What is it?
Corporate Responsibility (CR) is the aggregate of strategies, methods and tools that an enterprise or an organization uses in its business activities, in order to assure compliance with ethical standards as well as a positive impact on the three pillars of sustainability: environment, society, economy. CR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, an expression of business ethics and a declaration of its adherence to international standards of sustainable behavior.
Why is it important?
In today’s competitive business environment, survivability presupposes adaptability. Promoting CR is a clear message of responsibility and accountability for the organization’s activities, to all interested parties: employees, consumers, suppliers, state, stakeholders and other members of the public sphere. It is an internationally accepted practice to publicize such CR actions through Sustainability Reports, whose compilation adheres to specific standards.
The essence and content of CR is continuously changing as the world’s economy adapts to evolving world development strategies. For companies with international horizons and perspectives, CR is becoming a prerequisite for survival. However, CR practices need to be continuously updated to respond to new challenges. Today, a new model of corporate strategy is emerging focusing mainly on risk management and company survivability. The chances of survival within this competitive environment increases as the company integrates social responsibility actions at every level of its operations.
The increasing significance of CR is manifested not only by the consumers’ vote of confidence to sincere enterprises, but, most importantly, by the reinforcement of consumer movements that spot and publicize cases where CR degenerates into public relations exercises, without real contribution to sustainability (Greenwashing). Insincere CR actions might prove tragic in the long run.
Close the Loop offers to organizations and enterprises integrated CR support services, such as:
- Evaluation of existing and/or development of a new integrated CR strategy, based on international standards.
- Design of sustainability Programs which could be embedded in an integrated CR strategy, such as Life Cycle Analysis, Carbon footprint, or Water footprint.
- Disclosing the organization’s CR strategy and activities in Sustainability Reports, in accordance with international standards, using methods and tools especially developed for evaluating CR actions and Reports.
- Development of company-specific appropriate communication systems for apprising the various interested (or worth-knowing) parties on the CR activities and circulating the sustainability reports.
Economic benefits due to abatement of negative environmental impacts
Personnel satisfaction from the sense of belonging to a socially sensitive organization and from participation in socially responsible actions
Adaptation to new international standards of corporate strategy
Safeguard against Greenwashing practices
Establish your organization as being innovative at an international and sector specific level
Market share more attractive for socially and environmentally conscious citizens
Assure competitive advantage at an international and sector specific level
Enhancement of the organization’s survivability and sustainability
Effective risk management
Two-way commitment with interested parties
For many, CR is simply the total of separate, presumably "green", activities or various sponsorships of events, aiming mainly at promoting public relations; such actions are publicized in annual reports (often referred to as Sustainability Reports). But, this is nothing more than another name for "green marketing". Such a myopic view of CR as a mere marketing tool might have some short term value, but it fails to take advantage of the real opportunities for innovation and differentiation that a correct use of CR policies can offer.
Close the Loop's methodology ensures an integrated and continuous improvement of the organization’s sustainability performance, since it effectively supports a steady and reliable CR policy with substantive and measurable results. We use the the systems approach in our CR-support services, which ensures consolidation of CR principles by the organization and, in the long run, the maximum possible added value.
Our most important advantage is the inter-disciplinary capability of our collaborators, acting as a team, to integrate additional services into CR policies, which can enhance corporate sustainability management, such as Management Systems, Life Cycle Assesment and Carbon and Water Footprints.
This capability for synergies amongst different tools and methods, in other words, for integrated services for survivability and sustainability stems from the special knowledge and implementation potential of the systems approach. This approach is the cornerstone of our philosophy and our unique competitive attribute.
Close the Loop follows internationally accepted standards for CR, such as:
- ISO 26000: International standard for effective understanding, integration, promotion and implementation of CR policies and practices in the organization.
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): Instructions, rules and criteria for ensuring transparency and quality in the Sustainability Reports.
- U.N. Global Compact: U.N. developed principles and criteria for the advancement of CR in companies and organizations.
In all its endeavors, in all its projects, Close the Loop adopts the internationally acknowledged approach of the International Project Management Association (IPMA); it is a management approach that ensures life-cycle impact and costing consideration, fulfillment of the objectives within preset time and cost restraints, respect of environmental and social obligations and, mainly, stakeholder satisfaction.