Water Journal : Current August 2017
www.awa.asn.au 39 CSRISNOTA STATIC THING – IT EVOLVES IN RESPONSE TO CHANGING SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS. DR LEEORA BLACK, ACCSR Although the environmental impacts of water industry organisations are more readily understood, the social and economic aspects of the equation are just as crucial. It’s also an important connection to make considering the larger context within which water sits as an essential service. For example, Yarra Valley Water took steps to address financial vulnerability among customers, which then led to efforts to address its underlying causes such as unemployment, family violence or refugee status. “Once we started talking to people in the welfare sector we realised we were way off in our understanding of what was going on in the community,” McCafferty said. In response, the utility hosted a Vulnerability Roundtable, which was attended by 130 organisations from the water industry as well as energy, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare and banking, to name a few. This has morphed into the Thriving Communities partnership, which is now looking at developing a suite of programs centred on early intervention. CULTURE IS KING This kind of external impact is only possible, though, if the internal company culture fosters commitment and drive for CSR. People are at the heart of this, and employee ownership keeps CSR from becoming a box-ticking exercise.
Current May 2017