Adopting sustainable policies will greatly improve the bottom line

As well as rounding up the highlights of a stimulating and thought-provoking day, we also drill down into various aspects of the CSR debate from a geographic and practical point of view.

CSR was top of mind at PRWeek’s Good Business, Better Business conference in New York City and this month’s issue also focuses on the topic.

As well as rounding up the highlights of a stimulating and thought-provoking day, we also drill down into various aspects of the CSR debate from a geographic and practical point of view.

In India, the government has enshrined CSR into the policies of home-based companies and multinationals alike. Since the law came into force in April, large corporations are compelled to allocate at least 2% of net profit to address social and environmental problems.

India’s is a bold initiative, but our conference demonstrated that adopting such policies makes sustainable business sense anyway. Forget coercion, the bottom line will benefit from a progressive attitude to putting back.

It’s an attitude taking root at corporations that previously faced vilification on the issues front, such as Nestlé, where this month’s Newsmaker, SVP, corporate communications director Rudolf Ramsauer, is leading a charge toward increased openness and debate in pursuit of shared value.

It has led the company into dialogue with former foes such as environmental campaigning group Greenpeace, which acts as a check and balance on corporations and plays a part in keeping them honest.

I can think of people who will be horrified PRWeek is giving space to Greenpeace, but executives such as Ramsauer, Cargill’s Mike Fernandez, and others understand that forming narratives based on dialogue and mutual understanding are much better policies in the long run – it’s what good business is all about.

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