How CSR Supports Financial Bottom Line: New Program to Measure Business ROI

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – A broad consensus has emerged over the years that companies should invest in corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives. But how much should be such investment, and whether it will detract from or boost the bottom line, continue to be hotly debated issues. What is clearly established is that it is not enough to do CR, but one must do it well in order to achieve measurable benefits.

ACCP and IO Sustainability are launching a landmark initiative to help companies identify how corporate social responsibility (CSR) supports both the financial bottom line and social objectives. The Business ROI of Social Investments: A Pilot Program will engage 15 or more companies to develop tools that enable managers to structure social investments to deliver measurable benefits for the business and society.

The program will enable companies to determine which investments will deliver strategic value, and to measure results. Participating companies will work through a process to evaluate current performance and to develop a business case for their CSR programs.

According to Project ROI – Defining the Financial and Competitive Value of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, social investment can make key contributions to a company’s financial and competitive success. Yet a perception among many corporate executives is that their company’s social investments do not support business objectives.

The launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will increase the demand on companies to do more, while conversely, increasing global competition will pressure companies to do less. Mark Shamley, President and CEO of ACCP said that to ensure the sustainability of social investments, CSR leaders must adopt an approach that addresses societal issues while supporting and driving business results.

ACCP and IO Sustainability will guide the pilot program members through a structured method to identify strengths, gaps, and opportunities within their programs. The structure of the pilot will also allow participants to benchmark their programs against peers and leaders in the field. ACCP and IO Sustainability will provide guidance and the infrastructure needed to support peer learning throughout the program.

Steve Rochlin, Co-CEO of IO Sustainability and lead author of Project ROI said that when participants complete the program, they will have built a business case for their programs that demonstrates the value of the work to the company and society. They will also have access to the diagnostic tool, metrics, and a strategy and management framework.

Source: CSR Wire

Image Credit: ACCP