With the entire world now putting its direct focus on environmental issues and social issues, many businesses both small and large are no longer making profit the main priority. Instead of having their eye on the prize, business leaders have their attention on how their business plays a role in issues surrounding the environment and society – corporate social responsibility. However, profit is important for success; it’s just not the main focus. Profit and corporate social responsibility should really go hand-in-hand. It is possible to make that happen.
What exactly is corporate social responsibility?
When it comes down to corporate social responsibility there are three key elements to corporate social responsibility. The first element involves corporations donating funding and resources to benefit popular social causes and/or charities, which may deeply impact society and the environment in a positive way. Resources may even include the donation of employee time.
The second important element involves corporations putting together a plan and then putting that plan into action to benefit society and the environment by producing products and/or services which are environmentally friendly and safe. The third key element involves ensuring that employees both on the homeland and abroad are treated fairly, ethically and work in a safe environment.
The Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
Some of the many benefits to corporate social responsibility include:
Commitment: Showing a true commitment to corporate social responsibility equals success on all levels. Integrating all three key elements to corporate social responsibility shows a deep and true commitment to the society and to the environment.
Public Relations: Another important benefit to take note of is the public relations benefits. By showing your true commitment through public relations, you’re also shaping consumer perception that portrays your business in a positive light. Publicize everything that you’re doing to improve society and the environment, and spread the word. Doing so allows you to both build your brand and help the environment. You’ll want to publicize your corporate social responsibility both offline and online. And don’t forget to utilize social media for online publicity.
Government Relations: By placing an emphasis on corporate social responsibility, your business is more likely to have less difficulty when dealing with government officials and regulators, whereas corporations who blatantly disregard the environment and society have a tough time when it comes to dealing with government relators.
A Positive Workplace: Promoting and implementing corporate social responsibility will create a positive workplace environment for all of your company’s employees. You’ll find yourself building a sense of community. According to research from the job search site, TheLadders, 72% of workers said that they would prefer to work for a company that is an environmentally friendly company.
Examples of Corporations Doing it Right
Kellogg Company: Kellogg was recognized as a “best place to work for LGBT equality,” during its 2012 and 2013 human rights campaign. And as part of their Breakfasts for Better Days™ Hunger Relief Initiative, they have pledged to donate more than half a billion breakfasts across the globe by the end of the year 2016.
Starbucks: Starbucks has become well-known for the creation of its C.A.F.E. Practices guidelines, which have been designed to ensure the sourcing of only sustainably grown and processed coffee. These guidelines evaluate aspects of coffee production such as social, environmental and economic.
PepsiCo, Inc.: Back in 2012, the all-electric fleet of trucks driven by PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North American Division surpassed one million miles driven. At that time, this eliminated the need for exactly 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel. PepsiCo, Inc. also has a program known as the “One Simple Thing” program, which allows their employees the option to balance work and life with flexible work arrangements, as well as routine performance appraisals.
If your corporation hasn’t joined in on the action yet in improving society and the environment, then as you can see there are many benefits to corporate social responsibility across the board. So get involved now and make it a goal to put your business on the list of socially responsible corporations in the future.