The importance of developing CSR skills within the company
The integration of sustainability issues at the heart of the Luxembourg-based companies strategy is in line with the commitments established in the Paris Agreement on global warming, the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations (Agenda 2030) and the 10 priorities defined by the National Plan for Sustainable Development (NPSD) set up by Luxembourg.
The – now inevitable – themes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development apply across the entire value chain of the company, whatever its sector of activity.
Knowing the subject thus becomes essential to ensure a smooth management of the CSR approach. Skills can be acquired from within by training one or more employees or by external recruitment.
- The company then appoints a person dedicated to CSR or creates a new function;
- Setting up a CSR working group is also recommended, bringing together HR, quality, production, administration, logistics and strategy skills, as required;
- Finally, the company should adapt its governance to add the CSR function to its decision-making body and thus ensure the issues are considered in its global strategy;
- To achieve its vision, continuous awareness-raising will promote employees’ commitment and the integration of the issues at all levels of the organization.
The CSR manager creates value for both the company and society and has a broad scope of action: understanding CSR issues and objectives, identifying and engaging with stakeholders, project management, supporting change and transformation, performance measurement and dashboard management, business understanding, communication and promotion of best practices. All these skills and knowledge need to be considered to succeed in the CSR strategy implementation.
Materialising one’s CSR commitments by bringing dedicated skills into the company is a key success factor in many respects. It contributes to the competitiveness and attractiveness of the company as a whole, with a view to continuous improvement. It also sends a positive signal to its stakeholders and helps strengthen the employer brand.
To help companies in their approach, tools are available, depending on the degree of maturity of their CSR strategy: information phase, concrete and measurable initiatives, advanced implementation.
- The INDR offers a self-assessment system to determine its level of CSR, through its ESR guide, an educational tool structured around 40 objectives;
- The institute also formalises and promotes the CSR approach by awarding the ESR label. More than 250 companies representing nearly 62,000 employees in Luxembourg can now claim the label;
- The European Sustainable Campus offers a masterclass in sustainable business management to committed executives and managers;
- In 2021, the Chamber of Commerce released the „Sustainable Business Principles“ in which the trained employee becomes a CSR collabor’actor;
- The ProRSE network is a platform for exchange and discussion dedicated to the community of CSR professionals in Luxembourg.
The above list of support tools is not exhaustive.