Drew Neisser

In a recent interview on The Drew Blog, Karen Quintos, CMO of Dell, shared insights on creating a strong corporate social responsibility mindset – not strategy – and how this should permeate every aspect of what your company does. 

“Ultimately CSR is not a marketing strategy—it’s a tool for building a better business,” said Quintos.

There are a number of key takeaways about CSR from my most recent interview with Karen Quintos, CMO of Dell, not the least of which is the quote above.

First and foremost, every big accomplishment starts with a big audacious goal. In Dell’s case, the “Legacy of Good Plan” outlined 21 ambitious CSR goals they hope to achieve by 2020. Part of this plan included “designing out waste” from products and packaging, any area that has garnered over $50 million in savings since 2009 and reduced packaging waste by 30 million pounds.

Secondly, Quintos pointed out how important it is to educate and shift the mindsets across corporate leadership. The perception is that CSR programs always involve tradeoffs – costing more and/or reducing quality.

Quintos said that this need not be the case and, with proof positive, has been able to make environmentally related CSR efforts a “source of hidden efficiencies and innovation.”

For more insights from Quintos – especially on the power of a strong purpose-driven culture – I encourage you to read the entire interview.