Leadership, CSR and Sustainability (Part 2 )

“Business” is

CSR - Profit and the Triple Bottom Line

In part 1 of this series, we looked a the Triple Bottom Line and components 1 – Planet, and 2 – People.

In Part 2 we look at the third element:

3 Profit

Organisations should identify the benefits of CSR, its reporting, and the need for an integrated CSR policy; evidence suggests that in many organisations it is not.

The following should be included in an integrated CSR policy:

3a) Stakeholder Influence

Intuition and research suggest that organisations having happier, productive employees, using clean and efficient processes, behaving ethically are likely to have better products, more stakeholder loyalty, trust, engagement, and approval than those that do not, and may enjoy reduced costs and improved revenues as a result.

3b) Reputation Management

Brand and reputation are enhanced whilst potentially fatal costs of CSR failure are avoided.

Recent very high-profile cases have highlighted organisations that have previously been held in high esteem, having suffered massive financial and reputational losses because of CSR failures.  

These scandals demonstrate that history has a habit of catching up with those who transgress, and, in the digital age, this is likely to be sooner rather than later.

Personal data abuse, bribery and or corruption have no place in any organisation.

Similarly, sales, marketing, and advertising, including social media, should all reflect best-practice, in line with CSR.

3c) Risk Management & CSR Reporting

Organisational resilience, risk mitigation and management, corporate succession and continuity are all a function of effective governance.

Added to that list should be transparent CSR record keeping and reporting, even if non-mandatory.

3d) Exceeding Existing Legislation & Regulation Where Possible

Rather than playing “catch-up”, organisations should pro-actively seek to exceed base regulation and statute in anticipation of future changes.

This has at least two benefits.

Reputational enhancement and minimised adjustment, as new legislation/regulation is introduced.

Ultimately, doing the right thing never goes out of fashion or currency.

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