Inside the Chamber: Make Your Naperville Business a Steward of Corporate Social Responsibility

Inside the Chamber:  Make Your Naperville Business a Steward of Corporate Social Responsibility

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inside the chamber is brought to you by  presenting sponsor naperville bank and trust welcome to inside the chamber i'm kalyn risvolt  president and ceo of the naperville area chamber   of commerce inside the chambers where we give  you a peek behind the curtain and really dive   deep into a topic that's important to our business  community and goodness do we have a very generous   business community here in naperville in  the surrounding area and that generosity   is one thing that the naperville area chamber  of commerce wants to help support and celebrate   in 2020 we created a new committee at the chamber  the corporate social responsibility committee or   csr today we're going to dive into what is csr  and how you and your business can get involved   we are joined today by our csr committee chair  beth lopez by our csr marketing chair paul feith   and our committee member casey chitwood thank you  all for joining us here today and for sitting on   the corporate social responsibility committee  and i'm just going to get dive right in beth   what is corporate social responsibility well  in a nutshell corporate social responsibility   is your company's identity as a citizen of  the community it's your corporate citizenship   and a lot of things fall under corporate social  responsibility it's really kind of the umbrella   that houses other topics like diversity  equity inclusion environmental responsibility   philanthropy volunteerism it all kind of falls  under corporate social responsibility and paul why   is it important for businesses to even care and  to want to give back and want to care about csr   why do they want to care well when you   have corporate responsibility or  social responsibility i should say   it trickles down to you know if it's embedded into  your culture trickles down to the employee so uh   studies have shown that um employee retention goes  up employee productivity goes up um clients feel   more engaged and invested in what you do because  you're making a difference in their community so   the stakeholder relationship changes so i think  yes it matters yes it feels good but also the   proof is in the numbers absolutely and now casey  from the not-for-profit side how does corporate   social responsibility um impact you all well  certainly partnering within the community elevates   all of us and helps us to develop a tighter knit  safety net for especially those families and   community members who need us to support them it's  a mindset that we hope more and more corporations   and companies will adapt so that we can work  together to support everyone in our community   so paul beth had talked a little bit about how  csr is this umbrella outside of just you know   companies giving back what are practical  ways that companies can enact csr policies well uh volunteerism certainly is is a big one  right um getting your employees to volunteer   sustainability is a big one too um and how  companies are putting programs in place to save   the environment and then philanthropy of course  and then i would say the fourth most important uh   is your social impact that would be your community  partnerships and ethics transparency equity and   inclusion so those are the big for volunteerism  sustainability philanthropy and sustainability   awesome now you mentioned volunteerism casey  how has the pandemic impacted volunteerism   when people are staying home more casey works at  the life center um and so tell us a little bit   about how that's adjusted throughout the pandemic  well we've been fortunate enough all of us i think   to adapt effectively as much as we can to working  virtually so in some ways we've been able to   connect volunteers with our community which  is serving youth and teens of course through   virtual programming that allows mentors and  other compassionate adults to work directly   with our youth but of course it has been difficult  to traditionally volunteer in terms of coming into   the center that one-on-one relationship that might  develop that mentorship that might become part   of a child's experience at the alive center has  certainly been impacted and we hope more and more   opportunities are going to become available  soon for us to connect personally of course   absolutely and i know volunteerism is a really  big part of corporate social responsibility   beth that's something that the corporate social  responsibility committee together with the   not-for-profit committee and giving dupage is  going to come together in april and really work   on making giving back a really big thing can you  talk to us a little bit about what's coming down   the pike and how the chamber is trying to make it  easier for businesses and employees to volunteer   sure well we have a national week of volunteer  services in april and the chamber is going to   try to make that as easy as possible and as you  mentioned through our committee the diversity   equity inclusion committee and the not-for-profit  committee we're all going to work together to   provide as many a plug i i would call them  plug-and-play opportunities for your company   or even individuals in the community to just kind  of come in and find a perfect opportunity for them   to volunteer it could be i think we often come  to volunteerism with this concept of oh we're   all going to come