Remember Corporate Social Responsibility?
Posted by ECI Staff on 18 Dec 2013
It was a big deal, right?
Well, I’d like to think it’s still a big deal, otherwise I am really worried about the future for my children. But it’s not something to be taken lightly – CSR doesn’t necessarily translate into more sales, and it doesn’t mean instant success. In a cutthroat business environment, where every dollar counts, it’s hard to make a case for a company to invest in CSR, particularly if the return on this investment is not immediate or may be many years forward.
Yet, it’s an investment that many companies choose to make. Some companies will do the minimum necessary – whatever it takes to be compliant to local laws and regulations. Others will take their cue from their customers – what they demand from suppliers. And yet others will go farther yet in the quest for the right balance between doing the right thing and running a successful company.
It’s not so easy to distinguish among these companies –CSR activities are usually voluntarily disclosed and monitored. In fact, when we look at the international, independent tools available for CSR reporting, we understand that there is not much out there:
- The United Nations Global Compact is an initiative that presents a unified platform for companies to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. It expects participating companies to post annual Communication on Progress (COP) reports as a commitment to transparency and disclosure.
- The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a leading not-for-profit organization that promotes sustainability reporting to present a company’s impact on the environment and the world in general. The latest version of GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines is known as G4, the most advanced sustainability reporting framework available today.
It’s not a trivial matter for any company to commit itself to engage in, monitor and report its sustainability activities, so I do take immense pride in the fact that ECI Telecom is one of the few private companies in the world to have done so, and definitely one of the first 20 to report using G4. ECI started reporting in line with the UN Global Compact principles, and for the past two years have been reporting in line with the GRI framework. Our latest report, covering our 2012 activities, has just been published in accordance with G4. The report is chock-full of information on our activities, both in terms of our internal sustainability efforts, but most important, in terms of how our solutions have a significant positive impact in the world.
I have hope for the future – we can make this a better world. Person by person, company by company, country by country. Every little bit counts.
I invite you to read the report here.