A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Can “Giving Back” Add Value To Your Company?

Over 90 business leaders from over 65 companies as varied as McGraw-Hill, Campbell Soup, Duke Energy, Credit Suisse, Bloomberg, Quest Diagnostics, Hasbro and the National Basketball Association attended an event this Monday which focused on the economic benefits of “doing the right thing” by seeking solutions to community and global concerns.  The Board of Boards CEO Conference was hosted by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), which is an international forum of businessmen dedicated to helping members improve corporate philanthropy.  They teach that initiatives which benefit the global community such as battling hunger or illiteracy also benefit the companies which invest in them by improving the companies’ brand recognition as well as both employee and customer loyalty.

Professor Michael Porter of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School has coined the phrase “creating shared value” to describe this concept which is gaining appeal.  An article written for the January-February 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review and posted on the school’s website, explains:

“The concept of shared value can be defined as policies and operating practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions in the communities in which it operates. Shared value creation focuses on identifying and expanding the connections between societal and economic progress.”

The article identifies energy use, environmental impact, employee skills, and worker safety as some of the areas whereby a company’s investment may increase overall productivity.  Many successful companies already embrace the idea of “giving back” to the communities in which they do business as adding value not just to the public, but to their business as well.  Construction Citizen agrees!

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