Knowledge Centre

Sustainable value creation must include business, society and the environment

The intersection between business, society and environment is where smart CSR works to create value for all stakeholders.

It’s all about aligning business, social and environmental interests. At first blush it may seem like there would be little place for commonality. Over time we’ve come to accept that competing interests have ruled out cooperation.

But what we’ve actually seen is that value – however it’s defined – is important to everyone.
Our world is not as silo’d as you might think. We all work (business), live in communities (society) and expect our environment to be preserved. So there is actually a lot more commonality than one would expect to find.

It’s important that businesses evolve, and can be rewarding too. Stakeholders or all types, shareholders, governments and others are pushing, pulling and shoving business to engage on social issues and environmental stewardship.

 Businesses that get this right can create competitive advantage and prosper. The role of government is also evolving as it bridges the gaps between business and society.

Our approach to CSR is strategic and value-centric. It is all about creating value and driving efficiency in that process by identifying areas where the outcomes work for all stakeholders and result in positive net outcomes for everyone.

Strategic, value-centric CSR is far from the charity and philanthropy that many have in mind when they hear the word. It is all about strengthening business value and, simultaneously, creating positive social and community impacts and efficient environmental stewardship.

Really, it’s no different if you’re trying to drive efficiency in your operations, in your financing structure, in your engineering, in your human resources – it’s all about efficiency. Successful businesses are efficient in creating value.

 This principle should carry into your CSR and social engagement focus as well. Efficiencies drive value. But there is a misconception that all efficiencies are driven by cuts, when it may actually be strategic investments that lead to further growth and sustainable prosperity.

Our job is to shift the mindset so the relationship between business and society is not seen as one of competing interests. We find creative ways to deliver value for both in a way that also preserves the environment. It isn’t about taking from business and giving to society, it’s finding a way to make more for both.

Efficiency, value and sustainability is the path forward and we’re well positioned to deliver the programs to deliver on all three.

 If you’d like to speak to Wayne Dunn about how a value-centric strategic approach to CSR can help your government or business leverage social capital to deliver more value you can send him an email at

Prof. Wayne Dunn

Wayne Dunn is an award-winning global sustainability expert with extensive teaching, writing, lecturing and advisory service experience. He is supported by an extensive faculty and advisory team.