Is CSR over? Critics suggest social responsibility efforts are at best extraneous to core strategy, and at worst PR stunts. Is there a better way for business to keep it real and be profitable?
At Engage Atlantic we believe “creating shared-value” may be the real key to creating sustainable and high-performance organizations.
Such a philosophy is equally about organizations committed to making a difference in the lives of their stakeholders while at the same time, making a profit.
Creating Shared Value is based on the concept that successful businesses and society are linked at all levels. Certainly, this is not a new concept. It is well understood that businesses depend on a healthy, educated workforce, a sustainable supply of raw materials and resources, and enabling policy environments and governance structures in order to compete effectively and ethically. In return, businesses create wealth and, in turn, tax revenues, over and above the creation of their own Corporate Social Responsibility programs and partnerships for giving back to their communities. The end result is that society benefits overall.
A shared values approach recognizes the strategic examination of trade-offs between short-term profitability and embracing social or environmental goals that could contribute to long-term financial viability.
CSV approaches focus on opportunities for sustainable competitive advantage from building a social value proposition into corporate strategy.
Take Engage Atlantic client Cooke Aquaculture, for example. Cooke is one of the world’s leading producers of farmed Atlantic salmon. With a base in Charlotte County, N. B., Cooke is a global player in the continuing evolution of this growing and sometimes controversial industry. Not only does Cooke have major operations in New Brunswick, but it also has operations in Newfoundland and has recently announced plans for a major expansion of its operations in Nova Scotia. Where Cooke differs from many of its competitors is the company’s commitment to creating shared value.
Does this mean that companies that create shared-value will avoid common business pitfalls or even public criticism and opposition?
What it does ensure, however, is that when issues arise, there are local people embedded in the processes to ensure that all stakeholders are engaged and their views included in the decision-making process.
Creating Shared Value
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