From healthcare to banking, new CSR reports are documenting genuine progress on global- local macro social issues as the UN increases reliance on the private sector.
Yes, too often it’s now de ri-gueur, many years into the #CSR report evolution, to take these reports for granted (“everybody does one”). But with the impending launch of the United Nations post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, two just-issued CSR reports from very diverse industry sectors project momentum for a successful SDGs launch and long-term progress.
These reports resonate now not only because of the SDGs timing but also because they illustrate how such companies are already helping people and communities around the world. The companies, and many others with global reach and local impact, apply their core competencies to address both social and corporate objectives. Now, they — and the CSR community — are being asked to also coordinate with the UN on its epic SDG global initiative.
Henry Schein & Company — This $10 billion (annual revenues) provider of healthcare products and services has just reported these “Global Corporate Social Responsibility Highlights”: The company has donated more than $50 million in health care products to more than 200 non-profit organizations; sent about 5000 “health kits” to 500 missions benefitting 300,000 people in 51 countries; and donated some $700,000 in supplies and financial assistance to 80 health fair events.
Citigroup — In its just-released “2014 Global Citizenship Report” the company includes these “core’ CSR programs: its commitment to lend, invest and facilitate $100 billion toward environmental solutions and climate change reduction; launch of Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative to help 100,000 low-income young people in 10 major U.S. cities prepare for employment; and lend $406 million to some 1.2 million entrepreneurs — 97% if them women — in 25 countries.
These reports and the commitments they document are compatible with the priorities of the UN’s SDGs. In that context, in Addis Ababa today UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked global business leaders to join forces with the UN on a framework for financing global priorities:
“I urge private sector leaders — including CEOs and institutional investors — to be part of the solution, and to consider new commitments for investment in sustainable development.”
Today’s Addis Ababa meeting follows the June successful conference “UN Global Compact +15 Business as a Force For Good” in which the Secretary-General predicted that “business will be indispensable” for SDG success.