LLORENTE & CUENCA 13 Jun 2017 // 1:42PM GMT
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept, and a way of self-regulation, more and more relevant for organizations these days. Sustainability is no longer linked solely to philanthropy, but has shifted and is slowly gaining a strategic positioning, being considered from a holistic point of view. This is happening to the extent that over one third of Global Fortune 500 companies report all activities related to CSR.
Organizations have become aware of the fact that just offering products to the market is no longer enough. Their products must now encompass a satisfactory consumer experience, which fulfills their demands for a socially responsible consumption.
With the introduction of the new European Directive 2014/95/EU, in October 2014, it became mandatory to report all non-financial and diversity related information, due to the fact that many stockholders and stakeholders had began to demand a socially responsible behavior from organizations. CSR has forgone its optional nature to become a constitutive element of the brands perception and reputation.
Surprisingly, according to Morrow Sodali’s Institutional investor survey of 2017, over 98 percent of investors considered it important or very important all information related to ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) in the investment or divestment decision process; issues that used to be linked only to good business practices, have leaked into the financial departments of companies.
It is in this regard that the financial sector has had to adapt. They have begun to include these preoccupations into their internal decision-making process, placing CSR between their main concerns. These initiatives are making them one of the sectors most active in this regard. Their efforts are still underway; however, they are starting many programs to encourage progress in communities and in favor of the environment.
It will no longer be enough for a company to report good financial results. They must now prove that besides to achieving objectives, they are doing so in a socially responsible way.
A paradigm shift is occurring, in addition to an important change in the actual concept of sustainability. CSR is no longer present in current speeches; it has given way to Responsible Business Conduct (RBC): a new movement, led by the OECD, involving governments, private organizations and society, searching to engage all aspects of life for a real commitment to sustainability in all areas.
In short, despite the fact that the concept of integral and integrating sustainability has always been latent, it is now when the necessary resources and means are being put in order to make sustainability and socially responsible behaviors a task for all, and in this way making it into a reality.
Summary of the article wrote by Jorge Lopez Zafra, Senior Director of the Financial Communications Area, Meritxell Perez, Director of the Financial Communications Area, Gina Rosell, Director of CSR and Corporate Foundations Area and Carolina Perez, Manager of the SCR and Corporate Foundations Area. Available at Developing Ideas.