Role of Technology in CSR Enablement

CSR impact measurement gets a technology boost!

CSR has gone beyond philanthropy and has become an important pillar of sustainability, a way for enterprises to get their employees engaged with their communities around critical issues like education and healthcare, besides being a mandate in India. Through the efforts of UNGC and the commitment of most countries globally we are also seeing SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) getting aligned with sustainability and CSR strategies of companies. As mentioned by UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon “Now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before. The case is clear. Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing business and building markets.” Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions. Companies in India are looking beyond the 2% CSR contribution to add value to the larger SDG goals through their sustainability and CSR initiatives.

Technology will be a key enabler in CSR, rich data and communication technology enables companies to solve social and environmental problems at scale. Technology enablement in CSR achieves:

CSR impact measurement

Help in gathering project details, tasks, budgets, disbursements, manage stakeholder interactions, define and track output/outcome/impacts, reports and disclosures.

CSR connecting platforms

These platforms primarily help connect organisations with project partners. These are almost akin to match making solutions eg: BSE Samman

CSR enablers for projects

This is a vast area where the projects themselves are enabled via technology eg: digital education, assistive technology for disabled etc.

At the 3rd Treeni S4B (Sustainability for breakfast) event in Bangalore on the May 24th we would like to engage with CSR executives to discuss CSR impact measurement. One of the biggest challenges for enterprises in implementing CSR programmes is their inability to measure the direct impact on communities and society at large, and the intangible but very important impact on the brand and reputation. CSR impact monitoring tools to measure social impact is dynamic and evolving rapidly. An innovative technological intervention can help solve this challenge of measurement, monitoring and therefore, acting as an enabler for companies to participate in creating social value. Using technology to solve CSR challenges can provide the much-needed impetus for more organizations to engage deeply in, not just spending 2% of profits, but investing back into society for a measurable, monitored and sustained impact, and thereby aligning to the larger SDGs and value creation.