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Widely-shared responsibility for CSR/Sustainable Development also requires public relations communication stewardship.

Public relations professionals take heart: Planned and recently-published research sponsored by The Arthur W. Page Center confirms your central role in advancing the positive role of business in society.

For those of us long involved in making the connection between CSR/Sustainable Development and professional public relations, an important confluence is taking on new momentum:

 . The Arthur W. Page Society, the premier organization of public relations leaders, is “committed to the belief that public relations as a function of executive management is central to the success of the corporation.” The Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, a research unit of Penn State University College of Communications, recently announced that its 2015-2016 awards to communications researchers and teachers around the world will include nine projects related to sustainability .

 . The CSR/Sustainable Development global business model — in which companies. . . . non-governmental organizations, governments and academic institutions are partnering to address major social problems  — has matured, especially with the current launch of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

 In announcing the new CSR research grants, Page Center director Dr. Denise Bortree pointed out that, “Funding quality innovative research is a key part of our center’s mission.” The 2015-2016 CSR research projects, wide ranging in this space, will include:

Emotions and Climate Change: Moving Beyond Fear to Examine the Role of Hope, Happiness, Sadness and Guilt. Lucy Atkinson, University of Texas at Austin.

 Visual Best Practices in Communicating Sustainability: A Cognitive Science Approach. Serena Carpenter, Bruno Takahashi, Kristen Lynch, all of Michigan State University.

 Distinguishing Real From Fake: How Consumers Evaluate Authenticity of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs and What It Means for the Bottom Line. Rajul Jain, DePaul University.

 These new projects follow in the line of earlier Page-sponsored CSR research, with several of the recent projects summarized in a special issue of the Public Relations Journal — Vol. 8, No. 3.