CSR Update – Sep 24, 2010

What a week to be a citizen of New York City!  With the Clinton Global Initiative, UN General Assembly, the Summit on Millennium Development Goals and Climate Week all taking place, one could not help but feel positive about our future (while waiting in long cab lines or riding on unusually crowded subway trains). However, we’d like to dedicate this week’s Corporate Social Responsibility update to our tremendous panelists that participated in last week’s “The State of CSR in Business Today.”  We sincerely thank and commend each of them for their valuable insight and content.

  • Christine Arena CSR blogger, author and CEO of “sparkUp” @christinearena
  • Matthew Bishop U.S. Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief, The Economist @mattbish
  • Bob Corcoran Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, President & Chairman, GE Foundation
  • Aron Cramer President and CEO, BSR @aroncramer
  • Chrystia Freeland Global Editor-at-Large, ThomsonReuters <Photo Not Available>
  • Georg Kell Executive Director, UN Global Compact <Photo Not Available>
  • Dr. Aneel Karnani Associate Professor of Strategy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Dave Stangis Vice President, CSR and Sustainability, Campbell Soup Company @dstangis

We’d also like to thank our sponsors:  BSR, CSRwire and the Paley Center.  If you have not seen the webcast yet, you can do so here.

The discussion was certainly spirited, at some moments tense, but remained civil throughout.  Fenton was thrilled to provide a platform for such an important discussion and we hope that we were able to extend its content to new audiences.  Like professor Karnani, we agree that corporations should make driving profit a top priority, but like several others on the panel, we strongly believe that the business world is complex, multifaceted and composed of many stakeholders including the public. Given that, we believe we all have a vested interest in making true corporate responsibility a reality.

The debate received significant coverage by bloggers and the media.  Here are a few highlights:

We will continue to share the webcast video on our site and in the next few weeks, we will also make available on our site, a short highlights reel.  Please do consider sharing your insights and thoughts on the webcast with us.

Just a few other helpful and interesting articles from this past week:

A two-day conference, Communicating Sustainability 2010, took place this week in California and featured a roster of excellent CSR leaders/experts.  Here’s a summary of three best practices from the conference’s first day:

Sustainability expert, John Friedman, summarized his thoughts on green washing and deception.

An extensive overview and insight by Annaliza Humlen entitled Redefining the Notion of “CSR.”

During the Clinton Global Initiative, 54 percent of commitments featured corporate involvement, up from last year’s 35 percent.  What does this mean?  Is the economy improving or are corporations realizing the value gained from working with NGOs to help solve major global challenges?  Here’s more info on the subject.

And lastly, are the world’s forests finally starting to recover?  Some thoughts on the subject.