Over the last 10 years the concept of Responsible business has evolved significantly, as has the associated terminology. CSR, Ethical Business, Citizenship, Purpose, at times it can be hard to know which term is most appropriate or what they even really mean.
But to some degree the adage ‘what’s in a name’ could apply, because whatever term has been used in the past, whatever areas this has been intended to cover, each concept has a fundamental commitment to the role of business making the world a better place within its heart.
Today at CGI we use the term Responsible business, an approach we are extremely proud of and that sees us absolutely committed to a more inclusive and sustainable world. We believe that all business has an obligation to act responsibly, a belief that is reinforced by our CGI Dream.
"To create an environment in which we enjoy working together and, as owners, contribute to building a company we can be proud of" - The CGI Dream
What this means in real terms for CGI is that Responsible business is present in all of our operating practices; in the innovative solutions we provide to our clients, in the partnerships we have with third parties, and in the role we play in the communities in which we live and work.
As our new Responsible business strategy makes clear, our approach is built around three distinct pillars: Climate, People and Communities, and is underpinned by the foundation of our commitment to Responsible Operations, ensuring we meet or exceed legal obligations for Good Governance and Policy, be these voluntary or otherwise.
By staying focussed on this strategic approach we are able not only to make a difference to Society and the Environment at scale, but also to have very real impact on local communities too. This means the work we do as a signatory of the UN Global Compact that contributes to the UN Sustainability Goals is just as important to us as local volunteering and charitable contributions.
Responsible Business commitments are not just important from an ethical perspective. They have increasingly been proven to be of business benefit too, with organisations that engage effectively performing significantly better than those who do not. As Business in the Community observed in their 2021 report Purpose Beyond Profit, investors believed companies with a social purpose would add 30% to their value and that purpose driven companies reported 30% higher innovation than their competitors.
Over the coming months we will be exploring exactly what Responsible business means to CGI, both on a corporate level and in partnership with our clients through our new Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory practice.
We will also be highlighting a wide range of our activities including how we support individuals in embarking on futures careers in STEM, our diversity, equity and inclusion activity and providing updates on our progress along the roadmap for net zero.
Ultimately, our aim is to bring to life what this work means for CGI in the UK so that our members, our partners, our suppliers and our clients might be also inspired to join us in achieving our ambitious Responsible business goals for the future.