Comparing Sustainability to Social Responsibility

I wish I could say I came up with this comparison chart. I could have used it many times over the past year. It was part of Webinar sponsored by two companies, Verdantix and Enviance. The chart  is from David Metcalfe’s presentation which was excellent as was Greg Scandrett’s introduction. Greg is VP of Product Development at Enviance and David Metcalfe is CEO of Verdantix.

Responsibilty is not Sustainability 2

As a sustainability advocate it became clear to me early on in my journey that the social responsibility professionals in an organization were not very interested in our project, EarthSayers.tv, the voices of sustainability. CSR since the advent of social media has become heavy on the “managing corporate reputation” with emphasis on the managing part and, as noted in this chart, focused on NGO’s and eco-consumers, rather than building a trustworthy reputation based on social sustainability principles and practices.

Up to now the C-level sustainability officer is generally focused on environmental concerns, water and energy being high priorities, and cost reductions.  At the social and environmental sustainability intersection is where companies can begin to examine their role in externalizing risks and costs, a practice and mind set that has greatly harmed the environment and all living beings.

Posted by Ruth Ann at 6:55 pm
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2 Responses to “Comparing Sustainability to Social Responsibility”

  1. [...] Within the corporate organism, the two are rarely mixed up* being functionally distinct.  The best comparison of the two is provided by David Metcalfe, CEO of Verdantix and a refreshing alternative to [...]

  2. [...] is the person I had in mind when in March of 2011 I wrote a blog post comparing sustainability to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and noted “Up to now the [...]

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