Networking is a key component of the CSR/sustainability manager’s role. This means representing the CSR profession and your own CSR program at external events, or in external meetings like a stakeholder dialogue. You maintain relationships with external parties, you create connections and you recognize and shape collaboration opportunities. In addition, you build up a network of peers to meet up and learn from each other. And usually, you are responsible for the communications about the CSR results of your organization, which includes things like speaking engagements.
The networking role is indispensable for stakeholder engagement. The book ‘MVO doe je Zo’ outlines stakeholder engagement activities and explains the related roles and responsibilities a CSR manager can take, which of course are highly dependent on how the organization organizes its stakeholder engagement. This includes collecting and structuring relevant information from existing stakeholder relationships and organizing engagement from other sustainability-related stakeholders.