Leadership is faced with a greener Corporate Social Responsibility
Long time ago I wrote some sustainability articles explaining that any business project needs to include all three compulsory aspects to grant impact and guarantee its future success: economic, social and environmental. The interrelation of profit, people and planet signifies different and unique aspects that provides a messages to all stakeholders involved.
The common sustainability Venn diagram clearly shows its significance:
In the long run all three aspects are of equal importance although some leaders may still focus on the economic facet above all in order to justify short-term revenues to the board, his financiers or his own pocket with deep-rooted arguments like “I’m paid to make profits” or “the value of the company relies on its market share” and so on. However, how long can a company survive nowadays without providing a clear social advantage to its employees and consumers without suffering from a high staff rotation and or a constant market switch to unknown latitudes?
I’m happy to hear that the “green” side of the equation is finally gaining importance in the minds of CEOs as we can read from Enrique Dans article “Corporate Social Responsibility Is Turning Green, And That’s A Good Thing” now that the public has realised that climate change is not just a relative problem for future generations but a global emergency and that clear actions are needed now. And you, how deep is your commitment with this new CSR vision? How far is your business project involved with the carbon footprint you or your business partners produce, taking real actions above simple carbon credits transactions, if any? How much are you communicating your green policy among your stakeholders? Have you realised the emotional impact it generates to millennial consumers and the opportunity it provides with this growing market? Whether it embraces your personal or company values or you see it as a mere opportunity do it and do it now!
To realise the magnitude of the negative impact humans are creating on earth, the BBC Earth from space program whose documentary “This is what modern deforestation looks like” clearly states: “The earth is 4.6 billion years old. Let’s scale that to 46 years. We have been here for 4 hours. Our industrial revolution began 1 minute ago. In that time, we have destroyed 50% of the world’s forest. This isn’t sustainable”.
Some visionary leaders are already including it in their steering committee’s agenda as a high priority as with security issues, right before tackling other very important aspects like the market development or the financial situation, since it belongs to the company’s core strategy.
They have certainly understood that the environment holds the society, which in its turn holds the economy and not the other way around. They also know that the market is aware of it.
The fact is that environmental CSR that was considered just a competitive advantage some 10 years ago has already become a requirement for any known brand. It effectively represents a turning point for traditional pollutant industries as you can discern from this article shell-boss-welcomes-mobilisation-of-society-as-oil-protests-intensify, the biggest challenge CEOs have to face today with.