The responsibility of being responsible

Home, work, family, community… all requiring changeable degrees of obligation and responsibility, depending on the role played in each, by individuals. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, the term responsibility can be interpreted as either, “a duty or task that you are required or expected to do” or “something that you should do because it is morally right or legally required.”

But what about Corporate Responsibility?

In the modern world, a business is expected to synchronize their pursuit of corporate revenue and profitability with humanity and the environment. And, while Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has, thankfully, become an imperative function of the 21st century, its early roots actually date as far back as the mid-20th century.   According to scholars at the University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain, who authored a comprehensive article on the evolution of corporate social responsibility, the practice began during the 1950’s when businesses focused on doing good deeds for society. Accompanied by social changes in the 1960s, management techniques were applied to CSR in the 1970 and by the 1980s, “business and social interest came closer and firms became more responsive to their stakeholders.”  Focus on implementation grew in the 1990s and ultimately became a vital strategic necessity in the early 2000s.

Currently, organizations unwilling or unable to participate linger in the minority, while CSR is voluntarily and rigorously embraced by the majority. Perhaps not so remarkably, these responsibilities naturally differ from company to company, depending on their respective business functions. A computer manufacturer might emphasize its commitment to the recycling and disposal of metals, or to reduce greenhouse gas CO2 emissions resulting from the physical movement of outbound finished goods.  A paper company might protect the biodiversity of forests, as International Paper announced in late 2013.

Permeating our organization at SDI is a focus on growing our leadership responsibility in environmental, social and ethical supply chain behavior; for ourselves and our partners. As a procurement and managed services outsourcing organization, SDI is not only committed to growing diversity talent within our own organization, but we ensure our global supply chain does, as well. We maintain and recurrently update our documented sustainability and social responsibility policy. In fact, one of our key reporting metrics tied into our global delivery platform measures and records which of our suppliers has documented and implemented such a policy. For those that do not have a documented, implemented policy, we request a timetable identifying when it will be developed, documented and deployed.

We ensure our global supply chain adheres to SDI’s high standards of ethical and accountable business practices.

While SDI’s focus is clearly on balancing an efficient and effective organization, we execute our strategy while sustaining our leadership and influence in supplier diversity. Companies want to do business with capable, diverse businesses that stay abreast of new ideas and innovative methodologies. Additionally, we ensure the implementation of a host of actions that positively influence the environment (via water conservation, energy conservation, technology disposal etc.) and demonstrate leadership in social responsibility.