Cindy Mehallow is principal of CRM Communications, a woman-owned sustainability communications consulting practice specializing in corporate social responsibility reporting and stakeholder communications. GRI-Certified in sustainability reporting, Cindy has produced award-winning sustainability reports for Fortune 500 clients in a variety of industries.

CSR Reporting: When is Enough, Enough? Views from Intel and Merck

This is the third column in a three-part series on CSR Reporting. Producing CSR reports requires a substantial investment of time and money. Is all the work worth it? I was surprised by some of the answers I heard during a panel on CSR reporting at the recent Financial Times Conference “Investing in a Sustainable Future.” … Continued

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CSR Reporting: What Investors Want

Who really reads CSR reports? Do investors really use them?  I heard speakers from Intel, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Merck & Co., and CalSTRS offer differing answers to these questions during a panel on CSR reporting at the recent Financial Times Conference “Investing in a Sustainable Future.” Merck’s Director of Corporate Responsibility Maggie Kohn … Continued

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CSR Reporting: An Insider’s Update on the Latest from GRI

This is the first column in a three-part series on CSR Reporting.  Coming next — Part 2: What Investors Want from CSR Reports and Part 3:  CSR Reporting: When is Enough, Enough? At the recent Financial Times Conference, Investing in a Sustainable Future, GRI’s Mike Wallace admitted that he hears complaints about the GRI Framework.  But, he … Continued

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Rape, Pillage and … Philanthropy: How Siloed CSR Misses the Point

The bi-partisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has been studying no less than 22 contributing causes of the financial crisis. At the risk of oversimplifying matters, Jed Emerson of Blended Value Proposition, believes he knows the root cause.  It all boils down to values, Emerson told participants at the Economist’s recent 2010 Corporate Citizenship Conference “Doing Well … Continued

Corporate Oaths: “I’ll Be Good, I Swear”

Can taking an oath make corporate executives more ethical?  Yes, according to some speakers at the Economist’s recent Corporate Citizenship Conference “Doing Well by Doing Good.”  They hold that responsible citizenship at the corporate level starts with strong personal values. Stanford University Law School Lecturer Chip Pitts told conference participants, “Society needs individuals who exhibit integrity … Continued

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Follow the CSR Leaders

During the Economist’s Corporate Citizenship Conference earlier this week, I heard nearly three dozen global leaders discuss the challenges, successes and failures of corporate citizenship.  From their comments, I gleaned a collection of best practices for developing corporate citizenship programs that generate tangible results.  Here’s what these leaders recommend. Collaborate with competitors. It’s not easy … Continued

When to Dismount a Dead Horse

The Economist’s Corporate Citizenship Conference “Doing Well by Doing Good” wrapped up earlier last week and provided a variety of perspectives on what exactly needs to be done, how and by whom to restore our economy, corporate ethics and public trust. It was no surprise that the bleak economic situation was a recurring theme echoed … Continued

Defining Corporate Citizenship

How much of a role should business play in tackling global questions such as climate change, unemployment, restoring trust in the aftermath of the financial crisis and distributing international aid?  What is the nature and extent of the private sector’s responsibility in resolving these issues? At what point should corporations step alongside government and help … Continued

The Economist’s 2010 Corporate Citizenship Conference

Giving Government a Helping Hand  How much of a role should business play in tackling global questions such as climate change, unemployment, restoring trust in the aftermath of the financial crisis and distributing international aid?  What is the nature and extent of the private sector’s responsibility in resolving these issues? At what point should corporations … Continued

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Getting Started in CSR Social Media: Examples from Intel & Timberland

If one of your resolutions for the new year is to better utilize social media to tell your company’s sustainability stories, take a look at how Intel and Timberland are tapping the potential of the Web 2.0  In a recent webinar hosted by the National Association of Environmental Managers, these web-savvy CSR managers described how … Continued

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Waste of Paper or Wellspring of Opportunity? The True Value of CSR Reports

Some skeptics question the value of corporate social responsibility reports.  They point to the resources expended on producing these documents and demand  “Who reads them, anyway?”  While that may be a valid question, I think a more informative question is “What value does producing a CSR report offer to the company doing the reporting?” Based … Continued

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What to Report on? How Two CSR Leaders Decide

We’ve all seen them.  Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports weighing it at nearly 100 pages, crammed with charts and graphs, and gray with type.  There’s valuable information in there, but unearthing commentary on issues of strategic importance can be daunting.   That’s why I was especially curious to hear CSR managers from two industry leaders, FedEx … Continued

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Secrets of Successful Social Intrapreneurs: Advice From Three Major Brands

Sustainability careers are in high demand, judging from the record-breaking attendance at the 2009 Net Impact Conference this past weekend (2,400 participants, 60% of which were MBA students).  Problem is, there just aren’t that many full-time positions with “sustainability” or “corporate social responsibility” in the title.  But, it is possible to create a full-time sustainability … Continued