And we have another interesting case, which we can use for years in research: Volkswagen and their cheating with software so emissions of NoX are lower when software detects being tested. Ofcourse public opinion is outraged, because VW made us believe that they cared about trust and cared upon their reputation. Large proportions of their website and their CSR report are full with details on how they act on environmental issues and socially.
(screenshots from VW sustainability report 2014)
And again, we are cheated, just like BP with their beyond petroleum, and other global operating firms.
It seems almost the opposite, when an organization makes the effort of reporting on CSR they are greenwashing or identity washing. I don’t know because whether it is of the too many marketeers involved in CSR, but the loss in trust seems to be bigger than what they can give back to soceity with CSR. Do we have to conclude that any CSR communication is based upon not telling the truth? We certainly have to be very suspicious!
CSR is not a thing, a report or a website you can add to your business, it has to be in your DNA. If not, don’t report on it, you will not be believed anymore. In old stakeholder models, the company is in the middle of the charts, in our networked soceity a company might be included in the network of a stakeholder, but certainly this is not automatically. Stakeholders choose whether a company is part of their network. Continue reading