Making CR Relevant to Your Organization

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 18:02

In recent years, we’ve all heard of corporate “pinkwashing” – a term used when a business supports breast cancer awareness by selling pink products without making any significant contribution to cancer research.

While I can’t argue a business’s intent when they choose to support a particular cause, I will say that it is a missed opportunity when an organization’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) initiatives don’t align with their business goals. And in order for an organization to successfully engage CR, they must be able to talk the talk and walk the walk.

For example, at Thomson Reuters, we support the essential mechanisms that power our legal system, businesses and society to foster a more transparent, inclusive, fair and ethical world. As a business, our view extends beyond product excellence: it’s about thriving and open financial markets, the rule of law, open and prospering governments, informed individuals and a future made better through scientific discovery and sustainable practices.

To put it plainly, Thomson Reuters supports CR – or as we refer to it, Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion – because it’s a central part of who we are as a business.

For example, our Legal business is privileged to support Books for Africa and the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative. Since 2008, Thomson Reuters has supplied more than 80 law and human rights libraries to law schools, NGOs and women’s organizations in 20 African nations. This program is foundational to supporting the rule of law on the African continent, and also provides a direct and meaningful connection between the values that underscore Thomson Reuters and those of our most important stakeholders.  

I would add that the success of a CR program also lies in an organization’s ability to empower and support employees in their efforts to make a difference as ambassadors of the organization.

Our employees give back to their communities in thousands of ways, large and small, all around the world, and the company supports these efforts through matching gifts, paid time off for volunteering, employee-directed corporate grants and other programs.

These corporate responsibility efforts can provide rewarding experiences, as well as foster deeper collaboration, and offer leadership and development opportunities. But perhaps the most rewarding outcome is that we have built a world-class culture we can all be proud of.

Patsy Doerr is the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Thomson Reuters. Patsy has more than 20 years of experience in talent, learning, organizational development, diversity and inclusion and employee recognition.