A strong CSR profile could be worth a lot of money…
A very common discussion topic is whether or not CSR and sustainbility initiatives actually creates value for companies, and in the end of day for shareholders. I have participated in several such discussions and sometimes tried to present arguments (often however pretty week to be honest…) claiming the correlation of good CSR performance and better business performance. But I have also, perhaps not being very consistent, sometimes claimed that perhaps implementation of strong CSR programs do not have to be justified perfectly with better earnings since it is “the right thing to do”. Our colleagues want us to have strong programs, our stakeholders have the same wish. Hence, it feels to be the right choice. Nevertheless, to find reliable financial data supporting the opinion that implementation of CSR and sustainability initiatives creates value (including money) would of course make every CSR manager (and the shareholders of responsible companies) happy!
It is therefore with great appreciation I read Love Lönnroth’s article in Miljöaktuellt online today: “Företag kan tjäna miljarder på starkt social profil” (in English roughly: Companies could make billions on strong social profiles). The article is unfortunately in Swedish which make it difficult for some of you to read it. However, the article builds upon reserach and data presented by Dylan B Minor in his article “The Value of Corporate Citizenship: Saving Shareholders” so you could of course go directly to the source.
It is a very interesting read, and it makes me more convinced in my opinion that CSR initiatives “is the right thing to do”. And bear in mind, these data actually only talks about the money “being saved” by companies with strong CSR profiles in the case of a crises. We may also agree that strong CSR profiles could actually create value by increase earnings, due to e.g. colleague engagement, stronger brands, and green type of incentives on the market. Longing for such data, scientifically robust and sound, to be presented as well!