BNY Mellon President Karen Peetz on Financial Services’ Responsibility to Engage as Global Challenges Intensify

Jun 29, 2016 11:00 AM ET

As executive sponsor of BNY Mellon’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, president Karen B. Peetz sees the emergence of a new paradigm of CSR leadership. The power and potential for business to contribute solutions to large-scale social and environmental issues is unprecedented. We’ve excerpted part of her message from this year’s CSR Report below. For more of Karen’s point of view on the shifting landscape and how the financial services industry can lead the way on deeper CSR engagement, read her full perspective here.

In the past year, social and environmental issues have dominated the global arena in an unprecedented way. COP21 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, highlighted the increasingly urgent and complex nature of the challenges faced by our planet and its people. Climate change, large-scale migration, social instability and cybersecurity further amplify this call to action and are some of the most significant risks worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Risk Report.

Even more than the scale of these issues, I am impressed by a tremendous shift in approaches to addressing them. It is no longer the sole prerogative of NGOs, governments, civil society and philanthropists. The private sector has a pivotal role. Cross-sector collaboration is a valued and expected norm.

There’s never been a better time for that shift. Business is in a position to contribute leadership, a strong voice, deliver on its commitments and leverage its resources to provide solutions. We see it in action as business galvanizes around climate change and major brands take on social issues and inequalities in their communities.

We at BNY Mellon welcome that shift and call on our industry to step up and engage in CSR at a deeper level.


To see more from BNY Mellon about how it’s improving lives through investing, follow the hashtag #WeAreInvested on Twitter.