Mr Neukirch, more and more companies are advertising the various ways in which they demonstrate their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). From your viewpoint, is CSR merely a modern buzzword or is it something that companies are genuinely adopting?
Entrepreneurialism combined with a responsibility to society is certainly something that had been around for a couple of centuries before “CSR
In your opinion, have companies changed the way in which they act in recent years? Has the current crisis resulted in any changes to companies’ commitment?
On this point our perception may be somewhat distorted by the numerous crises reported in the news. On the other hand, the crisis has certainly led to many businesses “closing ranks
What is your personal opinion of companies’ responsibility to society? Can economic targets and a commitment to society be reconciled?
Fundamentally, entrepreneurialism always involves a commitment to society. The two cannot be separated. Entrepreneurial success is always based on employees and clients. Trust is crucial for both employees and clients – and this trust can only be engendered through responsibility. This responsibility is evident in products, production processes and relationships. This is the only way to produce strong, lasting links that allow a company a place in society.
Klosterfrau itself assumes responsibility and, among other things, supports projects in the area of research into childhood asthma. Do you think your clients appreciate commitment of this kind?
This was foreshadowed in the first question. We adopt a critical approach to “advertising with CSR
You, too, are a client or purchaser. Which do you personally consider to be the most important areas in which companies should involve themselves? Which CSR measures appeal to you in particular?
The entire corporate social responsibility package is crucial. Not just individual highlights, which then prove to be designed simply as a fig leaf when examined more closely. To impress, a company has to develop with its clients and employees within and with society over a long period. Responsibility has to become trust and it will then be able to play a larger role.
We should assume that this complex understanding of CSR will also become increasingly prevalent in society.
Thank you very much for the interview!
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