It should come as no surprise that corporate responsibility has become a priority among institutions, their customers or stakeholders and the investors that invest in them or with them. PNC’s Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Richard Bynum, led a discussion on corporate responsibility with C-Suite officers and other key leaders of some of the largest institutions in the country. In this article, we discuss three key considerations from that conversation. 

1. We are at an inflection point for corporate responsibility

  • The idea of corporate responsibility is not new; rather, the prioritization of corporate responsibility is what is new. The priorities and expectations of customer, communities and stakeholders of corporations has changed. 
  • A fundamental question at the heart of corporate responsibility is, “Are we all moving forward together, and, if not, why not?”
  • For an organization to be successful in light of this prioritization of corporate responsibility, it needs to be responsible and responsive to the expectations of its customers, communities, and stakeholders.

2. Internal efforts need to come before external efforts

  • The conversation discussed a key point around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): leaders and their organizations can’t just discuss these topics out loud in public forums. They need to start by implementing the change they want to see internally, before or as part of any external conversation or strategy. This is part of being authentic and living the values and change that we all want to see happen. 
  • To build stronger DEI internally, organizations should focus on building stronger talent pipelines, creating mentorship opportunities, improving training and leadership development programs and tools and building better feedback systems for listening to employee needs and monitoring the quality of management they are receiving.

For more on what PNC is doing internally toward improving DEI, please see this video clip from the discussion. 

3. Goodwill through doing good

  • “Goodwill,” as recognized in accounting terms on the balance sheet, often includes components of the value of a brand name, customer/community relationships and the company’s reputation. These components have become increasingly important for operating in existing markets and expanding into new markets.
  • In existing markets, customers and clients want to know that you have a values-oriented culture, contribute to the good of the community, and have policies in place to operate in a fair and ethical manner.
  • In new or expansion markets, your brand name can lead the way for you. It is important to engage these communities to understand what they need most from an organization like yours.
  • For PNC, this conversation confirmed our belief that our organization’s success is directly tied to the success of our customers and our communities. 

Ready to Help

In the face of today’s growing financial complexities, the decisions you make impact your organization and its employees in ways that matter more than ever. That’s why PNC combines large-scale resources with a personal commitment to make sure you’re ready for today, and tomorrow.

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