ABOUT CSR – CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
Climate change, working conditions, biodiversity, the ageing populations: just some of the terms you could associate with CSR (in Dutch: MVO/Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen). Whatever you as a person understand by CSR, it’s a fact that in the end it’s about businesses being responsible for society. It is about making a company’s business futureproof by making climate neutrality, circularity, inclusivity and fair trade chains an integral part of its activities and processes.
MVO Nederland is convinced that doing business in a CSR-friendly way is not only good for society but ultimately good for the business itself as well. This is because although few businesses are aware of this beforehand, doing business from a CSR standpoint is entirely compatible with achieving a good financial return, especially in the longer term. Just think of the increased demand for sustainable products and services or about the fact that companies who are committed to CSR have better-motivated employees and thus enjoy labour productivity gains too.
MAKING YOUR BUSINESS FUTURE-PROOF
In some cases, large-scale buyers such as the government or other companies are setting CSR-related requirements. And don’t forget the social pressure exerted by the (social and other) media, consumers and trade unions! MVO Nederland is pleased to see that more and more companies are basing their business practices on what is good for society. These businesses include Triodos Bank and Kromkommer. They use the unique position they are in to not only improve the world but also to give themselves a competitive edge over their rivals.
IMPLEMENTING CSR IN PRACTICE
CSR is not a project; it means taking an integrated approach to a company’s core activities. In the end, you will get the best returns from your processes – from procurement, production and sales to maintenance, HR and marketing communication – if you make CSR an integral part of all of them. CSR guidelines can help, but the most important thing is to continually gear your business decisions to society’s needs.