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Corporate Social Enterprise Activate

15-05-2013 Alex James

CSEactivate is a new kind of corporate engagement that has been developed by Brite Green and LewisSustainable where the strategic issues facing companies are married to the critical sustainability issues facing society.  Companies engage with these issues in communities, using their commercial skills to deliver project outcomes, generating develop strategic insights while delivering economic, social and environmentally positive outcomes with the partner community.

CSEactivate fosters active collaboration with NGOs, charities and other civil society groups to tackle environmental and social issues in a way that delivers shared value to business and wider society.  

For a participating company this means:

  • Working on projects and with communities where financial gain is not the immediate primary motivation
  • Focusing on social or environmental issues that have long term strategic importance to the business (such as climate change, or poverty)
  • Delivering project outcomes using commercial skills and resources

Key benefits include:

  • Practical experience and learning for the business and employees in real-world situations, dealing with material social and environmental issues
  • Creation of innovative outcomes in project constituencies that would not otherwise have access to corporate skills and know-how

CSEactivate Case Study:

LewisSustainable worked with Bartle Bogel Hegarty (BBH) London and Slum Dwellers International in Uganda to develop a sanitation facility in a Kampala slum.

While the project contained an element of traditional corporate philanthropy, with BBH funding the resources required to build the sanitation unit,  they also provided their time, marketing and production skills to help SDI promote education on sanitation to slum residents, and to develop and promote their offering to a regional and international audience.

For BBH, the project was of commercial and strategic interest because it offered employees a valuable, low risk opportunity to gain practical commercial insights into East Africa, particularly in urban environments and lower income audiences. This is important to them as they seek to develop their commercial presence in this geographical area, providing them with both a license to operate and genuine understanding of the market.

CSEactivate is a strategically focused engagement mechanism that seeks to maximise the commercial value of philanthropic and shared value investment and initiatives, by turning them into opportunities for practical engagement. It is a vital new approach that will drive innovation and enable businesses to capitalise on the risks and opportunities posed by environmental and social issues.

 

 

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