Allie Williams Executive Director, CRA Many companies are dedicated to social responsibility—they have social responsibility programs, advertise and market their efforts, form task forces and working groups and reach out to the local and global communities to “do good” in their respective areas. But like those wooden labyrinth ball games, moving the levers to adjust the board and getting the silver ball through the end of the maze, the path to “social responsibility” is not a direct one, and it’s one that is navigated in an environment that is constantly shifting. So how should a company achieve social responsibility in a situation that is buffeted by change—like political upheavals in the United States and abroad; regulatory changes of the like not seen since the New Deal; trade and economic relationships shifting with multinational agreements like NAFTA and Paris environmental agreements being laid bare or laid aside.
Allie Williams, IOM Executive Director, CRA Retailers appealing to consumers through their corporate responsibility programs face an uphill battle. Certainly, they can do this with their policies and practices as responsible corporate citizens. They can be committed to sustainable growth and development, to local sourcing, environmental causes, fair employee relations, reasonable wagers, governance, and their philanthropic efforts. However, consumers tend to shop based on the quality of the product, its price, and its convenience. While consumers may appreciate the company’s values and even want to reward them, at the end of the day consumers are looking for value. These corporate goals and practices need not be distinct.
Allie Williams, IOM Executive Director, CRA The Corporate Responsibility Association's strategic planning Board of Advisors’ retreat was held on February 2-3 in Baltimore, Maryland. As the executive director of the CRA, I am happy to report that the state of the association is strong. We continue to grow and provide exceptional opportunities for our members through networking, education, thought leadership engagement and open dialogue to provide access to peer to peer interactions and mentoring. Beginning soon, the CRA website will host content and drive resources to a new “member’s only area”.
Allie Williams, IOM Executive Director, CRA Executive Director's Report - January 2017 One of the recent buzzwords I heard at a conference I recently attended is the concept of “supply chain” security. That is, the need to secure data, applications, and connections not only within your enterprise, but also throughout the “supply chain,” which is responsible for your goods and services. It comes from the concept that your security is only as good as your weakest link, and your vendors, suppliers, and other third parties are likely to be among your weakest links. So it’s important that you secure your supply chain. No arguments here. But which supply chain? Everybody has their own definition of “supply chain” and they are all mostly accurate, but completely different.
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.
By Rati Bhattachary Sustainability Strategist and Consultant, Innovation and Transformation Group Tata Consultancy Services
G4: Initial ImpressionsThe fourth-generation (G4) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) may well have complicated the reporting environment, instead of streamlining it. Launched in May 2013, and mandatory for reports published after 31 December 2015, the G4 tries to harmonize with other international reporting frameworks, instructing reporters to focus on material topics or aspects instead of outlining their organization’s broad sustainability footprint. With renewed interest and attention on corporate social responsibility, companies are pulling out all the stops to ensure that their sustainability initiatives occupy center stage. They are interested in measuring the effect of their sustainability programs, to identify new opportunities, while remaining informed on risks. Program disclosures are in the form of detailed reports, full of catchy phrases and engaging visuals to invite larger readership.
Jim Murren, Chair of the CRA Chairman and CEO MGM Resorts International March is deservedly designated as Women’s History Month when we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our world what it is today. At MGM Resorts, supporting women and their careers is one way that we demonstrate our enduring dedication to diversity and inclusion. Every March, in recognition of Women’s History Month, the company hosts “Women Inspiring Women.” It gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation to women who make a difference in the Las Vegas community—within our company and beyond. These women are leading the way in many respects, so it is our privilege to gather them together in celebration.
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Allie Williams, IOM Executive Director, CRA CR Magazine and the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) share a common purpose in advancing corporate accountability and responsibility. Together with direct input from the CR community we’ve developed and manage a fully transparent, objective, fact-based methodology for evaluating corporate accountability and responsibility. Through our Ratings & Rankings Thought Leadership Council (composed of a cross-section of corporate responsibility experts, including active practitioners, academics, NGOs, investment firms, and other relevant communities), the CRA stewards the methodology to ensure its relevance, transparency, and efficacy. The Association plays a vital role as a convener, consensus builder, and promulgator of standards and practices.
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MGM Resorts International Debuts MGMThink, an Online Thought Leadership PlatformLas Vegas, April 14, 2016 – Building on its commitment to drive innovation, within and beyond the company, MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) today debuted an online thought leadership platform called MGMThink. Available at MGMThink.com, the platform is a one-stop shop for those interested in the expertise and thought leadership supporting the success of MGM Resorts’ iconic brands. Offering followers an insiders’ look at the FORTUNE Most Admired Company’s way of doing business, MGMThink will feature fresh, thought-provoking video and blog content, and serve as a social media hub offering insight and dialogue. “MGMThink provides an active forum for our senior leaders and other thought leaders across the company to provide a real behind-the-scenes look at not only what we do at MGM Resorts, but how we do it and, more importantly, why,” said Clark Dumont, APR, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for MGM Resorts International.
The Corporate Responsibility Association is pleased to support the Charities@Work 15th Annual Best Practices Summit on Employee Engagement in Corporate Citizenship, “Bridging Worlds to Scale Impact.” We invite you to come together with your peers and industry leaders, share what’s working for you, learn what’s working for others, and ultimately move the needle when it comes to advancing your company’s employee engagement and workplace giving practice. Learn more and register here: http://charitiesatwork.org/annual-summit/2016-2. As a CRA member, you will receive a 10% discount on registration. Enter this code COMMIT2016 at checkout. The Summit will be held on March 28-30, 2016, at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City, the Annual Summit features Michael I.
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