In a recent interview, Adam Werbach, sustainability adviser to Wal-Mart, provided some insight into what CSR/Sustainability professionals need to consider when planning their own career path.
Werbach challenges corporate responsibility professionals to be more commercially minded. He has a point. Corporate responsibility teams could do more to articulate a clear business strategy for their company that will grow sales. People in corporate responsibility are acutely aware of the need to integrate their work into core business development. Social and environmental issues are increasingly seen as new business opportunities, rather than risks to be managed. But translating this knowledge into practical business plans is easier said than done.
Interestingly, the potential business opportunities related to new products, revenue and margin improvements can be identified through a thorough risk assessment. For instance, the tactic of inaction where competitors are moving forward with CSR/sustainability programs creates risks of lost revenues and demonstrates the business value of taking action. Elm’s risk assessment methodologies have been used to show “before and after” pictures for clients to demonstrate impacts on their business and risk profiles. Our ROIa model calculates the financial value of investments in EHS management in light of the range of applicable EHS risks.
Contact us if you are interested in applying our risk assessment or ROIa processes to your EHS/CSR/sustainability programs.