Oct 11 2011

A Modern Value Proposition for Today’s Association

Corporate CEOs around the world are starting to see the shape of a new era in business where “sustainability” becomes crucial to the success of their business and shareholder value, according to the UN Global Compact and Accenture.

In the face of rising global competition, technological change and the most serious economic downturn in nearly a century, corporate commitment to the principles of sustainability remains strong throughout the world.  CEOs see sustainability as important to their company‚Äôs future success, because:

  1. Customers and investors are demanding it
  2. New innovations and technologies are propelling new business practices
  3. Partnerships and collaboration (e.g., with suppliers, civil society organizations, government agencies, etc.) are now viewed as a highly desirable way to implement sustainable business strategy.

CEO’s believe that creating a business that is both sustainable and profitable require efforts by people at all levels of the corporation as well as through public-private sector partnerships.  Associations as civil society actors are perfect platforms for promoting dialog, understanding, and education of members on how sustainability is changing how business profitability can align with the greater social good.

At the recent ASAE Annual Meeting in St Louis, MCI hosted a unique session featuring two association case studies demonstrating how associations representing industry and professions can pursue long term business success with sustainability as a crucial element of their member value proposition and customer experience.

Thanks to the Virtual Key Opinion Leader Technology provided by Blue Sky Broadcast, some members of our panel were broadcasted into our session LIVE.  Here are the archived presentations from three of our panel.

Our Panel

From London in the United Kingdom, we were joined by Mr. Tony Hodge, Ph.D., P. Eng., President, International Council of Mining and Metals, who presented a fascinating story of how ICMM came into being and the important role it plays in helping its company members throughout the world improve their capacity to track and report on business improvements they are making to enhance their bottomline as well as their impact in local communities.

From North Carolina, we heard from Mr. Tom Cecich, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Safety Engineers and Vice President of the ASSE Council on Professional Affairs.  Tom shared how ASSE has evolved its understanding of how sustainability impacts their profession and the business environment their members experience everyday.  He told us how ASSE leaders view their future with sustainability as a new and vital component to drive member products and services.

Presenting from our session in St. Louis, Mike Wallace, Director, Focal Point USA and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), explained to our audience how sustainability reporting among corporations is going mainstream globally as the investor community demands increasingly that companies follow the generally accepted practice of sustainability reporting measured by economic, environmental, labor, human rights, and product responsibility performance metrics. GRI has become the global leader in sustainability reporting with its G3 Guidelines.  Its data is used by financial data firms like Bloomberg to track a publicly traded companies self-reported sustainability metrics along side their more traditional business performance data.


To view their individual 15 minute presentations, following each link below.





If you would like to view the entire list of companies and industries reporting using GRI’s G3 sustainability reporting standards:


If you would like more information on GRI’s G3 Reporting Guildelines:


If you would like to download copies of the slide decks presented above, please follow this link:


About the author

Peter Turner

As MCI's Senior Advisor, Global Development Strategy, I help associations build and execute global growth strategies. Over the past 30 years I have served three associations (ASAE, MPI and IEEE Computer Society) as a leader of business, product and partnership development.

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