Business Critical: Understanding a Company’s Current and Desired Stages of Corporate Responsibility Maturity

By Ron Ainsbury and David Grayson

Business Critical: Understanding a Company’s Current and Desired Stages of Corporate Responsibility Maturity

“An MOT and an advanced driving test all in one go”

Legal & General are proud sponsors of, and contributors to, the Stages of Maturity research and this discussion paper, published by David Grayson and Ron Ainsbury from the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University.

It’s been a while since the Corporate Responsibility profession took stock of its collective wisdom on where we have been, and where we are going on running businesses responsibly. Meanwhile hardly a week goes by without a helpful suggestion from the outside world on how an organisation should improve its economic value, social usefulness and environmental efficiency; and it is very easy to spot businesses that get their social, environmental and economic decisions out of balance: these organisations hit the headlines seemingly within nanoseconds.

On the upside, businesses are increasingly taking an approach that builds an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) premium into the core economic valuation. This is achieved by those organisations which bring in a diverse set of views to inform risk and reputation management activities, and to build a research and development pipeline for the future. This is managing both the negative and the positive social, environmental and economic impacts.

We believe that organisations big and small can use the ideas presented in this paper to diagnose where they are and where they need to go next: becoming much more self-aware and setting the direction towards greater sustainability. It’s the equivalent of taking an MOT and getting an advanced driving test all in one go! We congratulate David and Ron on a first class piece of work. This debate, and ultimately this framework, should play a big part in guiding organisations towards being better and more responsible businesses.

Graham Precey Head of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics Legal & General Group Plc

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