corporate social responsibility

Trends for 2015: Joining Forces Vital for Resilient Communities

In 2014, the UN Climate Summit, the first ever U.S.-Africa Summit, dwindling natural resources, gaps between the rich and poor has propelled awareness of advancing solutions for our complex challenges.

To be sure, the influence of climate change is fueling global economic volatility, posing threats to natural resources and wildlife habitats. What is certain is that progress must be made to ensure a healthy planet for our future generations.

A recap of the top realities we face includes:

  • Harsh climate: This burden cost $2.1 billion between 2000-2013 due to weather-related disasters.
  • Destruction of forests: Half of the earth's forest cover is gone with only 40 billion hectares remaining today. Every year, an average of 13 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on communities and indigenous peoples. The conversion of forests for the production of commodities such as soy, palm oil, beef and paper-accounts for roughly half of global deforestation. 
  • Threatened wildlife species: The London Zoological Society has reported that world wildlife populations have been cut in half from 1970 to 2010:
    • In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, as few as 419,000 may remain and 35,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year to feed the ivory black market.
    • The South African government recently reported a record 1,020 rhinos have been poached in the country since the beginning of 2014, surpassing the 1,004 rhinos killed in all of 2013.
  • Chronic diseases: Deaths from chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have risen by more than 50 percent according to the Council on Foreign Relations and are rising fast in low and middle-income countries, striking far younger populations than in rich countries.
  • Lack of education in Africa: Today, there are 30 million children who are not receiving education and according to the 2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, the shortage of quality teachers is the key problem.  Children are not receiving quality education and skills training for potential jobs.

Major initiatives in 2014:

First Ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in D.C: The White House convened African heads of state and government, U.S./African corporations, civil society to strengthen alignment between the United States and opportunities for trade and economic investment in the continent. Africa is finally being recognized as the next major emerging market, access to new consumers and resources with a combined GDP upwards of $2 trillion.

UN Climate Summit: President Obama unveiled a series of actions to urge the international community to cut emissions and help developing countries better prepare for climate change.  While the EPA proposed a new plan designed to cut carbon emissions by 30% by the year 2030:

  • New York Declaration on Forests: More than 150 governments, companies and NGO world leaders endorsed a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030. 
  • U.S. and China signed the first major deal on climate change to cut emissions.

Predictions for 2015: Value of nature:

While nature is deemed priceless, various studies have tried to estimate the value of ecosystem services (provision of timber, minerals, food and medicines) in financial terms.  The total value of ‘nature’ is estimated to be about $33 trillion per year of which the global economy is consuming about $7 trillion dollars annually.

This is raising the bar on developing more inclusive partnerships between the public and private sectors to ensure the provision of basic needs (such as food and water) and solutions to ensure more resilient economies.

Environmental awareness and education: With consumers and millennials more informed about the increasing role of crowd funding, digital and mobile network applications, for and nonprofit companies must improve how they share, advocate and demonstrate their commitments. Also, enlist participation from the public at large with authenticity and transparency.

Forest and wildlife protection: Continued action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating food security, protecting wildlife species and habitats.

Investment in Africa: Africa’s economic growth and prosperity will be driven by primarily investing in youth education and creating jobs. 

Market access: More correlation and alignment between trade, new and existing markets is the focus of economic growth.  The co-creation of programs at the community-level with businesses, government and nonprofits is essential for long term sustainability, protection of resources and livelihoods.

Conclusions: In a disruptive global economy, companies and individuals have significant opportunities to promote economic growth, develop new products and access new customers, while saving trees and protecting wildlife species. However, what is fundamental to this success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce greater knowledge exchange and a more united front to address the complex challenges associated with climate change.

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics.

Emerging Market Spotlight: Improving Health and Livelihoods in Africa

A recent Wall Street Journal article titled, U.S. Companies Race to Catch Up in Africa, addressed the issues American companies are facing expanding and selling more products in Africa, a market predicted to grow in the coming decade. According to McKinsey & Co, 220 million Africans will join the middle class as consumers within five years. The Wall Street Journal article states:

“U.S. companies' game of catch-up shows the perils of waking up late to the next big frontier market, Africa. The continent's economy is forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion in 2020 from $1.6 trillion in 2008, fueled by booms in mining, agriculture and development of ports, roads and other infrastructure, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The middle class is growing and total household spending now exceeds that of India.”

