October 26, 2009Doug Hadden
Business Dangers of No CSR Programs
Many companies are reluctant to spend on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. The return on investment for CSR programs has not yet been fully proven. Although one wonders why being socially responsible needs to be proven. Perhaps this is the situation whenever business models begin to change.
If you are looking to encourage your company to adopt CSR, start by looking at figures from AMR Research.
AMR has been reporting on sustainability strategies and Corporate Social Responsibility. AMR has made some of their older analysis available at no charge – an excellent step to showing CSR.
AMR has shown how “corporate social irresponsbility can hurt the bottom line”. Social responsibility is becoming an expectation for doing business. Customers are expecting more than a marketing campaign; they want to see depth in social responsibility.
AMR provides an interesting historical perspective on CSR from John Elkington who co-founded SustainAbility that describes the four waves of societal pressure. This fourth wave “focuses on creativity, innovation, scalable entrepreneurial solutions, and the role of emerging economies.”
It’s clearly not your grandfather’s social responsibility! This trend affects all companies. The impression is that only large companies can afford CSR. These larger firms are publicizing social responsibility – making CSR an important consideration for companies of all sizes.
The first message for those advocating CSR programs is about how the bottom line will shrink if your business does not keep up with the trends.