Doing Good In 2017: Predictions For CEOs Who Care About CSR

David Carrey, Global Exchange Manager at CECP, discusses trends in corporate social responsibility with GlobalGiving.


Q: What trends in global corporate social responsibility should companies expect in 2017?

A: Looking back at the past year, we’ve seen a number of trends emerge in CSR, including the corporate sector’s growing role in responding to humanitarian and natural disaster recovery around the world; a call from some of the biggest institutional investors for companies to shift their focus away from short-term profits to long-term value creation (see CECP’s recently launched Strategic Investor Initiative); and corporate leaders taking on a greater advocacy role around key social issues that impact their business community. Looking ahead to 2017, we expect to see companies:

  • Leveraging and integrating key data and information assets into their social impact strategies.
  • Making deeper and longer term commitments around integrating purpose into their business strategy.
  • Recognizing the importance of the employee as a top stakeholder driving CSR commitment and strategy.
  • Considering citizenship qualities as they hire and develop leaders at all levels to drive their business growth.

Q: CECP is committed to the vision of its founder, Paul Newman, who understood that corporations could be a force for good in society. What does being a “force for good” look like in practice?

A: Corporates’ role in giving back and advocating for positive social change has tremendous value, and CECP has seen a growing trend of CEOs and companies becoming more involved and active in this space. CECP recognizes a number of qualities that distinguish engaged CEOs including reinforcing the value of the company’s community engagement, inspiring employees at all levels to get involved, rallying other CEOs to do more, committing the company’s unique skills and resources for the social good, reaching outside the company to create solutions, and mobilizing the company’s senior leadership.

Q: Tell us about your new initiative, the Global Exchange.

A: To support companies operating internationally, CECP recently launched an initiative called the Global Exchange, which is a coalition of affiliate organizations in countries throughout the world to advance large companies’ CSR, community engagement, societal investment, and philanthropy strategies. Noteworthy benefits to companies include in-network referrals to respective Global Exchange partners and country-specific resources to understand the local context. Another exciting initiative is the Strategic Investor Initiative, which is a platform that will provide tools and resources designed to introduce market behaviors that ultimately deliver sustained long-term value for all stakeholders.

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Featured Photo: JAAGO Foundation brings education to impoverished children in Bangladesh.

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