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* Bill Clinton to hold summit on U.S. economic recovery
* Companies aim to make social good a core business goal
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK, Feb 28 Admitting you are making money
by doing some good in the world is no longer a dirty little
secret, it's called "creating shared value" -- the new catch
phrase in corporate and philanthropic circles.
More than 90 chief executives will meet in New York on
Monday, International Corporate Philanthropy Day, for the Board
of Boards CEO conference, where one of the key topics to be
discussed is creating shared value.
As the U.S. economy slowly recovers from the worst economic
downturn in decades, corporate philanthropy is no longer just
about writing a check for charity as executives look to use
their core business to do social good, experts say.
The growing trend was dubbed "creating shared value" by
Michael Porter of the Institute for Strategy and
Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, who said companies
need to reconnect business success with social progress.
"We need to understand that what's good for the community
is actually good for business," said Porter, who spoke to
business leaders about the idea at the World Economic Forum in
Davos last month.
"If we can organize ourselves to do this stuff inside our
operating units rather than on the side we can have a profound
effect on many of the most important social issues of our
time," he said.
Porter said Swiss food company Nestle NESN.VX had worked
with poor coffee farmers to help them improve their farming
practices. As a result, higher yields and quality increased
their income, their environmental impact was reduced and Nestle
boosted its reliable supply of good coffee.
Robert Harrison, chief executive of former U.S. President
Bill Clinton's Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), said more and
more companies "are building into their DNA doing social or
"The idea of making money and at the same time achieving
some social good or environmental good, I would say, is the
accepted ideal or the goal for many corporations," he said.
Harrison said an example of this was a CGI commitment made
by Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) to work with its tens of
thousands of suppliers to reduce packaging, saving the company
billions of dollars and cutting its carbon footprint.
The Clinton Global Initiative, which has brought together
chief executives, world leaders and humanitarians annually
since 2005 to address global woes, hopes to further encourage
U.S. companies to create shared value with a conference in
Chicago on June 29 and 30 to address the fragile U.S.
"(It will be) very much focused on economic recovery and
how to create green jobs and how to create more jobs and
essentially what are some things that people can do, both
commit to do and ideas to do in the future that will advance
our economic recovery," Harrison said.
Corporations made up 4 percent of U.S. giving in 2009,
while individuals accounted for 75 percent, giving $227
billion, according to a Giving USA Foundation report researched
by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Charitable contributions by corporations were valued at
$14.1 billion in 2009, the report said. Two-thirds was cash and
in-kind contributions from company budgets and the rest grants
by corporate foundations.
"One of the things about corporate philanthropy that's
evolving is an emphasis on a holistic approach as opposed to
just writing checks," said Patrick Rooney, executive director
of The Center on Philanthropy.
(Editing by John Whitesides)