Nicholas Bernhardt, CEO of Informed 365, gives advice on how companies should start with corporate social responsibility.
The wheels of social change cranked into another gear in 2020. This prompted many to look inward, ask tough questions and look for answers. As more people become aware of social issues, the call for corporate social responsibility will follow.
We called on our partners, Informed 365 to help explain how businesses should start on their journey with corporate social responsibility. Their mission is to elevate Australian companies’ social justice and equity standing by using AI to help make more informed decisions.
Informed 365 CEO, Nicholas Bernhardt provides the following advice to help organisations on their corporate social responsibility journey, minimise unintended consequences, and maximise best practice to create a more sustainable business.
Common Issues Within Organisations
- Organisations are hesitant to proactively identify social and environmental gaps and issues in their operations for fear of consequence, and instead, turn a blind eye.
- Many businesses still only focus on profit without investigating, monitoring, and engaging with their supply chain to eliminate and minimise incidents such as underpaid labour or carbon-intense transportation and manufacturing methods.
- Often offshore enterprises hide human rights abuses and nefarious environmental activities from the parent organisation. With the current travel restrictions in place, it is now even more difficult to detect these instances of poor practice and they subsequently aren’t remediated.
- Glib-sounding corporate policies and statements often cover outsourced development and manufacturing with very little actual control or due diligence.
- Irregular or nonexistent communication between an organisation and its suppliers leads to a lack of transparency and collaboration.
Consumers, key stakeholders, industry organisations, regulators, NGOs, activists, and companies like Informed 365 are beginning to connect the dots and demanding that organisations operate in a more sustainable, ethical manner.
What Happens if they’re left unaddressed
Often archaic systems and traditional operational strategies are not reviewed and updated and thus do not combat increasing ESG challenges such as modern slavery and or carbon footprint minimisation. As a result, organisations are missing opportunities to diversify, develop, improve, and engage with their suppliers due to a lack of communication and collaboration with key partners and suppliers.
Corporations that continue to disregard human rights violations and other social or environmental issues will increasingly be marginalized by key stakeholders, regulators, and consumers.
Make a start with corporate social responsibility
According to recent research by McKinsey, “More than one-quarter of assets under management globally are now being invested according to the premise that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors can materially affect a company’s performance and market value.”
This is why it’s in each organisation’s best interest to be proactive about the impact their business has.
Here’s where to start with best practice:
- Take a deep dive into your supply chain, code of conduct and policies to identify risks and opportunities.
- Engage with your suppliers, collaborate with your peers, engage third-party experts to assist you, and utilise technology and data to drive change.
- Clearly communicate your ESG expectations to internal and external stakeholders. Develop a best practice approach and continuously review and adjust your ESG strategy.
- Align yourself with like-minded businesses – collaboration is the new innovation. Maximise shared knowledge and expertise by pooling resources.
Continue to critically monitor your own operations and do not be afraid of identifying areas that need improving – and then do better.
Conducting business responsibly is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is an expectation from your customers and internal and external stakeholders. Organisations such as Informed 365 and LFIA can support you.
If you’re interested in learning more, consider attending our ‘Just Introduction Workshop’. In this workshop, we’ll introduce the Just label to give attendees an overall understanding of the program. We’ll also workshop how it can be contextualised to Australia with sessions on Modern Slavery presented INFORMED 365 and discuss Reconciliation Action Plans.
About informed 365
Informed 365 is the leading Australian tech solution for organisations in the ethical supply chain management, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environment Social Governance (ESG) space. informed 365’s configurable, agile, real-time applications provide more meaningful data that result in more efficient and sustainability outcomes.
Get in touch to learn more.
Informed 365 – [email protected]