Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Katie Lahey’s address to the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility ‘Turning Point’ conference
Speech synposis: Navigating the CSR landscape in Australia, within the context of the corporation and corporate reputation, is a challenge for Australian corporations.
There’s a major shift going on in the Australian community in the way it views and relates to large business. This shift’s being driven by a fundamental change in the relationship between individual Australians and the economy.
Sixteen years of unbroken economic prosperity – combined with a major increase in share ownership among ordinary Australians – have created the potential for a new roadmap for the role of business in society. Never before have so many individuals been directly involved and interested in corporations and the wealth they create.
This is an exciting shift because it’s creating the platform for a new dialogue between business and the community.There is no better place for this new dialogue to be developed than around CSR. But CSR continues to be seen or spoken of – even within some sections of business – as a sort of extended apology for the corporation.
Only by making it consistently clear that CSR is a natural and vital extension of the competencies and core values of business – not an offset or an apology for them – will business, and the community, reap a sustainable return from its CSR investment.