Better Business, Better Future

I can hardly believe that it is nearly four years since I began writing CSR Perspective.  Back in the Fall of 2008 this was a revolutionary step for me and something new  for BT’s communications approach.  I don’t think I had ever written anything external before,  let alone weekly posts online.    But here I am four years later, the blog having reached 5000 unique viewers in some  months, having experimented with podcasts, with video and with twitter and having carried many internal and external guest posts.

But change comes to everyone and everything and I have recently taken on a …

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Serving the Corporate Responsibility Profession

Back in April 2009, I was a founding member of the governing board of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association.  In a short post I wrote at the time I noted my aspiration “that one of the things the CROA will be able to contribute to will be increasing the structure and recognition of the role and in so doing, will enhance the professional standing of practitioners.”  In fact I made such a big thing of this at the governing board meetings that I was asked to set up a new committee of the association to address exactly this. (What I …

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Catalyst or Irritant?

I have thought long and hard about my role and how best to characterize it.   When I started in the field I made my mind up very quickly that I would not make much progress if I considered myself as having been appointed to police the activities of employees. Policing might be a very valid approach for someone in a compliance role, but in a role beyond compliance, people would simply stay below my radar screen.

As I have written before on employee engagement, I see my role as to release enthusiasm, generate momentum and then harness people’s passion …

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The Loyal Opposition

The Loyal Opposition

I wrote an article for this month’s CR magazine on the trend I am seeing amongst CR practitioners to validate all sustainability programs within the framework of the CFO’s view of the world.   And that worries me.  The article, which came out online yesterday explores why I think this is a troubling trend.

Business looks to us to set the CR agenda.  And we need to talk the language of business.  But, far from falling into line with offering a single perspective, no matter how important it might be to operate using business tools and terms, CR …

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Sustainability Comes of Age

A couple of articles caught my attention last week. This blog post by Marc Gunther about the pros and cons of reusable shopping bags and this one in the Washington Post about the implications of the success of the Fair Trade movement.

In different ways, both indicate the need for an increasing maturity in our approach to corporate responsibility and sustainability as our programs take root and grow.    Initiatives that appear to be the right thing to do at a small scale, need to be revisited as they scale and the full implications become evident.

Marc identifies inaccuracies in the …

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The Competencies Required for Sustainability – Three Perspectives

Last week I proposed that sustainability is analogous to economics.  The thought was triggered during the GreenGov panel that I was moderating. The panel represented the full gamut of professional organizations in the field; Ira Feldman on the board of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), Valerie Patrick on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO),  Teri Yosie has recently completed a collaboration with  Net Impact,  and myself on the board of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA).

The ISSP, CROA and NetImpact have all recently taken a look at the competencies required by …

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Building the Corporate Responsibility Profession – Join The Webinar

For the last couple of years I have chaired the professional development committee of the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association.  With colleagues from Cisco, Hess Oil, Boeing, Molson Coors, Crowe Horwath and Harvard (and workshops at CRO conferences to gain a broader input),  we have been trying to make a start at defining what it means to be a corporate responsibility practitioner.

I believe the CR practice is here to stay. We need to forge our own path and stake our claim to our part in the corporate dynamics, alongside the folks who look after the money, the legal requirements, the …

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Guest Post: Poking Holes in the Corporate Responsibility Curriculum

I am going to hold back on my response to Richard’s view of the holes.  Join us at the webinar to hear my response and the response of the panel members.

By Richard Crespin

In preparation for our upcoming webinar on June 1st on “Building the Corporate Responsibility Profession,” (FREE WEBINAR — register today!) I met with Nancy Beer Tobin from the Executive Education Department at Georgetown University’s McDonough Business School.  She asked me to point out the holes in the Corporate Responsibility (CR) curriculum.

Universities, trade associations, and training organizations have jumped into the CR education space …

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Making our job into a profession

I joined the governing board of the newly established Corporate Responsibility Officers Association almost two years ago because I have a strong interest in exploring, and hopefully more firmly establishing the role of the practitioner.  We created a committee for professional development with colleagues from Capaccio, Cisco, Crowe Horwath, Hess Oil, Molson Coors and Shared Expertise, which I have been chairing. With the help of an extended list of supportive members we explored the components that make up a profession and determined that we would focus initially on three areas (1) job descriptions (2) competencies and (3) an ethics code

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Guest Post: A Freshman Reflects

On January 6th I posted this guest blog from Chris Tuppen with Chris’s 20 year anniversary reflection on the field.  Late in 2010 I met Michelle Greene the recently appointed Vice President, Head of Corporate Responsibility, and Executive Director of NYSE Foundation at NYSE Euronext.  Michelle is new to the Corporate Responsibility role (although she brings with her a wealth of invaluable experience in the public and private sectors)   and I felt her thoughts as a relative newcomer would be a valuable complement to Chris’s perspective.

As someone who has formally entered the Corporate Responsibility field quite recently, …

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