NGOs – the consultants

21 Jun

Opponents of CSR argue that resources spent on other than economic goals are an unnecessary waste of it. However, as I have already mentioned in my last blog post CSR strategies can actually come along with a range of benefits that can outweigh its costs. CSR engagement can really become a necessity for well-organized and well-structured business. Now, the questions raises:

Where do I get a skilled and valuable CSR manager from?

When thinking about NGOs and large companies putting all their efforts into their salient goal of profit, I did not expect the two to work hand in hand to improve sustainability. Yet, a very interesting blog post of Vijan Kanal proved me wrong.

Reservations in Businesses

At Kanal Consulting, the managers had some set-back experiences with other companies whenever the idea came up to involve NGOs. Vijay Kanal reveals the fear of large firms to be judged for their past behaviour. Another problem Kanal points out, is the ease to just sign a check than contacting a NGO and set up a whole new department which is costly and cumbersome.

Finding the right NGO

Vijay Kanal, Certified Mangement Consultant and Managing Principal at Kanal Consuting, warns in his post that cooperating with a ‘wrong’ NGO might not lead to the desired results. Especially, organizations like Greenpeace with a history of anti-business activities are the ones Kanal advises to avoid. Kanal questions a firm’s ability to make the world a better place. Instead, firms must be aware that NGOs can solve their business problems if they only choose the right one.


Vijay Kanal assures that NGOs are mainly known for promoting socially responsible activities and engaging in philanthropic efforts. Surprisingly, he claims that a lot of NGOs are even partnering with major corporations on environmental sustainability efforts. Historically, he classifies NGOs and Businesses to have an adversarial relationship. According to Kanal, both institutions can profit from a solid corporation. This argument is also supported by Tobby Webb, Founder, Ethical Corporation and CEO, Stakeholder Intelligence. In his blog post: “Ten simple steps to supply chain CSR engagement beyond audits” he advises:

“Go find NGOs who can help you manage risk. Don’t wait for them to come to you.”

To sum up, Kanal and Webb teach us the importance for companies to be supported and counseled by NGOs.

NGOs products

The advantages of NGOs, Kanal names, is their great knowledge in areas like waste, natural resources, energy, food and agriculture. Kanal argues that a corporation with NGOs can be beneficial concerning a firm’s operations, supply chain, and impact in the marketplace.

Furthermore he explains: “In some cases, these partnerships have also had a positive impact on the corporate brand, since an NGO association can provide much-needed credibility on sustainability claims.”

NGOs purposes

The main argument that Kanal points out is a NGOs desire to create a great impact on the environment. Thus they select their corporate partners carefully. One of the main argument, Kanal provides, is NGOs purpose to promote and publish their efforts.
NGOs have a hard time when wanting to be in the center of attention for one of their sustainability efforts. Supporting and advising large companies can help them to bring forward their ideas and efforts.


3 Responses to “NGOs – the consultants”

  1. juleswilma June 22, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Hey Rose,

    once again you have published a very interesting blog post here!
    I really like that you found a great way to look on CSR from another perspective which also includes NGOs and not only managers or employees.

    That’s what I have missed in many other post I have read on the topic CSR. At first, when I saw you tagged your post with “corporate social responsibility” I didn’t really want to read it because in my opinion this topic as already been discussed so many times not only in our blog posts but also in class that I thought, I don’t really what to hear about another person’s opinion on CSR anymore. But the title of your post caught my attention and I really wanted to know what is meant by NGOs. So this was very well chosen!

    What I love about your posts is that you always provide subheadings so that the reader can immediately see which points you are going to discuss. Furthermore, I like that you started of with what opponents say about CSR and then drew your point to former blog posts you have written and then including Vijan Kanal’s blog post to reinforce your point.

    However, I wished you would have explained in beginning in short what NGO’s are and what they do. How they finance themselves? That would have been very interesting to know since in the beginning of you post I didn’t really know what you meant with NGOs. You could have also mentioned some examples of NGOs besides “Greenpeace” but maybe this would be a nice topic for you next post.

    Nevertheless, you gave a very interesting insight in how CSR and NGOs are related with each other contrasting different opinions.

    Very well done!

  2. tkronsbein June 25, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Hey rosepanama,

    This was an interesting article. I totally agree with you that we should cooperate with each other. This gives us the opportunity to learn from each other. We could use synergies and build something even bigger.

    However, sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions in business. This is where I see a disadvantage of involve a NGO in your business. Like it is mentioned in your article, there are definitively some organizations, which are too influential.

    Moreover, I think I miss your personal opinion in this article. What do you think about the whole topic? Do you think it is useful to have a NGO or not? Maybe it also depresses your economic growth!

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