Over the last 20 years we have heard endless terms used to describe businesses that pursue profit responsibly: CSR; CR; CR and Sustainability; Ethical Business; Responsible Business; ESG; Social Impact; Purpose.
But are all these the same thing, just rebranded?
Less than 50 years ago business leaders were encouraged to think that greed was good: they should put profit first and the state would provide for those less fortunate. (Look up Milton Freedman if you don’t believe us!)
But long gone are the days of money-making being a business’s sole purpose. Arguably, thanks to modern working practices and legal frameworks (let alone consumer pressure and the media) no business would dare operate purely to make profits.
So, if businesses can now only make profit if they are seen to do it with ‘purpose’, have we in fact come full circle? All businesses understand the need to do more than simply generate cash for their shareholders. So why do we still need to have a CSR industry to make this stuff happen if purpose is now so finely weaved into the fabric of a business’ DNA?
Jo Geraghty, Co-founder and Director of Culture Consultancy, will be discussing all of this along with a stellar line-up of experts including Nadia Al Yafai (Head of Mutuality & Impact, Royal London) and Emma Cooke (Head of Citizenship, Herbert Smith Freehills), chaired by CSR/ESG maestro Marcus Jamieson-Pond.
Join us on Wednesday 3rd November to consider whether the CSR department is dead, has been reborn, or is simply now part of corporate culture.