Corporate reporting and assessment frameworks are powerful tools to help investors and consumers choose their investments and products wisely. In the wake of the World Resources Forum 2011, corporate sustainability assessments are an important tool to help consumers and investors drive change towards a less-resource-intensive world. One of the oldest, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) started in 1999 as a way to list the top 10 percent of sustainable global companies for investors. SAM, a boutique sustainable investing fund, invites the largest 2500 companies each year to submit sustainability data for DSJI scoring; companies are added and dropped from the list based on their performance. The process is third-party reviewed by Deloitte Consulting. Two companies that attended the World Resources Forum 2011 are ranked on the DJSI; Kraft Foods and Syngenta.
We all know how big businesses are socially responsible, don’t we? From a buzzword to the new “way of managing business by considering the impact of activities on customers, employees and shareholders” (Businessweek), Corporate Social Responsibility is now fully embracing corporate culture. Socially responsible projects and programs have attracted investments exponentially in the last decade. Several studies show the link between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and financial performance. By understanding that in order to do well, one must do good, CSR strategies have contributed extensively to their profit-maximisation objectives.
Change should always start at some point. Probaby the smaller the change is, the easier it is to make it. But what happens when a big organisation, not to say a corporate dinosaur, is trying to redefine its strategy towards a more sustainable way of doing business? Kraft Foods realised 20 years ago what many companies are just starting to realise: that Corporate Sustainability and Responsability really matter. It is not only about pressure from NGOs and governments, but also about competitive advantage and therefore, about profits.