Fortune: Corporate Responsibility Is Taking On a New Meaning

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This great piece – which mentions AAPN member Patagonia – highlights a number of different ways that companies can demonstrate greater corporate responsibility. Training, transparency, community engagement and more. Which ones are a priority for your company?

Corporate Responsibility Is Taking On a New Meaning
Fortune: January 2, 2019

Doing the right thing in business is no longer synonymous with philanthropy. It now means investing in your people, future talent, environmental impact, and long term business priorities. In fact, in its newly released 2018 company rankings, JUST Capital emphasized how “just” companies are also very business-minded. Over the course of the year, companies ranked by JUST Capital consistently outperformed those not ranked.

The JUST Capital ranking looks at what matters to Americans when it comes to corporate responsibility. While it was no surprise many of the attributes found in JUST 100 companies were also consistently talked about in 2018—equal pay, flexible work hours, a focus on diversity, a good showing of female leadership—what I found most interesting is what isn’t necessarily considered of top concern now.

Those issues, however, will be increasingly more important as companies strive to become more socially minded in the future. These include:

Job training
Job training is a topic that will become more prevalent as companies strive to become more focused on people. With the looming threat of automation, companies need to consider investing in reskilling. For instance, IBM has already invested in vocational training schools like the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) to prepare the next generation of workers for jobs that range from engineers to digital design developers.

AT&T also recently initiated a $1 billion effort to retrain 250,000 employees in science, technology, engineering, and math with the aim of staying competitive in areas such as data science, cybersecurity, and computer science.

Transparency
Transparency will also continue to play a larger role. Consumers access online reviews and discussions, and even social media accounts of CEOs as a means of gaining more access and knowledge about products and companies. So, it’s only natural that transparency will be integral to the future success of JUST businesses.

For example, in response to pressure from consumers inquiring about product ingredients, P&G committed to sharing online all fragrance ingredients—which were reduced to 0.01% for all products—by the end of 2019.

And (AAPN Member) Patagonia, a company dedicated to sustainable business practices, has taken a very public commitment to ensure every step of its supply chain focuses on the highest of ethical and environmental standards through its “Footprint Chronicles,” whereby the company publishes detailed reports of its manufacturing process, product sourcing policies, and fair wage practices. (TODARO: I even got a few seconds of air time in one of the Footprint Chronicle videos!) Read More

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