The Business Case for being a Responsible Business

The aim of this report is to articulate succinctly the business case for being a responsible business - a headline synthesis of the arguments being used and most frequently stated business benefits.
Key findings
  • Over 60 business benefits of being a responsible business were identified
  • Key business benefits are improved brand value and reputation, better employee motivation and engagement, and greater operational effectiveness
  • Responsible leadership and macro-level sustainable development were identified as benefits that are growing in importance

Based on wide-ranging research commissioned by BITC from the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, the report identifies the most common business benefits reported by companies, describing each one in detail.

Data sources include an extensive literature review and submissions to BITC's own CR Index and Awards for Excellence.  Trends in the benefits reported are used to make predictions about those benefits that will become more important in the future.

From the foreword by Professor David Grayson, CBE and Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community:

"Responsible business is not a trade-off between people, planet and profit – companies should be expanding the connections between societal and economic progressi and looking at innovative ways to integrate responsible business practices into their core practices. A divide is emerging between those that embrace sustainability-driven strategy and management, and those that don’t. These ‘embracers’ are the businesses that will survive and thrive and to help those currently at an earlier stage of the journey, we need to provide the proof – the argument and numbers – that show why and how responsible business practices build successful organisations, to help them define those materially relevant to them.

For this report we have researched and compiled the most up-to-date data on what the business benefits of being a responsible business today are, and predict what the benefits will be tomorrow. This will help organisations and individuals understand what areas of operations they can look at to assess their societal, economic and environmental impact, how to gather support for building a responsible business, and why being a responsible business is not only the right choice, it’s the sustainable choice."

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