Following on from our last post about cutting down your energy usage, we’ll now focus on corporate social responsibility and its importance to businesses today.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly important in the world of business. CSR is no longer a phenomenon which only applies to the big multinationals in this world and is being practiced in businesses of all sizes. Why is CSR winning popularity? Because it works. Not only for businesses, but for whole societies.
First of all there is the feeling of taking responsibility for one’s actions and possible harm to society and the environment. Secondly there are several marketing benefits to gain. Implementing a CSR strategy in your business is THE way to achieve true sustainability. Thus, a fully sustainable company combines and serves the following three stakeholders:
Almost every business has an effect on the environment one way or the other. For example the cars on the road or the electricity used by a computer. Nowadays there are numerous, relatively easy, Improve your corporate Social Responsibility has on the environment. Within Crown we analyse the impact of energy consumption and act accordingly so the businesses we supply are able to become environmentally sustainable.
Even though the community tends to be easily forgotten, they’are a major stakeholder in every strategy. Companies carry a great social responsibility to make sure they reduce the impact they have on “society”. Take for example the people living in the neighborhood of your business. A positive effect your company might have is the contribution to employment. A negative one might be trucks polluting the air in the area. The exact impact on society is hard to measure. However, setting goals to continuously increase the positive contributions and elimination the negative ones goes a long way to reach social sustainability.
Supporting society and saving the environment is great, but not at all costs. In order for a company to be able to keep doing just that, money has to keep coming in to keep the machines turning, the computers running and the employees at work. CSR is about doing what is right for the environment and a social perspective while keeping a financially healthy company. Thus, financial sustainability is a critical factor.
By combining these three factors into an integrated strategy, businesses of any size are able to become social responsible.
Now the impact of CSR is clear, what can a business do to implement a strategy of its own? No matter the size of a company, the following rules apply to all of them.
- Measure the impact of your business on society and the environment
- Evaluate solutions or compensation for the negative impact
- Set goals to achieve
- Implement consistently
- Re-evaluate the impact
These general rules will provide a great guideline to come to a fully integrated corporate social responsibility strategy.
The great thing about implementing a CSR strategy is that business can show off what they are working on. Besides from the enormous marketing value this carries, it will make employees and everybody affiliated to the company feel proud. Real social contribution, one of the biggest motivators and purposes for businesses in the years to come.