together and build a home or  we're all going to come together and pick up trash   but really volunteerism comes together on many  different platforms it could be as simple as   offering your company services what you do really  well as a company to an organization that really   needs that service if you're a marketing  professional a lot of not-for-profits need   marketing professionals and maybe can't afford  to pay for them so the in kind of service is   is really appreciated and very much needed so all  of those opportunities are going to come together   be listed clearly and you can just pick one and  and run with it well but that's the perfect segue   to paul um so paul fight through paul gregory  media and actually back at our gala in february   we awarded their business with our shining star  award for doing just that by giving back to the   community um so thank you so much for doing that  and tell us a little bit about you know what that   not necessarily what the award meant to you but  the work you did that really earned you that award   and why it was important for you to do that well  thank you for that recognition kaelyn and from the   chamber that does mean a lot to me and my entire  team in 2018 we really stepped up our efforts   in our in-kind giving and donated 200 plus  hours to non-profit organizations and then a   year later in 2019 we tripled that to over 600  hours and in 2020 the pandemic hit so we were   uh like everyone else budgets were caught  projects were paused so we decided to be part of   the solution and talk to area nonprofits and what  they needed most and of course we're a marketing   agency so that's what uh we it's the area where we  can best serve nonprofits so we gave 2 400 hours   last year which is incredible if  you think about a full-time person   which is typically 2080 hours it's more than  one full-time person and we have a staff of four   plus two part-timers so it was a really big  effort um on our part and here's the amazing   thing our team got really jazzed up about it and  they they loved doing the work but they loved   the new relationships that were formed with  these non-profits we also in addition to that   you 10 grand worth about 7 000 each so these  new companies that we targeted underfunded   nonprofits for that for those grants that  served an underserved population so um   it was just amazing to see and and see i mean  through that our employees were really jazzed   up about helping the nonprofits complete their  mission and and widen their their awareness in   their reach yeah and like you said earlier it's a  win-win-win you know it helps the not-for-profits   and it helps your business and retention there's  so csr plays such a big role we're going to talk   a little bit more about csr in a few minutes  we're going to take a quick break so stay with us   inside the chamber is brought to you by  presenting sponsor naperville bank and trust naperville bank and trust has the expertise  knowledge and experience to help you reach   your business goals they provide  all the tools that you would ask   that we as a growing business  need of a bank most importantly   to me it's a great personal relationship we  have with tom and john and our bankers it   was the best thing we could have done in banking  and banking can be very cold what the bank brings   to us is that warm feeling when you come into  the bank and people say hi greg it's about being   part of the community again about being a name  again about having credit for who your business is   instead of just being well instead of just being  a number naperville bank and trust bring it home   want to get more eyes on your business while  supporting naperville's non-profit tv station   advertise on which draws tens  of thousands of viewers each week for the   latest in local news sports and events or put  an ad in nctv 17 news update an email sent to   thousands of subscribers every monday through  friday visit nctv advertising for details inside the chamber is brought to you by  presenting sponsor naperville bank and trust welcome back one thing that companies  can do to really support csr is by giving   vto vto is volunteer time off and beth i know  this is something that they do at phoenix that   you and i have talked about but can you talk a  little bit about what is vto why it's important   and how companies can encourage their employees to  use it sure volunteer time off is structured very   similar to paid time off ptl bto and at phoenix  we offer eight hours of volunteer time off a year   and an employee can submit uh for that benefit  just like they would pay time off so they can   work with their supervisor schedule that time  say they're going to go to the animal shelter for   an afternoon they get four hours of paid time  off to go and apply their time and energy doing   something they're passionate and excited about  doing in terms of giving back to the community   and beth i think you kind of hit the nail on  the head and we've talked about this before   as well we have so many not-for-profits in  our area there is something you can find   that you're passionate about in the chamber  alone we have more than 111 not-for-profits   if people want to give back and and volunteer  they don't have to volunteer anywhere they can   volunteer at something that's personal to them and  why is it important that people make that personal   connection when they volunteer well i mean it's  it's very similar to why you would want to have   a corporate social responsibility policy in the  first place i