Secretary CSR Quality Mark Committee – Gerard van der Werff.

When testing for the CSR quality mark, the question is asked whether the organization is innovative and is therefore more or less resistant to change and crisis. The purpose of this question is to determine the policy with which an organization reduces vulnerability. In other words: is to a greater or lesser extent future-proof.

At the time of formulating this question, we were in the middle of the corona pandemic. We are now faced with a crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Rising energy prices, rising raw material prices, shortages of raw materials, these are just a few of the many challenges that we as a society and therefore also as a business community have to deal with. Add to this the shortage on the labor market and the challenge for a company becomes even greater.

During the corona pandemic, everyone understood each other and companies that were affected could make use of compensation schemes by the Dutch government. In the current crisis, government support is not to be expected. After all, there is also such a thing as business risk. At the same time, it is noted that understanding of each other's position is also less in the current crisis. An example of this, service providers who receive zero claims when they try to consult with clients to pass on cost increases as a result of external factors. Not an example of corporate social responsibility on the part of clients.

This short-term thinking is a disappointing observation at a time when, in our view, we have to take into account a series of crises in the coming years. As indicated this week in the third IPCC report, the biggest crisis is climate change. This concerns everyone, but politicians and the business community appear to be insufficiently aware of its impact. From denial to not daring to make decisions and to challenge plans and measures. Of course, the survival of entire industries is at stake. However, this cannot be avoided. Nothing new, history has many examples of industries that have disappeared or have changed significantly over the years.

Recognizing that we are in a crisis of an unprecedented nature and can only tackle it with fundamental changes and radical measures is an important step. Being innovative is not a question here, but a condition. Whether you are a production company or service provider. In our view, only an innovative company is future-proof. In the current version of the list of requirements of the CSR Quality Mark, the criterion about an organization's innovativeness is set during the assessment. This should therefore increasingly become the main question.