CSR and Sustainability are two different concepts!
We can notice the differences between sustainability and corporate social responsibility starting with the words or the letters of CSR:
- Corporate, specifies that CSR is an action made by the a company
- Social, indicates the social footprint of the company
- Responsibility, marks the approach that a company has towards the society
On the other side, Sustainability is a holistic concept that encompasses the full range of environmental, social and economic issues addressed by our work. Sustainability represents much more than the social impact and includes also the environmental aspect and the core purpose of company business.
Often, communication on Corporate Social Responsibility tells what the company has done so far to better impact on the society. CSR looks backward by reporting what has been done in the last 12 months. Instead, Sustainability looks forward by planning the business assets that a company carries out in order to better impact on the world in the future: reducing waste, assuring supply chances, developing new markets, buildings its brands.
In addition, Corporate Social Responsibility targets opinion makers: politicians, lobbyist, media. Sustainability development targets the whole value chain from suppliers to users. From the business side corporate social responsibility is becoming about compliance while sustainability development is about the new way of doing business. From the manager prospective CSR gets managed by communication teams while with the point of view of the sustainability development its managed by operations and marketing. The CSR activity is rewarded by politicians while sustainability is rewarded by the market. Corporate social responsibility is driven by the need to protect reputations in developed market. Sustainability is driven by the need to create opportunities in emerging markets.
And you, can you think of a good example of CSR and an good one of Sustainability? Write it in the comments.
For more information about CSR + in Europe, read the EU CSR + Report or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.