Highlights from our 2nd Board Meeting in San Francisco

Last week we wrapped up our second CSR Board Meeting in San Francisco.

46 corporate social responsibility leaders from 38 brands got together to talk about the things that are most important to their work right now.

We heard four Show & Tell presentations from fellow CSR Board members, all senior corporate social responsibility leaders at big brands.

They shared stories about projects they've led, challenges they've faced, what went well, what didn't work, and what they hope to do next. We heard from:

  • Tonie Hansen at NVIDIA on how they leverage stakeholder data to improve their CSR performance.
  • Mark Demchuk from Cenovus Energy on their efforts to lead on environmental performance in the upstream oil and gas industry.
  • Brown-Forman's Suzette Carty on their sustainability journey to grow their spirits and wine brands while protecting and enriching the natural environment they impact.
  • Ashley Rajaratnam with Best Buy on the complexities of social good programming within a profit-making enterprise and the ethics of marketing social impact.

We also held four Member-Led Discussions where CSR Board members explored tough questions, shared experiences, and got help with specific challenges they're facing.

Discussions were with:

  • Nicole Bott at Red Lobster on storytelling about your CSR choices.
  • Annette Jennings at Mars on how organizations are approaching disaster relief and climate resiliency.
  • Cisco's Katherine Toch on the future of CSR.
  • Paul Pellizzari from Hard Rock International on choosing, evolving, and executing program metrics across corporate responsibility programs.

After the Member Led Discussions, we moved into an afternoon of fast-paced, intense conversations during the unconferences. Members chose what was most important for them to talk about with their CSR Board tribe in a confidential setting. We covered a lot of ground — topics included:

  • Investor relations and ESG Rankings: What information you’re requesting, how you’re reporting it, shareholder resolutions, and scenario analysis
  • Ongoing education for CSR leaders: What types of professional training should we be looking into?
  • Moving from community engagement to ESG: Broadening the
  • CSR department and team structure
  • Engaging internal stakeholders in ESG
  • Foundation staff roles: Funding, corporate resources, and eliminating legal risk
  • Internal reporting structure for CSR
  • Evolving strategic and giving pillars
  • SASB Implementation: Which indicators you’re using, explaining what you can’t address, and fallout from BlackRock
  • Investing in social entrepreneurship
  • Foundation governance: Who is on your board, what they do, and grantmaking workflow
  • CSR oversight: Do you have a dedicated committee and who is on it?
  • CSR team roles and functions: Focuses, team structures, and gaps
  • Authentic storytelling internally and externally
  • Thoughts on the new ISS Corporate Responsibility Score

Here are the brands who were there:

Ace Hardware, ACI Worldwide, Avaya, Bank of the West, Benefit Cosmetics, Best Buy, Brown-Forman, Cenovus Energy, The Cheesecake Factory, Cisco, Clorox, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Electronic Arts, Expedia Group, First American Financial, FNBO, Georgia-Pacific, GoDaddy, Google, Hard Rock International, Lamb Weston, Logitech, Lyft, Mars, MassMutual, Maxim Integrated, Nike, NVIDIA, ON Semiconductor, Otis, Polycom, Red Lobster, The Save Mart Companies, Subaru of America, Synopsys, Viasat, and Williams-Sonoma.

You won't want to miss our next brands-only, vendor-free Board Meeting in New York City, June 16-17. Check out all the details for Board Meeting 3 here.

Hope to see you there!