Boston Scientific tackles widespread disparities in healthcare with its Close the Gap program
In America, heart disease  is the #1 killer, taking more lives each year than all cancers combined. And although diseaseprevalence is similar across genders and ethnicities, awareness of risk factors and disparity in treatment rates are not. Close the Gap, a Boston Scientific educational initiative, was established in 2006 to address disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. Initially focused solely on cardiovascular health, Close the Gap recently expanded its mission to address healthcare disparities that exist in other disease states, including asthma, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.[2-5] (more…)
Posted on August 6th, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree long time ago” – Warren Buffett
Last week I was reading a whitepaper from MFS Investment Management about the benefits of investing on a longer horizon.
Corporate citizenship leaders, take note. There is more and more being written about the need for investors to take a longer view. This perspective presents a potential opportunity for companies that are willing to make longer-term investments in environmental, social, and governance dimensions of their businesses to improve their operating environments so that they can sustain positive returns for the longer term. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on July 1st, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
While I was on the road for Center business a couple of weeks ago, I caught BlackRock CEO Larry Fink on Squawk Box. Fink is bullish on U.S. equities. With $4.4 trillion under management, he is someone who a lot of investors listen to, whether they agree with him or not. The panel of Squawk Box interlocutors was discussing with Fink how our dovish Fed is dampening volatility (and trading volume) in the markets, reducing the opportunity to make quick money. Fink’s position in this conversation caught my attention. “Lack of volatility is not an investor problem,” he said, “It is a trader problem.” During the 20 minutes or so I watched, Fink talked about a longer-term perspective as being important to the future of our national and global economy—promoting longer-term corporate governance, public and private capital investments, and public policy. He and others have noted that many large corporations are sitting on a lot of cash that can be put to work to create more business value and more social good. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on June 5th, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
This spring, we at the Center have been visiting member companies around the country. During these visits, one trend worth noting is that an increasing number of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Operating Officers (COOs) are participating in conversations about corporate citizenship. This is further evidence of the elevation of attention and the increased value placed on corporate citizenship. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 7th, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
I recently picked up a copy of Christine Bader’s book, The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist—When Girl Meets Oil. The book recounts Bader’s time working with BP in Indonesia, China, and the UK early in her career over a period of about 10 years, then with United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative on business and human rights. The book is full of well-written stories that resonate with those we hear from so many of our members about the complexities of operating corporate citizenship programs within large global companies, about promoting long-term interests in a short term world, about navigating leadership transitions. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 9th, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Our conference this year was kicked off by a great speech by FedEx executive Raj Subramaniam. In the opening minutes of his remarks Subramaniam noted that, “Adaptable leadership is leadership. Change is no longer what happens to any business eventually. It is what happens to every business constantly.”
In each of the conference keynotes, the speakers told stories of a change that had either happened to them or that they were planning to undertake. Key to their successful adaptation was the ability to recognize their current circumstances and to IMAGINE, as Disney CFO Jay Fasulo emphasized, how they wanted that circumstance—or their position in it—to be different.
The pressures of day-to-day business can cause us to focus single-mindedly on progress made towards incremental management goals. It can be hard to stay focused on the vision of our future world. This year’s conference was rich with examples of how corporate citizenship professionals make and contend with change. We are grateful for the contributions of our many presenters and hope that you will get inspiration and ideas from reviewing the conference summaries.
Posted on March 5th, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Plenty of research over the years has focused on the relationship between social performance and various aspects of firm value. Adding to the literature, research published recently by the Conference Board studied over 1,000 companies from 2008 to 2012 to see if corporate citizenship contributes to brand equity. Using CSRHub’s ratings and Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index (BSI) for analysis, the study finds a positive correlation between brand value and corporate citizenship. This held true across all of the dimensions studied with employment dimensions being most strongly correlated. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Our upcoming conference provides an opportunity to meet and hear from corporate citizenship leaders who adapt their practice to our evolving business context and navigate through changing environmental, social, and governance business landscapes. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on January 8th, 2014 by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
As we start 2014, we have taken some time to reflect on the work of the last year and where we see the field headed. The Center has had the privilege to work with companies in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa this year and our membership reflects this diversity. While the individual issues being addressed by companies may differ across global regions, the questions are essentially the same at their core:
Are we helping to create the type of world we want to do business in?
Even more importantly, are we helping to create the kind of world we want to live in? Read the rest of this entry »