Spain: Transparency Management and Technological Innovation
The great wave of digital transformation has been recently reaching organisations. The changes due to the use of technology, initially driven by communications and new channels, and later by a profound change in people’s habits, business models, and relationships with stakeholders, are also giving rise to a reflection on the use of technology to benefit from social responsibility and corporate transparency.
Indeed, the new digital economy has opened up an attractive range of opportunities for CSR, not only by generating more transversal, multichannel, and transmedia actions, but also by having an impact on a change of model and their measurement.
The new digital economy has opened up an attractive range of opportunities for CSR, not only by generating more transversal, multichannel, and transmedia actions, but also by having an impact on a change of model and their measurement
But the relevant question is: what is its impact on two of the traditional CSR challenges, namely transparency management and impact measurement? Technological innovation puts forward a new model of transparency based on Big Data and Open Data. These fields provide tools of an extremely high potential when it comes to transparently benefiting from the results of our actions, assisted by sophisticated visualisation, monitoring, and control systems.
A good transparency strategy involves proper management of data collection, a good interpretation of the data, and open sources for use with third parties. These new Open Data formulas directly connect with the challenges that the industry has always had, in order to better explain the impact and outcome of the initiatives performed.
In addition, digital innovation has added to transparency new tools based on participation, project co-creation, and the development of new relational platforms with various stakeholders, based on mobility and simplicity. We often say that our public is currently just one smartphone click away, almost in real time.
According to a report by PwC and ICEMD, transparency and innovation, omnichannel, and reputation management are the main points on which to prepare the company for future clients.
Furthermore, the digital economy, consumers, and the new technologies are revolutionising the production model itself and relationships with companies.
In the field of Social Responsibility and Transparency, there are many organisations’ initiatives that are already relevant in these fields.
One example is that of Nike, which launched a project based on technology and environmental impact called ‘Environmental Apparel Design Tool’. This was a clothes design tool aimed at promoting partnerships between companies, facilitating sustainable innovation, and decreasing the use of natural resources during the design production process. This tool helps designers make decisions in real time regarding the impact of their work on the environment, making it possible to apply changes in order to decrease the use of natural resources. Nike invested 6 million dollars in the tool, which made it possible to create t-shirts using polyester recycled from plastic bottles. It also provided a real-time impact model driven by technology and co-creation.
Technological innovation puts forward a new model of transparency based on Big Data and Open Data
Another recent example is that of ILUNION, ONCE’s and its Foundation’s business group, which presented via Twitter its Informe de Valor Compartido 2014 (2014 Shared Value Report). This is the first time that a Corporate Social Responsibility report is made public by agreement with Twitter and from the company headquarters to start a discussion among the various stakeholders about best business practices, involving many stakeholders and achieving a high level of impact and relevance in its content.
To conclude, like other business management areas, innovation and digital transformation are deeply disrupting social responsibility and transparency management, which are also aspects that are very highly rated by future digital consumers. The confluence of these aspects no doubt opens up new windows of opportunity to design initiatives differently, highlight results, and involve audiences in their implementation. All this is assisted by technology and a more enriching user experience, as variables of change. The challenges are there.