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Demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility in the Marketing Services World

Organisations have become much more sensitive to the issues around Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability over the last few years. Part of that is linked to a greater general awareness that we need to do more to ensure a successful future for our descendants, and that the earth’s resources are finite.

But there has also been a harder calculation from business leaders. They have realised that doing the right thing from a sustainability point of view can boost their own and their organisations’ reputations. And the inverse is probably an even more powerful message. Get it wrong, and the negative impact can be very serious, as increasing numbers of organisations have found, whether that is in terms of regulatory issues or reputation (at a corporate or brand level) in the eyes of customers.

In this paper, we look at an area of spend that is not often considered in this light – marketing materials or “collateral”. We look at why it is important for buyers and marketing managers to understand more about the products they are buying, to ensure that their carefully developed brand image is not tarnished by association with poor CSR practices. Nobody wants to be associated with stories of collapsing factories, poor labour practices, or pollution and waste of natural resources. Traceability and understanding are therefore vital in these supply chains.

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