The jungle of social responsibility
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), TBL (Triple Bottom Line), sustainability, transparency, traceability, certification… Can’t see the wood for the trees? Well, you are not the only one. Changing the way we do business has jargon all of its own.
But what do these words actually mean? And why should we bother? You say that you are running a business and your priority is ensuring profitability and, therefore, continuity. But hold on! Have you ever stopped to consider how you are making that profit? That is all it really is: becoming aware – and creating awareness – of the impact you are having.
What influence does your business have on people – employees, suppliers, buyers, consumers – and what impact does it have on your surroundings and the environment in general? Our world has never been more interconnected. What you do, here and now, matters. It matters to you, to your employees, to your suppliers in Asia and your consumers in Europe.
Awareness of impact is a dynamic process. It means you are constantly evaluating what you do and how you do it, and at what cost. It also means asking relevant questions. What are the trends in the market place? Are there alternative production processes? Is there new technology – cleaner and more efficient perhaps?
All the jargon aside, assessing impact is simply a matter of Good Business Practice. Good for business (profit), good for the environment (planet) and good for society (people). Are there costs involved? Probably. Are there benefits? Definitely. Yes, it might be a jungle, but one full of opportunities. Assess your impact today!
Have you ever assessed your impact? What was the outcome?
– by Dana van Hes – The Netherlands – UnitedSucces Associate