‘Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development’ Book Debuts as Experts Canvass for CSR for all, Highlight Areas Brands Should Improve
Public Relations experts have disclosed that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) should not just be done by few big business entities, multinationals or rich individual but should be the sole responsibility of every individuals and businesses whether small or big in the interest of making the society better and protecting the planet inline with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They made this assertion at the unveiling ceremony of the book titled ‘Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development’ co-authored by Dr. Wole Adamolekun and Dr. Rotimi Olatunji.
According to the reviewer of the book, Lanre Arogundade who was represented by Oladokun Omojola said that “CSR should not necessarily be an exclusive preserve and sole responsibility of big business entities and super-rich individuals. Rather, it should be the concern for all, to make the desire impact.”
He added that “Corporate Social Responsibility, with or without the ‘corporate,’ had great potentials in the years to come, as it is the defining factor for those businesses that will hold sway. The corporate scandals that wreaked irreparable damage to the corporate image of many big multinationals: the unethical practices of falsified company performance accounts, poor labour standards, human right abuses, corruption, aggravated poverty, conflict and negative environmental impacts, are all eye-openers for pitfalls that can be avoided. Ultimately, this will aid the achievement of peak performance in the three key areas of the environment, social, and financial performance.”
He explained further that the book is an eye opener for all and states the role of all stakeholders including the media in contributing to the development of CSR and Social Responsibility in the country.
The Chairman of the occasion, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, who is also the Group Managing Director of CMC Connect LLP, said “The world is changing and we are feeling the effect of not giving back to the society and not being socially responsible. I know times are hard but we must give more.”
He also called on companies to ensure that their CSR initiatives are truly impactful to the society and should not be about showmanship in the media when a larger percent of the budget is put on promotion. “For example, a situation where a company budgets 10 million for a sustainable project and spent 8 million promoting it. It is not right, there must be more for the project rather than for the promotion.”
He urged every businesses, corporate affairs mangers, tertiary institutions, individuals and others to have a copy of the book as it is filled with insights which will shape the social responsibility landscape in the country and the continent.
Co-Author of the book, Dr. Rotimi Olatunji said that the perspective of the book is that “the concept of social responsibility is beyond corporations, it starts with individuals, people adopting the vulnerable in the society, taking care of them and ensuring that those that are not your biological children you are involved in their education, welfare and you contribute to the society by contributing to the poor.”
He added that “We are saying that it is not just corporations, individuals that can be involved in social responsibility practices but for the organizations they need to be strategic. When we talk of sustainable, we are talk of involvement in community development that people can have ownership of project in such a way that there will be continuity. The United Nations that came up with Sustainable Development Goals talk of development in the present that doesn’t jeopardize the future generations.”
Also speaking, the co-author of the book, Dr. Wole Adamolekun urged companies to be socially responsible in all areas from employee relations to community relations and others, stating that today people want to work with socially responsible organizations.
He added that the purpose of the book is enable people understand that social responsibility is everybody’s business from individuals to businesses; small or big.
In his words, “If you are talking of social responsibility, it can not be the business of those who have big money and big budget alone, it has to be the business of everybody,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Dr. Ike Neliaku represented by Lanre Bajulaiye, a Council Member of NIPR, said the emphasize today is on CSR but people and community have forgotten the concept of ‘Traditional Social Responsibility’, a system where every child belongs to everybody in the community and people treat each other as one family and supports each other.
“Our failures on various areas are beginning to face us, social responsibility is not just doling out billions, you can build big structures or provide facilities in a community but if the environment you have brought those things is not affected and they are not taking ownership, your billions will have gone down the drain. You must first of all affect the environment positively for them to take ownership and to believe this is for us and from one of us. That gives you the security if you are within that environment even you are outside the environment. I think we will not be talking about insecurity if we are socially responsible in this country, ” he explained.
Commending the authors of the book, Ken Egbas, Convener of The-SERAs-CSR-Awards, said the book is timely and comes at a time when more companies are beginning to see the importance of investing in sustainability initiatives and giving back, adding that the book will help grow the sustainability industry.