High market share, performance and competitive differentiation are not enough anymore to make you stand out from the crowd and become a leader in your industry. There is an ever-growing external and internal social pressure on companies to go beyond the profits and business basics and to demonstrate transparent commitment to solving social and environmental problems.
According to a recent American Express survey, 75% of Millennials believe that managing of successful businesses to meet future needs, requires looking beyond the usual models of doing business and being more open to collaborations with new partners. CSR and Sustainability programs are proving to be an effective way forward that aid organizations in improving their reputation, securing the license to operate, creating long-term value and adapting to the expectations of their stakeholders.
However, in order to be effective, these programs need to become an integral part of everyday operations and corporate strategy, according to Michael Porter’s “creating shared value.” In the long run, small initiatives can turn into robust and transparent strategic Sustainability and CSR programs that result in cutting operating costs, driving growth, supporting stakeholder engagement, improving reputation and gaining trust in a brand.
Many successful corporations enhanced their reputation through very well planned and implemented Sustainability programs which make them recognized and praised responsible corporate citizens. For example, GEK TERNA Group through its ’’Social Product’’ dedicated 350,000 € to programs and initiatives that support social growth and create financial value for local communities. Emirates NBD recognized their CSR Program as an effective strategic tool to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage and by developing #TogetherLimitless Program, now creates a real difference for people with disabilities through education, inclusivity and increasing public awareness. Also, Lego Group as a company that is fully committed to social causes and environmental protection, was awarded the first place for the strongest CSR reputation in RepTrak®100 survey conducted by Reputation Institute in 2017.
However, not all companies recognize the positive or negative impact they create. Volkswagen’s CSR prophecy failed greatly as a consequence of poisoning the planet by emitting 40 times above the legal limit of nitrogen oxide. The reason why some companies fail in implementing social and environmental programs is that they focus more on the profits and public image ignoring the real challenges posed by resource boundaries and the relationship with stakeholders. In most cases they fail to see the relation between corporate strategy and direction, purpose and Sustainability and CSR. Very often they consider them to be a cost, rather than an investment that can yield positive measurable impact for everyone.
For many years, Sustainability Knowledge Group has been supporting companies and organizations in creating customized and coherent Sustainability and CSR Program as a successful tool for engaging effectively with stakeholders and making an impact. To celebrate the CSR initiatives undertaken by our clients, we teamed up with KindLink which enables companies to track contributions, manage fundraising and volunteering events, and promote campaigns through an online platform.
How can you lead by example with your Sustainability Program? Read further in our brochure here.
Sustainability Knowledge Group is a global advisory firm dedicated to creating value, through strategic CSR and sustainability solutions. Sustainability Knowledge Group supports companies to develop, manage and measure effective tailor-made Sustainability and CSR programs which address social and environmental challenges while promoting corporate strategy. Sustainability Knowledge Group offers training, coaching and advisory solutions grounded in international theory and successful application, and focuses on proven methodologies that bring tangible results, measurable impact and create better businesses.
If you would like to know more about how to lead in sustainability, utilize proven tools and gain new skills, contact Sustainability Knowledge Group at: [email protected].