Business Continuity through CSR. What does it entail?
Business Continuity is defined as "a management process that identifies potential threats to an organization and the impacts to business operations those threats, if realized, might cause, and which provides a framework for building organizational resilience with the capability of an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value-creating activities" (Source: ISO 22301:2012).
Underpinning this assumption is the fact that, besides having one’s house in order, a company is aware of future risks, legal obligations, changing circumstances as well as changing (societal) stakeholders’ expectations and anticipates on these by incorporating key themes relevant to the business activities into its strategic decisions.
CSR does just that. By widening the scope of analysis of the business activities, there is a better understanding of the mutual relationship and interdependence between an organization and the environment in which it operates. ‘Environment’ is to be interpreted in the broadest sense and includes geographical, temporal and cultural elements.
Within this context, I advise organizations looking to develop / strengthen their CSR strategy. Either by being a sounding board / devil’s advocate on a strategic level or by identifying and implementing the necessary tools and structures to ensure credibility and transparency in line with the organization’s ambitions. The main focus is on developing a coherent approach, clear in its contextualization, targets and objectives thus facilitating internal buy-in and external comprehension and finding a balance between managing risk and opportunities.
I'm currently developing activities assessing the financial impact of integrating CSR into business activities, whether it be on a strategic level (integrated reporting) or an operational level (cost-cutting opportunities linked to environmental management accounting).
Over time I have developed partnerships with other consultants to tackle bigger projects and where necessary provide additional support in the fields of soil & groundwater studies, ISO 9001, OSHAS 18001, good governance, supply chain auditing, HR, communication & marketing. We all have in common that we don't aspire to be the biggest consultancy offices, which releaves us from the pressure of reaching internal financial figures, and allows us to focus on quality instead of quantity.
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