CSR is everyone’s task
In my previous post I was suggesting a poll: I asked you for your opinion about CSR being handled from a separate, independent department. The poll is now closed and we have the final results. Please note that these are not representative enough to draw correct conclusions. However it does enable us to feel the pulse of the CSR community regarding this issue.
By the way, thank your for your votes and your comments, they are much appreciated!
The results are as follows:
- 57% of voters think that CSR is a task where all departments should be involved
- 20% think that there should be a separate, independent CSR department
- Nearly 7% consider that CSR should be an exclusive task of the company board
- According to 4% of the voters, CSR could be externalised
- And only 2% think that CSR should depend from the marketing department
The results can be interpreted in different ways. However, according to your comments, the opinions you gave me on twitter, and the alternative options some you stated in the poll (by the way, these alternative options account to almost 10% of the votes), here are my interpretations:
- CSR can only be successful if it’s adopted/owned by everyone in the company. CSR is a cross-departmental matter.
- In some cases, it would be better to have a separate CSR department that leads the project and keeps it up-to-date. In this case, this department needs to work closely with the rest of the company.
- CSR will fail without the support from the board. Even if it does not depend directly from management, CSR should be an initiative from management.
- Almost everyone agrees that someone should lead the project, be it somebody from the board, an external consulting company or an internal CSR expert.
- If the company is too small or inexperienced in the CSR field it is justified to seek external help, for example from a consulting company who could facilitate the whole process.
It is clear that CSR is not a one-person job. It needs support from the board, a leader, participation from all departments and a great deal of internal and external communication. We need a CSR strategy, rather than a CSR department.
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