Companies can improve the ROI of corporate social responsibility reporting, according to an Advertising Age column by Paul Klein, president and founder of Impakt.
In the column Klein highlights three ways to increase the readership and value of these often expensive, time-consuming reports.
- Make your stakeholders the authors of your report. Klein says community-based reporting is more believable and more interesting, so ask people in the communities where you do business to rate your firm’s environmental and social performance. But be prepared to address the external stakeholders’ concerns.
- Provide an opportunity for your most vocal opponents to have their say. Advocacy groups pay attention to CSRs. Instead of trying to avoid contact with these groups, give your critics an opportunity to share their views in your CSR.
- Make CSR reporting a year-long window into your impact on communities and their impact on you. Do this via an interactive portal where you can share sustainability accomplishments and hurdles, and report on air and water quality in real time, while giving stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions.
Saving money is the no. 1 reason executives give for moving towards more environmentally sustainable business practices, according to a Grant Thornton report published in August.