mean if you think about your company   as as a citizen of the of the community and i'm a  citizen of the community there are certain things   that are near and dear to my heart for example um  music and art is near and dear to my heart so to   see that part of my community thrive and expand  and reach more people is really important to me   being able to do that with my company support is  invaluable really and and as a company it's it's a   it's a wonderful opportunity for us in  terms of recruiting new talent too to say   you know what we recognize you as an individual  and know that you have issues that are important   to you we want to support you in those  issues and and give you the opportunity to   do what you want to do to support the community  our community and the company as well absolutely   now we've talked a lot about volunteerism casey  what are other ways that the not-for-profits   interact with the business community outside  of just volunteerism certainly in addition   they can support the organizations that as a group  they may discuss and decide as a corporation or as   a agency that they want to support and and that  might be in the form of sponsorships or perhaps   in-kind donations like paul mentioned he gave  some great examples of different ways nonprofits   are seeking support certainly financially as  one but connecting us with other members of   the community that will help better serve the  populations we're committed to serving can also   broaden the effect of that safety that i  mentioned i feel like this topic is so broad   it's almost too broad at times to really  understand what all is under that csr   umbrella paul can you talk to me a little  bit about how the csr committee in the   chamber is working to really break that  into bite-sized pieces and where people   businesses in our community member can find  out information about the specificities of csr   you are right it is very very broad um and it  covers a lot of different topics and there's a   lot of sub-topics and sub-activities within  each of those so our program committee had   really taken a lot of time in the last several  months really articulating that and breaking it   down and it's in the form of a toolkit so that  could be downloaded from the csr community page   and that toolkit um is not just educational  it doesn't just break down the definitions and   and what things are it's actually a workbook if  you will and you could actually take some action   uh steps there's some plans and action plans in  the workbook that i found very very well done   and uh people can download that and and really put  you know start a program or a culture in place of   their workplace right now and maybe even start  with something as simple as a volunteer program   um and when you talk about the business community  working with the nonprofit community also on that   same uh csr committee page is a portal connected  to our partner giving you page and all those   non-profits that our chamber that are chamber  members that have volunteer opportunities listed   um those are listed in the portal and so if you  want to search for animals or horses maybe you   want to do something with uh with that um or you  want to work with oh there's there's so many there   there's virtual opportunities virtual volunteering  opportunities that you can do remotely there's   board service so if you want to be paired with a  non-profit and do board service and volunteer your   time in that way so many opportunities so that  portal is is really great because it's filterable   it's searchable and it's very easy to get involved  today so those are the two ways that uh that are   that are available right on the csr committee  page which i love that you're talking about get   involved today you know there's so many barriers  to everything in the world that you know you   google you go down the rabbit hole and it's it's  hard to find out all the information but the way   you describe the tool kit it's something that  people can log on and do something and really   start to make that impact today and not push it  off any longer awesome thank you now beth tell   us a little bit more about the committee itself  um you're the new chair of the committee this   year so tell us kind of what are your visions  for the committee this year and how you help   uh hope to help lead the businesses to  really be intentional about csr programs   sure well we're a committee of about 15 people  we are a good mix of businesses and non-profits   representatives on that committee we meet every  wednesday currently online every wednesday   morning at eight a.m i'm not every wednesday  one wednesday morning a month at 8 a.m so uh   by as paul mentioned we have a programming  committee and a marketing committee within the um   csr committee itself and  we really strive to create   programming and solid content that our chamber  members can use to create a csr program   in their company and what i love about the toolkit  that paul mentioned is it meets everybody where   they are it doesn't really matter um if you if  you're a big company or a small company if you're   already have some sort of a semblance of  csr in your company or you really haven't   formalized it at all there's a point for you to  jump in no matter what and um that is a truly   a goal for the csr committee is to give that  sort of content that anybody can use whether   you're a sole proprietor or you're a company with  hundreds of employees anybody can implement csr   it's really about your company's values and its  