An increase in professional courses and better quality education on CSI will help to increase the understanding of what CSI is and the value of having a CSI function within the organisation.
In order for companies to build long term and effective CSI strategies it is important to track current and emerging issues.
The information therefore provides insight into CSI and how businesses can respond through engaging these issues in a proactive manor that will leverage trust and respect from stakeholders, who are influential in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The information serves to enhance company’s reputations and brand whilst assisting in developing effective and comprehensive business strategies.
CSR is an evolving concept and is no longer random charity or philanthropy. It is now looked upon as a key to business operations, sustainability and development.
Businesses have an intrinsic relationship with a large segment of the population through employment provision and labour markets, service provision, commodity markets, environment and resource use. The complex problems of today’s poor cannot be solved by the state, civil society and international development organizations alone.
The business sector has emerged as a key player and needs to accept responsibility and work in collaboration with these entities to address social issues
Climate change remains the key concern of expert stakeholders. Companies are seen to be allocating more resources to this issue. The climate change agenda is now rapidly shifting from strategies for mitigation to a new emphasis on adaptation.
Companies are going to have to demonstrate that they are reducing regarding their own carbon impacts as well as working in partnerships with others on adapting to climate change.The new emphasis on energy efficiency and green building practise enhances this commitment.
There has been significant increased concerns over the way that companies are governed and the way that decisions are made. The future is seen as one where companies will have to be increasingly transparent and accountable. New corporate governance structures are seen as being at the heart of new models of economic sustainability.
Those governance structures will be more inclusive and will better represent the views of a wide range of stakeholders. Pressure from a new breed of socially responsible investors will increase the pressure on businesses to behave in an ethical way.
Labour and Human Resources
The treatment of workers within organisations and down supply chains is likely to remain of high concern for theyears to come. Concerns over appropriate wages levels, discrimination, workplace conditions and child labour are of utmost importance. A new emphasis on decent work in a context of protecting human rights is emerging.
Supply chain rationalisation and new CSI strategies by first-tier suppliers will reduce the need for traditional auditing. Within organisations work-life balance will be increasingly important and companies will increasingly recognise the benefits associated with diversity and inclusion strategies.
The way that businesses impact on the environment is likely to come under much closer scrutiny. Environmental performance will increasingly be part of company’s reputation and brand. A particularly worrying aspect of environmental change concerns the availability of clean and safe water.
Loss of biodiversity and changing land-use are also increasingly going to be hot topics. Sourcing activities will integrate environmental concerns.New infrastructure developments are likely to have to take into account a broader set of environmental concerns.
Alliances with Stakeholders
Stakeholder engagement will increasingly develop into meaningful partnerships between the private sector and those able to tackle local and global challenges. This will see increased collaboration with both government and local communities. Businesses will have to demonstrate how they are working with others to tackle the sustainable development agenda through innovative community investment strategies. New innovative models of partnership based on social enterprise andsocial entrepreneurship will emerge.
Leadership & Regulation from Governments
The current trend to embrace environmental issues including labour and provisions of new requirements for CSI reporting have been intensified to further this agenda. Regulations in place in Europe covering mandatory reporting and disclosure are likely to be replicated in Asia, Africa and the rest of the globe. Other regulatory pressure is likely to come from stock exchanges, securities regulators and institutionstasked with tackling health and safety.
Community Investment and Pro-Poor Development
Companies will have to demonstrate that they have positive impacts on the communities where they operate. In the least developed parts of the region businesses will be increasingly involved with pro-poor community investment projects, micro-finance initiatives and programmes to encourage entrepreneurship. Community investment strategies will increasingly involve climate change adaptation and responses to environmental challenges.
There will be a new emphasis on community education initiatives. Contributing to poverty alleviation and community health initiatives will be seen as an important part of the wider agenda for business who will increasingly have to measure their community impacts.
Concerns over product quality, product safety and health concerns over product use are increasing. Companies are likely to have to take more measure to ensure a range of safety and security processes are in place. Better labelling, including more information on country of origin, ingredients and carbon impact will emerge.
Boycotts of products and of brands are set to increase with increased sophistication of consumers and a lack of trust in the power of regulators to protect them.
The era of broader CSI Professionalism
The role of CSI managers within organisations will be better recognised. An increase in professional courses and better quality education on CSI will help to increase the understanding of what CSI is and the value of having a CSI function within the organisation.
A growth in certification and qualifications around CSI will help to enhance both the professionalism and the credibility of CSI managers.
In many parts of the world bribery and corruption will continue to reduce the amount of economic activity and continue to have a negative impact on the marginalised.
However, at the same time there must bean increase in investigation and reporting of bribery and unethical conduct, often supported by governments, increasing the risks to companies seen as complicit in such irregularities. Companies will have to demonstrate a proactive strategy for dealing these issues.
