If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, then you should read Ethical Corporation’s interview with Jonathon Porritt, which offers a telling example.
In a nutshell, CR/CSR tends to denote the kind of peripheral stuff that the banks were winning awards for – right up to the point that they fell on their collective arses! By contrast, sustainability is the stuff that actually matters – interrogating and challenging the underlying business model – something that your average CR team wouldn’t be let anywhere near.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: asking how a business is responsible and how it is sustainable are two fundamentally different questions. The latter is infinitely broader in scope, essentially, “Why will you still be in business in 50 years’ time?”