For many companies, corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have been considered an inconvenience. But attitudes are changing, with companies increasingly willing to embrace its principles

Though it can be a difficult concept to define, CSR is gaining traction in the boardroom. According to the 2016 PwC Global CEO survey, 64 percent of CEOs say that CSR “is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone programme.”

For companies willing to take CSR on board it can have a transformative effect. It can provide insight into existing practices, generate cost efficiencies and create a more profitable operating environment. As a result, companies are developing new ways to leverage CSR to improve the visibility and attractiveness of their brands, and, ultimately, to drive profitability.

Far horizons

Arguably, this shift toward embracing CSR is a response to changing tastes elsewhere. Customers, stockholders and potential employees are more aware of the importance of social responsibility and sustainability, and, as a result, organisations have had to learn to embrace CSR to remain relevant and attractive.

CSR is a long horizon concept which requires companies to look beyond the short-term gains that they may be able generate and focus instead on educating the public about their brand and their approach to sustainability.

Jul-Sep 2017 Issue

Richard Summerfield