Charlotte city officials, in collaboration with Charlotte Chamber , have developed an authorized set of recommendations for how a local business can become a better member of the community.
On Monday, City Council approved the chamber checklist — titled “Being a Great Corporate Citizen.”
Cooksey says if the city supports a checklist for local businesses, participation should be required for vetting of corporations seeking public investment, loans or other business grants from the city.
Mitchell says that would kill the spirit of the suggestion list. “The intent was not to make it mandatory but to make it voluntary,” he says.
Shannon Binns, executive director of nonprofit Sustain Charlotte, offered a different critique. He cited the triple bottom line that focuses on the three fundamentals of corporate social responsibility — people, planet, profit. The list, he says, is missing the third leg, which is consideration of a company’s impact on their community’s environment.
“There are many things a business can do in this regard, from committing to reduce their energy, carbon footprint, water and waste by establishing measurable goals and creating action plans,” Binns says.
The checklist could include employee incentives to ride public transit, bicycle or carpool, he notes.
Mitchell supports the addition of sustainable suggestions, and says he’d push for inclusion of those types of recommendations in a phase two of the checklist. “I’ll be the first one in six months to look back and say it’s time for us to be more green,” he says.