The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

In today’s challenging and evolving business environment, the importance of having a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy is more critical than ever. Today’s businesses are expected to play a supportive, beneficial role in the wider communities that they operate in, acting as responsible stakeholders that help to protect the environment, give opportunities to local communities and generally make an effort to ‘give back’ as well as to simply make profits.

The topic of Corporate Social Responsibility is predicated entirely around this idea of broader societal responsibility and the role that businesses and organisations play in building, preserving and developing healthy economies, eco-systems and social communities. Where businesses are geographically placed, local communities are likely to be customers, employees and suppliers with varied types of reliance on the organisation that extends beyond simple monetary transactions.

Where businesses operate across different borders but within a certain industry, they will have impacts on different geographies, eco-systems and communities which require them to demonstrate their ability to ‘pay back’ and to contribute towards the world that they benefit from financially.

Companies which get their CSR strategy right will enjoy far more than simple PR gains. Customers are increasingly likely to put their money where their mouths are, and today’s thoughtful consumers, especially amongst the Millennial generation, are inclined to seek out businesses which have similar values to their own.

For example, utility businesses may support water access and cleanliness projects in developing countries. Food producers may donate leftover food to homeless charities in a bid to cut food waste. Local businesses may sponsor local causes and provide apprenticeship opportunities. All businesses can have a role in reducing their carbon emissions and ensuring that they operate in a way that protects the environment and ensures that their business operations have no negative effect on their surrounding eco-systems.

Great CSR programmes also help to create innovative cultures and creativity within the organisation. Look at Google (www.google.com), which allows its employers to use 10% of their working time to pursue passion projects. Only last month, one such company innovation – Google AI – helped NASA to discover distant new planets in a previously unknown solar system.

Cost savings are another benefit when teams are enabled to come up with fresh ideas to slash waste. General Mills is one famous company that has done this and enjoyed 20% cost savings and wastage reduction. (http://www.generalmills.co.uk)

Brand benefits and differentiation are other key aspects. Formerly criticised soft drinks companies are now forging ahead with zero-water-waste operational strategies and plans to reduce plastic waste – both key environmental strategies that could help to improve their negative public image. (https://www.coca-cola.co.uk)

Companies with a long-term CSR view also tend to operate more strategically and with long-term sustainability at the heart of their operation. This helps them to thrive into the future rather than to operate for the day-to-day. Unilever is one business which has re-engineered itself to have sustainability at the heart of its operation – benefiting customers, employers, communities and the environment in the longer term. (www.unilever.co.uk)

In short, CSR has powerful business benefits that extend far beyond a sense of ‘doing good’ and which provide bottom-line sustainable results for the longer term.

Give as you Live wants to help business implement a robust CSR strategy, internal fundraising and employee engagement are the first steps to a great CSR programme. We have developed a bespoke online Fundraising Hub – a one stop shop for fundraising and employee engagement within a business. Many businesses do not have the time, money or manpower to create and administrate an effective platform – we take care of this for you so you are free to focus on your business, and we do this for free!

Our mission is to provide a platform for businesses where they can keep track of their internal fundraising, engage employees with the charitable aims or goals and empower their employees to get involved with free fundraising initiatives.

For more information about our free Fundraising Hub please contact our Corporate Account Manager, Ashleigh Green at ashleigh@giveasyoulive.com.