Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept that helps companies create strategies, voluntarily take into account social interests and environmental protection, as well as build relations with various groups of stakeholders. Being responsible does not only mean meeting all formal and legal requirements, but also increased investments in human resources, environmental protection and relations with the company’s environment. In other words, Corporate Social Responsibility focuses on voluntary commitment.
Bearing this in mind, we’ll be taking a closer look at the ins and outs of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how it plays an important role in our day-to-day lives. We’ll also be talking about the ways in which companies can be more socially responsible in the years to come.
What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is the process by which companies and businesses from all over the world manage their relationships. Considering the fact that they also use CSR programs with a variety of stakeholders, these can have a real impact on business success and should therefore be considered an investment, not a cost.
In other words, corporate responsibility is an effective management strategy which contributes to the increase in the competitiveness of enterprises at the global level by conducting social dialogue at the local level. More importantly CSR also creates conditions for sustainable, social and economic development.
It’s important to note that responsible business is a strategic, long-term approach that is based on the principles of social dialogue. It also plays an important role in the search for solutions that are both beneficial for the company and its entire environment, employees, all stakeholders and the community in which the company operates.
Finally, corporate social responsibility means increased investments in human resources, environmental protection and relations with the company’s environment, i.e. stakeholders.
• Corporate Social Responsibility serves as an important aspect in all businesses. This includes employers, employees and consumers.
• Corporate responsibility programs are a boost morale in the workplace.
• CSR helps create strategies that can help the company excel
Explaining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Now that you have a better idea of what corporate social responsibility is, it’s time to delve into a little more detail. In short, you can regard corporate social responsibility as a self-regulation aspect that helps companies give back to the workforce and their communities by being socially accountable.
For starters, CSR programs, volunteer efforts and philanthropy, companies from across the globe businesses succeed in contributing to society whilst boosting their brands. A great example of this is Starbucks. In fact, it is renowned as the leading company that strongly believes in making a social impact on the world.
Although corporate social responsibility is great for the workforce, it’s essential for the company as a whole. In fact, research shows that CSR programs and activities build strong connections between employees and the company. On top of that, corporate social responsibly is also serves as a mood booster for employers and employees alike. In this way, they can feel more connected to their surroundings and to what’s happening around them. Let’s illustrate this in an example.
Over the last few years, Starbucks has successfully contributed to more CSR achievements ever since it was first open for business. If we take a closer look at the company’s 2019 Global Social Impact Report, some of these achievements including the following:
• 99% of ethically sourced coffee
• Creating a global community of farmers from all over the world
• Excelling in green building
• Donating hours of their work in community service
• A college program that was created with their partners and employees in mind
In 2020, Starbucks hit even more milestones. Some of these included hiring over 10,000 refugees, reducing the environment impact of its plastic cups and engaging the employees in environmental leadership.
As per their mission, Starbucks has always believed that the company “can – and should – have a positive social impact on the communities we serve. One person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”
Given that Starbucks has over 28,000 stores in more than 75 countries, the company is completely committed towards creating a positive global social impact. Starbucks succeeds in doing this by sourcing their products ethically and sustainably, pioneering in green building, creating more and more opportunities and by strengthening communities. In the long run, it is the company’s vision to inspire all partners, customers, suppliers and neighbours to make a positive impact on the world.
Of course, there are other companies besides Starbucks who are also giving back to their communities. This includes none other than Ben and Jerry’s. For years, the company has advocated for a number of causes. Some of these include the following campaigns:
• Cool Your Jets – 2006
• Drilling is not the ANsWeR – 2005
• Take a Stand for Children – 1992
• Support Farm Aid - 1990
4 Types of Corporate Responsibility Practices Your Company can Introduce
If you’re a business owner who is striving to make a change within the workforce and the world – you need to ask yourself how you can make your company more socially responsible.
To move towards this step, a business owner needs to acknowledge what it’s doing right and what else can be done to make a positive change. In other words, all companies have to be accountable to the workforce and the shareholders.
Research shows companies have successfully boosted their business once more CSR programs were introduced. In fact, lots of them have paid it forward to society. Therefore, it’s clear that CSR programs make a company more visible and successful in the long run. In fact, companies that abide by these practices show that they truly believe in the importance of ethics within the workforce, with competitors and the industry in general.
Simply put, the importance of socially responsible efforts is extremely essential, especially in this day and age. And on that note, here are some CSR practices that can be introduced to all companies:
Environmental Efforts: Undoubtedly, the environment is a major CSR practice. Whether you like it or not, you have to realise that all business create large carbon footprints. So, how can one reduce that? In short, any steps that can contribute to a positive change will benefit both the company and society.
Philanthropy: Companies can practice social responsibly by giving back to society. This can be done by donating products, services, and money to NGOs and other social causes. Whilst it’s true that larger companies tend to have more resources that can truly make a difference, that doesn’t mean smaller ones are undermined.
On the contrary, these efforts can make a huge impact. So, if you’re interested in giving back to a charity of your choice or any programs, just reach out to them and ask how you can help. Whether it’s a donation, products or even your time, rest assured your efforts won’t go unnoticed.
Ethical Labor Practices: Treating employees fairly and ethically also shows that the company strongly believes in CSR practices.
Volunteering: It would also be great if you find the time to participate in local caused or volunteering as a company in community events. Any type of volunteering shows that companies aren’t just there to work – they are there to make a difference.