While the article features many of the challenges Africa presents, (a multitude of regional logistics and laws, changing governments and difficult environment for supply chain development) the article does not address solutions towards aligning profits with purpose.

Often termed base-of-the-pyramid (BOP) markets, these markets represent the 4 billion people who live in poverty and a potential customer base for corporations. However, approaches are fragmented and vulnerable communities are too often considered ‘problem children.’ Corporations continue to be challenged by how to properly access, invest and operate in these untapped markets.

No matter how large the company or brand, the lack of on-the-ground relationships, understanding about local laws and customs, implications of a weak governance system, and limited local capacity for building partnerships, can undermine authenticity of business and social engagement.

To succeed in Africa, companies need to adopt different approaches and properly navigate the economic, social and political circumstances of these communities.

Social intelligence is at the nexus where companies can look to make up for “waking up late” to the African market. While China may have a better financial foothold on Africa, this is in large part due to U.S. hesitation to grant trade terms to countries that are failing to adequately support human rights, market-based economies, and the rule of law - scruples which China has notably lacked in doing countries in Africa. By demonstrating long-term corporate social responsibility programs and investment in their African stakeholders, U.S. companies can win over the competition and prosper in the continent.

Companies also have the opportunity to extend current social purpose initiatives to improve the health and livelihoods of populations impacted by poor health and malnutrition, lack of access to safe, drinking water:

  • Nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease
  • Maternal Health: More than 350,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth, almost all of them — 99 per cent — in developing countries.

Companies can learn from their peers, exchange best practices and knowledge sharing in the interests of collaborative action. For example:

P&G created the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program aligned with their products to solve the problems facing many communities due to the lack of access to clean drinking water. The program works with more than 100 partners in 60 countries (many in Africa) to hand out PUR packets, a water purifying technology developed by P&G and the Center for Disease Control – the product has saved more than 16,000 lives.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ensures a healthy and prosperous supply chain, from coffee-growing communities in Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa, to manufacturing operations in China. GMCR focuses on the food security for farmers and their families especially during times of drought. GMCR and The Coffee Trust debuted, After the Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands, a documentary about food insecurity in coffee communities.

The Power of Nonprofits

Properly align with nonprofits/NGOs that specialize in key sectors such as healthcare, education, nutrition and economic development. They have the expertise and knowledge in the field, understand the local customs and social intelligence. A couple of non-profit examples include:

InterAction, the largest alliance of more than 190 US-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), is leading a collaborative dialogue between U.S. businesses and its members. The new InterAction Business Councils’ mission is to decrease poverty, promote social and economic development via inclusive partnership development between the corporate and NGO sectors.

Indego Africa attacks systemic poverty by delivering access to export markets and job skills to African women in Rwanda by partnering with artistic cooperatives to produce contemporary crafts for export around the world. that poverty in Africa. So far, Indego has partnered with more than 250 women in Rwanda working for five for profit cooperatives.

Not a ‘One size fits all’ Approach

If U.S. Corporations want sustainable results in Africa, they need to ensure their policies and programs include the following considerations:

  • Align the local market community assets and benefits with their business – rather than business interpreting the interests of the community;
  • Recognize the social value and considerable assets such as the people, local customs and resources;
  • Promote more ethical, responsible and sustainable business policies;
  • Change traditional norms and behavior by influencing the development of new lifestyles among poor consumers including new products and services;
  • Expand on the networks and usability of the goods/services already owned;
  • Design and co-create models from within the communities to include leadership, capacity and infrastructure development.

