The push for companies to include corporate social responsibility in their business strategy does not come only from consumers — it comes from investors as well.
This became even more apparent last week as The New York Times reported that Laurence D. Fink, CEO of multinational investment management corporation BlackRock, sent letters to some of the world’s largest public companies demanding they contribute to society or lose investment support.
In a draft of the letter, Fink writes, “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”
The business aspect of a company’s corporate social responsibility is something that my team at CSR Training Institute and I have been explaining to our clients for a number of years. But when the CEO of the largest money-management firm in the world informs companies that they need to do more, we are hopeful it will have a large impact and, ultimately, a trickle-down effect on small-to-medium sized companies as well.
After reading commentary that suggests BlackRock has caught the ‘do-gooderism’ bug, it is important to note that this move from Fink is all about smart business strategy. The reality is businesses are under increasing expectation from markets, consumers, investors, employees, regulators, and governments.
There is an expectation that businesses engage with and contribute to society and be an effective environmental steward at the same time as they are making profit and creating shareholder value.
It is also clear that Fink is not interested in seeing ‘social wash’ or all talk and no action from these companies. It will take considerable time, planning and economic investment to ensure these actions are not written off as marketing gimmicks, which are often ridiculed by consumers and do more harm than good.
That is where we come in at CSR Training Institute. We recognize the pressures companies are under, and we work to develop innovative ways that they can serve both shareholders and society at the same time, aligning shareholder value with social impact and environmental responsibility
We recognize that it can seem overwhelming. Increasing demands for improved business performance and now you have to create social good too. We help you cut through the confusion to align business, social and environmental performance.
If you would like to speak to me about how a value-centric strategic approach to CSR can help your business or organization leverage social capital to deliver more value, send me an email at email@example.com.
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