Corporate Civic Responsibility
So I’m back in the saddle after spending much of last week at the Green Capitals Conference in Stockholm. It was a fantastic event – although in some ways too fantastic, falling into a civic version of the Eurovision Song Contest all too frequently when I was keen to get down to brass tacks and actually learn something. In fact much of the event was hosted by the lovely Lydia Capolicchio who hosted Eurovision in 1992.
Last Monday I coined the phrase Corporate Civic Responsibility (CCR)* – what a business can do to improve the sustainability of the municipality it operates in. All too often businesses expect their local authorities to bend over backwards for them just because they are there and employ local people. I really dislike this attitude – business needs people just as much as people need business and it is the antithesis of corporate philanthropy to believe the municipality owes them. Under CCR, business sees itself as part of the community it operates and can bring its influence to improve the sustainability that community for all.
In my last post on the topic, I listed some examples of CCR – supporting the city centre, promoting telecommuting and providing help for biodiversity. I uncovered another great example in Stockholm when I interrogated their transport experts (as I said I was desperate to learn). Many, if not most, of Stockholm’s taxis are hybrid or biofueled (and before anyone gets excited, much of this is biogas from the sewage works). This transformation is down to a number of factors, but was initially driven by the city’s big corporations announcing they would only hire green taxis. The general public doesn’t have that sort of buying power, but business does. Everyone wins.
* I’ve just tried Googling it and got nothing, so I’m claiming it!