8th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations

friendshipThe MDG Executive Sessions for Young Professionals -Thursday & Friday, January 20 & 21, 2011 Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York City

The MDG Executive Sessions is a two-day forum providing an opportunity to network with young working professionals, UN representatives, and corporate leaders at the United Nations.  Young Professionals from around the world will participate in panel discussions and case study think tanks about corporate social responsibility, social enterprise development, and capacity building strategies to realize the 8 United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations demonstrates what committed, global youth leaders can and have accomplished in support of the MDGs.

Friendship Ambassadors Foundation has partnered with the International Youth Council on the Youth Assembly at the United Nations

Sam Taylor of Reputation Dynamics will be moderating a panel on behalf of The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation on Friday, January 21st.

A Corporate Perspective on Social Responsibility

The Global Compact and PepsiCo: A Report from the Field

Daniel Bena, Director of Sustainable Development for PepsiCo

Samantha Taylor, In Conversation                 

Program Highlights: 

  • Opening & Closing Ceremonies featuring Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Enterprise Leaders and UN Agency Officials
  • A presentation about a major new, masters’ level social enterprise scholarship program at NYU, by the Reynolds Foundation
  • The announcement of 15 scholarships to Tangshan University in China. The dissemination of these scholarships will be to the world’s poorest and most talented youth. A plan to identify and adjudicate these scholarships will be a subject for discussion and development during the YA
  • An overview of MDG successes and challenges by UNDP staff
  • Two days of intensive meetings and workshops featuring Harvard case study method reviews of actual MDG programming by corporate CSR and SE leaders, NGO field workers, and UN staff
  • Special Conference Reception and optional networking Weekend in New York City: Attend the Executive Sessions – and then stay on to enjoy the City with other YA delegates, all weekend long

Delegate Profile:

  • Young professionals, ages 22-26, interested in achieving MDG success
  • Youth leaders engaged in UN studies, ages 16-21
  • Members of the International Youth Council and other youth organizations focused on the Millennium Development Goals
  • Faculty and media seeking an active role in mentoring or chronicling youth led development toward the success of the MDGs
  • University-age youth seeking a leadership position during the Youth Assembly next August, especially prospective YA summer interns

Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (FAF) is a nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful cultural exchange opportunities by promoting peace through the performing arts. It directs and organizes the Youth Assembly at the United Nations on an annual basis. This year, FAF will finance the Youth Assembly and present a special performing arts event as well as offer general background support.  For more information -  http://faf.org/

UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

UNCompactMtgBUILDING A NEW ERA OF SUSTAINABILITY - JUNE 24-25 - NEW YORK Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 will provide the platform for organizations to convene, collaborate and commit to building a new era of sustainability – an era where environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are deeply integrated into business based on both material and ethical rationales. At the Summit, leaders will collectively tackle priority areas that are central to corporate leadership today and essential for the transformation to sustainable markets and the achievement of societal goals. With over 1,000 global leaders in attendance, this triennial Summit will be the most important UN-business event ever held.

The Summit will be divided into three parts:

Part I: Setting the Sustainability Agenda

Corporate responsibility has always been defined by and evolved within the broader context of politics, power and technological change, and responded to the call for the greater good. A confluence of factors – notably the financial crisis and climate change – has finally pushed this agenda towards a tipping point. It is now widely understood that our globalized marketplace requires a stronger ethical orientation, better caretaking of the common good, and more comprehensive management of risks.

Part II: Leading the Change

Corporate sustainability leadership today calls for a sophisticated and comprehensive approach to integrating ESG issues across the organization – from the Board, down through the organization and subsidiaries, and out into the supply chain. It requires connecting sustainability issues and actions – moving beyond silos – and meaningfully reporting progress and impacts. Corporate leadership today also calls for responsible engagement in public policy spheres.

Part III: Achieving Development

2010 will mark a decade since world leaders committed to reduce extreme poverty and set out the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015. Much remains to be done – especially with negative impacts from climate change, food crises and the global economic downturn turning back advances. Poverty is a profound threat to global security, interdependence and building strong markets. Business can and must strengthen its role in finding strategic and effective solutions to combat global poverty, hunger and disease.

Reputation Dynamics will be attending this event and will report back.

