Strong CSR Programs Are a Competitive Advantage: Tom Fox

Strong CSR Programs Are a Competitive Advantage: Tom Fox

Jared Connors, Assent’s Senior Subject Matter Expert, Corporate Social Responsibility, recently sat down with Tom Fox, author of the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog and the book Lessons Learned on Compliance and Ethics, to discuss how supply chain data management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and compliance all intersect.

Tom has published a blog post on his conversation with Jared, which can be found in full on Episode 32 of his Innovation in Compliance podcast.

In his blog post, Tom wrote about how Jared’s experience in the electronics sector has impacted his work and made him an advocate for the benefits of a strong CSR program.

At a former employer, Jared found that the CSR team’s investigation of overall supplier governance and code of conduct was of interest to the broader compliance team, whose members could use CSR data to avoid legal violations.

“The CSR team [was] reporting back to the compliance [team] on the items they are identifying within the supply chain that have been traditionally seen as CSR issues. It… also allowed them to come up with action plans on how to address the problems that may arise so they can avoid those reputational hits or even legal violations,” Jared told Tom.

“[Corporate social responsibility] then feeds into an overall compliance regime at a company,” Tom wrote.

Tom noted that when CSR has a more proactive role in a company’s overall compliance program, the result is a stronger program and greater business efficiency.  

At one point, an executive at Jared’s former company asked him about the benefits of CSR to the company. In return, according to Fox, Jared asked the executive several questions:

“‘What can we do to make things better? How are we going to make the organization better? How are we going to create this CSR program to be a strategic advantage for our organization? How are we going to do this for cost savings for our organization? How are we going to do this to reduce the risk impact or the cost of compliance for our organization?”

“…This led to seeing the greater operational efficiencies from using a CSR audit to move from simply a detect prong to a more proactive prevent prong.”

To read Tom’s full blog post, visit the FCPA Compliance and Ethics blog.

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Assent’s supply chain data management solution allows companies to collect, validate and manage CSR-related data from their suppliers, and derive actionable insight they can use to identify and mitigate risk. The Assent Compliance Platform integrates expertise from a team of regulatory experts, including Jared Connors. To learn more about the Assent Compliance Platform or our regulatory expertise, email