“We don't do everything, but we do the right things right!"
This is one way to summarise the credo of a successful CSR strategy. As a cross-cutting issue, sustainability raises questions in the various business areas and key functions such as compliance, human resources, logistics, marketing, and communications. These are questions that take seriously both opportunities and risks and have to be answered differently depending on the sector. What is crucial is that the questions are answered in the context of the corporate culture, strategy, and market as well as the socioeconomic environment. Only if the social and ecological lens supplements the financial perspective can the business create sustainable added value for itself and its stakeholders.
Materiality and involvement of stakeholders
Many businesses are already highly engaged in the field of sustainability. So for many of our clients – and for us as consultants – the challenge is not to reinvent the wheel but rather to set the right priorities. In order to (further) develop a strategy, the key is to focus on what is important. Two questions are crucial: What aspects are especially significant for the long-term success of the company? And: In what areas can the company create added value for its stakeholders or prevent a negative impact on them? We advise our clients in these cost-benefit considerations using outcome-oriented evaluation methods and/or professionally moderated workshops, and by ensuring the involvement of the relevant stakeholders with guided interviews, online surveys, and stakeholder dialogues
Road map with clear responsibilities
Once the important fields of action have been identified, the next step is to develop the strategy. A clearly structured road map defines the objectives, measures, performance and impact indicators, responsibilities, and budgets, thus taking account of the cross-cutting nature of CSR and sustainability respectively. In our experience, road map development is not an "armchair activity", but rather something that must be accomplished in close consultation with the decision makers in each business area and each key function. Only in this way it can be ensured that the road map will serve its purpose and act as a cockpit for implementation and subsequent verification in each field of action.