Our principles & Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not just about visible programmes of good citizenship. It is a reflection of values and philosophies that are embedded in an organisation and evidenced in day-to-day activities. In this context, ‘social’ encompasses the full range of stakeholders, local communities including indigenous peoples, the environment, and economic considerations beyond financial statements. For us as an environmental research institute, it also encompasses the impacts and benefits of our science for public good. CSR is responsibility to society for our actions and is fundamental to sustainable development.
The Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit (COMU); www.comu.govt.nz) expects New Zealand State Owned Enterprises and other Crown Entities to have a CSR framework in place and report on it annually. Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research published its first CSR report (also called sustainability or triple bottom line reports) in 2000. Since 2001, our printed annual report covered all dimensions of our performance. In 2007/08, we moved our sustainability (CSR) reporting to a dedicated section on our website, with the non-financial part of the printed report only covering key science highlights and summary performance data.
In the extensive sustainability section of our website, we report extensively on key aspects of our economic, social, and environmental performance, including the direct impacts of our business (e.g. resource use) and indirect impacts through the application of our science. Web-based reporting gives us much greater scope to make strong links between our management strategies, stakeholder engagement and the impacts of our work. In addition, the section called ‘Voices for sustainability’ includes invited perspective pieces. This section also highlights the role Māori and other indigenous peoples have in sustainable resource management.
Our approach and our reporting continue to evolve as we challenge ourselves and are challenged by others.