Sustainability -- corporate responsibility, citizenship and green -- is a critical goal for all organizations today. How a company communicates it, however, is a completely different ballgame and as often happens, good sustainability efforts can be badly communicated.
Next week, a workshop hosted by communications and marketing consulting firm Communintelligence aims to set this balance right. Featuring speakers like Michael Splinter, CEO of Applied Materials; Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist; CEO of Natural Logic Gil Friend; and several CSR and sustainability directors from companies like Campbell Soup, Sprint, Intel, eBay, McKesson, Microsoft, Saatchi & Saatchi, and SAP, the two-day conference will address a big question: the mysteriously elusive business case for corporate social responsibility.
Of course, this debate—as the past few weeks have shown beyond any doubt starting with Professor Aneel Karnani's editorial in —doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. But one thing is clear: Companies that ingrain sustainability in their DNA end up with a competitive advantage at attracting and retaining employees, brand positioning as well as ultimate bottom line success.
Whether you work in CSR, are planning to transition into such a role or are simply passionate about corporate citizenship, this conference offers context, the chance to analyze past case studies, learn techniques and processes to take back to your company, and most importantly, network. While I will be on hand on Day 2 of the conference to bring you live coverage, here are some of the featured panels as well as the registration details for those who can make it.
With a full agenda including several keynotes, panels and case studies, Gil Friend will kick off the conference by addressing the theme: The mysteriously elusive sustainability business case (and where to find it). Succinctly put, he will address why too many companies—including some who should know better—still think that you have to choose between making money and making sense. You don't.
The conference will also feature case studies from eBay's Green Team on engaging employees in innovative social responsibility projects (Read EDF Climate Corp Fellow Megan Rast's account of her sustainability internship with eBay this summer: Bidding Farewell to eBay: Four Takeaways for Working on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency) as well as Microsoft on using technology to measure and communicate global citizenship.
Day 2 will feature Campbell Soup's Dave Stangis and Intel's Gary Niekerk debating an issue that will resonate for many: Are They Buying Your Sustainability Story? Moving from Rhetoric and Vagueness to Truth-telling and Trust.
When: September 22-23, 2010
Where: Santa Clara, Calif.
Registration details: Communicating Sustainability 2010: Mention the code "partner200" and you can shave off $200 from the registration price
I'd also like to extend an invite to all who are attending to continue the discussion post-event by writing in to In Good Company or connecting on Twitter @VaultCSR.
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