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KPMG - Embedding Corporate Responsibility into Business Strategy

Added on 22-03-2013





Business challenge

The failure to integrate and embed corporate responsibility strategy into core business activities is providing a barrier to businesses unlocking the value and the potential which a joined-up approach may deliver.

KPMG's key insights highlight: inadequacies in both internal and external stakeholder engagement; lack of strategic focus in the identification and prioritisation of corporate responsibility issues; failure to align corporate responsibility strategy with business strategy; difficulties in embedding corporate responsibility into the culture of the company; no clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the management of these issues; poor governance structure; weak performance indicators; misleading reporting mechanisms; limited assurance and verification of performance.


KPMG has worked with business to develop a practical framework that aligns corporate responsibility with core business objectives.  This involves carrying out a corporate responsibility framework review with the output being a number of key recommendations to improve on existing performance whilst setting a roadmap to more fully embed future corporate responsibility activities.  The four key pillars of this framework are:

  • Identification and Prioritisation - This helps to determine the key material issues relevant to the business and provides feedback on existing mechanisms to improve stakeholder dialogue
  • Strategy and Governance - Recommendations will suggest aligning business and corporate responsibility strategies, providing a clear business case for integration whist realising the opportunities this may present
  • Performance Management - Executing the businesses approach to corporate responsibility requires well defined roles, responsibilities and key performance indicators to measure and manage the issues
  • Reporting and Assurance - An expected output would be a robust reporting methodology.  The integration of non-financial information with financial reporting is a measure of mainstreaming these issues with strategic business performance indicators.

This solution adds business value by providing a framework for businesses to execute a robust and embedded corporate responsibility strategy.  These logical steps help to guide business and discourage a bolt-on mentality which fails to identify both corporate responsibility risks and opportunities.


  • Middle management resistance
  • Unwillingness to engage and listen to external stakeholders
  • Issues over transparency and releasing corporate responsibility data into the marketplace
  • Cynicism regarding the potential value of an embedded strategy

Challenges/Lessons learned:

  • Creating a robust framework to identify corporate responsibility risks and potential business opportunities
  • Creating the necessary culture to facilitate innovative leadership
  • Embedding corporate responsibility into business strategy
  • Brand enhancement and first mover advantages

Solution submitted by

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