A veteran CSR reporter examines the commercialization of corporate responsibility.
By Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Advanced Micro Devices
A few years ago, a company acting responsibly and voluntarily caring for the environment and communities was a “man bites dog” story. No longer.
Today, it seems that just about every company is telling their “corporate responsibility” story. The most recent data from the Corporate Register features 40,114 corporate responsibility reports from 9,043 different companies across 161 countries as of May 17, 2012.
While this is a welcome change, it has also commoditized the corporate responsibility movement. Each spring, thousands of corporate sustainability reports pop up like daffodils. There is such a flood of these reports – with many over 100 pages - that it’s understandable if overwhelmed stakeholders tune out and simply hit the delete key.
After 16 consecutive years of reporting, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is trying to break through the clutter by summarizing its performance into an easily digestible magazine format and by utilizing the latest technology to deliver the information -- AMD’s summary report can now be downloaded to your tablet device or smartphone. Not only does this technology help enhance the user experience with interactive features and video clips, but it reduces the need for printed copies – and makes the report accessible and up-to-date when most needed.
Crowdsourcing Corporate Sustainability
While performance will always be the determinant of true corporate responsibility, AMD’s new approach seeks to engage more people in the conversation, which in turn will help drive even better performance. By increasing accessibility to corporate sustainability, AMD’s aim is to “crowdsource” the ideas that will take us to the next level of performance.
Our employees give AMD corporate responsibility programs a lofty 86 percent approval rating, but they are also telling us that opportunities to engage in their “cause” while at work increases their commitment to their core job functions. For example, when we asked our green team leaders – AMD now has 11 green teams across the globe – how supporting environmental causes at AMD influences their work, nearly all of them said it enhances their commitment to their job.
By improving the accessibility to this information we aim to increase employee awareness and, hopefully, inspire them to engage in a cause to benefit people and the planet while enhancing their work experience and engagement.
Let us know what you think of this approach.
[AMD's 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report]
Has the corporate responsibility report become “table stakes?” What are your ideas to expand the dialogue? How should leading companies engage employees and external stakeholders on sustainability issues? Give us your feedback at email@example.com.
About Tim Mohin
Tim Mohin is Director of Corporate Responsibility for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and the author of the forthcoming book, Changing Business from the Inside Out: The Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations (Greenleaf and Berrett-Kohler). His postings and comments made in his book are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimMohinAMD.