The Future of CSR: Reporting In Order To Guarantee A Responsible Consumer Behavior

While writing all the blog entries, we always came across the topic of us as consumers being responsible for a company’s behavior, too. We can have a major affect on businesses by boycotting products. But how can we even know, which information is true and which not?

CSR reporting is a very important aspect that needs to be looked at when we talk about consumer responsibility. Companies need to be transparent, need to publish information about their business and supply chain. This way people, who already have realized their importance in making the world more sustainable, can get information and therefore can influence their consumer behavior. But can we really trust these reports? As long as there is no standardized way of reporting it will be difficult for stakeholders to compare and decide, which company one wants to support.

“The corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting community is now calling for standardized Integrated Reports – reports that combine the financial information of annual reports with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) data traditionally included in CSR reports”, argues this article.

Furthermore, Robert G Eccles, a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School explains:

„Integrated reporting is a simple idea, but it is an idea whose time has come. Voluntary filing programs are an easy and practical way to make this idea the common practice in companies’ external reporting. It is now up to regulators to make it happen.“

And then it is very fascinating to see young, innovative people deal with the aspect of „how can customer easily access the information provided in these reports? Sometimes you don’t have to go far to find a solution. A student of the Berlin School of Economics came up with the “Sustainable Traffic Lights”. It is an App called WeGreen for mobile phones, which allows you to take a picture of the barcode of a product. You then get information about the CSR report of the company’s product on your phone.

It is a very innovative idea and maybe this will work hand in hand with the trend for integrated CSR reporting. Thus it will lead to a more sustainable and environmental friendly behavior of customers.

We cannot assume that companies by themselves will change their profit-oriented behavior; but by building up some pressure we maybe will lead them in the right direction!

Sources:

http://brownflynn.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/the-future-of-csr-reporting-integrated-reports/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-g-eccles/going-green-in-annual-rep_b_593957.html

http://www.wegreen.de/

Advertisements

One response to this post.

  1. Although there are standardized Integrated reports, companies could just say that they are doing something, but they might not actually do it in reality. So, we just have to place our trust in how reliable they are.

    WeGreen is a really cool tool as it attracts young people to be more concerned about supporting companies with good CSR practices. There is even a facebook fan page to read up. Normally, people support companies which produce cheap and good products. But do they ever wonder why it can be sold at such a cheap price? Well, that is because the company may be using child labour which is cheap and they could also be just dumping their waste instead of chemically treating the waste before disposal. However, people still support these companies due to their cheap goods. I feel that we must think about our conscience when making purchases.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: