• Written by Mark Charmer
    15 July 2010

When I wrote recently about how I see Akvo being an enabler for a new wave of Corporate Social Responsibility, it was the convergence of many ideas and drew on the influence of many people.

One such person – that I’ve been lucky enough to know for years – is the IT and sustainability analyst James Governor*. James has just published a nice piece outlining how the enterprise software giant SAP is handling its sustainability reporting. James is the chairman of SAP’s Stakeholder Advisory Panel on CSR and his “vision for more effective CSR” is just great:

– Reporting needs to be an ongoing process and conversation, not a once a year event.

– Reporting needs to be more like an app and less like a document.

– Data needs to be freely shared, rather than presented in static form such as in a PDF – organisations should offer sustainability reporting APIs.

– Social. Web technologies allow us to put the social into CSR by engaging with a broader range of stakeholders.

– Sustainability must be tied into general business reporting and strategy.

– Sustainability must be a strategic imperative, not a PR-led effort.

The first four points describe the fundamentals behind Akvo RSR, our suite of tools that provide “Really Simple Reporting” for international development projects. I’m hoping we can prove that this vision applies much more widely – to those working in NGOs, those allocating government development aid, and to the leaders in companies and foundations that choose to invest in water and sanitation projects that act as the trigger to help people lift themselves out of poverty.

James recently mentioned to Thomas and I that he was “pondering [Akvo] RSR+ the internet of things. Contexts, proof points, the next Trillion reporting end points”. That’s a conversation I look forward to having.

Mark Charmer is a co-founder of Akvo.

* James was actually the guy who got me into blogging. My first ever, rather muddled, blog was about CSR actually. He also got me using Twitter, which has since taken over my life. You can follow James on Twitter here.

Image, via James’s @chinposin page.