The future of CSR practices

The author of the article, Wayne Visser, Founder and Director of the think-tank CSR International, tries to predict future CSR trends and gives some examples of what he thinks that CSR will look like in the coming years.

He believes that the future will bring us a new type of CSR, ”CSR 2.0” as he calls it, where we will see a shift in how companies execute their responsibility. Today, CSR standards makes our environmental problems much too simplified, and the author claims that CSR will have to become a more creative process.
Companies will be judged on their innovations in terms of products or processes which will have a positive impact on environment or social issues. That’s why companies will do more CSR in the future, and will offer more ethical products without having customers pushing for it.
As the problems we face today are global and more complex, companies will need partners to share their expertise and competence to have a bigger impact and solve these issues.
Global best practices
The author underlines that companies will have to comply with global best practices, but which need to be adapted to each local territory, as territories do not have the same issues and the same emergencies.
Global and common metrics
Reporting on CSR is in progress, but today companies need to have common metrics to be able to measure and compare their activities in a global way.
The key role of States
In the next years, States will participate to make some CSR principles mandatory for everyone through legislation (for example concerning emission reductions), even if CSR will remain a voluntary approach. However, this legislation will have to be harmonized between States, as only a global consultation will lead to a success.
The evolution of the role of CSR specialists
There will be more CSR professionals specialized in a discipline (climate issues, human rights issues, etc.) and more employees with the CSR knowledge necessary to integrate it to their function.
All this predictions reveal a bigger involvement of each part in CSR practices, which is a good sign for the future, “a future in which companies become a significant part of the solution to our sustainability crisis, rather than complicit contributors to the problem, as they are today”, according to Wayne Visser.
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