CSR and Sustainability are NOT the Same

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CSR and Sustainability are NOT the Same

If you’re new to CSR and Sustainability, I’ll share a quick overview here. I think most businesses today, as is the case with The Farthest Pixel, recognize that almost all of us are consumers of the Earth’s resources. Be it paper or energy or agriculture – most of us in fact use a lot of resources in order to fulfill our business goals and sustain our profitability. The problem is, we’re using more of the Earth’s resources than it can replenish. And that’s a problem. The World Commission on Environment and Development published a paper in 1987 titled “Our Common Future” where they define sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This is the crux of sustainability. We shouldn’t be using more of the Earth’s resources than it is able to replenish for the welfare and prosperity of our grandchildren.

Now, the idea behind CSR is when a company mitigates its use of resources through actions that attempt to balance their use of these resources. For example, if a paper company logs 5,000 acres of forest adjacent to a small rural town, they might build the town a local park to compensate. While it isn’t an equitable tradeoff for many of us who would rather hike in the woods than jump on a swing set, it is also going to cost the town money to maintain the park, and removing 5,000 acres of forest will eliminate a significant carbon sink, contributing to the increase in global warming. So, a more appropriate balance should be sought.

CSR and sustainability in the business setting need to work in concert. And businesses today need to develop a company philosophy and strategy that includes employee training so that everyone is on board. At The Farthest Pixel we can help you discover how to find this balance and identify ways you can be socially and environmentally responsible in your organizational endeavors.

 

About the Author:

Amanda Robertson is CEO and owner of The Farthest Pixel, a full service instructional design and media development firm based in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

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