Social Return on Investment

It’s not often I’ve had anything truly positive to say about the government….until now.

The Dutch government is showing its commitment to solving local societal issues by ensuring that organisations that want to do business in the public sector are willing to invest time and money in corporate social responsibility and involvement (CSR&I).

Government tender documents specify that a percentage of the total project fee will be invested in social initiatives. Commercial organisations therefore, need to ensure that they can fill that social return before they consider tendering. They need to step up to the mark and put their money where their mouth is.

I regularly talk about the importance of CSR&I and how it no longer can be seen as a cost to an organisation but as a long term investment. This change to tender documents is just a little bit of proof. Businesses ‘leave money on the table’ when they turn their backs on their communities.

So, you can only imagine how thrilled I was to be called by a government official about a tender which had been won by Deloitte. A meeting was held to discuss how Deloitte would meet their commitment in the coming 3 years. I’m excited that the effort of so many Deloitte volunteers has not been for nothing. They can now prove the importance of CSR.

So, my complaints about the government being bureaucratic and anything but innovative have been blown out of the water. I’m obviously psyched about showing how CSR can benefit business. And, I’m happy that the government is enforcing the support of societal issues albeit through commercial businesses. If the public and profit sectors can help one another whilst simultaneously solving community issues our world is definitely becoming a better place.