Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Social Media & CSR

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Article on Mashable by Melissa Jun Rowley:

Until recently, corporate social responsibility among businesses has revolved around risk mitigation and self-regulation. Instilled to make sure companies would abide by the law and perform ethically, CSR has focused predominantly on issues of overtime in factories and sexual harassment.

Today, CSR functions as more than just a set of guidelines to keep companies out of trouble. Because the end goal for corporations has risen above simply selling a product or service, the standard for CSR is being redefined and is evolving as a driver of innovation. The bottom line is now three-fold, and is centered around people, planet, and profit. As business leaders strive to build more sustainable and socially responsible entities, formal social media strategies are becoming paramount.

Chip giant Intel is using social media to improve its earth-friendly consciousness, and to engage with other parts of the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector and consumers. Intel’s Director of Corporate Responsibility, Michael Jacobson, says his department takes advantage of social media by marketing the positive ways Intel is working to minimize its global carbon emissions, as well as the entire industry’s.

“There was a time when we only focused on reducing own environmental footprint,” said Jacobson. “Today, we look for ways to help reduce CO2 emissions across the board, and we do that by talking with our stakeholders individually through social media.” [more]

These ideas are echoed by an article “CSR 2.0” by Mikkel H. Sørensen & Nicolai Peitersen, who write:

A lot of different economical, social, and business related factors helped this comeback [of CSR]. However, one factor stands out as both cause and medium for the second coming of CSR about to take off: the rejuvenation of Internet technologies and social dynamics called ‘Web 2.0’.3 Actually the web has become a social dynamo of such importance that CSR officers might as well start sharpen their web skills

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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