The climate emergency is now more than ever on everyone's mind. And beyond carbon issues, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a recurring theme within companies.
While it is important to build a good CSR strategy, the real challenge lies, as is often the case, in the execution of this strategy. Indeed, knowing how to correctly *manage* one's global CSR strategy is still a subject that is sometimes very difficult to deal with. In this article, we will look at the strategic importance of good management, in order to act sustainably on the environment and enhance the value of its commitments.
CSR: what is it really?
Before addressing strategy and its management, it seems appropriate to address the notion of CSR. As defined by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, CSR is "a concept in which companies integrate social, environmental and economic concerns into their activities and their relations with their stakeholders"
As Corporate Social Responsibility is based on the pillars of sustainable development, we encourage you to take a look at our article on the subject, in which we detail each of the concerns that make up CSR.
Given the impact of their activities on their environment, companies have a major role to play in the evolution of our societies towards a more sustainable model. They must therefore meet various requirements (regulatory, economic, etc.).
What CSR requirements, and in what form?
Although long considered a time-consuming subject with no real economic or strategic interest, the implementation of a CSR strategy is now an issue that can affect all companies, in different forms:
- The Loi Pacte (2019), and the ISO26000 standard (2010), among others, require companies to take social and environmental issues into account in their activities.
- Large companies and groups (€100m turnover and 500 staff) are required to publish their Extra-Financial Performance Statement (EFPS, 2019), including the social and environmental risks, issues and actions related to their activities.
- Subcontractors and suppliers may be subject to CSR requirements, formulated in calls for tender or more generally in the purchasing policy of their clients.
- Companies are therefore subject to various constraints linked to their environmental commitments and actions. Whatever the nature of these constraints, organisations must be able to respond to them, and this requires the implementation of a CSR strategy.
Defining your CSR strategy
As we have seen, implementing a CSR strategy should allow the company to demonstrate its voluntary commitment and meet the expectations of its stakeholders regarding the impact of its activities.
How to define your strategy?
Defining a strategy means first defining a starting point, a basis for work, before drawing up a roadmap.
The materiality matrix is an important step in taking stock of the situation. It enables the company to map the issues, risks and needs of its activities and stakeholders.
In this way, a company can build its CSR strategy on the basis of the various elements that emerge from this matrix, and concentrate its efforts where it will have the greatest impact (employee well-being, transparency of activities, environmental actions, etc.).
Once this assessment has been made, and the main issues identified, it is important to make these objectives operational. To do this, a company can create a certain number (but not too many!) of key performance indicators, the KPIs.
Formalising its strategy and actions means ensuring that they can be monitored, understood and quantified during the application and management of the CSR strategy. To do this, the company can base itself on several elements, such as
- The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: by cross-referencing the SDGs with the issues in the materiality matrix, a company can define actions to be taken.
- A Carbon Footprint: by carrying out a Carbon Footprint, a company that has identified its CO2 emissions as a major issue can define quantified reduction targets.
- Once your CSR strategy has been defined, you need to know how to manage it in order to involve all your employees in this commitment to the climate and the environment.
What is the key to effective steering?
The effectiveness of a CSR strategy is measured by the results of the actions that are carried out, and the involvement of employees is therefore essential.
Raising awareness & training
The first step in implementing a CSR strategy is therefore to ensure that all internal stakeholders (employees, decision-makers, trade unions, etc.), and to a certain extent external stakeholders (suppliers, public bodies, etc.), are aware of the commitment being made. There are several options for doing this:
- Training: this provides employees with all the keys and skills they need to fully grasp the challenges of the CSR strategy, and thus become involved in its success.
- The Climate Fresco Climate Change: these awareness-raising workshops help to understand the issues and encourage involvement in the company's strategy.
- This list is of course non-exhaustive, and there are many initiatives that make it possible to anchor environmental issues in the daily life of the company (local initiatives, associations, etc.).
Committing to time: how?
Once all the company's employees are aware of the climate and sustainable development issues, it is time to implement concrete actions.
However, a company's commitment to reducing its impact must be made over time, monitored and maintained, and tools exist for this.
Lakaa 's mission is simple: to enable you to deploy and monitor the local CSR actions of your network (sales outlets, agencies, shops, etc.), to share best practices and to communicate more precisely on your commitments.
Lakaa has many benefits for the company, the employees and the territories involved in this approach:
- Tomake the environmental commitment of employees areality in their professional environment.
- Leveraging individual commitment through collective commitment.
- Involve all employees, whatever their job and wherever they are.
- Connecting with local actors through local partners.
This centralised platform therefore allows you to monitor ongoing projects with precise KPIs, and for employees to show their commitment to the environment by participating in actions or proposing new ones.
By making the implementation of actions sustainable and simple, Lakaa enables companies and their networks to anchor and manage their CSR strategy over the long term.
Now you know everything about the stakes of a well-constructed CSR trajectory, and the importance of steering it to ensure its effectiveness. So don't hesitate to contact Lakaa so that they can accompany you in the deployment of your strategy!