Several weeks back I started a poll on the question what you thought would be the best term for responsible business practice.
In total we had 117 votes with a result which was surprising to see in my opinion. The most popular term with a total of 25 votes was Corporate Responsibility (CR) (21%) followed by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (21 votes, 18%), then Corporate Sustainability (19 votes, 16%), Corporate Citizenship (18 votes, 15%) and Sustainability with 14 votes and 12%.
So what can we take away from this result?
One point is crystal clear in my opinion. Responsible business practice is still being associated with too many different terms.
I think there are two different interpretations of this result:
Good development: This is good as it shows that different people and cultures have different terms to express responsible business practice. And different terms do not mean different things for these people just that companies need to be more responsible.
Confusion: This is not a good development as the usage of so many different terms just confuses everyone. This result is a sign of this. In order to limit this confusion one or at most two terms should be the preferred terms to be associated with responsible business practice.
I personally only use the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability but this seems to vary most individuals and therefore believe that the second interpretation is more fitting.
Maybe this is a good thing as well? I am not so sure. What do you think about these results? How do interpret them?
The past months have been difficult for the anyone trying to promote the idea of Sustainability to say the least.
It seems that in Europe, Brexit and the refugee crisis are overshadowing any kind of willingness to talk about our common sustainable future.
The US has been crippled by the Trump presidency and has a much bigger leadership problem then anyone ever expected it seems.
The rest of the world is just watching on what is going in these two key areas of our globe. No proactive Sustainability leadership is to be seen anywhere.
So where next for the Sustainability idea? Well that is a very good question. And I am afraid I do not know where all of these developments will lead us.
When we listen to the overall scientific views on Climate Change we can safely say that all seems to be lost. Scientists recommend an immediate change of behavior to change our certain climate doom. But this change of behavior seems unrealistic as well looking at the geopolitical developments.
So where does this leave us really?
There is only one choice really if we are honest: We need to fight for what we believe is our common future. And this starts at your own personal level. Forget about the global or national mood or action. Start at your family level and make a change.
The future for me and my family starts with my closest family members. If we as a family start to change our ways and live the idea of a more sustainable future we ARE MAKING A CHANGE.
So lets just step back for a minute and ignore the current global issues and focus on what we can do to live a more sustainable life. To work to make our own personal Sustainability idea reality in our own little environment.
Imagine what an impact we would have if thousands and thousands of people would be doing that from today onwards.
There is a German saying:”Hope dies last”. And I believe that is exactly what we need to believe in now. All is not lost as long as we do not give up and let opportunists, fear-mongers and racists tell us what our future holds in store!
I am a global citizen and I strongly believe in the power of the globalisation for us and future generations.
Sustainability is a part of this believe. Sustainability is the driving power for a fair and just globalisation. And we as part of the Sustainability movement have made great progress over the past decades to do our bit.
The past few weeks have shown that all we have worked so hard for is under threat. Serious threat. The 45th President of the United States and the Brexit vote are the two single biggest threats to our common global future in general and the Sustainability movement more specifically.
I am not not a politically interested person. Quite the opposite. I strongly believe in the power of the individual and his/her strength to create a better world. Politicians in my view should just be representatives of these individuals. But this no longer seems to be the case these days.
I will not use more words now to state the obvious (if you are a open-minded and social person):
If we as individuals are not starting to do more for our freedom and global future we will have others make the choices for us.
And look where we are heading towards now.
The future can be a sustainable, just and bright future but only if each individual is doing their bit.
You personally know very well what it is for you. I know what it is for me. So lets get going and oppose those forces that are ruining our global and sustainable future. There really is no other choice.
I am the proud father of a 4 year old daughter and enjoy every minute of it.
Once she is older I will be trying to make her aware of Sustainability related topics as much as possible. But this will be tough in a busy world like today with all sorts of influences bombarding our children so early on in life.
Today I came across an interesting article on the topic of early childhood development investing by philanthropists.
This is the article: Meet The Billionaire Philanthropist Placing Big Bets On Early Childhood Development
It is an interesting article with many useful details on how important the first 5 years of a children’s life for an optimal development are.
Sustainability awareness in early childhood development
If this is so important, to what degree should we try to include Sustainability topics in this early childhood development phase? And if we do, should this be done with government supervision or mainly be privately funded?
I am a big of a combination of both. In my view the government plays a huge part in initiating a change in early childhood development across the educational systems in the future but privately funded initiatives by philanthropic donors willing to invest in social change are the key to the future.
Our sustainable future in the end totally depends on our children continuing the work we have been doing over the past decades. And hopefully they will have more success to steer it in a direction that has sustainability included into everything we do. And I am sure early childhood development is a part of making our world a more sustainable place if we have more philanthropists willing to help us out giving our children the best start in life they can get.
Today I wanted to point you to an interesting list of the so called Fortune 2016 Change the World List.
It is a list I will explore further next week when I am back from holidays. But I am but sceptical about these long lists about companies and their sustainability / CSR activities.
I chose to blog about this list because Forbes has been great in terms of Sustainability / CSR content over the years. They deserve all the credit they can get in my view.
All comments welcome on the Forbes list.