About Corporate Citizenship .

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About Corporate Citizenship

What is corporate citizenship?

In today's world, business has immense social, economic and human assets. Corporate citizenship refers to the way a company leverages these assets.

When a company uses its assets to bring about measurable gains not only for itself, but for society as well, that company is acting as a good corporate citizen.

A good corporate citizen integrates basic social values with everyday business practices, operations and policies, so that these values influence daily decision making across all aspects of the business, and takes into account its impact on all stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, suppliers, and the natural environment.

What about the argument that a company's primary obligation is to its shareholders?

Evidence suggests that when a company invests in socially responsible business practices, the benefit to society bounces back to the company -- and ultimately to the shareholder.

Socially responsible companies achieve a number of benefits, including:

*Enhanced reputation.

The majority of 25,000 people interviewed in 23 countries want companies to contribute to society beyond making a profit, according to the Millennium Poll on Corporate Social Responsibility. Meanwhile, brand identity is growing in importance. Interbrand, a leading international branding consultant, predicts that the brand worth of companies will rise to 45 percent of stock market capitalization by 2010. This is up from five percent in 1960 to 30 percent in 2000.

*Better relationships with governments and communities, which preserves the corporate "license to operate." Several years ago, Suncor, a Canadian energy company, received approval for a $360 million mine expansion two years ahead of schedule, making it the shortest approval process in provincial history for a project of that size. The rapid approval, attributed to the company's consultation with area residents and its commitment to stakeholder input and concerns, brought in an estimated...