The World Confederation of Productivity Science promotes the concept of SEE – Social, Environmental & Economic Productivities – suggesting that long-term business sustainability and success comes from addressing all three. Some have claimed that this is another ‘take’ on the concept of corporate social responsibility but the WCPS ‘ view is that CSR is an add-on to a business, often for promotional reasons, whereas SEE is part of basic business fabric and must be treated as such. There is a business case for addressing SEE – not a PR case.
The Volkswagen case has reinforced this belief. Volkswagen was regarded as a leader in CSR – but it clearly wasn’t part of core business strategy or core values.They didn’t look a† environmental issues as a fundamental core of strategy – just something it was nice to brag about. And they completely forgot about that ‘commitment’ when tough business decisions needed to be taken.