The 2015 BJAN Conference/AGM was held in Ibadan, South-west, Nigeria, attracted industry practitioners, government representatives, non-governmental agencies as well as other participants with interest in Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR issues.
The theme of the conference was: Challenges and Prospects of Implementing Effective CSR in Nigeria: Roles of Organisations, Government and the Media.
Conference discussants and presenters took a cursory look at the seven (6) papers, including,
1. Challenges of implementing effective CSR in contemporary society
2. Effects of non-regulation/legislation in CSR industry
3. Pushing the moral boundaries between the CSR spend and CSR Marketing outlay
4. Creating balance between CSR and Philanthropy
5. Impact of CSR on business and society
6. Sustainable CSR: Research as a veritable tool.
At the end of conference deliberations, the following resolutions were arrived at:
1. That CSR must not be seen as mere philanthropy or assistance to the needy in the society. Rather, CSR has evolved to include individual and collective responsibility of government, business concerns and the media; stakeholders that ignore this onerous responsibility will find it difficult to do business successfully in their defined communities in 5 - 10 years hence.
2. In spite of reasons advanced by discussants that non-regulation/legislation in CSR environment could lead to a state of confusion, conference participants unanimously resolved that the CSR industry should not be regulated or legislated because there is need to allow sponsors of CSR projects/programmes freely decide on how best to conceptualise and execute their 'hearts' projects and interventions for the good of the society.
3. On the tricky issue of spend and marketing, the position of the conference was that CSR sponsors should evolve mechanisms of striking a balance between CSR spend and CSR marketing outlay ultimately to the benefit of the society.
4. The conference resolved that philanthropy is not sustainable and so canvassed the creation of a balance between it and CSR in contemporary society.
5. Conference was affirmative that CSR has impacted meaningfully on business and society by creating economic values that are sustainable now and in the nearest future. It was agreed that media exposure should be above patronage, but elevation into definitive human good (development communication).
6. Research, rather than executive emotion, is very important in the sustainability of CSR in contemporary society; poverty, environment, terrorism and other avoidable human tragedies are waiting for our collective intervention.
7. It was also resolved that journalists should hold companies accountable for their CSR projects via their investigative and up to date reports.
The time to act is now, and conference so resolved that research be used by sponsors in defining areas of intervention in CSR activities to make them sustainable.
The communiqué was prepared and put together by:
1. Mr. Oluwole David
2. Mr. Peter Jones Ailuorio
3. Mr. Olajide Fabamise