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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Here is what some members say about it:

- First it is important to understand the objectives of your CSR efforts.  Once objectives have been established you should then determine what your primary KPIs are for measuring key milestones.  A strategic plan should then be designed to determine how best to acheive those milestones and ultimately satisfy objectives.

We typically find that the objectives many establish for CSR requires some sort of collective action, whether it be at the organization level or from a shift in social behavior of certain groups or segments of people.  In order to measure a group of people, they must be measured as a collective.  We developed a set of KPIs around maximizing social capital in order to measure the effects of our programs.

Social capital is the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.  We have found that social capital provides the universal standard for measuring human impact anywhere there is a need to understand the dynamics of social behavior.  Once you determine your social capital value, you can then quantify your return on investments made towards specific tactics designed to increase your social capital value.                   

- Depends on who are your stakeholders.  To business folks, convert that into money.  To most of the people, it is more lean on sentiment part, how much you will measure for a thing that you really pround of (or being pround of being involved)?

- During planning list the possible outcome, quantify it...u can measure Return from CSR. Its as simple as A B C  

- We should't to do the mistake of forgetting  that C in CSR stands for Corporate. In the long term the measure of return on CSR should not be too far form those of any other Corporate investment.     

- measurable KPIs and annual targets that can beaudited quarterly and this will depend on which data you will be collectingi.e. environmental data ( energy consumption kwh , water , CO2e,...) , staff training ( hours per head) or community invetsment ( USD per year)                   

- The cost of 'licence to operate' type spending should be inversely proportional to the investment in 'Sustainable development'  over the years. This investment in Sustainable Development can be converted into 'Goodwill' in Balance sheet.               

- I understand that to measure return first is necessary to establish what the company is willing to reach with its csr policy. One thing is to measure the impact of the program (i.e.primary education provided to x children), another thing is the measurement of result (which skills the very same children have developed, what they hav learned and so on and so forth). It is not trivial to distinguish these two dimensions within the scope of many csr programs, but it is key to do so if one wants to establish effective mechanisms of measurement.         

- I believe that the search for direct measurements for CSR's corporate contribution is bit like a search for the Holy Grail. It is the same challenge that other functions in the corporation experience. How do you measure effective security or effective regulatory compliance? There are some base line steps that can be taken to reasonably assure that the organization is protected, but they are in many cases difficult to present in hard numbers. If we look at some of the typical key CSR objectives, like recruiting, environmental concerns and brand recognition, in each case there are many factors that contribute to the success of the corporation. So how do we single out CSR? Personally, I do not think that we can. Having said that, we may be able to piggy back on other parts of the organization and participate in their surveys and data collection. In HR we may want to know, “what impact on you decision to join XYZ was based upon our focus on CSR?” For the environment, it should include data that is being generated by manufacturing, facilities, transportation, etc. that indicated efficient use of energy. Lastly, many companies survey their customer base to determine customer satisfaction; a question may be “in doing business with XYZ, on a scale of 1-5, how important is our approach to CSR in that decision?”            

- To some extent, social responsibilty becomes an organizational philosophy.  Although, when you take a socially responsible approach to more quantifiable business applications, such as marketing, human resources, product development, customer service, and relationship management, you can begin to measure the effects of being a more socially responsible organization. 

I believe that the approach should be to establish an integrated CSR process throughout the organization that each business unit supports and develops strategies accordingly.  Each business unit will have its own set of KPIs to measure impact, which can ladder up to social capital value, which can be  a quantifiable metric to measure the return on investment into social responsibility and sustainability initiatives. 

Regardless, of whether or not it is just the right thing to do, companies will always require the need to evaluate returns on investments.  The more we can help companies evaluate the return from investements into CSR and sustainability, the more we will see greater investements made.   I am a believer that both objectives can be satisfied.                

 

What are your thoughts?                                           

Views: 467

Comment by Caroline Ganun on January 3, 2013 at 10:53am

CSR is something that requires a threshold size before it becomes something that companies are willing to consider, at which point the actual monetary ROI becomes less important.                   

Comment by Henry Klen on January 3, 2013 at 11:45am

Searching for direct measurements for CSR is not easy and many times fails. I agree... How do you measure effective security? You can't seperate it from the other corporate mesaurements. It should be measured as a holistic measurement.

 

Comment by Brad Ewing on January 3, 2013 at 1:14pm

It is a very complicated to measure it accurately. KPI KPI KPI. CSR can be a daunting task. They are now couple technology platforms which can help with it too, input costs, measures community health, influence, volunteer hours and others and combines it with an ROI. Still, I am still looking for a more effective way.

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