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The CSR Disconnect: Failure to Link Between Sustainability and Business Value is Fastest-Rising Barrier

corporate-social-responsibilityRecent evidence shows that that CEOs are strongly committed to embedding sustainability throughout their organizations, with many calling for action to reward sustainability leaders and unlock the full potential of the private sector.

However, many cited several barriers as a hindrance to sustainability efforts within their companies:

  • A lack of financial resources is the leading barrier to advancing sustainability, cited by 51 percent of respondents; 40 percent say that economic conditions have made it difficult to embed sustainability into core business.
  • The failure to make a link between sustainability and business value is the fastest rising barrier. In 2007, 18 percent said this deterred them from taking further action, rising to 30 percent in 2010. This year, 37 percent of responding CEOs cited this factor, and only 38 percent believe they can accurately quantify the business value of sustainability.
  • Only 15 percent of responding CEOs think business has made good progress over the last three years in making sustainability a must-have factor for consumers, even though 82 percent think this is critical to harnessing sustainability as a transformative force in the economy. Almost half (46 percent) believe consumers will always consider sustainability as secondary to price, quality and availability.
  • In a sign of investor ambivalence, although 52 percent of respondents see investor interest as an incentive for them to advance sustainability practices, only 12 percent of respondents see investor pressure as a leading motivator. Nevertheless, only a small minority of CEOs (15 percent) blames the short-termism of financial markets as a barrier, and 69 percent believe that investor interest will be increasingly important in guiding their approach (1).

Despite the apparent belief of many CEOs that sustainability is unimportant, JoTo PR encourages its clients to embrace the link between corporate social responsibility and business value. Longtime JoTo client, Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. (NTC) is one company that has recognized the need encourage sustainability as a key factor for growth in a recovering and competitive economy. Under Team JoTo’s guidance, NTC has become a leader in social, environmental and sustainability efforts within its community. The post-closing services provider has established giving back as the backbone of its company culture. The term “corporate sustainability” encompasses an array of definitions but NTC lends the term to a variety of methods. NTC has embraced company-wide “green” efforts including, but not limited to:

  • Working with suppliers and customers to reduce environmental impacts by providing paperless documents whenever possible. Example of this is NTC’s electronic recording initiatives. Electronic recording reduces the need for paper, saving forests, water usage, packaging and fuel costs;
  • Developing strategic partnerships with customers and suppliers to increase the use of digital data sharing;
  • Establishing a web portal for all nationwide abstractors to submit fulfillment orders in a paperless environment, thereby reducing paper, packaging, shipping and fuel costs;
  • Implemented companywide recycling program for paper documents, plastic bottles and cans;
  • Implemented companywide paperless payroll processes which reduce the need for paper, water usage and packaging.
  • Implementing solar energy program on company premises through installation of solar panels to reduce energy consumption.

As part of our PR services, JoTo advocates adopting a business practice that not only benefit the company, but also the area in which it resides. Through a combination of both business- and community-focused initiatives, NTC has managed to employ and train over 300 residents in the community, and establish itself as a leader within its industry.

  1. “Green Business Disconnect.” Bulldogreporter.com. N.p., 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 17 Jan. 2014. bulldogreporter.com/dailydog/article/pr-biz-update/green-business-disconnect-global-ceos-remain-committed-to-sustainabil.

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