Further information can be located at:  http://www.leaderssummit2010.org/

Sam Taylor

Embracing the Power of Women on the Front Lines of Community Change

womenAs the ‘War for Talent’ continues, women are being increasingly recognized and actively participating in building stronger economies, more stable societies and achieving goals for economic development around the world. Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.

Today, empowering women to take action is a critical component of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and community development initiatives.  Through CSR, organizations are mobilizing women to fulfill their potential by reducing poverty, fighting social justice and driving economic growth. They are providing women with access to healthcare, job training, technology advancement and education while boosting their confidence and encouraging them to make social change.

According to World Bank statistics, 53 million more people could fall into $2 a day in poverty as a result of the global economic slump – or up to 100 million more people according to the UN Millennium Campaign.

Top line Trends on Women:

  • Women are increasingly becoming advocates and addressing key issues such as poverty, the environment, healthcare, education and arts/culture
  • Women are playing a prominent role in their households and communities when it comes to philanthropy
  • Women in the U.S. give an average 3.5% of their wealth to charity
  • The volunteer rate of women was 30.1 percent in 2009 – Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Taking a leadership position determining the future and value of charitable giving for the next generation – creating family charitable legacy

Snap shot on key issues women are addressing....

Zimbabwe         - Empowering Girls 
Kenya                  - Accessing water 
Cambodia          - Thwarting sex traffickers 
India                    - Taking schools to children
USA                       - Creating leaders  

Paradigm Shift: Women CSR Champions:  This, in turn, is effecting a major shift forcing culture change, transformation of organizations, community and workplace development programs.  Our leadership is continuing to be defined by innovative approaches that integrate sustainability into business operations, create a stronger workforce and build more impactful community development programs.

The following organizations’ are having a global impact on women by engaging in conscious commerce initiatives:

General Mills - Join My Village: Last fall, General Mills and CARE launched an initiative entitled ‘Join My Village,’ an innovative online community that is fighting poverty in Malawi through the empowerment of women and girls.  General Mills will donate up to $500,000 to increase economic and educational opportunities for women and girls in approximately 75 villages in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa.  Through several activities such as telling a friend about Join My Village, or joining a village team – $1 will go to General Mills and will go to CARE’s poverty fighting programs in the Malawi villages.  Additionally, General Mills will match personal contributions dollar-for-dollar for up to $50 per donor, $15,000 per village or $150,000. Further information can be located at http://www.joinmyvillage.com/

Global Sister.org: A project of The Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI), is a global communications network and unique online social networking space, enabling women and organizations to collaborate, organize, and advance top-of-mind concerns such as violence against women, health and trafficking.  This is a virtual learning environment for women’s organizations to share and teach social organizing tools and techniques.  Further information can be located at http://www.globalsister.org/.

Unilever: Unilever has a number of programs that enable women to be progressively brought into the mainstream of economic activities to bolster development. The Fair & Lovely Foundation was set-up as a social initiative by Unilever Bangladesh Limited under its leading skin care brand Fair & Lovely. The mission of the Foundation is to "Encourage economic empowerment of Bangladeshi women through information and resources in the areas of Education, Career and Enterprise." The foundation provides scholarships that allow women to attend school and obtain degrees in fields such as engineering, commerce, science and medicine. Further information can be located at http://www.unilever.com.bd/sustainability/women-empowerment/FALfoundation.aspx.

The key is no longer ‘Why’ it is needed, but rather ‘How’ an organization is empowering women, developing and incorporating initiatives into core, everyday business and community development programs.

It is critical for an organization to treat and develop their own workforce well to be credible as they advocate for addressing pressing global concerns, impact and transparency of their programs.  Women’s career development programs are an important platform and link to CSR, as well as creating a global community of women citizens.  Through such programs, women are not only improving their economic potential but giving back to their communities through active participation and demonstrated impact.

And, they have the right and opportunity to earn more than 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.

Organizations have a timely opportunity to empower and galvanize a global grassroots level movement among women who are hungry to change pressing global concerns.

