Integrating CSR into the framework of a company's overall
compliance program may help engage executive-level managers and the
board of directors as allies in ensuring that CSR commitments are
supported through the allocation of sufficient resources and
management attention. In response to heightened levels of
regulatory attention, many companies have focused on the
development of enterprise risk and compliance programs that include
reporting channels to senior executives. CSR plays an important
risk mitigation function for many companies and executive leaders
and board members should ensure that they have the information
necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of a company's
management systems in evaluating and responding to key social and
environmental risks and concerns.
Moments of crisis are not the time for corporate leaders to
realize that a company's commitments, often prominently
displayed on websites and in glossy reports, have not been
effectively implemented. On an ongoing basis, top-level management
and the board are in a position to raise questions regarding the
processes and criteria by which the company is evaluating the
social and environmental risks that may be associated with
particular operating environments, product lines, or business
relationships. The evaluative and reporting processes that provide
structure for a company's compliance efforts may serve as a
useful platform for engagement with senior corporate leaders
regarding the comprehensiveness and suitability of a company's
CSR objectives and performance targets.
Engagement by senior leadership in evaluating a company's
efforts to comply with its voluntary commitments will also
communicate to internal and external stakeholders that a
company's efforts are both sincere and backed by appropriate
resources. If a company's most senior executives can speak
knowledgeably to external stakeholders regarding the company's
social and environmental performance, including both successes and
areas for improvement, this conveys the message that the company is
serious in its efforts to be responsive to societal expectations
Excerpt reproduced with the permission of Wolters
Kluwer from Theodore Banks & Frederick Banks (eds.),
"Corporate Social Responsibility," Corporate Legal
Compliance Handbook, Chapter 15 (2016). A copy of the full
handbook can be purchased
To view Foley Hoag's Corporate Social Responsibility
Blog please click
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In August 2016, a former risk officer wrote an opinion piece published by the Financial Times explaining his reason for allegedly rejecting a whistleblower award of USD 8.25 million (half of the 16.5 million total).
The SEC recently proposed new Rule 206(4)-4 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, which would require registered investment advisers to adopt and implement business continuity and transition plans.
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