that they’re delivering the same kind of ROI that their
other business units are delivering. Consider the efforts
of one mega-retailer, which recently installed low-energy LED lighting in all of its stores. The company
has successfully implemented a sustainability program
that will eliminate 35 millions of pounds of carbon-dioxide production each year—and it has calculated an
annual savings of $2.6 million.
“Businesses are tying their CSR programs more
closely to their day-to-day operations,” says Kramer.
In fact, about two-thirds of the Fortune 500 actively
monitor and track the progress of their CSR programs,
reports the Business Civic Leadership Center.
“The causes you choose to support
should reflect your employees,
your consumers as well as
the communities where you
CHAIR OF CONE INC.
How Consumers Rate Corporate America
87% 86% 84%
80 Expect company Expect companies Believe that if they
CEOs to be visibly to actively inform had more information
active in various social them about the about companies’
60 causes and charities socially responsible social, environmental
efforts they make and ethical behavior,
40 it would influence
their buying decisions
Source: Yankelovich, 2007
BUILDING INVESTOR CONFIDENCE
There’s another reason why a company must track
and report the progress of its diversity and CSR
programs: Socially responsible investors are watching.
They’re also buying more stock and providing financing
to socially responsible, ethical companies, while withholding funds or filing shareholder resolutions against
those that ignore CSR.
With more than $2.3 trillion under management in
the United States by socially responsible investors in 2005
PREPARING FOR DIVERSITY
The Bay Area Chapter of the American Red
Cross understands that when disaster strikes,
everyone is affected. That’s one reason why
reaching all the diverse groups living in the San
Francisco Bay area is central to Prepare Bay
Area, a four-year pilot program to prepare
1 million residents for when disaster strikes.
“The fundamental mission of the Red Cross
is to provide relief to disaster victims and prepare people to respond to emergencies,” says
Sandi Swiderski, director of preparedness and
youth services for the Bay Area Chapter and
director of Prepare Bay Area. “We work to
make sure that we are being inclusive in our
programs, and that our staffing and volunteers
reflect the diversity in our communities.”
Launched in 2005, the Prepare Bay Area
initiative’s goal is to reach one member
per area household with information about
the steps residents can take to prepare for
Diversity is key to the pilot’s success. “As
part of our outreach, we have identified the
elderly, low-income families, young children,
people with disabilities and the non-English-speaking population as the most vulnerable populations in a disaster,” Swiderski says.
“For that reason, one of our goals is to ensure
that 50 percent of the population we train is
representative of those vulnerable groups.”
To meet that goal, the Bay Area Chapter
is partnering with schools, government agen-
cies, nonprofits, businesses, faith communities
and neighborhood associations. “We’re offering training in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese
and other Asian languages,” explains Swiderski.
“Our web site, www.redcrossbayarea.org, includes an information link that’s published in 13
In addition, the chapter is piloting a partnership between the Red Cross and the World
Institute on Disability that is sponsored by
Verizon to enhance and improve training and
materials for people with disabilities.
“The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers,” says Swiderski. “In a
disaster, we want to be sure that we can help to
meet the needs of everyone affected.”