Monday, October 24, 2011

Spotlight on Social Responsibility

First and foremost, happy 10th Birthday to the iPod, the technology that changed the way we bought, shared, and listened to music.

After last week's impromptu series of "How it's made", I've decided, I really like the theme approach.  Therefore, I decided that this week will be the "Spotlight on Social Responsibility" week. It also fits nicely because I am working in the office this week and not at factories or construction sites. If you are reading this blog, that means that you are already aware that I am in Sao Paulo, Brazil participating in a special program that is Corporate Social Responsibility Inspired. The program is the Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellowship Program that links some of the best E&Y professionals to high impact Entrepreneurs in emerging markets in Latin America. I have previously highlighted the program in two blogs and also devoted a special page to the program on this blog so I will not go into many details in this post. I have also highlighted the collaboration with Endeavor and described Endeavor's cause. If you would like to explore Endeavor's cause again, please use the link to the right hand side of this blog that will take you to the Endeavor Global website.

Each day this week, I will highlight another area of Social Responsibility that either Ernst & Young, or myself (or Both) is involved in. I will also provide the details for you to get involved if you want to as well. Congratulations, you are now a part of my self proclaimed, "Social Responsibility Week". It's not Shark Week, but it will have a greater impact on the greater good!

Why Social Responsibility you might ask? Well, according to our firm's website,
Corporate responsibility is integral to our business strategy, our values and our day-to-day operations. It’s how we understand our impact on the world around us and the sum total of our actions.It’s our role in creating a sustainable context — in other words, a thriving community able to protect its environment, educate its children and become prosperous by fostering innovation and generating new businesses.The communities around us have a profound impact on the future of Ernst & Young and our clients, and that is why we invest in them through these four pillars of corporate responsibility: Community Engagement, Education, Entrepreneurship, and Environmental Sustainability.
If you work at E&Y, you know the tag line "The 3 E's". The 3 E's are three of those four pillars mentioned above: Education; Entrepreneurship; and Environment. A closer look at the 3'E's is provided below.

Education. Our volunteers help young people from disadvantaged communities develop the skills and capabilities they need to succeed in school and gain access to higher education. By doing so, we build the talent pipeline for our organization, clients and communities. Our flagship programs include College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence) and the Cyberchase Volunteer program with PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).

Entrepreneurship. Our Strategic Growth Markets practice guides many high-growth companies to market leadership, and our Entrepreneur Of The Year® Awards shine a spotlight on their achievements. However, many talented entrepreneurs in communities all over the world need our help long before they can afford our services. Through programs like the Corporate Responsibility Fellows program, volunteers mentor promising entrepreneurs, helping them expand their networks and celebrate their accomplishments and contributions. In addition, Ernst & Young has pledged up to US$1 million in in-kind services toward helping, the world’s first not-for-profit website that provides person-to-person micro-lending.

Environmental sustainability. A healthy environment is important to our people and our business. Our commitment to a greener world starts at home with EcoCare, our Americas-wide eco-volunteer network. Through the Earthwatch volunteer program, our professionals below the manager level get involved with scientific research and sustainability projects with coffee farmers in Costa Rica. On a global basis, we are also finding ways to reduce our own carbon footprint and promote broader environmental awareness in our communities.

As you can see, the 3 E's align in the E&Y business model and values. For me personally, it's much simpler than the 3 E's and an integrated business strategy. It's just common sense. Help others when you are in a position to help, because you never know when you might need the favor returned.

Social Responsibility week has begun, and I hope you enjoy reading a few stories. Don't worry, I will answer some of the reader mailbag emails and also post anything related to crazy taxi stories!

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