CSR Needs Higher Corporate Profile
13 February 2013 at 12:34 pm
Corporate Social Responsibility practitioners should be paid the same and given the same prominence with the company as those who are “bringing in the money” by working in financial governance, a CSR forum in Melbourne has been told.
The Dean of the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Surrey Prof David Allen told the forum of around 150 delegates that Corporate Social Responsibility governance and risk should be treated in the same way as financial governance and risk within a corporation and should be given the same budgets.
“I think this is a big idea if you want to get this right,” Allen told Pro Bono Australia. “You have to treat (CSR) as important as everything else.
“CSR is not less important than making money.”
“It will make doing business in some places a bit uncomfortable. I’m sorry about that,” he said.
The ACCSR 6th Annual Conference The State of CSR in Australia in Melbourne launched the latest State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand Annual Review 2012/2013 report. The event had a focus on the role of responsible leadership in the CSR sector.
On the topic of Responsible Leadership, Allen said that corporations need to work with government to encourage positive social outcomes.
“We can’t meet our goal without balance between business, government and civil society,” he said. “We must help government lead.”
Allen said that for a business to be successful and to move ahead in the current financial environment they must live by the corporate values of integrity and diversity and to make profit by obeying the law.
“Making money, given the corruption in the world, is no mean feat,” he said.
“CSR in a demographic society means those who do well have a responsibility to those who do less-well.
“Responsible leadership is like all truly wonderful things – pretty unusual.”
Allen concluded by advising the forum that they should seek independent advice from a mentor outside of their firm as everyone can be vulnerable to making bad decisions without the right structure in place.
“You have your own identity separate from the firm – you need to start making good decisions yourself.