Corporate responsibility must get tougher and more transparent

Businesses must ask some "tough questions" and become more transparent if they wish to scale up their CSR commitments, PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) corporate responsibility leader Shannon Schuyler has said.

Writing about her role within PwC, Schuyler said that she was constantly looking to build on her company’s efforts to make corporate responsibility count in areas such as resource scarcity, climate change and financial stability.

“Part of my role … is to ask how can we further leverage our strengths and build on what we have achieved to make more meaningful and measurable differences in our communities and industries? How can we better collaborate with companies, organizations and institutions to create inroads in our core focus areas? ” she blogged.

“If there’s one thing [corporate responsibility] requires, it’s asking tough questions and working together to answer them.”

On a personal level, Schuyler said that CSR was a rewarding space that pushed to broaden her understanding, views and reach.

She added that one measure of a company’s success in this area could be shown through its own employees being proactive on issues of sustainability, both within the office and home.

“Even when completely integrated into the business strategy, [corporate responsibility] is only sustainable through the actions of individuals. Our role as leaders is to empower change agents throughout the firm,” she observed.

Going forward, Schuyler said that her consultancy wanted to leverage its own experience to help other practitioners take forward the CSR agenda.

PwC considers itself a leader in this field – in June it conducted research for Defra that suggested the impact of climate change abroad could be a far greater threat to UK businesses than domestically, considering the global nature of trade, investment and supply chains.

Maxine Perella

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