Execs Endorse C.C.C.R.'s Standards of Excellence

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

Chief executive officers at 11 major multi-national corporations have publicly endorsed a set of management practices, processes and policies developed by Boston College's Center for Corporate Community Relations.

The CCCR "Standards of Excellence" urge a corporation to make a formal commitment to a social vision; establish structures and practices for improving community relations, and designate responsibility for managing them; and implement a community relations program reflecting both company and community concerns.

The 11 CEOs have said they will adopt the standards within their own firms and will urge their colleagues to do likewise. The executives are: G. Craig Sullivan of The Clorox Co.; Gary C. Greve of BP Chemicals, Inc.; Robert B. Palmer of Digital Equipment Corp.; Randall L. Tobias of Eli Lilly and Co.; Michael R. Bonsignore of Honeywell, Inc.; Gordon R. Smith of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.; W.W. Allen of Phillips Petroleum Co.; Paul S. Walsh of The Pillsbury Co.; Arthur F. Ryan of Prudential Insurance Co. of America; George K. Petty of TELUS Corp.; and William D. Perez of S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc.

"The endorsement by the top corporate CEOs is a public statement that conveys several powerful messages," said CCCR Associate Director Nancy Goldberg, who oversees the project. "There is the recognition that community relations is an integral part of the company's business strategy, and a commitment to the community and to positive community relationships."

Goldberg added that the endorsement is a call for other businesses to become active in the planning and implementation of strategies to make themselves "neighbors of choice," the center's term for firms actively involved in addressing and solving mutual problems in local community affairs.

"We want companies not just to say, 'Yes, we agree with these standards,' but to commit themselves to planning and working toward excellence," she said. "At one time, there was no real criteria for measuring 'excellence' in community relations among corporations. We could measure how much money one corporation or another might give, but we found that effective community relations had to be a true corporate strategy embraced by the entire corporation. There has to be a commitment from the top and senior management has to get actively involved for the concept to work."

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