The New Corporate Citizen
What it means to be a “good corporate citizen” has changed significantly over the past few decades. Corporate citizenship used to involve giving to local charities and volunteering in local communities. Both are still very important, but the meaning is much broader.
As more consumers place value in supporting businesses that don’t simply do well, but ‘do good’, ethical business practices, philanthropy, diversity, volunteerism and environmental impact all have become fundamental pieces to the success of a company’s business plan. But for it to be effective, corporate citizenship and responsibility must become an integral part of a company’s core values—ingrained into the Company Culture.
Facets of Corporate Citizenship
According to Ethisphere Institute, the company that bestows honors to the World’s Most Ethical Companies, the most important aspects of good corporate citizenship and responsibility are:
- Environmental stewardship
- Community involvement
- Corporate philanthropy
- Workplace impact and well-being
- Supply chain engagement and oversight
- Quality and effectiveness of initiatives
- Accountability and transparency
How to Be a Corporate Citizen Leader
Research conducted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship named key responsibilities of a successful corporate citizenship leader:
- Become an expert on social issues and expectations of external stakeholders
- Build strong, trusting relationship with external stakeholders (community groups, non-governmental organizations)
- Identify business risks and opportunities based on expectations
- Design and implement corporate citizenship strategies
- Build consensus among senior leadership to adopt new policies and programs
- Construct trusting internal relationships and become expert on decisions regarding social and environmental issues
- Embed corporate citizenship practices into all operations across organization
- Measure and communicate initiatives related to corporate citizenship goals and performance
Delivering Our Promise
At Kennametal, corporate citizenship is at the core of our company values and culture. Exceeding our environmental and social responsibilities is a huge priority at every level of our organization, and in everything that we do.
We do whatever we can to deliver our promise and commitment to the community — from our Protecting Our Planet initiative that encourages the reduction of our own environmental footprint, to the Kennametal Foundation that provides grants and supports volunteerism in community-related issues.
Read more from The Chronicle — ETHICS Series: The World’s Most Ethical Companies, The Culture of Ethics, and Breaking Down the Basics. Stay tuned for more posts about what factors are considered when measuring the ethics of a company.