We’re so proud to be a partner with Dr. Meaney, the CESR program, and the Leeds School,” said Su Hawk, President/CEO of B:CIVIC. Our goal was to elevate the core competencies of this important CSR industry, and provide professionals from any background the opportunity to be a part,” she said. “Congratulations to all of the graduates. We are inspired and thankful to be a part of this program.”
The class also visited New Belgium Brewing to hear about creating an employee culture aligned with sustainability, and had the opportunity to tour the brewery and taste brews.
During the final class, students reflected on the program and shared visual depictions of the concepts and tools they gained, and how they would take those forward. Pictured above right is Suzanne Wolke, Associate Digital Marketing Manager with B:CIVIC member company DanoneWave (formerly WhiteWave Foods), discussing her mind map. Liz Martinez, Human Resources Manager, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP shared that she gained valuable information and insight, and now sees more clearly that the connection between HR and CSR is critical to maximizing outcomes.
Heather Baker, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC, said, “Participation in the CCSR class helped me expand my knowledge and network around the CSR role in a variety of contexts, so I now have a library of resources as well as access to experts in the field. Combined with the new personal connections I’ve made, I’m ready to bring new energy to my current community relations role – and any CSR roles I’ll hold in the future.”
Alpine Bank’s tradition of community giving began with the 1973 opening of the bank in Colorado when 50 silver dollars that had been used in the opening ceremony were donated to Mt. Sopris Park. More than four decades later, hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals have benefited from Alpine Bank’s philanthropic philosophy.
The bank’s institutional giving starts with the Alpine Bank loyalty debit card, introduced in 1997 as an innovative way for the bank and its customers to give back to their communities. With each customer use of their loyalty debit card, Alpine Bank donates 10 cents to community organizations, and last year alone, Alpine Bank donated nearly $1 million, one dime at a time. Through this program, Alpine Bank has donated over $6 million to nonprofits across Colorado, since 1997.
In addition to loyalty debit card donations, Alpine Bank regularly contributes to local causes, special projects and community-building efforts. Every day, employees provide their time and talents for efforts that are important to their local communities—some read to children, others help build Habitat for Humanity houses, and some donate blood or participate in walk-a-thons. In fact, each employee is provided with 24 hours of paid volunteer time each year. That means that Alpine Bank, as a corporation, and its employees, can devote more than 14,000 hours per year helping improve the lives of individuals in its communities.
Alpine Bank Chairman Bob Young said he originally adopted his policies of giving back to the community because he thought it would be good for the bottom line. He has since realized, “It isn’t good for the bottom line, it is the bottom line.” To Alpine Bank, this is just part of being good neighbors.
A recent Wall Street Journal article written by Harvard Business School’s Michael Norton, based on his research (done in conjunction with others), explores the psychology, limits, and benefits of varying corporate giving strategies.
They look at tying donations to purchases (i.e. contingent on purchase) and examine the approach of donating first and then informing customers of such involvement. And lastly, they look at the approach of involving customers and employees in charity decisions, which can help boost sales and employee job satisfaction. This last mode offers interesting implications for the corporate giving strategy that companies should consider. Read the article
Nearly 50 people gathered for the April 2017 B:CIVIC Sparks ‘n Sips program hosted at Vail Resorts as we heard from Molly Cuffe of Smartwool and Meredith Mirrington of Vail Resorts, along with Nicky Deford, also with Vail Resorts.
Both companies have strong and inspirational cultures and employer brands. The speakers shared how the companies developed their unique mission, vision and values and how those influence different aspects of their companies, including finding employees with the right passion and fit. They also wove in examples of how their brand and culture interface with and support their corporate social responsibility efforts, and employee and community involvement. Smartwool has no ordinary “employee policy” in a staid large binder, instead, the colorful, almost pocket-sized “Go To Work” booklet highlights all that makes Smartwool’s mission, vision and values speak to employees in a relatable way.
“Brave, ambitious and passionate” are three values that guide the Vail Resorts brand. Over a period of time they have worked through a process to more clearly articulate their mission, vision and values. Vail’s Epic Foundation, a vehicle for employees to show their caring of fellow workers in times of challenge, aligns with these values.
It was clear from the presentations and the discussion that a keen focus on culture helps aspirational companies stand out and meet their goals. The energy from the program was carried into the reception as attendees enjoyed networking over delicious food and drink hosted by Vail Resorts.
Jackson, a B:CIVIC member company and a leading provider of retirement strategies, recently announced the launch of Jackson Charitable Foundation, and unveiled its initiative to introduce the Cha-ChingTM Money Smart Kids financial education program in the U.S. The Cha-Ching program aims to help more American children become financially empowered adults.
The program teaches basic money concepts to kids through a series of three-minute music videos portraying relatable animated characters making real-world decisions about money. It covers various concepts including earning, saving and donating. To effectively distribute Cha-Ching to U.S. children and families, the Foundation is investing nearly $3 million and formed partnerships with Discovery Education and Junior Achievement USA.
The launch comes in the middle of Financial Literacy Month, which aligns with the primary goals of the Foundation. The Foundation will operate as a 501(c)(3), with the mission to advance financial knowledge on a national scale, making substantial, measurable progress in helping Americans manage, protect and improve their personal finances. The Foundation will be an important addition to the charitable work Jackson already does on a local level, providing a complementary program to Jackson in Action and the Jackson National Community Fund, which celebrated 10 years of giving last year. Through the Foundation, Jackson aims to introduce and promote critical money concepts and educational programs for people of all ages.
