‘Doing well by doing good’ can result in not just profitability, but also shareholder value. In fact, according to Paul Herman (founder & CEO of HIP Investor), companies can experience lower profitability and higher valuation because investors see CSR as a path to future earnings. That’s just one takeaway from the CR Commit! Forum , which I attended earlier this week in New York.
The two-day event showcased a variety of case studies and best practices in CSR and inspired lively conversation, including an Oxford style debate on whether or not CSR destroys economic value. The debate included none other than University of Michigan professor Dr. Aneel Karnani, who sparked much reaction in the media and blogosphere with his comments in the Wall Street Journal.
Here are a few more nuggets:
CSR can be as simple or as hard as you make it. – Bart Alexander, CRO, Molson Coors
Make your CSR efforts organic and true to your brand – Felicia Hill, Manager of Brand Experiences, Virgin Mobile
The ‘shared value’ approach to CSR (profits & social good) tells us the why, but not the how. – Martin Reeves, Senior Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group
Activists and investors now have equal influence on corporate strategy – Oliver Phillips, Partner & CSR Lead, Brunswick Group
Evaluate the ROI of your CSR program, not the individual projects under that umbrella. – Curtis Ravanel, Global Head Sustainability Group, Bloomberg
CSR is moving beyond compliance and risk management to a full strategic element. It’s no longer just a cost center, but also drives ROI and should be factored into decisions and processes at all levels (R&D, marketing, distribution etc…) – John Cusack, President, Gifford Park Associates
Employee engagement means seeing your work as your cause. – Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility, AMD