This post examines the state of Corporate Responsibility (CR) curriculum with a constructive criticism viewpoint. Does the current curriculum really fulfill on the potential of CR to equip companies to not just comply with society’s mandates but actually take a leadership role in helping to bring about a better world. The post goes on to examine five ways in which CR professional curriculum could be improved in order to help CR professionals have a wider impact on the affairs of the corporations they are helping to lead.
Despite an overall trend towards seeing sustainability as an opportunity for value creation and business success, according to a new research study published today by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture, there are major differences in perceptions of sustainability between CEOs in different industry sectors, and significant gaps in the level of integration of sustainability already achieved in their companies.
In a recent interview, Annie Lesroart of eBay, shared with us how eBay implemented a fast, ambitious and effective strategy to go green. From forty employees, the program expanded to hundreds of thousands of eBay buyers and sellers (including people who don’t even work at eBay!) How did this happen? And how can it happen for you?
Your company has been progressing nicely up the sustainability curve from compliance to cost savings. The next logical step is reputation and revenue generation, and itʼs here that many sustainability pros hit a roadblock. Without a CEO mandate, business units usually have little incentive to deviate from whatʼs been working in the past. Sustainability and CSR initiatives have safely been tucked away behind the scenes, dealing with internal and supply chain issues that reduce risk and cost to the business. Objections to customer-facing sustainability initiatives range from “Why put our neck out and riskgreenwashing charges?” to “Itʼs still a niche market” and “Why would we promote our values for commercial ends? Weʼre doing this because it’s right, not to make money from it.”
“Metrics, metrics and more metrics. In many ways metrics drive the success of business. Multiple variables can be condensed to the common denominator of dollars and cents, pounds and pence. Many business failures could have been avoided for want of a business case. But, the specificity of metrics also allow us to persuade ourselves that there is more science and more certainty than there may really be and that we fully understand the complex interactions of the real world. There are solid business cases behind some of the most spectacular business failures – perhaps those where metrics were allowed to lead decisions rather than inform them.
A survey of 140 mayors from 40 states also highlights concern over potential financial obstacles for infrastructure projects, according to a study sponsored by Siemens for The U.S. Conference of Mayors. A majority of cities (77%) report their infrastructure budget for 2009 has been adversely affected by the global economic crisis. However, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. mayors surveyed believe that fighting climate change with technological innovation represents a “enormous” economic opportunity. Optimizing the infrastructure of cities is considered a major way to address global warming and environmental protection. Mayors of larger cities, in particular, viewed the expansion of public mass transit as a key way to fight climate change.