Social responsibility and sustainability refer to the responsibility of every company to its impact on society. It includes fair business practices, human resource management, the economical use of natural resources, the protection of the climate and the environment, a sincere commitment to the local community and, last but not least, responsibility throughout the global supply chain.
Companies around the world are increasingly aware of how important both concepts are. I wrote about some of the benefits in a blog last week. Of course, we can tackle this very enthusiastically and by feeling, or we can “spit in our hands” and tackle the matter at the beginning: with strategy. And that’s where it stops us. Well, not completely, but usually there are questions about how to deal with it at all, what and who to include, what are the KPIs that will show that our “boat” is on the right track, and so on. Like any strategy, a strategy that a company prepares for sustainable development is a complex story that is, of course, easiest to formulate together and under professional guidance – either internal or external – but the story must be authentic, broad and ultimately leading to the right focus.
So when the decision is made in the company to “start dealing with these matters”, then we usually run into the following beliefs and myths:
- Sustainable development is always linked to caring for the environment – NOT TRUE. Durability is related to t. i. 3 P, namely: people, environment and profit (people, planet, profit). So we don’t necessarily limit our thinking to just environmental impact.
- Social responsibility is linked to donations – NOT TRUE. Social responsibility does not only mean non-profit donation, as it relates to sustainability and consequently to 3 P.
- Social responsibility has nothing to do with sustainability – NOT TRUE. Simply put: in corporate social responsibility, we must always take sustainability into account, as this ensures that we do good today and tomorrow.
- Social responsibility in a sustainable way does not have ROI – NOT TRUE. The company needs to make a profit and maintain growth. It is essential that the organization offers competitive solutions while paying bills on time and constantly growing. But such growth can be combined with a positive impact on society.
- Social responsibility in a sustainable way is only relevant for large corporations – NOT TRUE. I believe that not much detailed explanation is needed here. Everyone can act in a socially responsible way in a sustainable way.
So what are the first steps? About this and more coming soon …