The other day I was talking to a sales contact for an up and coming CSR software company. Being a CSR consultant I have positively praised these companies for making our job easier and providing innovative solutions for corporations to do right. Their services range from audits of the supplier chains to employee engagement.
I was surprised when he referred to their software as a “CSR consultant killer”. It sounded like something a Swedish politician said in the beginning of the 90s. That internet was only a trend and that too would pass.
Not in sync with reality. Reality is that not one CSR consultant, or agency for that matter, is able to provide everything needed for a comprehensive CSR program.
The skills of an engineer do not often include the extensive knowledge of climate impact. A communications expert might not be skilled with the technological knowledge to analyze a supply chain. Or a packaging innovator might not be aware of the UN sustainable development goals.
You get the point: Let experts be experts. The role of a CSR consultant is to create change with the resources necessary. To be able to create a strategy in line with the corporation and the brand and to understand the resources available and what to take into consideration. Create a team and the resources to make a solid impact. But don’t fool yourself to believe that one system or one consultant can help you with everything.
The beauty of implementing sustainability in an organisation is the collaboration needed. That all the departments, employee ambassadors and systems need to work together. That is how you create the best CSR program there is.
So a shout out to all fantastic CSR softwares and changemakers out there: Keep up your good work!
Don’t miss 110 innovation examples and a cucumber not wrapped in plastic.
You know that bad feeling you have when picking up a plastic-wrapped cucumber in the supermarket. That could soon be over. By rethinking both the product and how we get products and services to users without creating waste.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation has once again provided us with an excellent guide. This time it involves packaging solutions. A quite straightforward approach. Based on the notion that the best way is not to be able to handle your waste but to prevent it from being created in the first place.
Rethink the product, the packaging and the business model.
Can it be that easy? Yes, it can. The upstream innovation mindset can be used to achieve three key circular economy innovation strategies — elimination, reuse, and material circulation. 3 simple steps.
Save the Environment and your Profit
I believe that I love compliance because I love what is right. With a compliance framework in place, there is an outline of the right way to do things. And no way to avoid it - without the risk of public shame and a possible shut down of the business.
When it comes to sustainability there are so many compliance codes and frameworks in place whether it be legal requirements, company policies, or industry/voluntary codes. Being a business with limited resources, it can feel quite frustrating.
Thankfully, there are experts who can help you draft your own ambition based on legal framework and industry codes. You can not be an expert on everything, but be aware of the reasoning and have an understanding of the most important codes to adhere to.
The World Bank has a free online training module on their code of conduct when identifying risks and making assessments of financial investments in terms of society and the environment. It is a rather short introduction to their process but could be applicable to due diligence assessment in general.
The process helps determine if the investment is worthwhile and ensure that there is a sustainable long-term plan of governance in place. This is of course essential that banks or investors carefully select the project or business they support. To foresee environmental and social risks is crucial before embarking on a new project - not doing so could lead to costs and the need to abort the project or investment.