Brands Taking Stands: The Role of the CR Practitioner as Companies Make Their Voices Heard

The Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine are proud to present the annual COMMIT!Forum, the leading event for corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability practitioners. This year’s theme is Brands Taking Stands: The Role of the CR Practitioner as Companies Make Their Voices Heard.

To spark dialog and engagement prior to the event, CR Magazine created an editorial series on the same topic. Follow along from now until October 11 at thecro.com and triplepundit.com, or better yet, see us in DC at the conference!

Click here for more information.

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Responsible Production & Consumption

Corporate Responsibility Practitioner Roundup: Whirlpool Corporation
While in Detroit for Sustainable Brands, CR Magazine spoke with Ron Voglewede, Global Sustainability Director, Whirlpool Corporation. Ron is also on the Board of Directors at the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

Supply Chain & the Circular Economy

Paper Doesn’t (Just) Grow on Trees: Rolland Innovates Smarter Paper
It is arguably counter-productive to think our modern business world will ever be entirely “paperless.” Focusing instead on production, consumption, and the supply chain connecting all stakeholders can lead to a sustainable “Less Paper” society. Though “Smarter Paper” may be a more accurate moniker.

Energy

170 Years of Lighting DC: How WGL Plans for a More Sustainable Future
Few institutions in the nation’s capital are older than WGL Holdings. Its history dates back to 1848, the same year the Washington Monument’s construction began and 15 years before the U.S. Capitol’s iconic dome was completed. In fact, one of the company’s first projects (when it was known as Washington Gas) was to build a power plant that could reliably source and deliver gas necessary to light the Capitol’s dome. In addition, one of the chartered company’s most important missions was to ensure D.C.’s streets were safely lit at night. A decade after its founding, the company boasted 30 miles of gas mains, 500 street lights and 1,700 customers.

Supply Chain & the Circular Economy

Apparel Industry Stands by the Higg Index
It’s hard to imagine two brands more different than Walmart and Patagonia, yet in 2009 they aligned their unique strengths and issued a call to the industry. In an invitation to some of the world’s largest retailers, then Walmart chief merchandising officer, John Fleming, and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard proposed an industry collaboration unlike any attempted before. The idea was to join competitors together to develop an index to measure the environmental impact of their products. The benefits, if the idea was successful and didn’t implode before it even got off the ground, would not only be at the individual company level, but would transform the industry.

Sustainable Development Goals

How WGL Aligns with Sustainable Development Goals
Earlier this year, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, a consortium of businesses and other green organizations announced a new initiative to prompt companies to get behind the G20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. According to the CDSB, the platform will showcase those “forward-thinking businesses” that are willing to show transparency in how they address climate risk and align their operations with their investors’ expectations.

Social Impact & Volunteering

We Are Still In: How Businesses Reshape Political Advocacy in Washington
In June, after months of debate and tense speculation, President Donald Trump did something that would have unprecedented impact in the U.S. business community: He announced he would be pulling the United States’ support for the Paris Accord.

Years of negotiations with international counterparts to bring about consensus on how global warming could be slowed across the planet received what many thought at the time was a fatal blow. Without US support of a protocol to restrict environmental temperature, many feared, businesses would be reluctant to follow the recommendations of the UN, which included limiting carbon emissions.

But they were wrong.

Social Impact & Volunteering

Ben & Jerry’s: Why Brands Taking Stands is Smart Business
Few brands are as famous for their social activism than Ben & Jerry’s. The Vermont ice cream maker with global revenues of more than $1.2 billion (2015) is as much known for its social conscience as for its creamy, irresistible ice cream flavors. Pick a flavor and chances are you’ll walk away with more than just a good feeling in your tummy: You’ll feel you’re making a statement.

Energy

Beyond Rooftop Solar: How a 170-Year-Old Gas Company Stays Modern with Renewables
The rooftop solar market has exploded in recent years, enabling individual homeowners and small businesses to claim their turf in the transition to renewable energy. However, rooftop solar is just one of a growing number of opportunities for electricity customers to wean themselves from fossil fuels.

Responsible Business & Employee Engagement

For Campbell’s, Brand Value Means Customer Engagement
For several years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) advocates have suggested that companies will lag on solving their environmental and social challenges, putting them at risk – unless CSR is integrated into the company instead of cast aside in a silo. To that end, Campbell Soup Company is one firm that stands out for making CSR critical to both its overall strategy and brand value.

Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives

Leading and Following by Example: Companies Taking a Public Stance on Social Issues
When it comes to companies speaking out publicly on social issues, events in North Carolina, Indiana, Baltimore, and several Executive Orders drew significant attention from business leaders over the last 12 months. When companies take a position, reactions from consumers can cause whiplash. While some companies advocate forcefully, others don’t, and any approach is subject to public challenge. In an increasingly polarized environment, it’s likely a company will both gain and lose brand supporters, and the loudest advocates or detractors will use social media as their bullhorn.
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