Here’s Why Corporate Social Responsibility Activities Must Be Impactful
Many companies think of corporate social responsibility as a defensive tactic when told to do what is right. However, corporate social responsibility is the absolute opposite of what many companies perceive it to be. It is more about growth, impact, culture, common sense, and most importantly, core values.
Corporate social responsibility is a necessary part of the modern-day corporate vocabulary. Gradually, but surely, corporate social responsibility is evolving into a focused and strategic business tool that is influencing all major stakeholders to create a sustainable impact on the community.
Therefore, companies must understand and acknowledge corporate social responsibility. Only then can they implement it actively in their annual objectives and even encourage their millennial workforce to actively participate in various such initiatives. So, let us discuss in detail what corporate social responsibility or CSR is and what it implies.
Corporate social responsibility meaning
Corporate social responsibility is a type of self-regulation initiative undertaken by a business, wherein, the entity aims to actively participate in societal, philanthropic and charitable activities in and around the area.
In simple terms, CSR means helping the community grow and prosper by sharing the fruits of success with the society or community. In this initiative, the company is conscious about the impact they have on various aspects of the society including social, economic and environmental.
An effective CSR strategy is not just important for the community, it is equally valuable for the company. Corporate social responsibility activities engage your employees with the company and help to create a stronger bond between the employees and the management. This makes the workplace more engaging and interactive, plus, it boosts the morale of the employees.
The concept of corporate social responsibility
The concept of corporate social responsibility includes key aspects like corporate citizenship, business ethics, accountability, environmental reporting and community responsibility.
Corporate citizenship implies good conduct and good governance along with complete transparency within the ambit of the law. A good corporate governance policy will enable the company to accomplish its corporate responsibility objectives, maintain transparency for stakeholders, satisfy legal needs and protect the rights of shareholders.
The business should indulge in ethical and value-based business practices. Business ethics implies how an entity integrates its core values, such as trust, honesty, fairness and respect, into their practices, policies and decision making. This concept also includes adhering to regulations and rules and complying with the legal standards.
A company is accountable for good practices and affirmative actions initiated for its workforce. Human resource is the most critical resource of a company. So, the company should strive to build a diverse and inclusive workforce, where people from all classes, gender and disability can work together for a single goal. Employers should create a conducive work environment by implementing an effective gender policy, code of conduct and setting up guidelines for the prevention of any kind of harassment at the workplace.
Simply meeting some sustainable demands won’t help save the environment. In the changing modern-day environmental dynamics, employers have to contribute more to reduce the impact on the environment. Businesses have the corporate responsibility to find multiple sustainable solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and the resultant burden on the environment.
Community is a major stakeholder in the way the business operates. The company should be actively involved with the community and assess the risks and issues faced by those living in the areas surrounding the company. This interaction will help the company create a community-focused CSR strategy with various corporate social responsibility activities.
Types of social responsibility
The four main types of social responsibility include philanthropy, environment conservation, active volunteerism and diversity.
Philanthropic efforts: The company should actively engage in philanthropic efforts in society. Some of the major corporations are actively involved in various philanthropic activities around the world.
Environment conservation: Climate change is real and we are the biggest offenders. So, as a responsible citizen of the world, entities should engage with employees to focus on creating sustainable solutions to safeguard the environment from any further damage.
Active volunteering: Just creating effective CSR strategies is not enough, the company should encourage active participation by its employees. This activity is a great way to create a synergy between the employees and the company. Plus, active volunteering creates a good brand image for the company.
Diversity and good labour practices: Good corporate social responsibility begins at the workplace. The company should strive to create a diverse work environment by accomodating individuals across, sex, race and religion. They must also ensure ethical labour practices to create a healthy, positive and friendly work environment.
Benefits of corporate social responsibility
A comprehensive CSR strategy, when implemented effectively, reaps great rewards for the company while also helping society. The benefits of corporate social responsibility include but do not limit to:
- Giving better recognition to the company
- Building a positive business reputation
- Increasing customer loyalty that results in better sales
- Displaying better annual financial performance
- Saving operational costs considerably
- Attracting and retaining top talent
- Experiencing organizational growth
- Easily attracting investment capital
No company would like to miss out on such wonderful benefits. Therefore it is imperative to create a comprehensive corporate responsibility strategy.
Corporate social responsibility examples
While there are many corporate social responsibility examples and case studies, some of them stand out because of their unique cause and dedication. The following are some examples:
Corporate social responsibility is not just about doing the right thing, but also standing by your values and ideologies. This is reflective of Google’s approach to CSR. Google, including the CEO, actively speaks out on various social issues, such as discrimination based on religion.
For instance, Google CEO disapproved of the anti-Muslim comments made by President Trump. Google has the highest CSR score among major corporations. Additionally, it has pledged a considerable amount of its resources towards augmentation of renewable energy.
The company is engaged in many corporate social responsibility activities. The most highlighted program is the Xerox Community Involvement Program. This program has a global and fundamental approach to CSR. Their emphasis lies in building better communities at the local level as well as the national level.
Corporate social responsibility activities initiated by Levis Strauss focuses on empowering their workers and their families, physically, mentally and financially. This initiative was launched in 2011 and is still an integral part of their CSR activities.
Companies and organizations can no longer shy away from corporate social responsibility, especially contributing to causes that matter greatly in today’s times. The world today demands better participation from those who can to safeguard the interest of the environment and the people living in it. Moreover, the millennial generation is more proactive about their social responsibilities and they prefer an organization that has an active social footprint.
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