Innovativeness in the service of CSR

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The research by Accenture and Global Compact [1] conducted among over 1,000 CEOs of the largest multinationals shows that 78% of them believe that actions in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility facilitate innovativeness and build competitive advantage.

In another conducted research 90% of the organizations, almost all of which with an implemented CSR strategy, have initiated or conducted innovative projects within the last three years. They were most frequently conducted in the area of production methods or services.2 Harvard Business Review, on the other hand, has published research results which show that the CSR policy and related programmes can increase the innovativeness of an organization. The research allowed for establishing the link between engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility projects and the number of new products launched on the market.

The companies in the top one-third of the ranking in terms of CSR actions launch on average 47 new products in one year. These in the bottom one-third marketed only 12 new products. The authors of the report believe that while building up the relations with external stakeholders (customers, suppliers, non-profit organisations and government bodies), the CSR policy also guarantees the access to a vast pool of knowledge for the organisation. In this way it helps the company keep up with the changing market trends and technology and facilitates making “creative leaps” [3]. In turn, the “Global Climate Change Report 2013”4 shows that organisations which care for the natural environment generate better financial results.

Business at the top
In 2014 entrepreneurs could be heard for the first time during the climate summit. This was the consequence of their large impact on the natural environment and the fact that they will bear the cost of reducing the emissions of CO2 as a result of climate changes. This will start from the transport sector which will suffer from the growing oil prices. This change will most likely influence the cost of goods in shops which also includes the cost of transport. Following the decision of the European Commission, fuel consumption and environmental costs will have to be mandatorily reported by all companies inside the EU which employ more than 500 workers. Such papers will illustrate wasteful management of natural and financial resources. Those who waste energy, throw away money and generate CO2.

Tangible profits and good practices
Innovativeness achieved through socially responsible actions brings tangible profits. Revenues of Marks & Spencer for 2009 included 50m pounds of additional profit gained through the CSR policy. Canon, which launched the green calculator manufactured in 80% from recycled materials, saw that within months this product accounted for 25% of the total company sales.

Transparent – hook, line and sinker
Customers of logistics companies, as well as end users, more and more often wish to know not only where the product comes from but also how it was made. Metro Group has announced that it is going to implement a technology which will allow for detailed verification of the whole supply chain of meat and fish products. Metro will launch an application for mobile devices which will increase the transparency of the sold goods. When scanning a particular product, e.g. a fish, the buyer will know the kind, as well as who caught it and when. He will also know the date when it was processed.

We will also have information on the product quality and its sustainability. The essential aspect of transparency is also a responsible logistics operator. Only when he is aware of its role as a supplier, he can guarantee high quality of services as well as the responsibility, also the social one.



[1] UN Global Compact – Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability,

[2] Raport Millward Brown, Innovativeness and the Corporate Social Responsibility of Largest Enterprises, prepared for the Responsible Business Forum.





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