#Australia#CSR#leadership#corporate social responsibility#New Zealand

New Zealand Playing Catch Up In Corporate Social Responsibility

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|Sep 19|magazine6 min read

The Australian Centre For Corporate Social Responsibility’s findings on their namesake topic show that New Zealand is lagging behind in CSR efforts. While many companies are reaping the benefits from implementing CSR plans (cost-effective green initiatives, a popular company culture stance, etc), New Zealand has been slow to adapt.

The managing director at Auckland public relations company Wright Communications, one of three contributors to the State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Australia and New Zealand Annual Review, said while New Zealand organisations were aware of CSR, they had been slow to implement it.

"This is reflected in the small numbers of New Zealand organisations who implement CSR programmes and take the next step of formally reporting on their CSR activity," Nikki Wright said.

Global companies like Toms, which donates a pair of shoes to children in need for every pair bought, and Starbucks, which is continuously improving sustainable farming for their coffee beans, are great examples of successful CSR-minded businesses. There are companies in New Zealand that have taken the initiative to improve their footprint and social stance. Two companies—the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and insurance firm Sovereign have signed up for the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Sovereign has also bought an electric company car and installed an on-site charging station.

Having a corporate social responsibility policy of some kind in place is widely beneficial for a business, shared Wright. She also included a list of priorities for companies that were interested in implementing CSR initiatives in the near future like building internal support for their CSR-sustainability approach, measuring impacts and outcomes of CSR initiatives, strengthening their social licence to operate, as well as waste and recycling initiatives.

The State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Australia and New Zealand Annual Review also identified the top five areas where CSR can contribute positively to a business:

  1. Building a reputation for being a responsible business.
  2. Contributing to brand positioning.
  3. Better understanding of the material issues that affect the organisation.
  4. Engaging senior leadership in strategic conversations about the organisation.
  5. Improving stakeholder engagement.

Information sourced from Stuff.co.nz.