Corporations Respond to the Virus Crisis - Series From G&A Institute -- Excellence in Corporate Citizenship on Display

G&A's Sustainability Highlights (04.02.2020)
Apr 7, 2020 10:30 AM ET

As the coronavirus infections continued to spread into every corner of the globe, the players in three societal sectors moved into action – the public sector (governments), the private sector (in the main, corporations, public and private) and what the esteemed Professor Peter Drucker identified as the “Social” sector (i.e., not-for-profits, NGOs, academics, foundations, others).

The G&A Institute team closely monitors the corporate sector and the capital markets and the social sector – and so as corporate leaders began to rapidly address the societal challenges posed by the virus crisis, we shared the news of what the actions were in our G&A Institute Sustainability Update blog. 

The rationale:  We are in the age of the stakeholder – beyond the long-term focus on investors only – and corporate boards and executives are seriously considering the needs and wants of employees, customers, suppliers, regulators, partners, investors, lenders, communities, and civic leadership.

The good news is that corporate leaders did not hesitate, taking steps to protect the enterprise and to address the many societal challenges posed by the virus crisis.  We are sharing the news & details of their good work in our blog posts.  You can read them at the links:

We invite you to follow the series on the blog and send us news about what your company is doing, or what you see other companies doing:

Our Featured Article this week is a very timely and speech at Cornell University as the corona virus swept across Europe and North America – we bring you by the Estee Lauder Companies’ sustainability leader, Vice President Al Iannuzzi. 

Speaking “virtually” (welcome to the new normal!) to the fifth annual Cornell Business Impact Symposium (CBIS) in mid-March, he explained that there is a demand from customers, company stakeholders and shareholders for companies to be more sustainable – and that is now a market driver for innovation and growth.

“Sustainability is tied to companies’ performance as well as to their reputation…that is why I feel that this presentation is one of hope. Consumers are ensuring [that] companies are a big part of the solution,” he told the audience.   “Bold statements are being made. Consumers are supporting companies that are trying to achieve sustainability and improve the environment. They are encouraging those companies.”

Conference organizers scrambled to put the event together…and Mark Milstein, clinical professor of management and the center director underscored Al Iannuzzi’s perspectives: “…Our collective response to COVID-19 is similar to what we need to do to battle climate change and ecosystem degradation, issues that are not unrelated.  How we can rally and battle challenges together is something in which we can all take heart.”

We’ve kept the headlines “light” this issue to bring you the “Excellence in Corporate Citizenship” highlights and introduce you to the blog if you have not been following us there.  Do sign up to receive notices of new content.

This is just the introduction of G&A's Sustainability Highlights newsletter this week. Click here to view the full issue.