Building a responsible business goes beyond fulfilling your mandated Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). It starts from the core values and beliefs on which you found your business. Our selection of CSR quotes highlight how a responsible business pays attention to the well-being of its employees, the environmental impact of its operations, and the sustainable development of its micro and macro-community.
Consumers, now more than ever, consider the responsibility of the businesses they patronize. So much so that if your company lacks this orientation, it runs the risk of failure. CSR has thus evolved from being 'charity of choice' to being a matter of survival of your business, as Cameron Sinclair puts it.
The following CSR quotes illustrate various expert perspectives on the need for responsible businesses, and their importance in the protection of people, resources, and the environment.
57 CSR Quotes
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With over 70 million albums sold worldwide, Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful musical artists of all time. Underwood rose to fame after winning the Season four of American Idol and has since released critically-acclaimed country albums, including Some Hearts in 2005 and Blown Away in 2012 (both on amazon).
Underwood is also a philanthropist, channelling her energy into giving back to youths education particularly in her Checotah hometown. For Underwood, the best part about being successful is that you finally have the means to give back. To contribute positively to society and the world at large.
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Tom Douglas is a Delaware-born American Chef, restaurant owner and Author, who won the Best Northwest Chef at the James Beard Awards in 1994. Douglas authored Tom’s Big Dinners and Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen in 2001 (both on amazon).
Douglas believes, as stated in his responsible business quote, that you cannot truly claim to have a sustainability plan if your employees are not first-priority. An ideal sustainable development approach starts with the welfare of your staff; a good health plan, ideal working environment, top-notch labour practices and labour conditions.
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German-born Klaus Schwab is the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, a platform he founded in 1971. Many laud Schwab as one of the pioneers of the multi-stakeholder approach to businesses, as well as encouraging private-public partnerships across the world. Schwab also created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship which has, since its establishment in 1998, supported over 350 Social Entrepreneurs across the world.
In this quote, Schwab explains the need for corporate sustainability plans to move beyond the traditional means. Apart from just planning for the employees, the community and the environment, businesses should look towards more issues. Such as racism, and the lack of equal opportunities and inclusion in the societies in which they operate.
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French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault is the president of Groupe Artemis, a French holding company which owns controlling shares in the Kering. Kering, headed by Pinault himself, specializes in luxury goods and is the owner of the Gucci brand. Kering, under Pinault’s leadership, was awarded the “top sustainable textile, apparel, and luxury goods corporation” in the Corporate Knights Global 100 index, in 2018.
Sustainable development practices and CSR are now, more than ever, subject public perception. Corporations which recognise this have a better chance of getting in front of their target customers.
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Named by Vogue as “one of the world’s most inspiring women”, Noreena Hertz is an Economist, author, and strategic adviser to some of the world’s leading businesses. Hertz is a board member of Warner Music Group.
As a business owner, you may not be able to place a monetary value on the positive effects that CSR has on your company. The implications of failing at it though would be glaring. From government agency clampdowns to breakdown in consumer relationships, Hertz feels the potential effects of a bad CSR reputation is enough reason to do it right.
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Christine Tsai has spent most of her professional career developing brands and investing in Silicon Valley. In 2010, she founded 500 Startups, where, as the CEO, she grew 500 businesses to over $500million committed capital and over 100 team members.
Companies should adopt sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and inclusion early enough. Tsai advises that it is much easier and impactful to adopt these values from inception. It not only signals the intention of the company to the public, but it also helps to direct strategies and operation.
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Barry Commoner was an educator, biologist, author, former presidential candidate and environmental activist. He is most noted for being one of the first persons to raise alarm on the dangers of modern technologies (from nuclear weapons to pesticides) on the environment.
Commoner believed that scientists and production engineers had a responsibility first to the environment. In the course of using technology for production and transportation, innovators should be wary of its possible adverse effects on the environment.
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Dutch Economist and Business strategist, Frans van Houten, is the CEO of Royal Philips. He joined Philips in 1986, rose through the ranks, and is currently spearheading the company’s drive to make the world healthier and more sustainable. In 2017, in recognition of his efforts at corporate sustainability, Fortune named him amongst their Top 20 Global Business Leaders.
As the head of one of the world’s leading health technology firms, van Houten recognises the importance of employee wellbeing. Your staff drives your innovation. therefore they also drive your business. Investing in their general wellbeing is therefore non-negotiable.
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Paul Polman is a Dutch business executive. He held roles in some of the world’s biggest firms. Including Unilever; as the CEO, Nestle; as the Chief Financial Officer, and Procter & Gamble; as the Western Europe president. His more recent ventures are sustainability-related, forming Imagine- a group dedicated to combating climate change and poverty- in 2019, and leading the Consumer Goods Forum in its sustainability efforts.
Polman believes that businesses should consider the presence of poverty, inequality and climate change when building in society. As implied in his responsible business quote, you can’t say your company is truly successful if the people around you- and the environment- is in distress.
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British Businesswoman, Vivienne Isabel Westwood, is a fashion designer largely credited for popularizing the Punk fashion style and her ability to blend fashion and music. Her major break came in the 1970s when she made designs for Malcolm McLaren’s boutique in Chelsea, England. She soon expanded her brand throughout the world and many know Westwood for her civil rights and climate change activism.
The decisions economists make on the other hand have a direct impact on the world. On the environment. Both businesses and government bodies take their advice when developing policies and rules. Therefore, economists must consider the people aspect of the work they do. Understanding this, according to Westwood, is one of the keys to CSR.
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Henry Paulson is a US businessman, China Expert and author of the Bestsellers On the Brink and Dealing with China (both on amazon). He served as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States between 2006 to 2009. In 2011, he founded the Paulson Institute, dedicated to improving the relationship between the Us and China, and maintaining Global Order.
Just as CEOs work to leave a company in better condition than they met it, stakeholders in business should strive to leave a better environment to the next generation.
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Shiv Nadar is an Indian industrialist and entrepreneur, and the founder of HCL, an IT enterprise. Nadar is most noted for his philanthropic ventures, empowering individuals in the rural areas and transforming the Education landscape of India through the Shiv Nadar Foundation, established in 1994.
Organizations need to be conscious of the environmental impact of their processes, and the well-being of their local community. This, Nadar feels, is not just a PR option; it is a necessity.
While the general ideas of CSR and Sustainability are used to describe a responsible business, there are slight differences. CSR is more immediate and local-community oriented, while the concept of sustainability is more global and futuristic. As our CSR quotes show what is clear though is that businesses must take better responsibility for their roles in/contributions to society.
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