CSR 2.0 – It’s time to make this work!

From “Doing” Social Responsibility to “Being” Social Responsible

Conscious Business Institute Sustainability Model
Conscious Business Institute Sustainability Model

I just inaugurated a bi-monthly expert blog on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at www.justmeans.com, one of the leading Corporate Social Responsibility websites and communities. The thrust of the blog will be to move CSR and Corporate Sustainability from something we DO to something we ARE – something we embody on every level in an organization.

Why? Because my observations in client companies and interviews with large multinationals show that many of the institutionalized CSR programs are only as strong as the revenues or margins of the organization – and as soon as revenues or margins become jeopardized, sustainability or CSR efforts are placed at the bottom end of the agenda (if they still make it at all onto the agenda at all).

As I mention in the first Justmeans blog post: “The challenge is to shift CSR to something organizations “Are” – something that is embodied throughout the organization; from top executive to the sales person on the road. In my opinion, we only get the necessary traction once CSR touches everyone in an organization, where CSR shifts from a doctrine to a personal matter. As long as companies see CSR as something they “Do”, it becomes like an institutionalized religion: the ideas are great, but as soon as someone comes along stating “This is the way it has to be done”, it turns into a doctrine. And as in any doctrine, the result will be opponents and proponents wasting time as they engage in conflict about “what’s right” and “what’s wrong”.”

In the next posting on Justmeans, I will introduce the Conscious Business Institute’s approach to sustainability (picture) and discuss how corporate ethics, sustainability and CSR can be better engrained into any company’s fabric. To read more on Justmeans, click here.

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One thought on “CSR 2.0 – It’s time to make this work!

  1. Miles Kierson June 20, 2009 / 1:31 pm

    Your point about “being” socially responsible is well-taken, Peter. If we just add social responsibility to what we already have accumulated, it’ll turn into just more of what we already had, which is what we all are working to change.

    I am finding that at most companies I’ve been interacting with, they have their “sustainability” projects on a back burner, waiting until this economy gets better. Only the ones that have a real need to do something (like electric generating companies) have much attention on these things. The dilemma is that the world economy is based on “more is better” and “desire and buy”, and this is antithetical to a sustainable planet, CSR, and as we all have seen over and over again, ethics.

    I rarely into anybody in business who is purposely being against sustainability nor are they consciously being unethical. I know these people exist, but I’ve just not run into them much. To me, this points to the problem being systemic. All the efforts to change run against the system, which has at its core a flawed set of economic premises.

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