Last week Marc Pfitzer visited Melbourne – he heads the Shared Value area at consultancy FSG, whose directors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer co-authored the seminal paper ‘Creating Shared Value’ (CSV) in 2011. Since its publication, there have been significant discussions about how a CSV approach can lead to innovation, efficiency, productivity, profit, growth – and effectively ‘reinvent capitalism’!
There is no doubt that CSV is a great contribution – but perhaps that is the point we sometimes miss: that CSV is a contribution to the broader discussion about business sustainability, rather than its replacement.
In 2014, ACCSR celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Ten years on, CSR in Australia has evolved from a discretionary activity undertaken by a select few to an accepted strategic management approach adopted by leading organisations
But what does the future hold for the next decade of responsible business practice in Australia?
This article in the Sydney Morning Herald sparked a lively debate in our office about the development of the corporate social responsibility profession in Australia and elsewhere. We all agreed that there is a preponderance of women in the profession. Our own State of CSR in Australia research (quoted by the SMH), the attendance at our annual conferences and the clients we have contact with are all evidence.
Is it because women’s leadership style suits the sustainability agenda in business? Our view was partly, yes, but we think there are other factors at play here. By virtue of the fact that sustainability and corporate social responsibility are relatively new and still developing areas of business, they do provide opportunities for women to lead and succeed, unlike many other more established business streams where existing male power structures may make those achievements more difficult. Continue reading →
This time last year, in the lead up to the AFL grand final, the iconic Australian brand Sherrin was heavily criticised in the Australian media for using Indian child labour to stitch AFL footballs for the Australian market.
Through a sub-contractor, children in India were found to be hand-stitching balls for as little as 12 cents each. The children, almost all of them girls, were reportedly being pulled out of school to stitch balls for up to 10 hours a day, seven days a week, with the balls sent off for Australian children to play with. Continue reading →
Earlier this year, I attended the International Association for Impact Assessment’s (IAIA) annual conference in Calgary, Canada. I got to meet some incredible people and get my poutine fix. Score! Thanks to Dr Daniel Franks and Professor Rauno Sairinen for having me in their session on ‘SIA and CSR in the Mining and Energy Sectors: A Merging of Generations?’. Some excerpts from my talk… Continue reading →
Tasmania, or ‘Tassie’ if you are Australian, describes itself as ‘A World Apart’ and the ‘Best Place on Earth’ in direct reference to the large expanse of undisturbed natural forest and coastline that characterise the island. It has also been called the ‘mendicant state’ by politicians from mainland Australia and in the press as the land of the unemployed; rather different perspectives on the complex realities of Australia’s smallest state.
Looking at a map, Tasmania is the roughly heart-shaped island that dangles below the lower right hand corner of the continental mass of Australia. Separated from the mainland by the tricky waters of Bass Straight, the island sits squarely in the roaring forties that deliver cool winds and plenty of rain. The result is that Tasmania is very green and the western flank coated in dense temperate rainforest. Historically, this western part of the state generated considerable wealth and tens of thousands of jobs from logging and mining.
Producing big volumes of information doesn’t work well for engaging with most stakeholders – so how to make sustainability communications more meaningful and effective? New formats and new channels are setting the trend.
You have probably heard by now that in May the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) launched G4, the new version of its reporting guidelines. (If you haven’t, here is a full analysis of G4.) Among the key changes is the positioning of ‘materiality’ at the centre of reporting: cut the clutter, report only what is relevant.
As corporate reporters in Australia and elsewhere prepare their next financial, sustainability and integrated reporting cycle, the inevitable question crops up: How does the new version of the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines, G4, and the proposed framework for integrated reporting, (IR), compare? How do they complement each other?
A new comparative analysis (click here to see Comparative Table) highlights requirements from the G4 that logically link with the latest core requirements by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). It illustrates that producing a quality integrated report requires having a quality sustainability reporting system in place.
For the 2013 Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting, the Global Reporting Initiative invited young people to participate in the Next Generation poster competition. Philip Paczynski was awarded for his powerful design and a clear message: “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I am that somebody”. His compelling address to the 1,600 delegates at the Conference’s Closing Plenary reminds us that “change starts with the individual. It is crucial to realise that we all can make a difference”…