Doing well by doing good

Henry Schein and Colgate have had a long-standing commitment to CSR. The two companies explained their philosophy at the PRWeek Conference.

Henry Schein and Colgate have had a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility.

In conversation with PRWeek managing editor Gideon Fidelzeid, Henry Schein Chairman and CEO Stan Bergman and Colgate’s Justin Skala, president for North America and global sustainability, explain how the success of each company embodies a philosophy of enlightened self-interest. This strategy includes giving back to the industries and communities they serve through initiatives such as the Give Kids a Smile! free dental treatment initiative, in partnership with the American Dental Association and DEXIS.

Speakers included Stan Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein; Justin Skala, president for North America and global sustainability for Colgate-Palmolive; Jeffrey Dalin, DDS, secretary-treasurer for St. Louis Give Kids a Smile and chairperson for the National Advisory Board for Give Kids a Smile for the American Dental Association.

Bergman:
"CSR is not about donations. It’s about building alignment of interests between the organization and its constituents."

"Our secret sauce is social responsibility – our ability to bring all of our constituents [suppliers, customers, employees, and investors] together."

"People want to do business with people they trust. You can’t retain a PR agency to say ‘Trust me.’ It’s in the company’s DNA."

"[Nelson] Mandela said, ‘You’ve got to lead from the front.’ That’s what it’s about. If you care about the world, the organization will follow, and people will come along. All this leads to an organization where people care."

"Remember these three things: Nothing is easy. It’s hard to do good. It’s about the people.
You have to be very careful in executing a social responsibility initiative, just as careful as you’d be with performing a root canal."  

Skala:
"At the end of the day, you have to walk the talk. It comes down to how you practice leadership and the value of your personal leadership credo."

Dalin:
On partnering on social initiatives: "True [corporate] partners are the ones that will stick around."

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