For those firms which misstep, fallout can be very damaging, both for the financial bottom-line and reputationally. However, for those which are pro-active and invest in their capability, the prizes -- both in terms of mitigating risk and seizing opportunity -- are potentially ever more significant.
If we have learnt anything from recent financial turmoil and the evolution of social media and public skepticism it must surely be that businesses - irrespective of their size - are no longer able to sustain an ivory tower culture, only connected to their consumers and owners, insulated from the rest of society and immune to its challenges and common practices.
I recently attended a conference held by the London Business School, focussing on Corporate Sustainability. The conference was interesting because it looked specifically at the future of corporate sustainability and the importance of innovation in achieving this.
Here are some stats from a survey we recently conducted amongst around 1,000 respondents, in conjunction with ResearchBods. Less than one in 10 British people consider the contribution of businesses to their communities as being 'very good' or 'excellent' - 37% feel it is poor, while 54% judge it to be average.