Michelle Greene is Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility for NYSE Euronext, overseeing the company’s global corporate...
Dirk Olin, Vice President and Editorial Director of SharedXpertise, publisher of CR Magazine, was on hand for the unveiling of the 12th annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens List" at the NYSE as well as the NYSE Corporate Responsibility Forum. He shared his thoughts on the summit with NYSE Euronext.
NYSE Euronext: How would you rate the success of the first ever Corporate Responsibility Forum at the NYSE?
Olin: The forum carried huge impact, both within the CR community and without. The NYSE imprimatur and venue accorded the list an unprecedented value for stakeholders of all kinds. The remarks by exchange COO Larry Leibowitz, the groundbreaking research presented by the MIT Sloan Review's Michael Hopkins, and the insights from Harvard professor Michael Porter added special luster. But it was the practitioners themselves, from major corporate citizens in all industrial sectors, who confirmed the list's vitally important place in the burgeoning market for transparency.
NYSE Euronext: What do you believe was the biggest impact on the companies present of the CR research presented?
Olin: As for the biggest impact on the companies present, from what attendees said to me in the wake of the event, they have received crucial endorsement for their practice of enlightened self interest. It's been a wrenching three years, to say the least, even more so for those whose employment was lost or threatened, and the behavior of the 100 Best, whose aggregate disclosures improved by 5 percent even in the teeth of the turmoil, demonstrated that a rugged communitarianism provides the greatest good for the greatest number during times of strife. Their refusal to adopt a simplistic zero-sum approach to commerce and profit demonstrated that you can do well by doing good.
NYSE Euronext: Any key takeaways for you from the event?
Olin: The proof of that proposition is also the biggest takeaway from the event. The 3-year shareholder return for the 100 Best outperfomed the S&P average. Not by 1 or 2 percent, but by more than 4 percent. Transparency pays.