Marketing and CSR: a new framework

By Mahesh Enjeti, NSW Councillor, Australian Marketing Institute and Managing Director, SAI Marketing Counsel

Despite the growing awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility and increasing evidence that some organisations are showing genuine commitment and tangible results, the argument about CSR’s value, relevance or even need continues to simmer. Continue reading

“Less Unsustainable” Not Good Enough, by Nadia Boyce

[First published on Pro Bono Australia News.]

The corporate sector needs an urgent rethink to even come close to achieving the social and environmental hallmarks of truly sustainable business, academics have warned a national CSR conference.

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Dr Leeora Black, Managing Director of the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, reflects on the day’s proceedings

Keynote speakers at the C-Lab: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Laboratory, hosted by ACCSR, called for a systemic shift in the private sector and a rethink of business purpose.

“The triple bottom line sense of sustainability… it’s a tall order, and I’m going to suggest it’s not tall enough,” Professor Gordon Rands of Western Illinois University said.

“We cannot claim “we’re a sustainable company”– when all that any company has done so far is become less unsustainable…and that’s good! But it’s not enough, we’ve got to put aside the notion that becoming less unsustainable is acceptable and move to notion that we have to become truly sustainable.

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The State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand 2014 – Too slow, too little

accsr-2443 Leeora BlackNext week we will publish our 2014 Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand, the largest ongoing research study into CSR capabilities and practices this side of the world. This year marks a decade since ACCSR was born. We chose the theme ‘the 10th year’ for this year’s Review – a reflection on what has defined the development of CSR over the last decade and what it might look like in the future.

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The Future of CSR and the War of Words, by Duane Windsor

duane_windsorCorporate social responsibility (CSR) is a concept that seems to generate endless disputes without solution.  One is either for or against CSR.  Some critics defend owner wealth creation, or characterise CSR as “two-faced capitalism” or PR “sham;” and some advocates defend “doing well by doing good.”  There is a lengthening list of proposed complements, substitutes, and integrative frameworks for CSR under various labels.  These wars of words do aim at shaping the future of CSR practices. Continue reading

Building supply chain sustainability: The De-fit pilot project

In conversation with Sue Wiblin, co-convenor of the supply chain sustainability roundtable at the C-Lab and National Manager Community at The GPT Group

SWiblinFor The GPT Group (GPT), a publicly listed, diversified property company, its supply chain is labour intensive, relying on a range of builders and contractors to manage and construct assets.

While providing traineeships and apprenticeships is standard industry practice, GPT recognised that it could have the greatest community impact by building skills in people who experience barriers to employment.

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Low on the radar? Human rights and the Australian banking sector, by Soraya Dean

Soraya DeanHuman rights tend to be a sleeper issue for many Australian businesses. Over the years, our State of CSR in Australia research has consistently polled addressing human rights and combating business corruption as low priorities for most companies.

In 2013, just 30 percent of respondents said human rights were a high priority, while tackling corruption was a priority for 23 percent. These were the two lowest ranked challenges for the year ahead.

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Mining companies and NGOs CAN speak the same language, by Sarah Knoll

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Resource extraction projects provide unprecedented opportunities for social and economic development in communities, but the reality is that often people most impacted don’t realise the benefits of these developments. Continue reading

Four big problems with “Creating Shared Value”, by Andrew Crane and Dirk Matten

[Originally pubilshed on Crane and Matten blog]

The idea of “Creating Shared Value” (CSV) popularized by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in the Harvard Business Review has probably done more to get corporate responsibility issues into the boardroom than anything else written in the last few years. In many respects, that is a good thing. Or at least it is until you start to realize all the big problems that are hidden behind the big ideas of CSV.
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Why the noisy few count, by Dr Robert Boutilier

Robert Boutilier 2007 colorIt is tempting to dismiss stakeholder groups that complain about your organisation as representing the fringe of public opinion. Often the majority disagrees with them, and sometimes public opinion polls even prove it. The problem with ignoring such groups is the risk that they will become public opinion leaders.

For example, research by the Pew Research Center in Washington DC shows a complete turn-around in public opinion on the question of gay marriage. In 2003, a third of Americans were in favour of it and 58 percent were against. By 2013, half supported it and only 44% opposed it.

The reversal in public opinion followed a classic path that sociologists call the “issues lifecycle”. Continue reading

Have you got the MEMO yet? by Jonathan Dutton

jonathan_duttonCompanies’ sustainability and CSR supply chain credentials are in the spotlight as never before thanks to the new fourth generation (G4) Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, introduced only in May 2013.

The GRI Guidelines are backed by the United Nations through its UN Global Compact program (the world’s biggest corporate social responsibility program) and are supported by the Australian government.

Indeed, despite only being guidelines and not mandatory, a number of leading Australian companies adopted the old G3 guidelines and are expected to adopt the G4 guidelines within the two year recommended runway. Continue reading