Relationships with stakeholders need to become more strategic. Open and honest communications will be central to building trusting relationships. Companies need to identify and engage with their stakeholders and build meaningful and ongoing partnerships. Good stakeholder engagement will become a source of market research and risk reduction and will help to build a company’s reputation and brand.
Stakeholders’ views need to be incorporated into company decision-making so that stakeholders are built into governance structures. CSI programmes need to be shaped by stakeholders’ priorities. Well structured, well managed stakeholder engagement will become a source of competitive advantage.
A new approach to business models
The coming years present businesses with a new opportunity to look at the way they do business in a manner that is more consistent with the sustainable development of the world economy. Companies should start with a thorough review of existing policies, values frameworks and develop meaningful visions for the future. Companies can look harder at their broader contributions to environmental protection and their impacts on local communities.
CSI strategies have to become central to business strategy and part of the long-term planning process. Everyone in the organisation needs to recognise their own role in promoting CSI.
A new emotional intelligence needs to replace a culture of greed and arrogance that has exists. The social and environmental contributions that businesses can make will be increasingly valued and this needs to influence new corporate decision-making models.
Better listening to stakeholders and taking an increased responsibility for global challenges will be part of the new management process in the future. An emphasis on long-term competitiveness rather than short-term profit-making should emerge from responsible businesses.
Increased training and the development of staff who better understand the business case for CSI is central to developing organisations that are able to operate in a way that is consistent with the sustainable development of the African continent and abroad. Sustainable development education needs to be extended into traditional education institutions as well as down supply chains.
Companies should support wider professional development initiatives. CSI managers need to be better valued and their professionalism recognised. In part, a company’s commitment to CSI will be measured by the resources they allocate to the function.
Human resource management
Staff adoption in CSI is essential and job descriptions and on-going evaluation of staff needs to include a role for them in contributing to the social and environmental activities and profile of the organisation. Workers need to be seen as partners in the organisation and encouraged to more fully participate in new consultative decision making structures.
Companies need to consider the rights of their workers, ensure a workplace free of discrimination and harassment and encourage diversity.
Climate change action
Examining both the business risks and opportunities associated with climate change is going to be increasingly important. Companies should measure and report on their own greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrate what measures they are putting in place to mitigate their climate change impacts. Moreover, companies should contribute to climate change adaptation in the communities in which they operate.
There needs to be a renewed emphasis on energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and integration of emissions reduction targets into strategic environmental plans.
Greater transparency and accountability is increasingly going to be expected of business. Trust will become an important factor in governing relationships between businesses and with governments and other important stakeholders. Strong policies and practices to combat bribery and corruption need to be put in place.
New invigorated Boards with proper representation and truly independent non-executive directors will be needed to improve the quality of decision making and the protection of minority shareholders. Internationally recognised conventions, standards and guidelines should be adopted where appropriate.
Supply chain management
Insufficient companies are engaging with their supply chain risks even though this is an area where product safety is often compromised and human rights abused. Companies need to develop comprehensive codes of conduct that demonstrate their commitment to ensuring responsible supply chains and demonstrate effective risk management. Supply chain codes of conduct ought also to make requirements with regard to environmental aspects of business operations.
Companies involved in auditing need to recognise the limitations of that approach and build capacity down supply chains to build the business case for CSI.
A move from philanthropy towards much more strategic community investment is an important development. The emphasis on investment rather than giving will result in companies better targeting resources that benefit both communities and the business itself. New partnerships with NGOs and local community groups should target both local and global challenges and be an important part of a company’s commitment to sustainable development.
Help with developing social enterprises and stimulating social entrepreneurship will be more effective than providing money for short-term alleviation of problems. Community impacts need to be appropriately measured.
Reporting and disclosure
The demand for increased transparency and accountability will increase the need for improved reporting and disclosure of information. There will be a new emphasis on issues-based reporting, emphasising those areas where a company has the biggest impact but, at the same time, can make the biggest contribution.
ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance to all organizations, regardless of their size or location, on:
• Concepts, terms and definitions related to social responsibility;
• The background, trends and characteristics of social responsibility;
• Principles and practices relating to social responsibility;
• The core subjects and issues of social responsibility;
• Integrating, implementing and promoting socially responsible behaviour throughout the organization
and, through its policies and practices, within its sphere of influence;
• Identifying and engaging with stakeholders
• Communicating commitments, performance and other information related to social responsibility.
ISO 26000:2010 is intended to assist organizations in contributing to sustainable development.
It is intended to encourage them to go beyond legal compliance, recognizing that compliance
with law is a fundamental duty of any organization and an essential part of their social
responsibility. It is intended to promote common understanding in the field of social responsibility,
and to complement other instruments and initiatives for social responsibility, not to replace them.
In applying ISO 26000:2010, it is advisable that an organization take into consideration societal,
environmental, legal, cultural, political and organizational diversity, as well as differences in economic
conditions, while being consistent with international norms of behaviour.
