I’ve thought about a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) blog for a few years now. I still remember sitting in the launch meeting for the Global Reporting Initiative in 1997 in London….wondering if this CSR/Sustainability concept was just common sense or another passing business fad.By 2000, under a formal Corporate Responsibility function at Intel, we shifted our actions and reporting to align closer to the ‘art’ that was still forming. Outward appearances were one thing, but what had begun to occur inside the company was completely another. Employees and key business units engaged in the internal debates and took part in the external dialogs. Early internal adopters included those organizations that had ‘skin in the game’ – Environment, Health and Safety, Human Resources and Public Affairs. Stakeholder management was approached as a competitive advantage that could generate intellectual capital. Emerging issues monitoring vs. crisis management was embedded as a management system. Business practices and codes of conduct evolved amid ever increasing expectations. Executives had always worked to “do what’s right,” but they came to realize the business value of trust and credibility in global markets with global stakeholders. To be honest, nothing in the evolution was, or is easy. It’s complex – different businesses and internal organizations are at different levels of maturity and need to be managed differently. Today, we stand at yet another of what seems to have been hundreds of crossroads. We have regional teams focused on the CSR agenda. Our branding and marketing teams want to take advantage of the stored credibility we’ve built, but struggle with how to define the concept of CSR, let alone factor it into brand value. New business ventures have shifted their thinking from only providing ever-faster chips to designing technology solutions for unique society challenges. An Intel Community Solutions team actually works within the CSR function to find sustainable projects that are judged on values such as societal impact, innovation, scalability and revenue generation. Today, CSR touches everything – it is how leading companies do business. This is where the CSR agenda has taken us….and I’m convinced we have just scratched the surface. We are launching the CSR@Intel Blog with a small group of content experts. We will cover a broad array of topics and share both our thoughts and what we are doing personally and as a global company. I invite your scrutiny. I invite your engagement. And, I invite your input. There is yet another fork in the CSR path. Let’s take it together.
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