Crown Worldwide speaks at UN
September 6, 2012
Jennifer Harvey, Crown’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was invited to speak on behalf of the Crown Worldwide Group at the annual United Nations Junior Chamber International (JCI) Global Partnership Summit’s 'Creating Shared Value' session on Thursday, July 26th at the Sentry Centers Midtown East. Crown was the only corporation represented at the summit, full of speakers from non-profit and governmental organizations.
Harvey’s session focused on how for-profit corporations could successfully integrate social responsibility into the heart of their businesses. She described how Crown has built a formal CSR effort and the positive results of such effort. Participants were very interested in Crown’s progress over a relatively short period of time, particularly with its large global footprint of offices in almost 60 countries. During the session, Harvey spoke about aligning the CSR activities with business objectives, and the possibilities and benefits of the convergence of corporations and CSR, using Crown Worldwide Group as an example.
“CSR supports business goals,” said Harvey, summarizing what she found after surveying Crown’s senior managers. Evidence of this included lower staff turnover, better relationships between people who need to work together, and improved operational efficiencies from environmental investments, like solar panels and electric cars.
In particular, Harvey emphasized the significant benefits of employee engagement. “We give employees the chance to work with colleagues on issues beyond their daily job functions. This strengthens relationships while helping them to developing corporate skills. They learn to take initiative, innovate, practice leadership, and propose actions to management.”
Harvey concluded with recommendations on how audience members can influence their own companies to become more active meeting community needs. She recommended understanding corporate goals, then aligning them with a worthy cause. Championing the initiative internally and communicating expected benefits to management. After completion of an event, Harvey encouraged sharing the benefits of the participation, including boosts to community recognition, company morale, and senior management engagement. “These positive outcomes will fuel future CSR activities to the benefit of all.”
Only 10 percent of the audience members—mostly employees of for-profit companies—claimed participation in CSR activities at their workplace. From the success of Crown in this arena, the audience raised many questions on related topics, including acceptable levels of CSR demands on a company’s employees, best ways to communicate when seeking corporate sponsorship and support, and ethical implications when CSR activities are profitable. The questions came from members from all parts of the world, from Syria to Canada, to Nigeria and the USA.
The JCI Global Partnership Summit meets annually, bringing its members, partner organizations and corporations together to foster the purpose of this United Nations initiative and provide tools for members to support their involvement with community projects. The members of JCI are world citizens from over 50 countries, ranging in age from 18 to 40-years-old, who work for the betterment of the world and local communities.