Leading companies once saw corporate social responsibility as optional. Today, it has become an essential element of reputation, image and brand.
News circles the globe in minutes, public scrutiny of corporate activity has never been more intense, and the burdens of regulation grow heavier. Polls keep showing that consumers and the media want to know how products are made, and at what social and environmental cost. To thrive in this new environment, leading organisations are redefining their responsibilities as corporate citizens.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a strategic business discipline that aims to align the values of employees, consumers, shareholders and other stakeholders – and harness those values to drive results and build a lasting reputation. The range of CSR interventions has broadened to include stakeholder dialogues, external monitoring and verification, “triple bottom-line” reporting and accounting, certification and labelling, and public-private partnerships.
Although the spread of corporate responsibility is a global phenomenon, it is particularly entrenched in Europe. Global companies operating in Europe are increasingly implementing integrated and publicly communicated CSR strategies as the political and media spotlight in Europe continues to focus on the social and environmental impacts of corporate practices.
At Weber Shandwick, we do not just advise on CSR – we do it. Our CSR experts have spent years on the front lines managing corporate responsibility programmes in business-NGO partnerships. Our approach to CSR is built upon the premise that responsible business practice not only delivers real social and environmental benefits, but can harness real long-term business value.