While the creation of Corporate Social Responsibility departments has succeeded in raising the profile of CSR officers and led to the creation of new corporate roles ranging from climate change manager to carbon management consultant, some experts says such departments may hamper environmental initiatives when companies fail to give the department authority over other executives, Business Green reports.
Seb Beloe, vice president for research and advocacy at environmental consultancy SustainAbility, believes this lack of authority is a common problem and that in some businesses the CSR department’s influence is so limited that environmental campaigners and NGOs are rejecting them as a point of contact, and are instead trying to directly access more senior executives.
Firms that want to drive successful environmental initiatives must either empower the CSR function with board-level authority or scrap it all together, according to Peter Klein, vice president for Europe at CarbonView. “Ideally it is better to drive environmental initiatives into the rest of the business,” he observes.
However, while many broadly agree that green best practices should ideally be the responsibility of every corporate exec in an organization, they also maintain that the CSR function still has a major role to play in attaining that goal.