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From Philanthropy to AI, the Evolution of Corporate Responsibility

By Dave Armon

What a difference a few decades make.

CEOs from mega-cap companies are increasingly briefing institutional investors on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda. It’s the work of corporate responsibility and sustainability professionals that provides the substance of those high-stakes presentations to portfolio managers who control trillions of investment dollars.

The practice of corporate responsibility has evolved into a complex role that touches every corporate function – from HR and Marketing to Manufacturing and IR.

While attending the recent Charities@Work employee engagement conference in New York, Michael Carren of Guardian Life summarized the company's shift from philanthropy and volunteering to AI and brand reputation.

“CSR has become an absolute business fundamental.  It’s a culture driver, it’s a business driver and it’s a skillset that young people who are coming into the professional really need to master very, very quickly because the expectations of companies and their shareholders are very, very high,” said Carren, who served as the United Way of New York’s chief strategy and operations officer before taking on the CSR role at Guardian Life.

Watch our full interview with Carren here:

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Dave Armon is the Chief Executive Officer of 3BL Media, which produces the 3BL Forum and ranks the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. A former journalist, Dave spent 20 years in management at PR Newswire, where he was president and COO.  

Read more stories by Dave Armon