Sam Taylor

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In Honor of World Water Day, Reputation Dynamics and Elevate Destinations Partner on Kenya: Water 2010

KenyamapJuly 10 - 20, 2010

Registration Deadline: April 15 View full itinerary

5% of Trip Cost to be Donated to NGO Partner Organizations

As citizens and companies are becoming increasingly aware, we are facing a global water crisis, which is consigning large segments of humanity to lives of poverty, vulnerability and insecurity.

In fact, the United Nations estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will face periodic and often severe water shortages.

The UNDP Human Development Report argues that the scarcity at the heart of the global water crisis is rooted in power, poverty and inequality, not in physical availability of water.

In partnership with Elevate Destinations, Reputation Dynamics is offering an exciting opportunity for your company stakeholders (employees, customers, business partners) to understand the importance of water, as well as consider Kenya as an extension to your sustainability initiatives. Through conversations with local and international water experts, policy makers and NGO representatives, as well as project site visits, you will learn first-hand the significance of water for human, environmental and economic prosperity. 

Trip Overview:  Travelers will receive a comprehensive overview of the most important water-related challenges facing people in Kenya, and explore some of the innovative and effective solutions that have been suggested in response.

Participants will explore issues of environment, biodiversity, droughts, floods, transboundary water resources, sanitation and health, agriculture and fisheries, pastoralism, and other areas through a combination of activities: conversations with local experts, participation in daily activities, project visits, and tourism.

Paul Faeth, President of the coalition group Global Water Challenge based in Washington DC, will lead the tour.  Local experts will also accompany the group and add their own particular perspective on the issues of each region.

This trip is the first in a series of theme-based travel opportunities for global citizens wishing to understand and impact urgent issues.

Highlights:

  • Nairobi: Learn about water distribution and sanitation in informal urban settlements
  • Lake Victoria:  Explore the importance of integrated and transboundary water management for sustainable growth and development
  • Northern Kenya:Learn about the devastating effects of the recent drought in Samburuland, and examine ongoing mitigation strategies.
  • Maasai Mara:  Understand how deforestation has affected local communities, wildlife and the ecosystem

Partner organizations include Florida International University (FIU), Global Water Challenge; KickStart; the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation (LVRLAC); the Kenyan NGO Maji na Ufanisi (Water and Development); the Ol Malo Trust; and the WWF, among others.

More information:

View full itinerary

For more information and to register for the trip, please contact Sam Taylor at sam@elevatedestinations.com. Tel. +1 212 979 6092

Why is water important?

  • Water has always played a key role in economic development, and economic development has always been accompanied by water development.
  • Investment in water management has been repaid through livelihood security and reductions in health risks, vulnerability and ultimately poverty.
  • Water contributes to poverty alleviation in many ways – through sanitation services, water supply, affordable food and enhanced resilience of poor communities faced with disease, climate shocks and environmental degradation.
  • Water of the right quality can improve health through better sanitation and hygiene and, when applied at the right time, can enhance the productivity of land, labor and other productive inputs. In addition, healthy freshwater ecosystems provide multiple goods and services essential to life and livelihood.
  • Water and sanitation are among the most powerful preventive medicines available to governments to reduce infectious disease. Investment in this area is to killer diseases like diarrhea what immunization is to measles – a life saver.
  • Unclean water and poor sanitation have claimed more lives over the past century than any other cause.

Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2006; UN World Water Development Report 3

About Elevate Destinations: Founded in 2005, Elevate Destinations is a leading global sustainable travel company offering customized adventures to travelers seeking to explore and impact the environmental, socio-cultural and economic conditions of the places they visit. Elevate Destinations offers travel to Africa, India, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and organizes donor trips for both profit and non-profit organizations. Every Elevate Destinations trip benefits environmental preservation and community development.

Posted by Sam Taylor

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"Corporate Social Responsibility's Role on Improving Women's Lives Around the World" - WebSeminar

webInternational Women’s Day Web Seminar: March 8, 2010 -- 11-12:30 pm EST Corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and 'Going Green' has emerged as a new management paradigm for safeguarding a company’s brand reputation, engaging employees, maintaining customers and driving revenue.  Our leadership in the 21st century is increasingly being defined by innovative approaches that integrate sustainability and profitability. 

