I tend to concur with Robert Pojasek who said, "It is not really a battle since neither side will even recognize the other." I tend to place my energies where I feel they best affect my business and haven't given this topic as much thought as maybe I should have.
We have some very knowledgeable members here though and I am sure if this stays near the top long enough for a few of them to see this it could turn into a great discussion topic as it is an interesting question!
Thanks for asking it and I hope you get many more responses!
To be honest, I have heard some talks about this over the last half of 2011. I do not think that this is just an ideology with no impact. I believe that every business should respond back to their communities, or areas that they have direct relationships with, in a positive way. For instance, I have a good friend who is in the agricultural business. They receive a large portion of their raw materials from an area that just went through a huge natural devastation. (I don't remember whether or not if it was a tsunami or an earthquake, either way it was devastating) My client provided a fund for one of the health care organizations on the scene to help provide adequate health care to all those who were effected. They also promoted internally this effort, and the employees of the company also got involved. They started a food drive and sent food overseas to this area. I believe this relates directly to what this whole thing on business sustainability/social responsibility. His business succeeds by receiving these raw materials. In return, his business frequently makes efforts to give back to the communities, or individuals in these areas.
I hope that I worded all of this correctly as I started getting really into his story.
I think that sustainability can go hand in hand with saving money which is obviously the low hanging fruit. Corporations have the ability to look longer term than consumers and so implementing solutions that have a longer term payback can make a lot of sense. Things like alternative energy (solar, wind, geothermal) which may have an 8 year payback but then 22+ years of pure "profit" make immediate sense in a corporate setting. I am located square in Wal-Mart country and they are one of the largest drivers of corporate sustainability. They see a real opportunity to have a large positive impact while at the same time increasing their bottom line.
I'm not really a buiness owner or manager, but as a staff, I do believe that a sense of social responsibility for a business is quite important & necessary. It can help make businesses doing better by leading them to provide good products/services that actually meet customers' needs, which then reduces business fraud.
Hi all, first time poster on this forum.
We hear a lot of talk in the media around business sustainability/social responsibility. I would be interested to hear other business owners/managers the impact of this on their business.
Do you feel it is just an ideology with no meaningful impact?
A competitive advantage from a marketing perspective?
Or a means for people to push their own social agenda?
I would be somewhere in the last two points on this topic, interested to hear your thoughts.