While sincere commitment at the leadership level is crucial for success, Steve Maguire, director of the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management at McGill University in Montreal, adds that widespread participation within an organization is also important. He suggests including statements about CSR and sustainability values in the corporate mission statement. "Creating a position such as the VP of sustainability and staffing it with someone who is a respected leader, capable and well-networked in the organization is another way [of improving the chances for success]," Maguire says.
Maguire says management can motivate people to commit to CSR initiatives by involving employees at every level in discussions about values and defining areas for improvement. "The challenge then becomes maintaining this culture and ensuring those values are transmitted to new employees and enacted," Maguire says. "Younger people have internalized sustainability to a greater extent than people of my generation, so as new firms are brought into existence by this generation, protecting these values while making money will likely come easier. For them, it will just become business as usual."