By Shar Olivier, MEM, LEED-AP
Global Business Development Manager/Director of Sustainability and CSR, IIL
Since April is Earth Month and today is Earth Day, we want to take a moment to celebrate the growing role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies in protecting the environment all year long.
When Earth Day was established back in 1970, it was the advent of the environmental movement. However, the concept of CSR did not yet exist. While corporations may have recognized the importance of protecting our ecosystems and the many challenges in business operations, the paradigm was that being a more responsible company meant forfeiting profits. Seemingly, the two could not go hand in hand.
Today, sustainability and CSR are part of every successful business strategy. Huge multi-nationals such as Unilever, P&G, MARS, Coke, BMW, and BASF have taken the lead and are realizing the huge advantages of implementing CSR programs. By managing resources through sustainable supply chain management, reducing waste streams, land conservation, and investment in communities, these companies are seeing decreased costs and increased profits. As environmentally and socially conscious factors, these companies are not only paying it forward for future generations, but also attracting today’s consumers who increasingly recognize sustainability as a critical component of products or services they use.
Given the current discussion around The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and impacts facing our global communities today, like climate change, food security, energy demand, wildlife conservation, ocean equity and water scarcity, consumers are increasingly concerned with the environmental and social impact of the brands they buy. Pioneering organizations like The Sustainability Consortium, Forum for the Future, and Global Reporting Initiative work tirelessly to create reporting criteria and ground breaking tools and systems to manage these programs and create metrics for impact innovation and sustainable change.
And so, on this Earth Day, we are proud to celebrate the companies, agencies, and organizations that embrace the importance of corporate social responsibility as a key factor in ensuring the sustainability of our planet, economy, and communities. Sustainability is just good, responsible business, and we are honored to be part of this critical shift to the circular economy model, where every company is socially responsible.