purpose and its identity and so many companies   especially small businesses really already  do this but they just don't formalize it so   the toolkit is there to help you with that and  hopefully throughout the 2021 you will you will   see some more content similar to the toolkit that  you can use to implement a program at your company   yeah i think that's a really great point that you  made a lot of companies are already doing this   you know so by sitting down and looking through  the tool kit to say oh yes we are you know   supporting uh volunteer time or you know we have  a recycling bin you know as you said csr covers   so much that i think hopefully as people look  into it and are understanding the definition more   they're realizing that their businesses are doing  this and i i so love that all of you have really   talked about how businesses are need to be good  corporate citizens you know we are neighbors to   everybody and we are part of this great ecosystem  that we have here um and that we're really working   to build each other up now casey you've been on  the csr committee for a little bit as well why   is it important to you to sit on the csr committee  and kind of what have you gotten out of it so far   it's important to me because i believe that we  as a community obviously can do so much more   together than trying to each stay in our own lane  but more importantly what i've gotten out of it is   it's wonderful to know how many people  really believe it you know this is not just a   something we do on the side it's many of the  people that i serve on the community with this   is the way they live and the way they look at  living and being a contributor in not only the   way they work but in the way they they decide to  spend their time and how they they treat their job   as a part of a whole part of the way they approach  life it's amazing to see this continuing to become   more and more important we're all going to  benefit i like the fact that we're even just   talking about it you know the other day i said csr  in a conversation someone said what is that and   i went into this tangent and talked about how  important this is and i think the more that   we're talking about it the more that people are  aware about it and that's incredibly important   paul as a leader you've been given  this great opportunity where you   you can make the decisions and see them happening  what's your advice for other community leaders of   why again it's important to be  intentional about giving back well i think it just demonstrates you're  you're like you i think you use the word   corporate citizenry um i just noticed  over the last three years when we really   developed a culture purposely developed a culture  around that we hired people because of their   their interest and their passion for  volunteering and social responsibility   it really makes a difference to i think in some  cases our reputations preceded us not because   of our creativity in marketing but because of  our corporate citizenry really to be honest   and because we're involved in the community  and we're out there and we're just   doing what we can to help right because it's  just part of our dna now at this point it's part   of our hiring practice it's part of our vendor  selection um do our printers use soy-based inks   is therefore are they face sorry fssc  certified um so those are decisions   that go into every aspect of our business i  think people see that i think as a leader it   it sets an example and i just love how so  intentional you are about it and really   just thinking through those questions and now that  you've brought it up now it makes me think through   them and now that we have people listening um it  will help them think through them as well so thank   you for that domino effect beth will if you'll  close us out here how can people get involved with   a corporate social responsibility where can they  find this tool kit and how can they get in contact   well we always welcome new committee members  um so you could reach out to me directly at   b lopez at and have a conversation  with me directly about joining the committee   you can also find all of our resources on the  chambers website on our csr committee page   including the toolkit and i would also like to  point out that the toolkit itself has some really   great resources within it the final appendix  appendix b and the toolkit our programming   committee i think went above and beyond in  supplying um just link after link and books   just a lot of research so if you're one of  those research type of people that really likes   to gather a lot of information it is truly all  there for you in the toolkit awesome thank you so   much and that toolkit is free it is available to  everybody whether you are a chamber member or not   we really want to be your resource and help  guide you for best practices for corporate social   responsibility so we've learned today corporate  social responsibility csr be intentional start a   plan and thank you so much to all three of you for  joining me here today and to everyone who's on the   corporate social responsibility committee as best  said has put so much work into the programming   and into the toolkit so thank you all for helping  us make this community an even greater place than   it already is so thank you for that and thank  you for joining us for inside the chamber inside the chamber is brought to you by  presenting sponsor Naperville Bank and Trust you

2021-03-07 05:29

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