Development of a CSR model for practice : connecting five inherent areas of sustainable business
Faculty of Applied Economics
Science citation index
Engineering sciences. Technology
Journal of cleaner production / Masson. - Science citation index
, p. 104-114
University of Antwerp
The current overload of sustainability standards as well as the oversimplification of traditional management systems are two factors which often prevent organizations from translating their sustainable aspirations into their core strategy. In this context and in view of a strategic and profound embedding of the CSR-concept, this study proposes a conceptual CSR framework, mainly on the basis of the recently published umbrella guideline ISO 26000. The proposed model for practice goes beyond the limitations of traditional PDCA cycles, through applying interconnected soft and hard factors as building blocks within a circular framework, thereby aiming to reduce the gap between the execution of loose sustainable initiatives and the application of a sustainability balanced scorecard. The framework has been named Sus5, as it connects five inherent features of sustainable business (management knowledge & commitment, stakeholder knowledge & commitment, strategic planning, knowledge & commitment on the work floor, and operational execution & monitoring). The added empirical study, which has been executed within the Flemish business landscape, reflects on the average Flemish as-is attention for each independent proposed building block, thereby aiming to retrieve in which extent the attention areas of the average company are aligned with the ones of Sus5 as the basis for drawing conclusions on the general feasibility level of applying Sus5. Through its intuitive and pragmatic character, Sus5 might in this context firstly serve as a practical tool for organizations to undertake a self-assessment and detect possible gaps in their CSR-policy, secondly to motivate them to shift the emphasis to a broader set of attention areas, based on the realization that a thorough CSR policy consists of a set of interdependent building blocks, being bonded by causal relations.