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Organizing for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

How a company’s organizational structure and governance models can support corporate responsibility and sustainability success


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Corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR&S) is now widely regarded as a competitive advantage, and many would say it has become a business imperative. Yet many companies are still looking for answers about what kind of internal organization should support their CR&S efforts. To truly reap the benefits of CR&S there is no “one size fits all” solution. Companies that can find alignment between their unique design and culture and their sustainability strategy have the potential to realize substantial gains.

While it is important to identify the optimal structure for your CR&S function given your sustainability goals, it is impractical to think that this solution will remain constant. Just as the lifecycle of a business evolves, so too will sustainability practices. It is important to proactively revisit the key questions outlined here on a regular basis as a method of maintaining a full understanding your company’s position and ranking of priorities. While the model for integrating a CR&S strategy may vary between companies, by proactively establishing a CR&S structure, your organization will have the foundational elements needed for an adaptive portfolio of CR&S initiatives, thereby better positioning it to fully realize the benefits of your business – and CR&S – strategy.

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