Paul Holmes 30 Sep 2002 // 11:00PM GMT
MANCHESTER, NH—NewCircle Communications, a strategic communications firm focused on corporate social responsibility, has added corporate governance to its inventory of consulting services. The firm’s corporate governance practice includes use of a unique, proprietary database of potential corporate directors with backgrounds in social responsibility, business ethics and socially responsible investing.
“We think we can help companies because we understand the connection between corporate governance in particular, and corporate responsibility more generally,” says NewCircle founder and president Joseph Keefe. “This is our area of focus. We know the issues, we know the players and we understand the risks and potential liabilities associated with substandard performance in the area of corporate responsibility, including substandard corporate governance.”
But Keefe, a veteran of socially responsible investment fund company Citizens Funds, says his firm also understands the investment side of the equation, “and the increasing importance of corporate responsibility to individual and institutional investors looking for solid long-term equity investments.”
NewCircle’s corporate governance consulting services will include use of a proprietary database it has developed containing information on leaders in the areas of corporate social responsibility, business ethics, socially responsible investing and related fields. The firm will help companies searching for independent directors to locate potential candidates with strong backgrounds in these arenas. It also plans to help companies integrate corporate social responsibility into board procedures.
“We don’t view this as short-term public relations or crisis management,” says Keefe. “We believe that good corporate governance is one component of overall corporate responsibility, and that high standards of corporate responsibility enhance corporate reputation and benefit corporate performance over the long term. We want to help companies see corporate governance in this context.”