One of my occasional anxieties lies in the fact that CSR has been such a success story that plugging it organically into the core strategy of major enterprises will actually get more difficult and not easier. The current evidence of deep disconnects between “CSR/sustainability” functions and marketing, brand, other departments drive this home.
Seems to me that logic is on the side of strategic alignment, and competitive advantage. That is, CSR properly tackled aids the mainstream and is not tacked on to aid corporate image (though aiding image over the long term is part of the package). Which is not to say that in every product or market this will be at all evident. It’s a gamble on the long term.
But not an unreasonable one. Social, transparency, growing brand subtleties, there are many factors driving things this way (Michael Porter may have over-stated things in his bombshell essay, but the right things).
Some good data and discussion below:
Your Sustainability Message: Not Enough Charisma To Light Up The Room?.