The Future of CSR - VCOSS Congress
24 August 2006 at 1:08 pm
Corporate Social responsibility is here to stay according to Melbourne Cares CEO Simon Robinson at the annual VCOSS Congress in Melbourne which was celebrating 60 years of community service.
Robinson told the Congress that the fact that the recent Parliamentary Joint Committee (PLC) Report on ‘Corporate responsibility: Managing risk and creating value’, did not enforce regulatory reporting, does not lesson the importance of CSR behaviour in Australia, it probably saved it from potentially forcing a ‘tick the box’ culture of compliance.
He said the PJC Report made a number of recommendations so as to progress the future of CSR in Australia including ‘…seed funding to support the set up of an Australian Corporate Responsibility Network’ – based of the very model Melbourne Cares is working to, Business in the Community UK.
As a result, Robinson said that there are clearly fascinating and exciting times ahead, especially for Melbourne Cares as the PJC Report validated it’s strategic purpose – encouraging and helping Melbourne’s business community to build employee volunteering and other forms of community investment into their businesses.
He pointed to the recent release of the MCF’s MacroMelbourne Initiative that predicted that Melbourne with a million extra people in the next 25 years will struggle with unaffordable housing, inaccessible services, health inequalities and an ageing population.
He said this will have critical importance to business in Melbourne which will need to give such issues consideration in their strategic planning. The report indicated that business, government and communities will need to collaboratively address these issues to identify ‘micro’ solutions.
Robinson said to bring ‘new hammers to crack old nuts’ it is vital that business understands that the issues raised in the MacroMelbourne report will impact on business and are not something for only government and community to consider.
He said Melbourne Cares marks a turning point in the history of business and community links and is the first example of business coming together with government to ‘take action together’ to deliver a positive impact within disadvantaged communities.
He told the audience that the positive impacts for the communities involved in Melbourne Cares programs will be able to be assessed and reported on by utilizing a unique Impact Evaluation Framework being developed specifically for Melbourne Cares by Ernst & Young and Social Compass.
It is intended the framework will provide a means of measuring the tangible and intangible impacts of Melbourne Cares programs, thereby illustrating the positive outcomes of the programs.