In Good Company: Sanofi embraces supplier diversity as a business imperative
Maintaining strong relationships with suppliers is an important way to ensure corporate citizenship is integrated throughout a company’s operations. Corporations can be held accountable for their supply chains, and thus, should select and manage suppliers carefully. Sanofi, a diversified health care provider, is dedicated to developing a diverse supplier base that brings value to the business as well as the communities in which it operates. This priority led to the development of the Supplier Diversity Initiative at Sanofi. Kathleen Castore, Head of Supplier Diversity & Sustainability, recently shared some concrete advice and insights into Sanofi’s Supplier Diversity Initiative. (more…)
Archive for March, 2011
Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Daniel Bross, Senior Director Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft
As Steve Ballmer wrote in his introduction to our FY10 Corporate Citizenship Report, “Microsoft has a long tradition of taking on tough challenges on a global scale… it started with our original vision of a computer on every desk and in every home.”The world has changed since Bill Gates articulated that vision over 30 years ago and events over the past three months bring into clear focus the growing role technology has played in addressing those tough challenges. We operate in an increasingly connected world – yes, connection through technology – but also perceive that connected world through another lens – the lens of collaboration and partnership. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Vesela Veleva
While I have always been concerned about fresh water quality and availability, it wasn’t until I attended a recent Boston College symposium, “Sustainability: Through the Lens of Water,” that the reality really hit me: just 0.3 percent of the water on Earth is actually potable and, furthermore, while world population continues to grow (possibly reaching 28 billion people in 60 years), the available fresh water is expected to decline as demand increases and contamination affects remaining water sources. Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet today, 2.6 billion lack sanitation and 1.1 billion have no access to treated drinking water. Moreover, 1.6 million people die each year of diarrhea-related diseases, 90 percent of whom are children.
While the United Nations has officially declared water as one of the basic human rights, we still lack effective policies to protect this valuable resource for both people and companies. We have too many policies and regulations Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 25th, 2011 by Vesela Veleva
With the growing importance of environmental and social issues for companies today, business schools are increasingly introducing courses focused on environmental strategies, green innovation, carbon strategies and social responsibility, among others. One of the best ways to train future business leaders is to provide them with practical, hands-on experience and projects as part of the business school curriculum. Three Center members – New Balance, PerkinElmer and John Hancock – recently became involved in a new course on “Green Innovation and Eco-Efficiency Strategies for Business” in the Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College.
The companies offered real projects which the students will be working on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 22nd, 2011 by Sylvia Kinnicutt
According to U.N. Habitat and UNEP, this is the first time in human history that most of the world’s population lives in cities. With 3.3 billion urban dwellers and rising, city infrastructure cannot keep up. Recognizing this problem, the theme of World Water Day this year is “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge”.
Observed every March 22 since 1993, this year World Water Day aims to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 15th, 2011 by Paul Gerrard, Director of Corporate Affairs, Chairman of Corporate Social Responsibility Council, Humana, Inc.
Last Thursday, Humana hosted an “In Good Company” breakfast with Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship in Austin, Texas, to explore current trends in corporate social responsibility. If you get a chance to host or attend an “In Good Company” event, don’t miss it.
For more than two hours, nearly 30 Austin-area peers and clients – including AMD, Dell Children’s Hospital and National Instruments – held a robust discussion about the successes and challenges in creating CSR functions at our respective organizations – and where those programs stand today.
One common thread emerged: regardless of your industry, successful CSR must be integrated throughout a business, and into all business units. Companies are finding different ways to make this work. One mechanism is a CSR task force – similar to the one we have created at Humana – that engages leaders from across the business and various departments. Such teams offer a two-way communication and action platform to push CSR integration company wide.
Events like these help Humana advance our own journey, which we embarked on just two years ago, by learning from others’ experiences. And it’s good to know we aren’t alone in our challenges. The breakfast proved very successful – it gave us lots to savor – and we certainly look forward to continuing the conversation with our CSR peers.
Posted on March 14th, 2011 by Sarah Andersen
It is not unusual for a company to have an employee volunteer program, but attaining 77 percent employee participation in that volunteer program is another thing. That is an unusual feat that Center member Umpqua Bank can now boast of accomplishing. The Roseburg, Ore.-based company enjoyed a stellar year in 2010, having 1,729 Umpqua Bank associates log 36,024 volunteer hours with 1,132 community organizations. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 11th, 2011 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
As the world begins to comprehend the devastating impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the Center extends its deepest sympathies to the people and businesses struggling against extraordinary circumstances. Our community of companies includes several headquartered in Japan and hundreds of others with business operations throughout the country.
Today we have created a discussion space on this crisis in our online Member Community. Community members are encouraged to use this space to share ideas about how they are supporting employees and operations affected by the disaster.
Posted on March 1st, 2011 by Sylvia Kinnicutt
If you are like most concerned with corporate citizenship, you are likely overwhelmed and somewhat confused, maybe even suspicious, about the numerous rating and ranking lists out there. Fortunately, a team from SustainAbility has been working hard to better understand these ratings in order to influence and improve their quality and transparency.
According to SustainAbility there are more than 100 raters of corporate sustainability performance. Their “Rate the Raters” project provides interested readers with analysis of 21 of these sustainability ratings. Why are there so many ratings? The research team found great overlap in the objectives of the multitude of ratings suggesting that, as suspected, there are more ratings than necessary.
What determines which ones are best, or even credible? SustainAbility’s findings suggest that the best raters are:
- Transparent about their methodology
- Based on simple, straightforward criteria, questions and scoring schemes
- Committed to rigorous quality assurance and control
- Take a distinct, forward-looking perspective on company performance
- Invest time directly engaging with the companies they rate
The Phase Three Rate the Raters report contains examples of good practice found among the 21 ratings, but does not go as far as publicly sharing the scores or “ratings” of the raters it studied. Their reasoning — that their aim is to uncover strong practices and areas of improvement for the rating agencies — is understandable but it may not be what companies are looking for as they navigate the sea of ratings. Instead, we must continue to take ratings with a grain of salt, and hope that the raters heed the sound advice that SustainAbility has to offer.
“Our hope for Rate the Raters is that through our constructive challenge, we help improve the state of corporate sustainability ratings,” said Michael Sadowski, director, SustainAbility and co-author of Rate the Raters. “We feel that the key steps we’ve presented in Phase Three provide a blueprint for this improvement. We now shift to a dialogue with both raters and rated companies about how to make our recommendations reality.”
You can hear more from Sadowski at the Center for Corporate Citizenship’s upcoming annual conference, in a session titled “Sort through the sea of CSR rankings”. Click here to register for the conference, being held April 10-12, in Minneapolis.