CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – had become a word that is more and more known by people. Looking for relevant information on CSR to share with you, I found an interesting blog managed by Elaine Cohen. She wrote a post listing her top-10 2013 CSR reporting.
In this post, she also mentions her three key criteria for a good CSR report. I must say that I agree with her:
Authenticity: Look for whether the company has reported in an honest way, using stakeholder voices to supplement performance data. Authenticity should include balance, accuracy and completeness. Look for targets and progress against stated targets.
Materiality: Look for whether the company has clearly defined the most important issues for the company and its stakeholders and described the way in which those issues have been identified and prioritized. Reporting materiality should also include a certain amount of contextual information which can assist us in understanding the issues and why they are material.
Impacts: Look for whether the company identified impacts rather than just presenting a shopping list of activities. This means discussing the outcomes of what was achieved. The outcomes are the achievement, not the activities. This is by far the most difficult thing for companies to address and very few, if any, do it well.
To complement these findings may I also mention Rosella Ravagli – responsible of GUCCI CSR strategy – and her colleague who truthfully said that CSR good practices and corresponding reports are no more an option for businesses. They presented a pilot project to reinforce their traceability system for leather during the II BioTrade Congress on December 11-13, 2013 in Geneva.
From my experiences, the main challenges are to measure the impact of businesses’ CSR practices and ideally to link these measurements to financial data. This would ensure a better commitment of businesses to such practices.
Let’s work together in order to improve the global CSR practices, measurements and reporting. Let’s be involved in CSR, internationally and locally to promote sustainable development through collaborations.