Pictured left: Students from Boys & Girls Club watching Cha-ChingTM Money Smart Kids, a financial education program developed by the Jackson Charitable Foundation.
On the eve of Earth Day, celebrated April 22 and first observed in 1970, it’s relevant to take a moment to point out that many businesses and individuals have taken steps to tread more lightly on Mother Earth.
Bridgepoint Education/Ashford University/University of the Rockies is embracing the teachable idea that individuals and organizations can make an impact on sustainability. We are proud of these B:CIVIC members for their forward-thinking in the area of recycling, and minimizing and eliminating trash cans, as recently reported in their Denver Mountain Region GreenTeam report.
Highlights of the report included the very successful desk-side, single-stream recycling offered to all Denver employees. Bridgepoint makes it easy for employees to participate by eliminating desk side waste bins and proving only recycle containers, and clearly marking the bins in the business/food hubs. Estimates for recycling rates for Bridgepoint employees in Denver are around 40%, with the national EPA estimate at 34%. The Bridgepoint rate is double the rate for the City and County of Denver!
Other notable 2016 green accomplishments included:
- About 7.5 TONS of paper shredding – saving almost 205,000 gallons of water.
- Reusing 843 cardboard boxes for shipping and other items.
- Composting 5.54 TONS of food waste – The EPA estimates 96% of food that could be composted is still going into trash.
MORE: Since the Mountain Region GreenTeam program began in 2012, they have had some impressive cumulative results in additional areas:
- 4, 413 pounds of electronic waste diverted.
- 463 toner cartridges recycled.
- 546 pounds of plastic bags recycled – 25 recycled bags = laptop powered for 9 hours.
Bridgepoint offers employees a free EcoPass, providing employees an opportunity to commute to work on public transportation. A commissioned report from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) noted EcoPass users save an estimated $5000 annually. About 75% of Denver employees use the EcoPass resulting in saving 72,000 gallons of gas annually, and cutting greenhouse emission by more than 700 tons/year, the same amount 29,000 trees absorb each year.
Additional highlights of 2016 included winning Bike to Work Day 2016, Heroes Day green activities, and the popular UpCycle events. Denver boasts a GreenTeam consisting of about 20% of the Denver employee population.
Read more about Saunders Construction’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
Saunders Construction takes their work seriously, after all, they are dealing with big projects, lasting structures and building what matters. They have a keen focus on sustainability and are striving to reduce their waste stream, water use, and carbon footprint.
But even with all that, they still take the time to have a good time and do good. They are involved with many charitable and civic efforts, in fact, close to 40 so far this year, from the National Jewish Beaux Arts Ball, the Tennyson Center Q & Brew, American Red Cross Heroes Soiree, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Mental Health Colorado and more. It’s an impressive list.
Margy Moseley, the company’s community investment lead, observes that “Saunders was founded by a firm believer in supporting the community, with a particular focus on children’s health, education, services, and programming. The philosophy of Dick Saunders has remained strong and is a cornerstone of our company culture.”
Pictured here at the National Jewish Health Beaux Arts Ball are (left to right): Justin Cooper, VP Project Development, Saunders Construction, wife Jennifer Crick, Ryan Balakas, VP of Operations, Saunders Construction and wife Ashley Balakas.
Saunders Construction was also recently named a 2017 Top Workplace in a special
Denver Post-initiated research project. We are lucky to have companies like Saunders Construction here in Colorado and we are glad Saunders is part of B:CIVIC.
Denver Post-initiated research project.
Link to Kimbal Musk.
Exponentially entrepreneurial. That’s Kimbal Musk.
Recently, thanks to the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) at the Leeds School of Business, B:CIVIC members were invited to hear from Kimbal and to be a part of CESR’s Conscious Capitalism Conference focused on Food Security.
Kimbal is a Colorado and national success story in many ways, not only because of his business accomplishments with X.com, Zip2 Corporation, PayPal, and OneRiot, and with his brother for SpaceX and Tesla – but also because of his dedication to “real food.” He fed that passion through his development of The Kitchen, The Kitchen Community, Next Door, Learning Gardens and his newest initiative, Square Roots.
At the recent conference, Kimbal spoke genuinely about his cause to focus on the “real food” movement and nourishing local farmers, people, and the planet. He shared his personal tragedy and triumphs from his 2010 winter tubing accident, and the profound impact that played in his life’s dedication to real food, and the importance that food brings in building community.
If you or your company care about has nourishment, “real food,” sustainability and how to create a local sourcing ecosystem, we encourage you to read more from Kimbal about vertical farming and Square Roots. And of course, stay in touch with CU/CESR for more innovative learning. It’s wonderful to have CU/CESR in our midst to facilitate such discussions.
The Denver Post has recognized companies and organizations in Denver as 2017 Top Workplaces based on surveys completed by employees among companies choosing to participate. The survey was conducted by WorkplaceDynamics.
Among the topics probed in the survey are those relevant to the corporate citizenship, including company values, meaningful work with a purpose that connects with employees, and employee engagement.
Congratulations to B:CIVIC member companies recognized for their top workplace standing, including:
- Saunders Construction
- Richey May & Company
- First Bank
- US Bank
- DaVita and
- Pinnacol Assurance
To see the full list, and read about the survey and key ways to create a better workplace, see Denver Post Top Workplaces (4/7/17).