Allie Williams, IOM
Executive Director, CRA
Executive Director Report
I looked up the definition of the word commit recently, and found it rather interesting…
1. carry out or perpetrate (a mistake, crime, or immoral act).
“he committed an uncharacteristic error”
2. pledge or bind (a person or an organization) to a certain course or policy.
“they committed themselves to the project”
I think I prefer the second definition, at least of the two given. My definition is a bit different, as it relates to CEOs of major brand corporations, CSR and Sustainability Practitioners, and others living in the corporate responsibility community. In my humble opinion, the best definition I have for commit is promise.
A promise to be more cognizant climate change, a promise to be a better steward of the environment, a promise to do my part in reducing my carbon footprint, a promise to be a better leader and employee, a promise to give back to my community and a promise to work with people who share these obligations.
We have seen commitment and promise from corporate CEO’s striving to create a corporate culture that considers CSR in all departments and counts on the leadership to push the agenda. From CSR executives, we see the work at the grassroots level, with policy changes, employee awareness, investor relations engagement and setting trends that go beyond minimum standards.
At this year’s COMMIT!Forum, we heard from many practitioners who share these disciplines. The team at MGM Resorts International shared key learnings in conducting CSR in challenges environments, the CRA Board participated in sessions related to Corporate Social Reputation, Materiality, Defining ROI and Navigating the Waters of Ratings & Rankings. Other session leaders spoke of building better cultures, HR’s role in sustainability, re-imagining philanthropy, water and energy management and changing the playing field on diversity.
Gale Klappa, Chairman and CEO, WEC Energy Group spoke of his commitment to producing energy more efficiently and cleanly, and meet reliability goals. He also shared his commitment to philanthropy and community with World War II veterans.
My commitment (promise) to the CRA community is this…
I will do my best to involve you in the mission and vision of this great organization. I promise that, when you engage, you will get value for your investment in the CRA. With your help, I will continue to lead this organization and, together we will network, together we will learn, together we will advance.