Could there possibly be anything truly new to report on “Corporate Social Responsibility” – the decades-old movement that is now approaching “business as usual”?
Yes. In fact, a very assertive “Yes.”
With its debut on Direct TV and the Internet on March 30th, “Business In Society” arguably represents the first regular video programming aimed at the general public as well as at traditional business, NGO, academic and government audiences.
John Paluszek, Ketchum senior counsel and executive producer of the program explains that the focus of “Business in Society” is to deliver news and analysis on how business is addressing global society’s macro problems – among them, the environment, energy conservation and women’s empowerment. He intends to give these issues a new dimension of visibility, recognition and impetus.
The March 30th premier featured Georg Kell, executive director of the United Nations Global Compact. UNGC is the world’s largest voluntary sustainability network with over 7,000 corporate members worldwide operating in accord with UNGC principles in environment, human rights, labor rights and anti-corruption. The organization also has some 3,500 academic, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments in its membership.
Ketchum has been a UNGC member for over a decade, maintaining the relationship with annual “Communication On Progress” reports and participation in many Compact initiatives over the years, especially the Compact’s U.S. Network.
In the program premier, Mr. Kell stresses the value of integrating companies’ traditional (mainly economic) and newer (mainly social) objectives. He contends that, “the opportunity of corporate social responsibility is to cultivate a business model that is responsible, environmentally friendly and delivers long term social benefits while helping companies be successful. If business commits to these principles and makes them part of strategy and operations, it makes business stronger.”
In the half-hour premier, Mr.Kell offers a sweeping summary of the many ways in which business is addressing social problems. Future “Business In Society” editions will examine these and additional efforts – in connection with progress and challenges in supply-chain sustainability; socially-responsible investment; and constructive partnerships between companies and NGOs.
A flight of five additional editions is planned for the spring with an extended schedule will begin in the fall.
As both the executive producer and host of the program, John Paluszek notes that corporate social responsibility has come a long way from its origins in the 1970s. His program seeks to use a variety of traditional and new media to accomplish two things:
- Draw new attention of influential audiences to current macro problems in global society and report on business efforts to address these problems.
- Build greater understanding and commitment to this principle: It is now not only possible, but necessary, to conduct business ethically and responsibly as well as profitably.
Viewers without Direct TV can access the program and learn more about “Business In Society” via the program’s website, www.businessinsociety.net.