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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Why Should We Be Phasing Out the Terminology "Corporate Social Responsibility"?

Just over two years ago, I wrote an article on why businesses need to target corporate sustainability - not just corporate social responsibility.

In my line of work, this is still a questions that seems to pop up over and over again.

There are a few key differences between corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability. The first is that corporate social responsibility is a program which is run within a company; it is not a whole-of-company approach to creating a better future. Corporate sustainability looks at creating a culture from the top down which is focused on ensuring that the products and / or services of the company are geared towards bettering people's lives and contributing to a more economically, socially and environmentally secure future.

Corporate social responsibility also turns these practices into a burden - it's a responsibility to which you have to step up. Sustainability allows these responsible practices to be implemented throughout the company in a way in which the company can grow, develop and prosper.

Additionally, the name "corporate social responsibility" leaves out the interconnectedness between our economy, our society and our environment. By name, it only looks at one of the aspects of the triple bottom line. Wherever possible, at Strategic Sustainability Consultants, we encourage our clients to use the terminology "corporate sustainability" to ensure our clients are demonstrating their inclusive approach to creating a better economy, society and environment.

The global waste crisis we are now facing means that this commitment to sustainability is no longer about being responsible; it's about surviving. As more waste is generate, the planet is becoming increasingly uninhabitable for humankind. The World Bank estimates that global waste could increase by 70% by 2050 if we continue with our business as usual. This means that we need to take drastic action to limit the amount of waste production, and corporates are able to make a significant contribution to this.

Finding sustainable ways of packaging goods and delivering services is a prime place to start in reducing waste to ensure a sustainable future. Companies can also look at how to procure more sustainable products and recycle within their own organisation.

This commitment to Goal 12 of the Global Goals is vital to ensure that sustainability becomes a core part of your business' values and operations, not just a side responsibility program that does not integrate into every single level of your organisation.

To find out more information about how you can work to provide more sustainable packaging of goods and deliverance of services as well as to procure your organisation's goods and services more sustainably, contact us today!

This article was originally published on the Strategic Sustainability Consultants website.

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