CSR: more collaboration is needed!

Last week my blog was about the progress that has been made on corporate sustainability and the question: “who should take the lead to make more progress in the future?” A poll was included in the blog to investigate among the readers who they think should be in the lead to make more progress on corporate sustainability or corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The results of the poll after a week are presented in figure 1. There were 77 votes and a clear statement (60% of the votes) that business practitioners and scientist should both take the lead to make more progress.

Poll picture
Figure 1: Results of the poll (14-9-2014)

What do the results of the poll mean? First of all I would like to thank the readers that voted on the poll. Further it is clear that there is probably not one stakeholder that is responsible for the progress of corporate sustainability or CSR. In the literature it is not clear if corporate sustainability is a practitioner-driven phenomenom or a sientist-driven phenomenon? In my opinion both views are relevant. Corporations make their own decisions on their business proposition to clients and how to balance the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit. On the other hand it is in the public domain to assess if the resources that are used and the waste that is produced (in the short and the long term) are acceptable. In this respect I think that more collaboration is needed between business practitioners and scientists to make more progress on corporate sustainability. This collaboration shoud focus on more clarity on the definition(s) of corporate sustainablilty. Nowadays there is not a clear definition of corporate sustainability as it is a complex phenomenon. The reason for this complexity lies in the fact that not all long term effects can be quantified and not all social and environmental aspects can be quantified or compared in a mathematic way.

Conclusion
Corporate sustainablity or corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a complex phenomenon. To make more progress on coporate sustainability it is important that more collaboration is needed between business and science. Please let me know what you think.

Norbert Bol

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