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Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to efforts by businesses to work with stakeholders in achieving improved economic, environmental and social performance, sometimes known as the triple bottom line but also identified as corporate citizenship or sustainability. The practice of CSR by firms acknowledges the evolving social contract companies enter into voluntarily as a part of doing business. The nature and extent of a company’s corporate citizenship, however, varies depending on company size, industry or business scope. Stakeholders can include customers, employees, the communities where firms operate, NGOs and government.

In general, when firms embrace this broader positive role in society by being engaged with stakeholders, various benefits can be generated for both business and the stakeholders. A key trend is the integration of CSR into the company mission, strategy, culture, and communications. By integrating corporate citizenship into the business it is no longer an additional “nice to do” (and/or limited to philanthropy) or something done to comply with laws or standards. Instead corporate responsibility becomes something business leaders and employees want to engage in, often because executives who think in the long-term see the business benefits.

Benefits to Business

A commitment to corporate social responsibility is one practical way of dealing with a lack of trust in business. When trust is promoted through corporate citizenship, businesses may enjoy reduced risk relating to projects, crises escalation, shareholder activism, lawsuits and social issues. The improved trust driven by a commitment to corporate social responsibility also can enhance the reputation or brand value of companies.

More tangible benefits can arise through corporate citizenship when it is integrated in all aspects of a business. Engagement with communities and environmental groups can spark innovations in products and production processes that generate new or expanded markets.

To learn more about how Corporate Social Responsibility can help your business, visit our blog!

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Corporate Citizenship Strategy: Connect to Your Business and Community

Do you ever feel that your citizenship department is a collection of activities without a unifying thread or grand plan? Are you starting with a blank slate and want to plan for success? Strategic planning is one of the most difficult but critical activities a citizenship professional can do to understand potential value and the steps he/she will take to reach it. Corporate citizenship professionals are increasingly responsible for developing a strategy to address the environmental, social, and governance aspects of business. To gain the support of senior leaders and create the most impactful programs, you need to use the models that CEOs use to determine the company’s corporate strategy, the tools for identifying opportunities to align with corporate strategic goals, and the frameworks for evaluating your company’s ability to support those goals.

When: November 2-4, 2016
Where: San Francisco, CA

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