We hear a lot about sustainability and corporate social responsibility nowadays, but how much do we actually know about these topics? In this Expert Insight Interview, Ioannis Ioannou discusses sustainability and corporate social responsibility in more detail. Ioannis Ioannou is a professor, advisor, influencer, and global keynote speaker on sustainability leadership and corporate social responsibility.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
Corporate social responsibility
Sustainability means integrating environmental and social issues at the core of the company’s business model and strategy. It is an excellent growth opportunity for new and small startups to solve these issues while scaling up efficiently.
For existing companies, transitioning to sustainability is not an easy process because companies lack the knowledge, skills, and experience to deal with social and environmental challenges. Different companies have different responses to sustainability. There are three main response stages. The first stage is taking measures such as eco-efficiency, water, and waste management, etc. In the second stage, companies integrate sustainability into their product, service, and business strategy. And in the third stage, companies would take this initiative to the global level, including their whole supply chain. Let’s take the automotive industry as an example. Firstly, companies were focusing on reducing carbon emission and fossil fuel engines. Then, they started making hybrid and electric cars. And lastly, there are discussions about sustainable cities in terms of mobility in the future.
Since large companies have a global supply chain, they can contribute to the transformation at scale in human rights issues, health and safety standards, etc. However, for many large companies, part of their supply chain is in countries with weak government enforcement that don’t support sustainability issues. The local level, on the other hand, is easier to influence. It is easier to establish and nurture relationships that become valuable intangible assets in the long run.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility seems superficial nowadays because many companies took advantage of it by exaggerating in their public declarations. Thus, as a society, we need to hold them accountable for their public statements and actions. There are mechanisms to fight greenwashing in the US, provide disclosure regulations in the EU, and reporting standards. Also, there is a lot of investment in AI and big data technologies to collect information. Thus, creating a nice story for the audience will not be enough for the companies to prove their corporate social responsibility.
It is a relatively new and not a fully understood field. However, the information, trends, and introduction of general principles allow for more future research. People also show support globally. Their engagement in trying to understand and address the world’s biggest challenges is encouraging and inspiring.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.