Building the Business Case for CSR
Monday, July 16, 2012
The business case for CSR is complex, yet, in a more sophisticated, inter-connected, post global-recession world, the business case is stronger than ever before.
Moreover, climate change, poverty, social disenfranchisement and inequality must be addressed in a meaningful manner that is both qualitative and quantitative. With economic uncertainty and weakness, governments are reluctant to put greater burdens on business, as economic growth is essential if we are to create a fairer, more idealized world. And, as expressed frequently by CEOs and CFOs, creating new revenue streams, cost efficiency, corporate value and the mitigation of risk are seen as main priorities for business. And yet, here lies the business case for CSR.
Firstly, businesses who do not manage their impact on the environment and the impact on the societies within which they operate will begin to hand their business over to competitors who are taking a lead in understanding what CSR can bring to their business. This view is supported by the Carbon Disclosure Project – Supply Chain Report 2012, which states: “Suppliers that do not measure, quantify, and manage their greenhouse-gas emissions will soon see their business move to competitors that can provide better information and clearer evidence of change.” Indeed, the evidence supporting this statement, from the CDP 2012 report, states of respondents to their survey that 39 percent will soon begin deselecting suppliers that do not adopt such measures (compared to 17 percent in 2009 and 23 percent in 2010).