Four Principles To Create A More Credible CSR Report
Over several years now I have been analysing the external communication like websites and reports by some of the top 50 Global Fortune 500 companies regarding their CSR and sustainability efforts. Comparing their communication with the business reality often revealed a huge gap between the public image the company aimed to create by its external communication and the actual business conduct.
When I take a look at a CSR or sustainability report today it rather reminds me of a public relations brochure with well-written articles and slick pictures. After all, CSR and sustainability departments are usually associated with the corporate communications or public affairs department. Accordingly, that reports today appear to be rather brochures than sources of reliable and useful information should not be too surprising. Reports that can be exposed as PR campaigns certainly do neither positively contribute to a company’s authentic public image nor to its reputation.
If a company has a genuine interest in enhancing its reputation and creating an authentic public image by external communication, considering the following principles may be helpful.
Alicia has just finished her doctoral studies in applied philosophy on responsible business supervised by Professor Thomas Pogge, Yale University, USA. Amongst other topics her thesis includes case studies on global corporations focused on a comparison of external communication and actual business conduct. Her current research is concentrating on responsible business in the banking sector.