UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) defines CSR as:

“Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.

CSR is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives (“Triple-Bottom-Line- Approach”), while at the same time addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders.

In this sense it is important to draw a distinction between CSR, which can be a strategic business management concept, and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy. Even though the latter can also make a valuable contribution to poverty reduction, will directly enhance the reputation of a company and strengthen its brand, the concept of CSR clearly goes beyond that.”

First and foremost then, it’s a management concept – the way you run (manage) your business! When I arrive at companies and explain that what’s required is a management system, that has equal attention for consequences for people, impact on the environment and making money – the response is often, “Dana, I don’t have time for that”. My question then is “do you have time to run your company?”. Invariably, the reply is “of course, it’s what I do every day” and that’s exactly the point – responsible business is “what you do every day”. In other words, how you run your company day after day!

In last month’s blog we noticed interrelations, interconnections and interdependencies that lie behind something as “simple” as product quality. Managing your company is no different – every day you take decisions and make choices in how you organize and plan, oversee and monitor the variety of people, activities and processes, that make up your business. From personnel to production to marketing and sales – all of the (subtle) interactions which, together, enable you to achieve your objectives.

And at the heart of those objectives lies responsible business practice – have you considered that?