ISO 26000:2010 is not a management system standard. It is not intended or appropriate for
certification purposes or regulatory or contractual use. Any offer to certify, or claims to be certified,
to ISO 26000 would be a misrepresentation of the intent and purpose and a misuse of ISO 26000:2010.
As ISO 26000:2010 does not contain requirements, any such certification would not be a
demonstration of conformity with ISO 26000:2010.
ISO 26000:2010 is intended to provide organizations with guidance concerning social responsibility
and can be used as part of public policy activities. However, for the purposes of the Marrakech
Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), it is not intended to be interpreted
as an “international standard”, “guideline” or “recommendation”, nor is it intended to provide a
basis for any presumption or finding that a measure is consistent with WTO obligations. Further,
it is not intended to provide a basis for legal actions, complaints, defences or other claims in any
international, domestic or other proceeding, nor is it intended to be cited as evidence of the
evolution of customary international law.
ISO 26000:2010 is not intended to prevent the development of national standards that are more
specific, more demanding, or of a different type.
Sustainability is the capacity to endure.
There are two major ways of reducing negative human impact and enhancing ecosystem
services and the first of these is environmental management. This approach is based largely on
information gained from earth science, environmental science and conservation biology.
The second approach is management of human consumption of resources, which is based largely
on information gained from economics. Sustainability is a global movement that is changing
the way we understand value.
A sustainability strategy focuses an organisation’s response to environmental, social and
governance trends to enhance competitiveness in the short, medium and longer term.
The sustainability movement is re-shaping the competitive playing field in response to a broad
range of social and environmental trends including climatic variability, resource constraints,
commodity price volatility, social activism, product and process innovations, unexpected
partnerships, new financial reporting requirements and regulatory policies.
Sustainable development (SD) refers to a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.
The most often-quoted definition of sustainable development: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges faced by humanity.
Sustainable development reflects a process that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Often called intergenerational equality, the idea is that we should share natural resources not just with people who are alive on the planet today but also with future generations of the Earth’s inhabitants. While we can use a certain amount of the planet’s resources, we should never entirely deplete a natural resource.
Sustainable development requires people to rely as much as possible on renewable resources (the kind that can be replenished) by getting power from the sun rather than power from fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas, which take millions of years to form.
Besides the careful stewardship of natural resources, sustainable development promotes the eradication of poverty and extreme income and wealth inequalities, the goal of full employment, the provision of access to quality and affordable basic services to all South Africans, and the fostering of a stable, safe, and just society.
Corporate Social Review showcases the extensive variety and innovative Enterprise Development schemes undertaken by South African businesses, as well as thought-provoking editorial pieces from business leaders.
The publication covers a range of industries and reaches a wide audience of business owners across South Africa, featuring topics such as ED trends and statistics, industry norms and standards, case studies, Enterprise Development success
What is Enterprise Development?
Enterprise development (ED) incorporates many facets from the creation of new enterprises to the redevelopment or funding of existing enterprises with the intention of accelerating such an organisation to achieve its goals and objectives in the pursuit of sustainability. Enterprise development relies on ideas that create sustainable enterprise initiatives that respond to fulfilling a need in either the consumer or corporate market.
Enterprise Development can also be of benefit to the company (contributor) depending on the approach.
Benefits to the contributor include: B-BBEE Score Card Contributions towards ED are recognised for point towards your B-BBEE scorecard. Enterprise Development (ED) is one of the 7 elements contained within the BEE scorecard. It counts 15 points towards the scorecard and has a strong link with procurement. If you utilise an Enterprise Development Beneficiary within your supply chain you get to recognise 20% more BEE spend in procurement.
A conscious responsibility towards fellow citizens. Through enterprise development companies can help create a sustainable business for fellow South Africans by giving them the necessary tools, knowledge and finance to do so. Through this, one can reduce the dependence on Government and businesses for grants and subsidies. When EDF Funds are applied responsibly the impact will be felt on a national level and the economy will experience growth through an increase in the number of self-sustained individuals.
Return on Investment Companies can earn a return on investment through the strategic application of Enterprise Development Funds (EDF) which would result in growth in turnover and profits. This allows the contributor to not only recover the funds spent, but exceed the minimum contribution value in many cases.
Capacity Building is a conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.
More information coming soon…
ESG – Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
ESG (environmental, social and governance) is a generic term used in capital markets and used by investors to evaluate corporate behaviour and to determine the future financial performance of companies.
It describes the three main areas of concern that have developed as the central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company or business.
ESG factors are a subset of non-financial performance indicators that includes sustainable, ethical and corporate governance issues such as managing the company’s carbon footprint and ensuring there are systems in place to ensure accountability.
A company’s ESG activities have the potential to positively impact its financial performance over the long term.