31 Jan 2013

Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, etc … what’s the next step ?



The concepts of “sustainable development” and “corporate social responsibility” have become very popular topics over the last decade.

Almost everybody has heard and sometimes been exposed to these concepts, be it on their workplace or at home. These topics are used to being discussed through the media and conferences. The CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) are very instrumental in pushing the organisation of events and in coordinating the debates.

Looking beyond the ESG framework

But eventually, “Sustainable Development” and “Corporate Social Responsibility” have dramatically reduced the matter to a simple equation known as the ESG approach : Environment, Social and Governance (i.e. good principles of management and decision making processes).

The Social side of it is the most controversial topic … going from education to gender diversity or from working conditions to voting right. That’s too much in one nutshell … Embracing so diverse matters under a single concept gets people lost about what the “social” approach means, and what the priorities are to get “social”.

The failure to make ISO 26000 a norm has outlined the complexity to wrap up the complexity of the social case in one guide. Getting back to the common ground and expectations of the human being is essential, if we want to share a universal standard in term of social value. This work has not been done yet …

Within a current context marked by the growing demographic pressure and environmental damages – the last ones being partially caused by the economic activities – the social concern should rather be focussed on the need for physical and psychological safety. Protecting and securing the human life seem to have never been so acute than today. Achieving this goal means getting the community more engaged in sustainable ways of living and people being more educated in order to initiate the measures that have to be taken.

Engagement & Education

The concept of “Engagement” vs. selfishness (i.e. raising awareness that human safety is to be dealt with a global view) should come up sooner or later as the right path to follow in order to reach social peace.
Last but not least, “Education” vs. training (i.e. visiting secondary school and higher grades) is a far wider task to take in hand in under-privileged regions like Africa, Middle-East and Central Asia. The under-educated populations have ever been the main threat for the future of the Earth, as they become an wonderful instrument for dangerous leaders looking for unlimited power.

As a whole, “Sustainable Development” – but more specifically “Corporate Social Responsibility” – look like thoughts and considerations of rich communities staying aside the overwhelming reality of the world.
Moving from “Sustainable Development” to “Engagement” and “Education” is what the humanity is awaiting most to go a step further towards a real state of Sustainability.

2 Responses to Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, etc … what’s the next step ?
  1. It is gonna take some time to have the most appropriate layout for implementing CSR. But when it does, it will surely help a great deal and give a new dimension to development.

    • Thanks for your comment.
      Yes indeed …setting up the correct layout is THE true challenge. A new study I just came across provides once again the same conclusion : most of blue chips elaborate very exciting strategies of sustainable development, but at the end of the day concrete actions are still missing out.
      More info. on my last post dated Feb. 28th, 2013.

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