Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Understanding the Impact of Reputation at the COMMIT!Forum

Beth Rusert, senior vice president and partner of Standing Partnership, will present a session on "Understanding the Impact of Reputation" at the COMMIT!Forum.

Rusert will discuss reputational risk – the intersection between that brand you’ve built, how you operate, and how your stakeholders perceive you. The session will delve into the 2016 Reputational Risk Report conducted by Standing Partnership and Edison Research, which surveyed more than 1,000 executives to identify how companies monitor and manage reputational risk. Attendees will leave able assess the reputational risk management approach of their organization, and will learn take steps to build a consideration for reputational risk into its business culture. 

Rusert answered a few questions from CR Magazine about her session and the forum:

CR Magazine: Why should attendees attend your session? What will they learn?

Beth Rusert: Attendees will learn how to implement a better reputational risk management approach, who should be included on the team, and the steps for an effective strategy that will lead to the highest level of protection you can give to your organization’s most valuable asset. Even for those who feel their organization handles reputational risk well, our recently released research on the subject revealed that many companies could benefit from a refreshed approach.

CR: What is the biggest takeaway from your session?

BR: Businesses are operating in plain view of those they are responsible to, and the number of those stakeholders is constantly growing. Managing risk to your brand’s reputation involves a system that allows for the analysis of multiple perspectives – from the inside out.

CR: Why do you think it’s important for people to attend COMMIT!Forum, in your opinion?

BR: Operating responsibly is a complex system of decisions, and navigating the choices takes a commitment to education in order to continually improve and learn from the experiences of others. The cost of not being a part of the conversation is too high for those interested in engaging in and positively impacting the communities in which they do business.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Generation Startup: A Documentary Hosted by PwC Shows the Importance of Entrepreneurship

The film Generation Startup showcases the challenges of six recent college graduates creating startups in Detroit. COMMIT!Forum attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy this interesting documentary during the forum, thanks to PwC.

CR Magazine spoke with Shannon Schuyler, principal, chief purpose officer, chief corporate responsibility officer, and president of the PwC Charitable Foundation at PricewaterhouseCoopers about the film and the power of purpose at the company.

CR Magazine: What drives the focus on purpose at PwC? 

PwC’s purpose—to build trust in society and solve important problems—articulates our collective ability to tackle critical and complex challenges by applying our professional experiences. By understanding the implications and opportunities of our actions gives us a deeper sense of meaning in our work, and allows our people to see the humanity in our services. In short, why we do what we do. The need to understand why our work matters was a need clearly identified in PwC's Putting Purpose to Work study, which found 83 percent of employees prioritize finding meaning in their day-to- day work.

CR: How do you expect to see purpose evolve in the future? 

SS: There is incredible potential behind a purpose-driven organization, an organization that has all its people focused on “why are we in business?” Why do we do the things we do, how we do them differently, what makes us unique, and can that truly drive lasting, positive change combined with commercial success?

As chief purpose officer, I was tasked to find out what that looks like, and I think business leaders are at the forefront of really thinking about the idea of purpose, and why purpose is important. According to PwC’s 19th Annual CEO Global Survey, CEOs across industries are acknowledging that a business purpose—a clear reason to exist beyond making money—goes hand-in-hand with a sound business strategy. And while the vast majority of leaders agree this is an imperative, the conversation is still evolving around how purpose is being activated and embedded within an organization.

If we truly believe in the value of purpose, we have to make it a fundamental part of our business—from decision-making to internal communications, to recruiting and professional development. As the purpose conversation evolves, I think we will see a shift from ideation to action in these key areas.

CR: Why should people attend the screening of the movie funded by the PwC Charitable Foundation at COMMIT? What will they learn? 

SS: Entrepreneurship is critical to the success of our cities. Sharing the stories of the men and women who take this career path is an incredibly powerful way to demonstrate not only what they experience, but the hope they can bring to cities in need of revitalization. Generation Startup is a documentary partially funded in part by the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. that brings to life the experience of six recent college graduates working at startups in Detroit through Venture for America.

The PwC Foundation got involved with this project as an extension of its work with Venture for America, which channels talented young people to early-stage startup to train as entrepreneurs. At the PwC Foundation, we believe in the power of social entrepreneurship as a catalyst for creating innovative technologies and designing promising solutions to tackle some of society's most challenging problems.

It's my hope that those who attend the screening will walk away with a deeper respect for the personal and professional struggles of budding entrepreneurs, and a desire to actively support the revitalization of American cities and communities through entrepreneurship.

CR: Why is participation in the COMMIT!Forum important, in your opinion? 

SS: For those with intellectual curiosity around topics of corporate responsibility, sustainability and purpose, COMMIT!Forum provides a rich source of dialogue and networking that is invaluable in our field.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Innovation as a Critical Strategy: A Q&A with The Mosaic Company

The COMMIT!Forum is fast approaching. With a month-and-a-half to go, we at CR Magazine are speaking to companies who are presenting at the forum. Below is a Q&A session with Ben Pratt, vice president of corporate public affairs at The Mosaic Company. He disuses how innovation has lead the company to success.

