Attaining Sustainable Growth through Corporate Social Responsibility
IBM Institute for Business Value Study on CSR
About the Authors: George Pohle, VP and Global Leader, IBM Business Strategy Consulting Practice, Jeff Hittner, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value
This study examines three dynamics: impact, information and relationships.
And makes recommendations that will help companies develop an integrated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy geared to growth opportunities.
CEOs have long been accountable to a varied group of stakeholders – employees and communities, as well as investors. The nature of these relationships is now changing in ways that significantly affect corporate performance. In part due to the emergence of the Internet and continuing globalization, companies are becoming accountable for labor issues and working conditions in their partners’ operations as well as their own.
Many companies now see corporate social responsibility as a growth opportunity rather than just a regulatory compliance or philanthropic effort, with 68 percent of those surveyed focused on generating revenue through CSR activities. In addition, 54 percent believe CSR initiatives contribute to giving their corporations a competitive advantage.
Driving these beliefs is the rising influence of customers who, thanks to their ability to research and share information on the Internet, have become highly sensitized to a broad range of issues — everything from concerns about climate change, to product safety issues, to labor practices, to corporate financial accountability, to questions about whether corporations are returning enough of their profits to the community.
In order to attain sustainable growth through CSR, companies must:
1. Align and incorporate CSR with business strategy and integrate it across all operational functions, thus making it easy to invest
(not spend) the funds necessary to achieve its objectives
2. Implement an open information strategy for more transparent information sharing with multiple stakeholders
3. Leverage transparency to increase the level of engagement of key constituents and customers.
When these activities are done in combination, CSR can become a dimension of a company’s successful competitive strategy. Done right, it offers a company improved relationships with all of its key constituents, more loyal customers, lower costs, higher revenues and an overall improvement of the business’standing in society.
>>LEARN MORE – PDF Report IBM CSR Report
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>>LEARN MORE – PDF Report IBM Corporate Social Responsibility
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