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Building CSR into Project Management

Building CSR into project management

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can no longer be about just giving back to the local community — it is a fundamental aspect of sustainable business growth. By incorporating CSR into project management plans, businesses can proactively address environmental concerns, social inequality, and ethical governance, ensuring these aspects are considered in any new initiatives that are conducted throughout the organisation.

What is CSR?

Rather than prioritising profit-making schemes, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business model that encourages an organisation to consider their wider impact on society and the environment. The goal is to balance economic, social, and environmental considerations in the decision-making processes and overall operations of the business.

Learn more about what corporate social responsibility looks like.

Why does CSR matter for project management?

Integrating CSR into project management is not only a morally good choice for a business, but a strategic necessity for those aiming for long-term success. By aligning project management practices with socially responsible principles, organisations can build resilience, foster positive relationships, and contribute to a more sustainable and ethical business environment.

How to integrate CSR into project management

Integrate social responsibility into your policies

The best way to ensure that CSR is not overlooked within your organisation is by building it into your policies. Ensure that you include specifics such as targets and end dates, as well as setting out key performance indicators (KPIs). You should measure your CSR against KPIs just as you would sales targets, customer satisfaction, or any internal goals.

Keep CSR relevant

CSR runs deeper than just ‘doing the right thing’. Businesses must establish and pursue their purpose. Take toy brand, Lego, for example. Lego’s ‘Build the Change’ initiative gives children a platform to have their ideas heard. This initiative expresses their passion, is industry relevant, and demonstrates the core principles that Lego values. What all good CSR has in common is that it is aligned with the company values and the brand.

Root your objectives

By first setting out your purpose and formulating your policies, it is relatively straightforward to develop CSR project management objectives. Your objectives should frame the social principles you value so that when it comes to putting CSR into practice, you have a clear ambition. Rooting your objectives and principles will keep projects focused and in line with what you are hoping to achieve.

Live by best practices

Methodologies such as PRINCE2® use best practice methods applicable to responsible project management. Social initiatives which drive change (both in terms of environment/community, and internal changes to practices), require a principle-driven method and framework to keep them on track and progressing. By deploying global best practice, you set the foundation to live by principles which support your initiatives.

Find out more about what PRINCE2 is.

Leaders must drive change

Building CSR into projects must work in practice as well as theory. And so, it is down to managers to step up and become leaders. They must push for CSR to be at the core of all projects by influencing and inspiring change. Leaders must motivate, set an example, and enable employees to contribute towards CSR solutions. And they must do so with openness and honesty, and by standing with employees on initiatives.

Discover the qualities of a good project manager, and start to take ownership of CSR management.

A responsibility to stakeholders

It is apparent that organisations owe it not only to their business and customers to act with responsibility, but to their stakeholders too. Campaigns for change expand the range of stakeholders a project could otherwise have. Take, for example, environmental issues. Communities beyond your staff, customers and investors will share your values and therefore care about the outcomes of your initiatives. With far-reaching stakeholders, it is imperative that you seamlessly integrate social action into your projects and prioritise its success.

Integrating CSR into project management with PRINCE2

Building CSR into project management allows leaders to drive change and truly have a positive impact on the world. Projects should encompass the companies’ values, purpose, and social objectives with clearly defined CSR policies and practices.

The tailorable methodology offered by PRINCE2 can be used to leverage and integrate CSR principles into your project management processes. The PRINCE2 processes and required project documentation can help to ensure that CSR is integrated into all projects run by the organisation and as a result is weaved into the overall business objectives.

Start managing CSR projects with our PRINCE2 training.