How Alignment and Partnering Should Come into Play to Pursue CSR goals
By admin February 4, 2019

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At the intersection of business and social impact, corporations are increasingly thinking about integrating the two while pondering over strategies that turn Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into value-creating activities. More professionals have seen previously separated functions of sustainability and business operations merged.

The biggest challenge for executives is how to develop an integrated approach that can truly deliver on CSR ambitions, as too few companies have real focused targets or strategies. From community service volunteering to donations in support of philanthropic organizations, it seems that wide-ranging causes could be added to the scrolling list of corporate responsibility under the umbrella of the common good. Additionally, in the past 25 years, the definition of corporate citizenship has been greatly extended as the global economy and private sector have undergone dramatic shifts in sustainability, with agendas such as climate change, technology, structural economic change amongst others added to the landscape.

In order to further the association between financial return and social impact, CSR leaders and senior management should borrow insights and transferable concepts from successful CSR programs.

CSR should be positioned in a way that aligns to business strategies. By aligning with important metrics which have a bottom line such as the reduction of food waste, saving of energy and related expenses, corporate responsibility could fit within companies’ core business processes and increase success. Hitachi Ltd., by acquiring ABB’s Power Grids unit, intends to combine their power grid service solutions with its own digital technology to strengthen energy solutions within their business. In a news release, Hitachi also identified the Power and Energy business as “one of the core pillars of the Social Innovation Business which supports building social infrastructures attributing to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a promising society advocated in Society 5.0.” It offers an example where corporations pursue financial returns in integrating sustainable social impact innovations.

Some innovative companies also manage to overcome the hurdle of realizing social impact while pursuing business purpose by partnering with right collaborators. Fostering partnership with professionals or organizations with similar goals contributes to building long-term relations as well as to realize potential win-win benefits and amplified effects. Collaborations could reside in an environment that benefits from corporations’ core businesses or capabilities and that corporations could benefit from in turn. For example, Bank of America teamed up with organizations including Vital Voices, Feeding America, and RED, NGO’s doing their job in women empowerment, ending hunger and fighting against AIDS, which shows how smart partnering could be formed to collectively tackle global issues.

While CSR has seen an increase in interest and in the allocation of financial resources for investment, a key component on the strategic planning and the measurement of impact still needs to be developed. With disrupting changes going on, corporations and collaborators are to construct new capabilities and partnerships to navigate the new environment.


For More Information:

Just Good Business

The Future of Sustainable Business

Making the most of corporate social responsibility

Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) 2018 Report on Progress

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