Responsible business in 2018: Our predictions for CRS professionals

Last month, we summed up our highlights of 2017 - from hearing Sir Vince Cable's views on responsible business to regular webinars on topics including the SDGs and modern slavery; to debating thought diversity and profiling the achievements and career journeys of our members. It was a busy year. To read the full review, click here.

We’ve been gazing into our crystal ball and here are our predictions for the year ahead: -

- The focus on diversity is set to continue, heightened by publication of gender pay gap reports and the revelations of #metoo turning into more concrete action against sexual abuse in the workplace.

-The gap between CEO and average worker pay will attract further media and government attention, with formal reporting requirements a likely outcome. Click here to read the government paper on proposed business reforms.

- In human rights, we may see growing pressure for improved disclosure and actions on modern slavery, following calls from the Business & Human Rights Commission. The issue of recruitment and brokerage fees, effectively leading to bonded labour, are also likely to be a hot topic.

- The UK government will have to work around China’s plastic import ban, and is reportedly already exploring levers to reduce our use of single-use plastics, including taxation.

While traditional economic indicators - such as employment levels and stock markets - are currently looking positive, the backdrop of Brexit negotiations will contribute to an uncertain landscape for CRS professionals to navigate. But fear not because ICRS can help guide you.

We offer a wealth of online resources and a rich calendar of events to inspire, inform and upskill you. Our fortnightly webinars continue to attract expert speakers on everything CRS-related; from human rights in supply chains and social mobility to women’s rights and climate change.

Our face-to-face events bring members together to exchange ideas, and debate the fundamental questions in the CRS profession. The biggest event in our calendar, the annual ICRS Exchange, will explore “collaboration” as its theme for 2018: How might we work better together in and across sectors to encourage CRS? And are there unexpected partners out there who might offer us some astonishing opportunities?

The illustration below offers a sneak preview of our plans for the year ahead. We hope you and your colleagues will join us.

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