Do it Right: Preparing a CSR report

Mean what you write. Don't just pay lip service to the notion of corporate responsibility. Make your actions match your words - Enron's corporate responsibility tome now makes for an ironic read.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Make it sustainable. CSR should form part of the overall business strategy, making you more competitive as well. If it doesn't, it's at risk of being cut as budgets feel the pressure of the credit crunch.

Differentiate your brand. It's an overcrowded marketplace, and with ethical consumerism on the rise, your CSR report can build customer loyalty based on shared ethics. Soft values equal hard cash - look at the good old Co-operative Bank.

Attract new talent. Today's graduates are motivated by more than a flash car and a sharp suit. They are likely to ask about CSR at interview, so be ready to answer them fully.

Consult with stakeholders. Ask investors and employees what matters to them, and use this as the base on which you build your policy.

Don't over-promise. You can't re-freeze the polar ice cap, end world hunger and save the whale all at once. Stick to just a few concrete goals.

Measure your achievements. Explain the methodology you've used to evaluate your progress and don't hide behind jargon. Use graphics to illuminate rather than obscure.

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