CR Magazine: What drives innovation at Mosaic? 

Ben Pratt: Innovation has always been a part of Mosaic’s culture. From product R&D and crop trials to co-generated electricity and unique land reclamation efforts, we are constantly striving to be better at meeting our customers’ needs, lower our costs, and operate more sustainably.

Today, during challenging times for agriculture and broader commodities markets, we know that innovation will play an even bigger role in our future success. That’s why innovation is a critical element of Mosaic’s new strategy, and is one of our four new guiding principles. We realize that innovation doesn’t happen just by talking about it. It requires commitment, continuous support and a culture that embraces ideas and change. Our people—over 8,000 employees around the world – are committed to innovation, and we believe their smart, executable ideas will help us grow, endure and thrive.

CR: What kind of unique innovative initiatives is Mosaic using? 

BP: We view innovation through a broad lens. It’s more than big, disruptive ideas—it’s also small improvements that save time, or reduce our environmental impact, or minimize costs. These small ideas can be tremendously valuable to Mosaic. We are actively soliciting ideas from employees, and we’re excited about the momentum we’ve seen in a short time. Since March, we’ve received over 100 ideas from 18 different locations.

CR: What supply chain practices do you use to ensure sustainability? 

BP: We do not underestimate the impact we can have by implementing innovative solutions in our supply chain. For example, we are in the third year of contracting with a vendor to operate a fleet of clean-burning compressed natural gas trucks to transport raw materials and finished products in our Central Florida operations. We continue to explore opportunities to convert additional shipping volumes to CNG—in fact, another trucking partner added four CNG trailers to its fleet in 2015. There are many benefits with this arrangement. We have improved our own transportation emissions footprint, and two new CNG filling stations in the Tampa Bay area that were built to meet the needs of our contract have enabled public access to clean-burning CNG.

CR: What do you predict in the future of sustainable fertilizer manufacturing?

BP: This isn’t a glamorous response, but in a commodity industry like ours, costs are paramount—the low-cost producer is best equipped to endure the inevitable low points in the business cycle. Driving costs down—while maintaining the integrity of our assets and, most important, strong employee safety performance—requires day-by-day innovation, and it often requires investment now to reduce costs later. Company-wide commitment to improving processes, finding efficiencies small and large and challenging the status quo is required. Sustaining our business keeps fertilizer manufacturing sustainable for the long term.

CR: Why is participation in the COMMIT!Forum so important, in your opinion? 

BP: The best part of the forum is having the opportunity to network with like-minded corporate responsibility peers from a variety of industries and experience levels. There are always takeaways and lessons to apply based on your own company’s needs. The unique opportunity to tell Mosaic’s story and hear stories and best practices across a variety of CSR topics is invaluable.

CR: What is Mosaic looking forward to the most at the forum? 

BP: Good coffee, forward-thinking panel conversations, and seeing how the SharedXpertise team makes this year’s event even more sustainable. Last year’s zero-waste effort will be hard to beat!

CR: What should forum attendees know about your sessionwhy should they attend? 

BP: Let’s face it: Innovation and fertilizer manufacturing may not seem to go hand-in-hand, so that alone should pique attendees’ interest. We’ll discuss some of the challenges and barriers to entry for a company operating in the commodities space—and how we’re harnessing the power and ingenuity of our people to improve our competitiveness and live up to our potential. I believe these are concepts anyone can relate to.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Six Ways to Turn Your Corporate Philanthropy Efforts into a Long-Term Project

A single day of volunteer service can be exciting, moving, impactful, and inspiring for a company's employees. But after a year or two of the ‘one and done’ volunteer events, many corporate employees hunger for more. To develop an enduring philanthropic relationship, multiple points of connection are needed. 

Here are six ways to move your corporate philanthropy into a long-term function, and create more meaningful bonds between employees and the non-profits the company supports. 

1.     Find the right partner. Your employees want to help solve societal problems, but they may differ on how to prioritize which to work on. Survey your employees to find out what impact they most want to make on the community, or otherwise make sure they understand why the company chooses to support its select non-profits. If there’s a broad spectrum of interests, find a non-profit that serves many different needs. Or focus on improving a certain community, rather than a specific issue area. Employee input into the partnership begets ownership, which ultimately begets connection.

2.     Variety is the spice of life. Offer your employees an a la carte menu of ways to engage with your community partners. Offering multiple ways to participate will increase the likelihood everyone in the office will find something that suits their interest, availability, and style.

3.     Calendar it in. Connecting with a non-profit and its mission takes deliberate planning. Brainstorm at the beginning of your partnership, and then put together a calendar of events that can be shared with your employees. You may even want to target different departments of the company based on when their workload is less hectic.

