Posts filed under ‘Corporate Philanthropy & CSR’

Bickerstaff on Corporate Philanthropy

From ABC News, an interview with George Bickerstaff of The Global Leaders, who discusses the value and importance of corporate philanthropy.


May 31, 2011 at 7:17 PM Leave a comment

Tanglible CSR Builds Customer Loyalty

AdAge tackles the ever-present question for corporate philanthropy: Does Corporate Social Responsibility Build Customer Loyalty? They highlight a new study suggesting that it does, and more importantly how:

All four dimensions of CSR performance — environmental friendliness, treating employees fairly, community support, sourcing from local growers and suppliers — positively influence consumers’ attitudes toward a retailer. But consumers seem to modify their purchase behavior only when the CSR domain directly affects their actual experience with the company or brand.

Looking out for the environment is nice and all, but customer loyalty starts closer to home, with things like touting local products of treating employees well – “actions related directly to the products and people that consumers face.”

May 25, 2011 at 5:49 PM Leave a comment

Is CSV the New CSR?

A member of the (UK) Guardian‘s sustainable business advisory panel, John Elkington, writes about his own concerns over “creating shared value,” a new model of corporate social responsibility, noted previously here and being aggressively touted by Nestle, most recently at its CSV 2011 event in Washington, DC.

Elkington focuses on remarks made at the event by Harvard’s Michael Porter, who argues that traditional CSR is “well meaning…well intentioned, but ultimately…doesn’t have enough impact” and have devolved into mere “compliance regimes.” Elkington seems to agree that some reform in CSR is needed, but suggests that Porter is being a bit disingenuous:

It is immensely heartening when such a towering figure puts his shoulder to the wheel. But – and there are several buts. Among them: Porter chose to tear into a version of the CSR agenda at the CSV 2011 event that some found hard to recognise…Recognise, too, that CSV is unlikely to pick up some of the really thorny CSR issues, including human rights or bribery and corruption.

May 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM Leave a comment

Traditional Corporate Giving Touted in PA

In Pittsburgh, the merits of different approaches to corporate philanthropy are being debated, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Those interviewed continue to see employee involvement as the going trend, as opposed to “creating share value,” an approach touted by Nestle, the world’s largest food company, among others:

Michael Porter at Harvard Business School developed the idea of “shared value,” which Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, [also] promotes. He contends that Switzerland-based Nestle is socially responsible by making more nutritious products, decreasing water use and boosting the productivity of farmers with whom it works.

May 8, 2011 at 6:51 PM Leave a comment

Who’s in Charge Here?

Reuters posts some CSR insight from one in a series of excerpts from R. Paul Herman’s The HIP Investor, a guide to doing well by doing good. The central finding: empowering employees to seek sustainability means little without buy-in and support from one or more high-level executives.

UPDATE: The good news is, you can make a career in corporate sustainability, at least north of the border, according to Calgary Herald. (NB: Self-satisfied head-tilting is what gets your foot in the door.)

April 24, 2011 at 6:31 PM Leave a comment

Walmart Meeting CSR Goals

Fast Company reports that Walmart is on its way to meeting and perhaps exceeding its ambitious corporate responsibility codes:

Walmart’s goals seemed almost too ambitious when they announce them. But never question Walmart; some of the goals might not have even bee ambitious enough. Either way, Walmart wins.

Please note the photograph illustrating the story as well. Looks like it was taken a few days after the Apocalypse. I don’t think the father from The Road would shop there.

April 19, 2011 at 7:47 PM Leave a comment

Doing Well by Doing Good?

At the WSJ’s Market Watch blog, we find a not entirely convincing report claiming that two recent studies prove corporate social responsibility increases profits.

The first supporting evidence is a recent survey of 5,000 members of the informed public, which the research firm Edelman defined as “college-educated folks with incomes in the top quartile for their age.”

When asked what was most important for a company’s reputation, nearly two-thirds of those Edelman interviewed cited “transparent and honest business practices.” Half said that a highly regarded company needed to be a “good corporate citizen.” Meanwhile, only 39% mentioned financial returns to investors as important to a firm’s reputation.

Anyone who knows college-educated folks with incomes in the top quartile for their age knows they’re not about to tell some stranger on the phone that they don’t care about corporate social responsibility. But this tells us little about where they actually spend their money.

A bit more convincing is a study by three economists published by Texas A&M Corpus Christi, claiming a “‘statistically significant positive relationship’ between companies that do good and those that do well.”

The authors compared the firms’ financial performances with those of 120 companies that were not members of the [Dow Jones Sustainability Index]. They found that firms that had embraced corporate social responsibility had higher gross profit margins and higher returns on assets than those that didn’t.

To explain the socially conscious businesses’ economic success, the economists cited elevated levels of loyalty and trust among their customers, especially those deemed “morally conscious.”

Could it be that more profitable companies can better afford social consciousness, with the profits causing the consciousness rather than vice versa?

March 24, 2011 at 7:45 PM Leave a comment

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