn from the speakers, but that you’ll also share insights and perhaps forge new partnerships to help us achieve our ultimate goal: a sustainable and prosperous future in which to work and live.