MPI Perspective - October 2008 - (Page 21)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY— Good for Whom? By Guy I. Nahmiach Einstein preached that we were obliged to give back at “least the equivalent of what we took.” Paul McCartney told Chris Farley “the more you give, the more you get,” … and my mom always insisted that no one else was going to clean up the mess in my room. These days it’s the latest in corporate press releases, policies and initiatives. Discovering how being good to others can be good to them. Take care of your environment and employees and they will in turn take care of the company. Most companies have always practiced corporate social responsibility in some form within their walls and communities: employee profit sharing, casual Fridays, daycare centers, etc. In the late 1990s we started seeing blue wastebaskets in many offices. Recycling began to take on a more important role. Corporations were getting involved in Habitat for Humanity and other similar organizations. There was no need to advertise or market what we did for our community or environment. However, something happened recently that caused us to wear our caring on our sleeve. As if to prove that we, in fact, did care. The trust between the business world and the public was shattered last decade by the Enrons of the world. No jail time was going to fix the broken bond between management and employees who had lost their life savings. We also had massive layoffs after 9/11, as well as numerous mergers in various industries that resulted in redundant jobs being eliminated. Corporations in our industry had devoted sections on their Web sites as well as entire departments addressing issues such as environmental policies, social responsibility programs and itemizing everything they were doing to partner up with communities all over the world. The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Hilton hotels both have areas on their Web sites detailing their environmental policies and write-ups on how they are giving back to the community. The IHG discusses its usage of technology, training and design, in implementing its commitment to saving water, electrical and other resources used to run their hotels. The Hilton gives back to the communities where it works, lives and plays through charitable programs and events. Freeman, for example, has categorized its care program into four areas: 1) caring about each other (employee owners), 2) caring about the industry through support for organizations like MPI, 3) caring about the community through United Way, heart walks and other programs and finally, 4) caring about the environment through its green initiatives. Experient details its responsibility to customers, employees and families alike. Coors Brewing Company requests that you submit your birth date before entering their Web site. “21 means 21” describes its “alcohol responsibility.” The company describes its part in promoting diversification in the workforce, vendor selection and communities. It’s also interesting to note that years ago the Coors family had purchased the rights to the waters flowing into Golden, Colo., not only to control the quality of the water, but to also use the flow to produce electricity to sustain the brewery and the surrounding town as well. While no company is credited with inventing these programs, most had already had these in place as their day-to-day practices. They have become successful because of their hiring habits, management styles and have followed these from day one of existence. Some, such as the pharmaceutical industry, were forced into such policies years ago. Not only is the environment a key issue for this sector but so is creating an MPINCCperspective | VOL. 27, NO. 2 | 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - October 2008

MPI Perspective - Ocotber 2008
President's Message
Spotlight on Audio-Visual
Connecting with - Mitchell Bakst, CMP
12 Technology Trends in the Meetings and Events Market
Corporate Social Responsibility - Good for Whom?
Member Pearls
Chapter Chatter
Destination Spotlight - Sonoma Country
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - October 2008