WHY CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
‘Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. ‘
– World Business Council For Sustainable Development
Our definition :-
“A voluntary initiative on the part of a business to contribute to a better society and a greener and cleaner environment.”
Being socially responsible is one way of building the much-needed trust , reputation & goodwill. All of this put together can open new horizons for the company and gain more acceptance for its ways of functioning.
A commitment to corporate social responsibility is no longer optional. Companies need to understand that CSR affects their internal (employee engagement, productivity, turnover rate) and external (increased sales, customer loyalty, brand awareness) growth.
In today’s digital era, companies that demonstrate corporate social responsibility are gaining exposure — and praise — for their involvements. Your brand’s reputation can only benefit from good deeds in your community. Think about it: Consumers feel good when they buy products and services from companies that are helping their community.
CSR can be seen everywhere such as food giants sponsoring marathons, tech companies that make their software open-source, banks that offer scholarships and manufacturing firms that donate to green causes.
There’s no one-size-fits-all model of corporate social responsibility. Any action that a company takes to give back to society can fall under the CSR umbrella.
Companies need to engage in a corporate social responsibility strategy just to keep up. In 2018, analysis by the Governance & Accountability Institute found that 86% of companies in the S&P 500 Index published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report.
CSR Benefits All
First of all, there is no need to be a Fortune 500 company to start giving back to society and benefiting from the marketing and branding boons a good CSR strategy can provide. McKinsey’s research has shown that companies both big and small are well-served by a thoughtful CSR strategy.
Benefits for companies and organizations engaging in CSR fall into two camps: 1) direct, such as increased sales, and 2) indirect, such as name recognition, increased goodwill and risk avoidance.
Examples of CSR :-
1. IBM UK- Reinventing Education Partnership Programme Interactions and sharing of knowledge through a wed based technology-“the Learning Village” software. Culture of openness and sharing of good practice.
2. AVON – a partnership with breakthrough Breast Cancer and its Breast Cancer has raised over 10 million pounds since its launch 10 years ago.
3. TOI’s Lead India campaign, campaign for contribution towards educating the poor.
Companies in trouble :-
1. Dasani mineral water (part of Coca-Cola).
2. Coke’s sale was banned as a result of tests including those by Indian government, which found high concentration of pesticides.
3. Communities in India, around Coca-Cola’s bottling operation are facing severe shortage of water as a result of the Cola major sucking huge amount of water from the common ground water sources.
How To Build A CSR Strategy
The basic approach is simple: Figure out what you do best. Listen to your customers or clients. Engage your team. Measure and publish results. Let’s get started:
Go Forth And Seek CSR
As you build your CSR strategy, keep the above four guiding principles in mind. It doesn’t matter the size of your team, the amount of money you have to work with or the industry you’re in. Find the corporate social responsibility plan that works for you and your team; execute it, and enjoy the benefits.
“It takes 20 years to build reputation and only 5 minutes to ruin it.” – (Warren Buffet)