Brand Reputation

Cyber-Security Lessons from Wells Fargo

allie-w Allie Williams, IOM Executive Director, CRA Executive Director's Report - October 2016 After more than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees lost their jobs, and the CEO took both a grilling on Capitol Hill and has since resigned, one question is raised about whether better cyber-security practices could have prevented, or at least detected, the rampant fraud. What lessons we can learn about cyber-security from the Wells Fargo incident? In this case, the company sought to incentivize employees to have customers open more accounts, from which the bank could then generate more user fees, late fees, or low balance fees. More accounts equaled more money for the bank, and employees could receive substantial bonuses from this transaction as well. The incentive program quickly morphed from the simple act of persuading customers to open accounts to employees themselves opening accounts without customer involvement at all—fraud.

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4 Different Brand Ranking Systems Show Common Ties to Perceived Sustainability Performance

By Jennifer Saunders and Bahar Gidwani, CSRHub Many aspects of a company’s performance affect its brand value. Marketing spend, distribution strength, and product quality all have proven effects. This study indicates that a company’s perceived sustainability performance may be another important factor. In 2013, CSRHub showed that its measures of perceived corporate sustainability performance had a 28% correlation with Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Indicator (BSI). CSRHub recently published an update that showed this correlation continues to persist for financial companies. This study extends our analysis to include three other independent brand ranking systems:
  • RepTrak Pulse Score.

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The Widening Divide to Transforming Business Value

Art Stewart
Managing Director, Strategic Impact Partners

As the reporting sector achieves new milestones in transparency, materiality and integration, other segments of the global responsibility movement struggle amidst the natural tensions created by the missionary zeal of the change agents – and the reflexive resistance of the old-guard establishment who perceives change (to say nothing of transformation) as threatening.

It’s no stretch to recognize some correlation between what characterizes America’s current public policy debates, and the tug of war to fully embrace and assimilate responsible behavior in the journey to a new business paradigm.

Justice, inclusion, equal opportunity, liberty and resourcefulness are only a few of the themes that are playing out in both arenas.

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Addressing Sustainability through Product Selection

Lisa Owen
Vice President of Business Development & Marketing
RSC Bio Solutions

When it comes to sustainability, definitions are not “one size fits all”— they are specific to the industry, company structure and internal culture and influenced by a number of factors that are unique to a company. To some, sustainability could mean a percentage of their products are from sustainable resources and, to others, it could mean offsetting the company’s carbon footprint. It is important to understand what sustainability means for your company specifically and tailor sustainable initiatives to those particular views, goals and objectives.

If sustainable product selection is part of your company’s sustainability agenda, there are a few key questions to ask when developing an evaluation strategy.

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The Contradictory Nature of Progress

Art Stewart
Managing Director, Strategic Impact Partners

Are things becoming a bit too paradoxical lately, or is it just me?

Many of us in the CR movement are encouraged by developments of late that support a maturing of the practice.

However, we are equally bewildered by contrary indicators that at best suggest we still have a long way to go in C-suite consciousness. Could it be that we have lost our grip on the push to restore public trust and confidence in the integrity of business? Have we abdicated the moral high road in the obligation of business to reconcile the gap created from its past sins?

On the one hand, many market-leading organizations and their C-suite leaders have driven a firm stake in the ground on responsible business practices: From CVS’ ban on selling tobacco products, Burt’s Bees efforts to establish a standard for ‘natural’ food products, and GE’s Ecomagination initiative to improve environmental performance – to the Nestlé Lanka effort to build up domestic dairy production in civil war-torn Sir Lanka, or Microsoft’s “Youth Spark” project that connects hundreds of millions of young people to education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

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Real Business Philanthropy Starts with Real Stories

Ryan Scott
CEO
Causecast

Storytelling is a hot marketing buzzword these days, and for good reason; in the business world, it’s the newest form of smart corporate communications. Telling your story is imperative for many aspects of business, and a particularly important practice when it comes to strategic philanthropy.

Administrators of successful volunteer and giving programs understand that storytelling makes a big difference in how their corporate philanthropy efforts impact their chosen causes as well as their employees and business community.

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CUNY Childcare Helps Kids Get Ahead in Math and Science

Doris B. González
Director of Corporate Citizenship
IBM Corporation

IBM’s donation of 45 Young Explorer™ computer learning centers to the Early Childhood Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and 13 additional City University of New York (CUNY) campus child care centers is helping 3- to 7-year olds get a leg up on math and science while their parents complete their college degrees. The CUNY grant is part of IBM’s $4.3 million initiative to provide more than 1,700 computer learning centers and teaching curricula to schools and nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide services to disadvantaged students.

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Practicing Citizenship: Being Essential to the Community and IBM

Doris B. González
Director of Corporate Citizenship
IBM Corporation

Though it first emerged in the 1960s, the field of corporate citizenship or corporate responsibility began to get mainstream acceptance in the 1990s as the “new big idea in the business world.” Over the years, corporate citizenship has continued to evolve and mature into a field with great career opportunities, representing the face – and heart – of a company.

At IBM, social responsibility has been built into the very fabric of the company since it was founded more than a century ago.

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Looking for Quick Corporate Responsibility “Wins” in 2014?

Looking for Quick Corporate Responsibility “Wins” in 2014?
By Lisa Owen
Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, RSC Bio Solutions
 

As 2014 dawns, many companies are looking to implement the next steps in their corporate responsibility plans. For some, these may even be the first steps in such responsibility or sustainability efforts.

Demonstrating progress both internally and externally can be an important tactic, helping galvanize internal support and communicating the company’s desire and plans for continued improvement and responsibility to its various stakeholders. The ability of a company to actively engage in CSR activities and publicly communicate those activities can have an impact on the company’s brand and overall business.

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Conflict Minerals Company Rankings Compared to CSRHub Ratings

Conflict Minerals Company Rankings Compared to CSRHub Ratings
By Cynthia Figg, COO & C0-Founder, CSR Hub

Companies are under pressure from many stakeholders to report progress towards improved corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has created a new source of pressure. The 2012 final rule from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), requires most companies subject to SEC filing rules to report to the SEC by May 31, 2014, if any of their products produced in calendar year 2013 contain conflict minerals. In July, a federal judge ruled against a challenge to the new conflict mineral rules and upheld the law. Even companies headquartered outside of the United States, and those which do not report to the SEC, may be subjected to conflict minerals requests from customers that report to the SEC.

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