It’s Up to Business

January 31, 2008

The president and CEO of Siemens Corporation published an op-ed yesterday in the Washington Business Journal (“Math and Science: It’s up to Business” ), describing how social investments by companies can have a bottom-line impact on the future of the business. In Siemens’ case, the company is dependent on smart scientists and engineers in order to remain successful over the long term, so they’re investing company resources (money and volunteers) in education today.

Education is a leading way companies invest socially, but other issues make sense for business contributions, too. For example, Shell Oil Company’s leadership in the recovery of New Orleans is impressive. The company could have relocated after the devastation of the region where 70% of its U.S. production occurs. But Shell decided to stay in New Orleans, and was a leader in helping families and communities build back better.

The point is that business is part of the solution, and BCLC will keep spreading the message of how U.S. companies make significant social impacts. Let us know if you have any examples you want to share.

Updated 1 Feb 2008:

I came across a press release this week that, in my opinion, underscores the meaning of business being part of the solution. The story is inspiring, and it was a hit with our 500 guests at the 2007 Awards Dinner, when this company walked away with the “Corporate Stewardship, Small/Midsize Business” award back in November.

ChoicePoint Inc., a provider of identification and credential verification services, in 2000 developed a technology program called ADAM (Automated Delivery of Alerts on Missing Children), and donated it to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

ADAM improves NCMEC’s ability to target the specific areas in which missing children are most likely to be found. It has played a big part in being able to safely return missing children to their homes.

The press release stated that ADAM has assisted with the safe return of 99 missing children — four alone in the last quarter of 2007. The children found and returned home last quarter were four girls, who were between the ages of 14 and 16.

This is an amazing contribution to society. I hope you’ll join me in applauding ChoicePoint and NCMEC’s work.