Over December 2007 and January 2008 I was preparing the launch of SAP’s BPX for Banking. In general and roughly said, BPX is the Web 2.0 appearance of SAP. Marilyn Pratt is SAP’s global evangelist regarding BPX at SAP. She supports industry initiatives as well as the presentation of horizontal products in this web 2.0 environment. As usual during such initial, “first steps” guidance processes we discussed a variety of topics and some of them were “private” related, at least I thought they would be. But Marilyn draws my attention to some contributions of “corporate social responsibility” within bpx.sap.com. Eddy De Clercq wrote about energy consumption and mercury lamps. James Farrer wrote about corruption and other irregular "sponsorships" in business. And Marilyn asked me to contribute in that stack as well. This call was based on the content of some e-mails we exchanged during the preparation phase of Banking BPX launch.
After a longer discussion period about “why me” and the differentiation among personal and corporate flavours on such a topic as corporate social responsibility, this is now my first contribution on my private blog. I’ll have contributions in future on SAP’s blogs as well.
My basic understanding about corporate social responsibility starts from a fundament built on a collection of private and personal expertise and knowledge sets. A corporation might put a frame on such an assembly of private social responsibility topics by adding guidance about what’s inside (means corporate) and outside (means private, personal only). The outside part might be assembled as well by using public or private associations or so. The outside part might stay independent as well to indicate a strict personal perspective or viewpoint.
If you read my bio you most probably have registered that my roots regarding social responsibility are multiple.
- From an educational perspective we discussed “Limits of Growth” in early 1973-1975 workshops in “Philosophy of Science” as a logical continuation/extension of Oppenheimer’s development in “Manhattan’s project” and 68-reflexions, initiated by project orange in Vietnam. The “auto-free Sundays” put resource consumption in a very near personal context.
- During hunting educations (in 1993-1995) I perceived a re-vitalisation of the people-environmental dialog and responsibility. Hunting in Germany includes a large set of ethic rules on behaviour and responsibilities of hunters, wildlife and society. Not to differentiate unnecessarily, but I got the impression, that this ethic base has some (remarkable) deviations among the European countries.
- Exercises and performances in symphonic wind music disclosed other balances where different parties contribute in a whole.
- Having 5 children in the age-spread of 16 to 27 years, it’s also evident that lessons are learned there as well.
As an employee of a global company it might be a logical assumption to discuss CSR also globally. From my perception CSR has a very strong interaction with local economical life styles and mental constraints built from historical developments. So I’ll restrict myself on European considerations to avoid too much trivial statements regarding CSR in other continents. I warmly welcome other CSR bloggers, who might cover countries and civilisations.
Looking forward into a lively CSR discussion, building joint forces to build sustainable systems, which enable next generations to benefit from an environmental balance as we are able to do, I ask for your feedback and contributions.
Thanks in advance