A Human Rights Focus
While our coalition engages corporations on a host of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, since our inception our principal focus has been on the social impacts of corporate operations and policies. Therefore, our engagements are framed within a human rights construct. Whether the issue is direct deposit advances, increased disclosure of lobbying expenditures or the preparation of a climate risk assessment, at the end it is the impact on people, usually economically vulnerable people, who inspire us to act.
Disciplined Listening and Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration
While the motivation for our work is grounded in the values and principles of our member organizations, it also stems from the practical conviction that business leaders who choose to serve the common good ("servant leaders") build more profitable businesses over the long-term. With on-the-ground missions all over the world, many of our faith-based members hear directly from community members about corporate impacts, both positive and negative. We have found that, in order to effectively mitigate against the negative impacts of their operations and build sustainable communities where they operate, companies must practice disciplined listening, actively seeking the feedback of all relevant stakeholders, primarily community members, and be prepared to include them in the decision-making process.
Social Sustainability: From Short-term Outcomes to Long-term Impact
With the publication of our Social Sustainability Resource Guide [SSRG], ICCR intentionally initiated a conversation about the importance of designing corporate sustainability programs and initiatives that have long-term social impacts as opposed to short-term outcomes that only look good on this year's corporate sustainability report. In the same way that we are asking companies to look beyond short-term profits and to focus on creating sustainable growth, we are asking them to understand how their initiatives will enhance the well-being of the communities they are intended to reach not just now, but 10, 20 and 50 years from now. This concept challenges antiquated, deeply embedded business models, and yet, as a result of our questions, more and more companies are making this shift with increasingly positive results.