When times get hard, there is an incentive for businesses to practice corporate social responsibility (CSR) more, and to do so in a better way. Companies have begun to realise how the good behaviours they adopt and embed for its reputation can actually have a positive impact on their bottomÂ line! So it’s important to stay ahead of the sustainability curve through social innovation initiatives, technologies and policies. One of the best ways to learn about best practices is to attend CSR-themed conferences, and in 2013, there will be many to choose from.
One to highlight takes placeÂ March 7- 8, in New York hosted byÂ the Ethical Sourcing ForumÂ (ESF), which will give industry experts both the tools and knowledge to break barriers, discover innovative new products and approaches, as well as business models designed for making sustainability work within their business. It’s a unique industry event that brings together members of the global sustainability community to address emerging supply chain challenges. This year’s line-up of speakers include Laura Rubbo,Â Director, Corporate Citizenship, International Labor Standards, The Walt Disney Company; Marcus Chung, Sourcing & Corporate Social Responsibility, The Children’s Place; and Pete Hillan,Â SVP and Corporate Practice Lead, Fleishman-Hillard
Over the last 13 yearsÂ ESFÂ has been one of the leading industry events for bringing business leaders clear information and timely social innovation approaches to integrating sustainability intoÂ corporate value chains. The realities of the corporate responsibility and the sustainable landscape are changing in business; now it is all about knowing “your supply chain,” reporting on due diligence risk factors, and increasing legislation.
More or less, everyone claims to be green or sustainable these days, whether it’s the greenest government ever, the greenest Olympics, or the greenest product manufacturer. There are lots ofÂ CSRÂ reports out there, and many awards and rankings. Yet in reality, not all we see today will be fully sustainable.
This is why events like ESF are important, as the real point is that it really does take more than a bit of eco-efficiency and volunteering to develop a truly sustainable business. The ways in which companies make their money has a huge impact on society and the planet. There are still plenty examples of corporate schizophrenia, where corporations have a misalignment between their CSR aspirations and business strategy. There can be no room for complacency, otherwise our businesses will fail, and so will our planet.
Photo Credit:Â ESF
Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.