Our recent feature on how a new approach to ethical business and CSR can help the bottom line generated interesting debate. Read the feature at www.mwlinks.co.uk/TheNewCSR and comments below:
Good article, but most CSR professionals I know (myself included) have been saying this for years and we’ve been banging our heads against the wall. It’s not that the CSR model is wrong, it’s that our shareholder-driven employers have had us fluffing up the community and charity side for PR purposes while ignoring our advice about the really important stuff just because it wasn’t ’fashionable’ to pay it any attention. Now everyone’s doing the charity stuff, some brands are after new ways of leveraging some competitive advantage. And guess what? They’re doing so by saying that CSR is outmoded and that what they’re doing is different and better. Frankly, it’s about time that shareholders and company boards learned the difference between PR and CSR.
Faced with pressure to ’clean up and green up’ many brands have found ways to make better products in a better way and for less. Ethics has been a great catalyst of change, but like any new thinking it can take a generation to reach the top of the corporate ladder. At least it’s finally got there.
It’s good to see big companies looking to do good. But as long as accountants and shareholders run big corporations, CSR will always remain a token PR action. Because if you care about money it’s hard to really care about people or the planet. How many companies that claim green credentials are really green? The bigger the company, often, the bigger the lie.
It isn’t necessarily about changing the old model but implementing the same model better and through people who understand it in more depth.