Sam Taylor, founder of Reputation Dynamics, will be joined by representatives from Royal Dutch Shell, General Mills and Unilever Bangladesh Limited who will discuss their Corporate Social Responsibility programs and how it is impacting women all around the world.

Women perform 66 percent of the world's work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.

Through CSR, companies are empowering women in communities around the world to fulfill their potential by reducing poverty and driving economic growth. They are providing women with access to healthcare, job training, technology advancement and education while boosting their confidence and encouraging them to make social change.

Empowering women is a critical component of CSR initiatives and ‘How’ an organization can best develop and incorporate initiatives into their core, everyday business practices.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we will be  exploring how some top companies are changing the world by empowering women, learn more about their innovative programs, and how they are having a global impact on women by engaging in conscious commerce. 

The WebSeminar will be moderated by an early pioneer in corporate social responsibility, Samantha Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics, and will feature presenters Josefine van Zanten, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion from Royal Dutch Shell; Ellen Goldberg Luger, Executive Director, General Mills Foundation and Vice President, General Mills and Sabin Rahman, Internal Communications Manager, Unilever Bangladesh Limited.

Sponsors: PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For sponsorship and non-member registration information, email: sponsorship@workingmother.com

Additional information about Working Mother Media and WebSeminar: www.workingmothermediainc.com

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE: Reflections from Diversity Best Practices: Global Best Practices Session 2010.

DiversityThe recent Diversity Best Practices session, hosted by The New York Times, convened 300 corporate diversity and inclusion leaders followed by a joint report out with CEOs.  This interactive forum featured three core topics including  implementing global gender strategies, developing innovative solutions for engaging people with disabilities, along with utilizing CSR as a vehicle for maximizing diversity and inclusion results.  Corporations have significant opportunities to address some pressing issues and implications for conducting business in today’s marketplace including:

  • How powerful social and economic change can be enabled when girls and women have the opportunity to participate in their society. Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food, while earning 10 percent of the income and owning 1 percent of the property.
  • Aligning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as integral component of key business and talent strategies.
  • Devising innovative strategies for people with disabilities.  There are 610 million individuals with disabilities worldwide and 386 million of working age with approximately 80% living in developing countries.

Following are some key takeaways and perspectives on the advantages of CSR, diversity and workforce inclusion.

Despite lay-offs and cost cutting, attracting and retaining talent remains top priority for global leaders in 2010.

A new study revealed that only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work – even in an economy where some feel lucky just to be employed.  Job satisfaction in 2009 hit the lowest ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in the 22 years they have been studying US workers.

The new war for talent is creating greater consequences for corporations’ reputation management, enforcing culture change, transformation and reenergizing of their brands, particularly the employee brand.

Fellow CSR panelists included Peter Lamberta, Manager, Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Whirlpool Corporation and Orlando D. Ashford, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Marsh and McLennan Companies (MMC).  Sharing perspectives about their initiatives and best practices for developing the employee value proposition, they provided the following comments.

”It is critically important to develop and promote the next generation of leaders that will enable the company to grow and gain competitive advantage”  - Peter Lamberta.

Orlando Ashford highlighted in his presentation:

(1997) “War for Talent:” – “The most important corporate resource over the next 20 years will be TALENT: smart, sophisticated business people are technologically literate, globally astute, and operationally agile. And even as the demand for them goes up, the supply of it will be going down.” Source: 1997 War for Talent – McKinsey & Co.

“Understanding employee concerns is the foundation for creating the right infrastructure and developing deeper intellectual capital to conduct business in today’s marketplace” - Orlando Ashford.

Diversity and Implications for CSR…

Diversity is increasingly becoming a key factor for attracting talent and creating teams that can perform to their full potential.

The ‘Business Case’ for diversity states that in a global marketplace a company that employs a diverse workforce (men and women, people of many generations, racially diverse backgrounds, LGBT) is better able to understand marketplace demographics, able to sell more products and services, and thrive than a company that has more limited employee demographics.

