World’s Leading HR Organizations Release New Corporate Sustainability Report

Aug 1, 2012

Alexandria, Va. – The SHRM Foundation, the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) and the North American Human Resource Management Association (NAHRMA) today jointly released a new report, HRM’s Role in Corporate Social and Environmental Sustainability.”

The human-resource focused, research-based report answers three key questions while sharing examples and case studies that range from the practical to the sophisticated, and complex: What is sustainability?; Why do firms pursue it?; and What is HR’s role in developing strategy and advancing sustainability?

Written and peer-reviewed by an international team of authors and experts, the report includes examples from leading companies and organizations recognized globally.

“The SHRM Foundation is proud to partner with WFPMA and NAHRMA on this important project because helping HR professionals lead sustainability efforts directly supports the SHRM Foundation’s mission of shaping the future of HR” said SHRM Foundation executive director, Karen Silberman.

The 45-page report summarizes the latest research on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and provides specific guidance to HR professionals on how to take the lead in advancing sustainability throughout their organizations.

The report stresses that:

  • Sustainability is defined as the ability “to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”;
  • As regulatory pressures and societal demands for greater environmental and social responsibility have increased, sustainability becomes a key focus for many organizations;
  • Instead of working towards financial profits alone, sustainable firms must strive to contribute economic, social, and environmental benefits to society, known as the "triple bottom-line"; and
  • The HR function has an important role to play both in developing and implementing sustainability strategy.

The report was written by Michael Muller-Camen, professor of international HRM at Middlesex University Business School in London, England; Elaine Cohen, a CSR Consultant and sustainability reporter based in Israel; and Sully Taylor, professor of international management and former associate dean for graduate programs at the School of Business Administration, Portland State University in the U.S. state of Oregon.

This report is part of the SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines series. The series assists HR professionals in gaining access to the latest research findings by presenting relevant research-based knowledge in an easy-to-use format for the business audience.

To read the full report series, visit: (a PDF) or


About the NAHRMA, SHRM, and WFPMA

For more information about the team or organizations releasing the report, visit their "About” pages at: (1); (2); and (3)


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