Corporate Social Responsibility: Best Content of Q2

Q2 2013 green trophy

The “Best Content” series brings you a handful of the most thought-provoking and informative articles and webinars related to corporate social responsibility published over the quarter, broken down into bite-size pieces for your convenience.

New GRI G4 Sustainability Guidelines Are Out
Over 1600 sustainability leaders from across the globe convened at the Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting in Amsterdam last month. Over the course of three days, they discussed key challenges and opportunities to advancing sustainability reporting and transitioning to a sustainable economy. Reviewing some of the key themes of the GRI G4 Framework that came out of the conference, Katherine V. Smith, Director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, said in a recent blog post that debates show “we have a lot more work to do.” Download the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

So You’ve Released a Corporate Social Responsibility Report – Now What?
How can companies maximize the visibility and impact of their CSR reports? This is a common challenge many CSR executives face. As Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility for Advanced Micro Devices, argues in this post, issuing the CSR report is really just the first step. Mohin lays out important next steps for increasing visibility, including repurposing the full report into more consumable (ie shorter) versions in a variety of formats (including a tablet app) and keeping an ongoing and fresh dialogue around CSR activities. Read the post.

The Emerging Sustainability Ecosystem: Verge Conference Series
Last month, GreenBiz brought their international VERGE conference series to Boston. The event featured sustainability thought leaders from a wide variety of sectors, and included fresh perspectives on the innovative ideas, business opportunities and enabling technologies shaping our future. The impressive lineup of speakers included: Kathrin Winkler, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, EMC Corporation; Mary Fisher, Carbon Master, Stonyfield; Heather Henriksen, Director of the Office for Sustainability, Harvard University; Cheryl Martin, Deputy Director for Commercialization, ARPA-E, U.S. Department of Energy; Jason Jay, Director, Sustainable Business and Society, MIT; and Brian Swett, Chief of Environment and Energy, City of Boston. For any sustainability professional, the VERGE series represents a great opportunity to network with like-minded peers and be a part of this emerging ecosystem of companies, products, and services at the convergence of energy, information, building and transportation technologies. The next VERGE event will be in San Francisco on October 14-17.

Behind the Growth of International Corporate Volunteerism & What to consider when Starting a program
This insightful post from Deborah K. Holmes, Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility for Ernst & Young, examines how some of the best corporate volunteerism programs are leveraging company skills to bring real aid to entrepreneurs in emerging markets. In the post, Holmes, who has developed E&Y’s corporate responsibility strategy, argues that there’s nothing inauthentic about “volunteerism” that creates business benefit, too. In fact, she believes that’s the most sustainable kind of volunteerism there is. We tend to agree. Read the post.

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CSR and HR: Better Together

CSR minus HR is PR. This quote, originally appearing in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Driving Success, speaks to a common challenge faced by many CSR professionals today: when a firm’s CSR strategy is not aligned with its business strategy overall, and its HR strategy in particular, CSR activities – and the…

A Fresh Look at the 4 “Ps” of CSR Communications

Achieving the right relationship between a company’s brand and its corporate social responsibility efforts is a delicate balancing act. Many companies struggle with identifying the appropriate equilibrium between altruism for its own sake and using altruism to support a company’s brand. When it comes to CSR-focused advertising, firms need to be especially…