Published on in Responsible Business

I’m regularly encouraged by the strides that have been made due to the hard work of committed individuals in Ireland’s business community to make CSR a business priority. Their work has led to both the recognition and the subsequent action that shows that being a responsible business is critical to organizational and commercial success.

That said, I am reading and listening to the same economic forecasts that you are, and I am concerned that in the current economic climate many businesses will be tempted to, or even unintentionally, allow their responsible business programmes to slide down the priority list. CSR, when done well, means taking responsibility for your business’ impact on society. This cannot be put on hold just because the operating environment is more challenging.

Now more than ever is when business leaders must stand resolutely behind the values which are espoused during fairer conditions. If we do not, then we will undermine and potentially reverse the recent progress made on greater sustainability, employee wellbeing, diversity and inclusion and community engagement.

I have taken great solace in the ingenuity of Irish businesses and their willingness to react to the COVID-19 situation for the greater good. Several companies have reconfigured to deliver everything from PPE and sanitizer to ventilators. Many are also adapting to comply with the necessary health guidelines. We must capture this same spirit and channel it towards responsible business efforts in 2020 and beyond.

This pandemic has served as a timely reminder to us all that we live in a globally connected world — economically and ecologically — with shared challenges. While we will succeed in fighting COVID-19, other global challenges such as climate change and creating a circular economy will continue at the forefront of global issues with local consequences in need of coordinated action. The scale and speed of the global response gives me great hope in our ability to collectively tackle these challenges and make strides to create a more sustainable way of life. Perhaps if we lean into our new found spirit of ingenuity and ‘can-do’ attitude formed during this crisis, we can come up with more creative and previously unimaginable ways of fast-tracking our efforts and impacts on the big societal issues that haven’t gone away, and won’t go away, once this pandemic is dealt with.

Responsible business is a leading priority for Fujitsu and it will remain there due to simple reason that it has a positive impact in all sorts of measurable ways. I and our responsible business team acknowledge the many challenges that will need to be overcome to fulfill our ambitious plans this year, but we remain committed to doing so because it is the right thing to do.

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Tony O'Malley

Tony O’Malley is CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and Chairman of the Fujitsu Ireland Limited board. He is leading the delivery of Fujitsu’s innovative ICT services to the public and private sectors.

As CEO, Tony is committed to creating value for customers and putting into practice Fujitsu’s vision to create a Human Centric Intelligent Society.

He also oversees significant research programmes in Ireland in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Japan, in particular addressing Data Analytics and Healthcare systems for assisted living.

Tony sits on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council and is a member of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Advisory Committee.

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