Corporate thinking about social issues has evolved considerably over the years. Ten or twenty years ago, companies didn’t pay much attention to the social consequences of their activities – downplaying any responsibility and often considering corporate philanthropy as an expression of the CEO’s personal values.Over the years, companies began to acknowledge a sense of responsibility for the social impact in their value chain, spending money to address them with the goal of protecting or improving the companies reputation. More recently, companies have fully acepted responsibility for their social impact, sepnding money to fix them and using their corporate capabilities to help solve problems. What Porter and I are suggesting, hwoever, is an even newer development in which companies see social issues not as a cost but as an opportunity to grow their business, reduce costs, differentiate their competutive positioning by addressing social problems – even problems that are outside the company’s value chain – problems that the company didn’t cause or contribute to, but where it can spot opportunties.
Responsible Electronics 2013: Mark Kramer Keynote
The Electronic Industry Citizenship
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Analysis prepared for:
Creating Shared Value
September 30, 2013