4.      Just ask. Not only is it harder to turn someone down when you ask them in person, it’s also flattering to be personally requested to attend an event. Email is perfect for getting people information about a volunteer or fundraising opportunity, but it’s also easy to ignore. Assemble a team of enthusiastic staff members who will take the time to go from desk to desk, or make a few phone calls, to get people engaged.

5.     Communicate. If your employees help with a volunteer event or fundraiser, but never hear the impact of their work, they will lose interest. Companies and employees need to talk to each other. Find out what they liked (and didn’t like) about their experience so you can continue to fine-tune your relationship with your nonprofit partner. Then share data and stories about the event so people know their efforts matter.

6.     Motivate yourselves and one another. People respond well to having more than one reason to commit to spending our time in a certain way. Provide an incentive, add music or costumes, or make it a competition.

-Stacey Rago, Executive Director, Chicago Charity Challenge

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the COMMIT!Forum

Thinking about attending the COMMIT!Forum? This annual event continues to showcase current, timely sessions on hot topics and provides information that the CR professional, as well as the CEO, needs to know. Here we list the top 10 reasons you should attend:

10. A Great New Venue

This year, the COMMIT!Forum takes place at the Westin Times Square - right in the heart of New York City. The beautiful venue provides the perfect backdrop for communicating, sharing, and learning.

9. An Exclusive Workshop with MGM Resorts International

Rey Bouknight, director of corporate communications, and Clark Dumont, senior vice president of Corporate Communications, share MGM's innovative practices in this interesting and informative session.

8. Understanding the Impact of Reputation Session

Beth Rusert, senior vice president & partner at Standing Partnership, discusses real-world comparisons of effective and ineffective reputational risk, and offers five steps for reputational risk mitigation during this session.

7. Your Own Content

The COMMIT!Forum will feature “Issue Tables” that allow you to discuss, debate, and share knowledge on the most relevant issues in the field of corporate responsibility with your peers.

6. CR Magazine's 100 Best Sector List Announcement

CR Magazine's VP of Research, Larry Basinait will announce the 100 Best Sector List. This year was our 17th annual ranking of transparency, accountability, and business performance.

5. The COMMIT!Forum Marketplace

The COMMIT!Forum Marketplace is an area that shows emerging trends in the fields of corporate responsibility and sustainability. THRIVE Farmers coffee is available as you listen and learn from participants.

4. One-on-One CEO Interview

CR Magazine CEO Elliot Clark will host a lively discussion with one of the top CEOs at a large corporation on running a business, sustainability, challenges, and best practices.

3. An Exciting CEO Panel

Shared Responsibility: An Exclusive CEO Panel will offer attendees the opportunity to hear C-level thought leaders share their experiences on topics such as pioneering leadership for environmental stewardship, employee engagement, visionary governance, and more.

2. The Annual Responsible CEO of the Year Awards

CR Magazine’s Responsible CEO of the Year Awards is the highlight of the event. This special dinner and awards ceremony celebrates CEOs who are dedicated to corporate responsibility. The winners will be announced during the anticipated evening. (Admission to the awards dinner requires an additional ticket.)

.....and the top reason to attend the COMMIT!Forum is:

1. A Fantastic Opportunity for Networking

The COMMIT!Forum allows unparalleled networking opportunities for all attendees. You will be able to engage with C-suite executives, CEOs, corporate communication professionals, and CR professionals during the entire forum. Join your colleagues as you discuss important topics like how to run a business more responsibly; how to simultaneously be more sustainable and profitable; how to manage your brand; and how to build a sustainable workforce and supply chain. Responsible companies buy from other responsible companies at our event. Don't miss out!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

COMMIT!Forum is Coming Up Fast!

Pictured are the 2015 CEO of the Year nominees.
Only 75 days until the COMMIT!Forum! We at CR Magazine invite you to stay tuned to this blog as we feature weekly posts on the exciting sessions and networking opportunities that the forum will provide.

There will be a great lineup of speakers and presentations that will offer excellent learning opportunities. The 2016 event takes place Oct. 18–19 at the Westin New York in New York City.

Mosaic will offer a special session on the company’s latest innovations in mining, manufacturing, supply chain, and product development during the event. We will feature a post on Mosaic's presentation, and others like it, in the coming weeks.

The second day of the forum will also include the Responsible CEO of the Year Awards Dinner - an event dedicated to honoring those who make a commitment to corporate responsibility. Join us on Oct. 19 as we announce the winner.

This year’s nominees include:
• Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PVH Corp.
• John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations, Saint-Gobain
• Sury Kant, President North America, UK and Europe, Tata Consultancy Services
• Mike Lawrie, Chairman, President and CEO, CSC
• Robert Moritz, US Chairman and Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
• Richard Noll, Chairman and CEO, HanesBrands
• Christine Perich, CEO, New Belgium Brewing
• Richard Shadyac, President and CEO, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
• David Steiner, President and CEO, Waste Management
• John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc.
• Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aviva

Check our website,, as we update the schedule and session information. More information will be posted shortly.