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How can CSR become a Competitive Advantage?

How can CSR become a Competitive Advantage?
Publié le 19/07/2023

In an increasingly environmentally and socially conscious world, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a major concern.

Harnessing Legislation in Favor of Eco-Responsibility

Over the past two decades, legislation has gradually become stricter. This trend has accelerated recently with the introduction of even more demanding laws, such as the CSDD, which will take effect on January 1, 2024 and states that:

  • Companies must assess and prevent sustainability and human rights-related risks throughout their value chain (direct and indirect suppliers)
  • The CSDD would introduce "duty of care" into European law, inspired by French law n° 2017-399.

European companies would be required to publish identified risks and measures taken to address them

What CSR Strategy Should Be Adopted?

In light of these elements, a well-established CSR strategy is now a means of differentiation. More than mere compliance with regulations, CSR can offer your company a competitive advantage in the long run. But what strategy should be adopted?

The strategy to be implemented should be preventive and proactive, allowing the company to simultaneously oversee activities carried out internally as well as interactions with external third parties, with the idea being to identify and measure risks in advance in order to implement prevention measures throughout the company.

A company that fails to meet environmental or social standards exposes itself to legal action, fines, not to mention irreversible damage to its reputation: On average, a violation related to an CSR issue results in a 12% drop in stock value.

Equipping with a Digital Solution to Monitor Internal Measures and Supplier Risk


In this transition, digital solutions play a crucial role in aggregating data from various sources and establishing relevant indicators.

SAP Ariba Risk Management and EcoVadis, for example, allow tracking of internally implemented policies as well as limiting risks related to third parties. This was highlighted during our latest webinar on supplier risk management, including CSR risks.

Commercial Advantage with Customers and Prospects

Beyond compliance benefits, a company committed to CSR can stand out, particularly from a commercial perspective. In a time when consumers attach increasing importance to the impact of their purchasing decisions, this commitment can strengthen loyalty among existing customers and even open new business opportunities. Companies that integrate sustainability into their operations can discover new markets, design new products or services, and create new sources of revenue.

Internal Advantage: Attracting and Retaining Talent

Internally, CSR is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining talent. Many employees, especially among younger generations, aspire to work for companies that share their values. Thus, a strong CSR policy is a major asset in attracting and retaining talented and committed employees.

CSR is a Strategic Tool in the Economy of Tomorrow

Therefore, CSR is much more than a matter of compliance: it is a strategic tool that enables companies to thrive in the economy of the future. Companies that adopt a proactive approach to CSR will be better positioned to manage risks, enhance their reputation, attract and retain talent, discover new opportunities, and ensure their long-term resilience.