Strategic CSR – Creating Shared Value

After successful organizations in Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, and Singapore, the 2011 Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibiltiy (AFCSR) returned to its roots in the Philippines to celebrate its 10th year of running the AFCSR with a new thrust for the next decade. Held last October 18 & 19, 2011 at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, this year’s theme is Strategic CSR – Creating Shared Value.

 This is supported by an overriding framework and five core topics.

1. ASSESSMENT and FORMULATION of the firm and its internal and external “environment” – culture, capabilities, industry structure, etc.
2. IMPLEMENTATION that focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of efforts to sustain company CSR projects.
3. MONITORING and EVALUATION
4. EMBEDDING and ENCOURAGING CSR
5. MOVING FORWARD

The new FRAMEWORK positions CSR within the companies’ value chain in relation to the roles and responsibilities of both internal and external shareholders and stakeholders with regard to company CSR projects and programs.

In one of the special tracks for Monitoring and Evaluation, ECCI Country Manager, Karthik Subburaman shared his thoughts on the importance of integrating ISOs for Environment, Risk Management and CSR.

CSR is going the way of TQM where standards are now being considered as CSR expands globally.  Consider only the ISO structure: the relatively recent ISO 26000 covers still voluntary guidelines on social responsibility. However, ISO 26000 overlaps and is related to other ISOs: 31000 on Risk Management, 50001 on Energy Management, 14000 on Environmental Management, as well as the long-standing ISO 9000 on Quality Management. As more companies around the world undertake CSR initiatives, it is useful to assess the relationship among the different ISOs and highlight commonalities and differences.

Karthik gave some key points on how to become a sustainable enterprise:

  • Understand the cases for CSR and address the SHEAR zones
  • Know your strategic options and make the best choice based on the needs
  • Comprehend the extent of applicability and tolerance in your business to sustainability issues before integrating it.

But most importantly, it is vital to remember that integrating existing business units for effective operations is a struggle in itself and looking for an immediate solution is no effective way to achieve sustainability.

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