Companies, wake up in 2011…

OK guys, the recession has been officially over for a while now.

It’s still not that pretty out there, as we know.

But big corporates, by and large, are sitting on piles of cash.

And large companies are not exactly the most trusted institutions in town.

CR budgets should be improved next year. Communications/External affairs are waking up to the importance of environmental, social and governance issues.

CEOs say increasingly how much they want to embed CR into their businesses. Many claim they already have.

So really there’s no excuse for the continued lack of innovation in CR that we’ve seen in 2009/10.

Why do I say this? Well, it’s not just me, many of my contacts, customers and other commentators have noticed the lack of ambition, ideas and creativity out there too.

Our conferences have been, let’s be honest, quite dull this year.

It’s been “slowly slowly catchy monkey” for far too long on CR innovations.

Tell me I’m wrong. But our review of the year shows that there’s a lack of big creative ideas out there.

There are some significant moments in the PDF below. Such as Unilever’s big announcement, BP’s travails, ISO 26,000, and the California slave labour disclosure law. But Unilever, M&S and a few others aside, its not been a great year for corporate sustainability innovation.

in key emerging markets, big companies missed a chance to really innovate in areas such as supply chain ethics. Our China briefing also below, analyses this in some detail.

It feels to me like large companies are doing more reacting to pressures around climate change, sustainable supply chains, biodiversity and communication, than really helping set the agenda.

That’s a real shame. It’s also a missed opportunity

So in 2011, let’s hope big companies can raise their corporate responsibility game and get out in front of the issues a bit more, as PR folks like to say.

After a hiatus populated with a new notable exceptions, it’s about time.

Our attempts to help set the agenda for 2011 are here, and here.

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