Do Corporate Responsibility “Best Practices” Really Exist?

In short, no. 
 
Although there are a growing number of examples of “successful practices”. More often than not, companies are still sorting out what CR really means for them. While companies have an important role to play in tackling some of our most pressing challenges, each company’s CR strategy has to make sense for their industry, their business model, and the identity of their individual organization. So rarely does CR look the same at different companies. Moreover, this remains a nascent field, making it a little early declare any practice “best”.

Each year Corporate Responsibility Magazine, the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA), and NYSE Euronext conduct a survey on Corporate Responsibility Best Practices.   This year’s results bear witness to corporations’ continued investment in corporate responsibility, even in the worst economic times: 

  • More respondents are committed to CR than last year
  • More CEOs and boards support CR than last year
  • A growing number of large and small companies continue to implement CR programs
The study also finds some holes that need filling:
  • Medium-sized companies seem stalled in their ability to take on CR programs and implement them effectively
  • A gap persists between companies’ desire and implementation abilities
Over the next few weeks we’d like your help to start discussions on several of the study’s key findings and the implications for your organization:
If there’s a will is there always a way? Survey respondents have high hopes for their sustainability programs, hopes that often outpace their resources. Can CR programs and the CR field as a whole live up to all these expectations?
 
Rising commitment? A lot of people said tough economic times would kill CR. What do the data tell us about how companies are investing in their CR programs?
 
C-Suite support? Real change takes support from the top. How are boards and CEOs leading the CR charge?
     
The hole in the middle? Big companies invest in CR. Small companies invest in CR. Mid-sized firms, not so much. What’s holding them back?
 
Please share your thoughts and questions and we’ll do our best to respond in the upcoming posts.
Agree with us? Disagree with us? Join us at the annual COMMIT!Forum October 2nd & 3rd in New York City to take on these issues and more! Register before April 15th and save 50% off by entering ID Code PSTWD50.
Posted February 21, 2012 in CR Blog