Helpful CSR & Sustainability Groups

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Business for Social Responsibility and GlobeScan recently released the 7th annual State of Sustainable Business Report.

The survey revealed what major companies think about sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It collected data from 440 professionals at multinational companies, in a wide range of industries, with varying levels of commitment to sustainability.

One not-so-surprising trend identified by the survey: sustainability is playing an increasingly important role for almost half of the companies (42%). And while almost 70% say sustainability is at least “fairly well integrated,” the desire is to have it more integrated. Other results:

  • 48% of companies said their key performance indicators include sustainability measures
  • 67% reported sustainability efforts was a top three factor in a company’s reputation

We know, from a 2014 Nielson report, that 55% of global online consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Human rights remains the top priority for business, though climate change and access to products meeting basic needs are on the rise. (Detail on pg. 9)

Human rights remains the top priority for business, though climate
change and access to products meeting basic needs are on the rise. (Detail on pg. 9)

And there’s no shortage of research, ratings and rankings related to sustainable business. The current $250 million sustainability information market now includes some 150 rating systems covering more than 50,000 companies.

So how can sustainability and CSR “warriors” find what’s most useful (in practice) and help raise their company’s commitment to something so important?

Social responsibility and sustainability membership associations/organizations are one good way. Here are some of the best in this space:

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

bsr-greenbiz-banner_0A global nonprofit organization, BSR works with a network of more than 250 companies to build a just and sustainable world. With offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Members get access to thought leaders in the industry, sustainability solutions and networking opportunities. BSR’s annual conference, being held November 3-5 in San Francisco, will provide the latest social responsibility strategies. Membership information: http://www.bsr.org/en/membership

Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy

CECP LogoCECP’s mission is to create a better world through business. The nonprofit organization is a coalition of CEOs who lead by example and believe improving society is an essential measure of business performance. Founded in 1999 by Paul Newman, CECP consists of more than 150 CEOs of the world’s largest companies across all industries. CECP offers members one-on-one consultation, networking events, exclusive measurement data, and case studies on corporate engagement. Membership is by invitation only. Membership information: http://cecp.co/membership/join-cecp.html

Conscious Capitalism

cclogoA nonprofit organization, Conscious Capitalism is dedicated to helping businesses use their power to serve humanity. It’s a group of companies, nonprofits and other organizations who believe there’s a better way to conduct business, guided by higher purpose, a stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership and conscious culture. Conscious Capitalism offers programs and events, and supports a growing network of chapters, which serve as learning communities. Membership information: http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/membership

Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA)

cra logoCRA promotes the practice and profession of corporate responsibility.  Members can choose to participate in Thought Leadership Councils for specific issues or CEO Responsibility Roundtables. The nonprofit association also provides e-newsletters, CR Magazine, webinars, and an annual conference.  Membership information: http://corporateresponsibilityassociation.org/join-us/

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

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