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Corporate Social Responsibility

December 10, 2010 by
Filed under: General, Governance, Risk and Compliance

Today I present a topic that I personally find very interesting. Being involved in business for over 12 years, my personal focus lied within Internal Control, Fraud, Audit and Risk Management from a financial angle. Only in a handful number of cases did that include Social Responsibility related topics and it has never been an integral part of any of my projects. Many friends that I have work in somewhat related area and it has always been a sort of personal interest for me - although still not really involved!
It might seem odd that while talking about Risk Management or Internal Control, these topics are seldom covered. I've seen some topics pass by that are slightly related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) but even in those cases they were highly related to a financial angle (e.g. Internal Code of Ethics review, Insider Trader statements, Independence reviews and others). One could argue that CSR has no place in GRC, but it is inevitably linked since both have to do with forms of governance just from a different perspective.

There are many tools that can support your CSR efforts, but all things considered I think that BWise can do a pretty good job at it as well. BWise has many different uses and Aims specifically at the GRC market. More and more questions that we receive are regarding CSR (although not really concrete yet). Specifically the newly created and recently published ISO 26000 guidance for social responsibility and the global reporting initiative get a lot of attention. Some background ;) :
ISO 26000
The ISO 26000 is a sort of an umbrella ISO standard that incorporates already existing ISO standards such as the ISO 14000 standard for environmental systems and also touches on newly created guidance based on common CSR topics covered by the International Labor Organization - ILO (labor laws), UN millennium goals, code of ethics for child labor and others. It presents a framework of reference for any organization trying to mature in the area of CSR and looking for a decent starting point.

Global Reporting Initiative
GRI in short, provides a common set of reporting indicators on a wide set of topics related to CSR (equalizer treatment of women, child labor, energy use and utilization, etc.). It gives guidance and a benchmark able format for indicators that can be put in a financial statement appendix - a CSR report.

CSRBoth are frameworks of reference that can be used to create your organizations specific framework from a good starting point and to be periodically assessed to indicate areas of improvement. It facilitates sustainable reporting one the results. These are typical areas in which BWise is strong for providing support. We already support other frameworks or best practices/guidance such as UCF, ISF, Cobit and provide all of the required functionality to capture key figures, perform periodic assessments and include the content specific elements in your organizations Internal Control Framework for convergence.

I was personally involved in the implementation of a Global Reporting Initiative at one of our Customers in Portugal. There it is currently being used to capture all of the GRI indicators on a periodic basis. The results are used to create charts and graphs to present in their CSR Year-end reporting.

Tags: BWise, Risk, CSR

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