What is the future for Corporate Responsibility?

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What is the future for Corporate Responsibility?

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Acre looks at where the corporate responsibility sector is heading now the economy is beginning to recover and what this means for the CR professional.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 3:00pm

What is the future for Corporate Responsibility?

The economic disruption of the past two years has allowed the Corporate Responsibility profession to step up and gain huge credibility.

Often perceived as a cost, organisations have simply been asking the question ‘how does sustainability create value’. The answer is simple. Sustainability has ‘boomed’ during the crunch by…

  • Making money through new products and services

  • Saving money through enhanced efficiency

  • Mitigating and managing risk

But where is corporate responsibility heading now? And what does this mean for the CR professional?

Results of the 2010 Corporate Responsibility Salary Survey highlighted a notable increase in salaries, budgets and team sizes, illustrating the growing significance of CR in business.  This data supports the observations of the global Sustainability recruitment consultancy, Acre, on the CR job market and the advancement of Sustainability up the corporate agenda.

Rufus Bullough, Associate on Acre’s CR & Sustainability team states:

“In the past, we saw a demand for CR professionals from three main triggers;

  • The ‘Technical’ appointment in reaction to new regulation

  • The ‘Issues’ appointment due to reputational pressures

  • The ‘Internal Champion’, who had a passion and flair for the philanthropic agenda of the organisation”.

“However, this is changing and the dynamic economy has transitioned historically reactive ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ towards proactive ‘Sustainability’ programmes leading corporate strategy. And this has lead to a number of key appointments of ‘Chief Sustainability Officer’ at Board level for the first time”.

“As organisations become aware of the opportunities in ‘Sustainability’ to make money through new products and services, to save money through efficiency programmes, and to manage risk, it becomes core to business. We are seeing an increase in the number of requests from clients to source senior level sustainability professionals.”.

As the global economy begins to emerge from the recession, signs indicate that CR and Sustainability has not only withstood the downturn but flourished to a degree that pleases even the most cynical Chief Financial Officer. And with this comes a robust future for the CR and Sustainability professionals working within this space.