Your CSR / Sustainability world in 2012: What could you do different?

A strange title I know but the purpose of this post is very simple. What could you do as a CSR / Sustainability professional in 2012 different to 2011?

I have listed three points, which I feel are very important and useful for everyone working the CSR / Sustainability field across the globe.

Point 1 : Why not strive to learn more about CSR / Sustainability?

This is what I have set myself as a goal for 2012.  I have been working in the field for a long time now but I find that I also need to read more CSR / Sustainability related literature (books & ebooks) on a regular basis. My daily routine includes reading my favourite blogs via my RSS reader but I noticed that I am not reading enough published CSR / Sustainability literature anymore. This might sound like a very simple thing to do but I have noticed that during the daily routine I usually do not give myself the time to read books that provide me with a more in-depth viewpoint or information background.

I will now brush up on CSR / Sustainability classics such as Simon Zadek’s The Civil Corporation: The New Economy of Corporate Citizenship and John Elkington’s The Chrysalis Economy: How Citizen CEOs and Corporations Can Fuse Values and Value Creation, just to name two very insightful CSR / Sustainability classics.

Point 2: Write more about what you do

I assure you that once you read more about CSR / Sustainability, you would want to write more about it as well. This does not mean that you have to have a full-fledged blog. Easy does it in my view. If you do not want to have a blog then why sart email conversations with friends, colleagues, etc about CSR / Sustainability topics. This is a great way to digest the information you have just read or learned in my experience.

Point 3: Communicate more via Social Media

Communicating using Social Media is an easy thing to say, I know. But why don’t you give yourself 10 minutes each day to tweet via Twitter or post interesting information on your LinkedIn page. It does not have to be more time you spend each day or every other day. If you keep up this routine, I am assuring you that you will have a lot of fun doing this and at the same time will have the opportunity to get to know lots of likeminded people from across the globe reaching out to you and the information you are sharing.
If you are looking to get started in Social Media and do not know where to start, then this posts from a few months ago should help you with that: My current Social Media dilemma.

So what are you waiting for? Start doing something different today to change your life tomorrow for the better. 🙂

What is the value of a CSR conference when the audience is too specific?

If you are in Berlin, Germany today and tomorrow you might be interested in the annual international CSR conference called »CSR – Social Responsibility in International Dialogue« organised by the German government. This is the Twitter hashtag if you want to follow some tweets about the conference: #CSRGermany.

A few weeks ago I discussed the value of this conference with a CSR friend of mine and to my astonishment we agreed that it would be necessary to attend, but only really if you are looking to do business in the CSR sector. The continuing conversation made it very clear that it would be incredibly boring and useless to go for anyone not part of the CSR business community.

What is the purpose of a CSR conference?

Hang on I thought. But is that really useful? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Surely every normal citizen should be the target audience for this kind of CSR conference. And certainly the conference should not be a gala for companies working in the field and the so-called CSR specialists looking to network and to acquire new business. CSR in my view is for everyone not just the people that work in the field.

But the sad reality still is that CSR continues to be a topic for specialists and not the main stream stakeholders.

This also shows that CSR in Germany is still a topic for the specialists and these specialists seem to want to stay amongst themselves as well……. Normal stakeholders still do not seem to show an interest in the CSR topic. Maybe this is an indication that the way we communicate CSR is still wrong? But this is a topic for another post so lets get back to the topic today.

What value do you see in visiting conferences in the CSR sector? Would you go even if you where not working in the sector or would this put you of?

My wish for CSR conferences in the future, is that they should be open and more importantly interesting to anyone working AND wanting to know more about  CSR and the role of business in making the world a better place. Is this just wishful thinking and am I being just too idealistic?

My CSR perspective of the COP 17 talks in Durban

Some of you will know that the COP 17 in Durban will finish tomorrow. The summit started on the 28th of November and so far, judging from some of the blogs and articles I have seen, not much will be achieved in Durban by the end of tomorrow.

Here are some recent useful links to articles:

My CSR perspective

Taking a look at the interim results of the COP 17 from a CSR perspective, I must say that this is a disappointing result so far. I can hardly describe how disappointing actually. It seems to me that Organizations and governments from across the globe have lost the will and interest  to change our destiny when it comes to tackling climate change.

It is very clear that they have quickly turned away from this uncomfortable climate reality only to focus on the single most important topic they always have: Business and economic growth. In a way the economic downturn and EU debt crisis have come at the right time for them to change the topic back to economic growth and prosperity.

Don’t get me wrong. Economic growth and prosperity are essential for our economy and local / global businesses. I know what I am talking about. I also run my own business and I need to find ways to bring in “fresh money” in order to pay my employees and the current bills. But I do not need to always grow my business in order to keep my business in the black. If I am not making enough money I need to find ways to grow AND cut back on the costs I have. But if I would be as ignorant towards such substantial treats to my way of doing business as the global organizations and governments are at the moment when we look at the dangers of climate change, I would be out of business very quickly.

We all need to change in order to avoid the damming effects of climate change. Everyone has to play their part. But the frameworks for our coordinated actions need to be set by our governments with the help of global organizations. And from what I am seeing at the COP17, are we actually much further away from this result than ever before.

Why I did not blog for two weeks

Over the past two weeks I have been extremely busy. I also did not manage to write new blog posts. Sorry to all my readers for this two week absence. But I have not been inactive that is for sure. In total I travelled around 3.000 kilometres by car and spend far too many hours sitting on a comfortable chair talking to clients. I had some great meetings but I must say I missed the daily walks with the dogs.

From now until Christmas I will aim to blog 2-3 times a week in order to get back into my normal writing routine. And this is the key in my view whenever you have a certain period where you are not blogging on a regular basis.

My blogging rule when I do not have enough time to blog

If you do not feel you have anything to add on your blog, don’t. But also do not use any easy excuses not to write when you have the chance. When you have some time on your hands, use it wisely to let your readers know what you are up and share the stories / information you have about a certain topic.

For me today, this meant that I wanted to let you, my readers, know why I have bit been blogging for two weeks. Transparency is everything in blogging. When your readers know what you are up to they will understand.

Have a good weekend everyone.