By NBF News

Following the success of her training course on Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) and sustainability, Trucontact is for the second successive year, facilitating another set of high capacity building programmes.

The training course -'Positioning the 21st Century Corporation through Sustainability Learning and Development', is designed to equip Nigerian business leaders and CSR professionals with cutting edge knowledge so that they can embrace the principles of CSR and take steps to embed them throughout their organizations.

The course is broken into three modules, with the first module billed for March 31-April 1, 2011, and the second and third for July 5-6 and November 24-25 respectively.

Leading the team of facilitators is Wayne Visser. Ranked as the number one leader in CSR and sustainability globally, he is the founder and CEO of CSR International. He reveals that he will share with Nigerian executives insights from 20 years of CSR practice so that they can help their organizations move to real responsibility and sustainability, 'the kind that makes a tangible, positive and sustained impact on the lives of the world's poor and excluded and that visibly turns the tide on the whole sale destruction of ecosystems and species.'

For Maria Sillanpaa, founding president, Sustainability Advisory Group (SAG) and a global leader in the area of sustainability management who will be making a third appearance on the training says that 'I think the key everywhere is to see that CSR is not just a compliance agenda but an innovation agenda. Good CSR is not just good for reputation and risk management but it offers significant opportunities for real market differentiation, innovation and increased competitiveness.

As one of the most prolific, creative and original thought leaders on CSR and author/editor of books on the subject Wayne says that 'responsibility is a choice we (organizations) must make to respond with care. And what really are those choices? They are the way in which we live our lives, in the way we do our work and in the way we run our businesses.'

Wayne was Director of Sustainability Services for KPMG and Strategy Analyst for Cap Gemini in South Africa. A visiting Professor in CSR at Manheim University (Germany) and Senior Associate and Internal Examiner at the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry he holds the view that CSR has moved from being Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. The new CSR he says 'is an integrated, systematic approach by business that builds rather than erodes or destroys, economic, social and natural capital.'

Sillanpaa who has managed leading global brands including the Body Shop, International, Nike, Shell, Pfizer, Siemens. She was instrumental in setting up the AA1000 Assurance and Stakeholder Engagement Standards and she currently sits on the Technical Advisory Committee of Global Reporting Initiative. Her Publications include the stakeholder Corporation: A Blueprint for Maximizing Stakeholder Value. Her current number three raking in CSR International's global top 100 leaders reflects her profound and continuing impact in this field.

Speaking on the expected outcomes of this second edition of training, TruContact Managing Partner, Ken Egbas observed, ' While implementing our pet project, the Social Enterprise Reports and Awards (The SERAs) since 2007, we have noted with great concern the gaps that exist in expertise and knowledge in the areas of CSR and sustainability management in Nigeria.'

Egbas further explained that what this course will do is ensure that CSR managers acquire the skills necessary to effectively manage these increasingly pivotal and sensitive portfolios in a manner that positively reflects on corporate bottom-line and image; and in the longer term, on sustainable development of Nigeria.