CSR is increasingly becoming a branding imperative, strategic tool to deliver diversity and inclusion results, as well as source of leadership, growth and competitive advantage.  

The key is not longer “Why” it is needed, but rather “How” can a company best align diversity with CSR into business strategy, customer relationships and sustain a diverse global workforce. 

Consumers and employees continue to advocate for their favorite brands to address pressing global concerns such as climate change, poverty, economic development, healthcare and mobilize more impactful community development programs. They are the advocates for change.

Meanwhile, a major new talent incentive is creating CSR and diversity champions.   Employees are seeking to work for an organization with a reputation for being environmentally friendly, caring about their workforce and a great place to work.

And, they are asking for and want to become more involved with philanthropic, workplace and community development initiatives. 

95% - CEOs report that businesses must address social and environmental pressures of society and employees will drive companies’ efforts to address sustainability.  Source:  McKinsey & Co/MIT Sloan Management Review.

Furthermore, in reviewing employees performance evaluations and development plans, companies are considering community involvement as a major performance competency and compensation criteria.

This, in turn, is creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce and key driver of bottom-line growth and corporate reputation.

Yet, according to research uncovered by Climb The Green Ladder:  Make Your Company and Career More Sustainable, Wiley, only 1 in 10 employees feel they have the training and resources to help their firm become more sustainable – so training and employment engagement programs are critical to ensure well trained staff and inclusion.

We cannot underestimate the role and power of employees for storytelling, experiential marketing, stakeholder engagement and creating loyal brand champions.

Leaders of global organizations must increase diversity in the workplace and align with conducting business in a sustainable and socially-conscious manner.

They need to make it front and center of the business case for the long term, a critical component for talent acquisition, growth and innovation to thrive in today’s complex marketplace.

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Sam Taylor

Diversity Best Practices - www.diversitybestpractices.com

For further information about CSR education, training and advocacy contact (212) 979 6092.

Reputation Dynamics Founder - Sam Taylor - Participating at Diversity Best Practices: CEO Symposium on February 9

DiversityLearn How to Sustain and Build Global Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives throughout Business. Hosted by the New York Times Company.

Diversity Best Practices specializes in facilitating discussions on diversity and inclusion among the most powerful leaders of corporate America.  Now in its fourth year, Diversity Best Practices' Global Best Practice Session offers its members a full day of research insights, best practice case studies and interactive discussion structured around three provocative topics:

  • Implementing Global Gender Strategies: Utilizing Metrics and Accountability for Driving Gender Equality
  • The Workforce and Long-term Implications: Innovative Strategies for People with Disabilities
  • *Corporate Social Responsibility: The Vehicle to Deliver Diversity and Inclusion Results

Featured Speakers:

Janet Robinson, CEO, New York Times

Dr. Rohini Anand, Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo 

Panel Details:

*Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):  A Vehicle to Deliver Diversity and Inclusion Results

Sam Taylor, Founder, Reputation Dynamics

Peter Lambert, Manager, Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Whirlpool Corporation

Orlando D. Ashford, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Marsh and McLennan Companies (MMC)

Leaders of global organizations are aligning CSR as an integral component of key business and talent strategies, leveraging their positioning to not only grow but also to sustain a diverse global workforce. No longer is CSR viewed as a “nice thing to do” but rather as a key strategic tool in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce.  

Stanford University surveyed 800 MBA students from eleven leading North American and European business schools and found that 94% would accept a lower salary - an average of 14 percent lower to work for a firm with a reputation for being environmentally friendly, caring about employees and about outside stakeholders such as the community.

Furthermore, in reviewing employees’ performance evaluations and development plans companies are considering community involvement as a performance competency and compensation criteria. How can CSR be utilized as a tool to drive market share and brand loyalty? How can CSR increases employee engagement? What’s being done to shrink the gaps and take steps forward?

For further information - http://www.diversitybestpractices.com/events/194

Stay tuned for Sam Taylor’s next blog posting – perspectives on utilizing corporate social responsibility to deliver diversity and inclusion results.

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