How do you define 'CSR'?
Corporate Social Responsibility / Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility …. or have you dropped a letter: Corporate Responsibility / Social Responsibility / Social Value ….?
Let’s not get hung up on acronyms. We believe more important than the acronym is the action and results: what we put in, what we get out, the outcomes and impact.
Our clients benefit from a smart team of experts, trained in professional management consulting practices with years of experience in all elements of CSR; or whatever you want to call it.
For us, 'CSR' describes an organization that takes responsibility for the results of its actions.
A 'responsible organization' goes beyond regulatory compliance; it continually strives to improve the quality of life for its stakeholders.
Use a CSR Continuum to assess your organization, we can tell you how you compare to your competitors and peers, and what needs to be done to improve and transform (see CBSR's Transformative Framework).
The word 'Sustainability' is interpreted one of two ways: organizational continuity or being environmentally sustainable.
The terms 'Corporate Responsibility' ('CR') and 'Social Responsibility' ('SR') are also used.
wAfter much debate, the ISO 26000 uses 'SR' to describe its set of standards.
Does it matter?
It should not matter which term you use. What should matter is that the term you use resonates both with you and your constituents.
Consider the term that best fits the way your enterprise operates.
is still used and is most appropriate to describe benevolent gifts (of money or equivalent) that are made without any expectation of receiving anything in return, beyond a "thank you".
is a term often used, particularly in North America, to describe companies' commitment to communities where they operation and/or where their employees are located. The commitment is often to be intrinsically involved at the community level.
Consider, for example. The Center for Corporate Citizenship that is housed in Boston College's Carroll School of Management. The Center is a resource hub for CSR professionals, particularly offering reliable research reports and training for corporate citizenship practitioners. (Sheila holds the college's Advanced Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Management.)
is similar to corporate citizenship but implies a more focused approach to engaging stakeholders without a implication of focusing on any specific community/ies.
There are many benefits for your organization when you choose to develop a CSR strategy. These include, but are by no means limited to:
gaining and maintaining the trust of your stakeholders
- Validated reporting
producing reports that include verification of authenticiy by a trusted and respected third party (can be more than one)
- Positive employee relations
Human Resource professionals will attest to the value of having a positive, engaged, workforce. We find methods such as supporting employees that volunteer and/or actively support and participate in campaigns that benefit charities result in engaged employees that have a positive attitude towards their employer (something most HR managers are keen to achieve).
- Regulatory approvals
regulatory red tape can be reduced when organizations have established responsible environmental stewardship programs that are properly and appropriately integrated into their operations.
boards are accountable to their stakeholders. Even 'shareholder value' can now be described as not just focusing on optimizing financial returns. Responsible Investors are using the United Nation's six Principles for Responsible Investments (UNPRI), which emphasizes the importance of good governance to sustain organizations.
to attract long-term investors, consider a strategy that will showcase your commitment and positive results using the key drivers of Environment-Social-Governance (ESG).
Canada's pension funds were leaders in using ESG to assess the viability of prospective investments and now many investment houses are also using ESG in their evaluation criteria.
CSR Strategies Inc. has done the research and has brought together leading experts in ESG.
Does CSR contribute ROI?
- Do you find it hard to answer questions about your CSR program?
- We help identify the value in CSR initiaties that can demonstrate ROI to decision-makers, employees, and other key stakeholders.
We understand the challenges and issues.
A good CSR program does not need to be costly; in fact, when done right, it will start to save you money, time, and effort. A effective CSR strategy includes Community Investment (CI), Community/Stakeholder Relations, a support structure for your employees to actively engage in your key communities, a tracking and measurement structure, and a reporting structure. All these elements perform best when they have an overarching strategy and implementation plan that is integrated into all aspects of your business.