The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility for Your Business
If you’re a business owner, the days of operating solely for profit are gone. Whilst this is obviously still important, many companies now focus largely on corporate social responsibility.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is when a company operates in an ethical and sustainable way and deals with its environmental and social impacts. This means a careful consideration of human rights, the community, environment, and society in which it operates.
This article outlines the importance of corporate social responsibility, and the benefits that sustainable and ethical practices can bring to your business.
Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility
It’s incredibly important that your company operates in a way that demonstrates social responsibility. Although it’s not a legal requirement, it’s seen as good practice for you to take into account social and environmental issues.
Social responsibility and ethical practices are vital to your success. The 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR study found that a staggering 91% of global consumers expect businesses to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues. Furthermore, 84% say they seek out responsible products wherever possible.
As the above statistics show, consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of social responsibility, and actively seek products from businesses that operate ethically. CSR demonstrates that you’re a business that takes an interest in wider social issues, rather than just those that impact your profit margins, which will attract customers who share the same values. Therefore, it makes good business sense to operate sustainably.
Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
The benefits of CSR speak volumes about how important it is and why you should make an effort to adopt it in your business.
Some clear benefits of corporate social responsibility are:
- Improved public image. This is crucial, as consumers assess your public image when deciding whether to buy from you. Something simple, like staff members volunteering an hour a week at a charity, shows that you’re a brand committed to helping others. As a result, you’ll appear much more favourable to consumers.
- Increased brand awareness and recognition. If you’re committed to ethical practices, this news will spread. More people will therefore hear about your brand, which creates an increased brand awareness.
- Cost savings. Many simple changes in favour of sustainability, such as using less packaging, will help to decrease your production costs.
- An advantage over competitors. By embracing CSR, you stand out from competitors in your industry. You establish yourself as a company committed to going one step further by considering social and environmental factors.
- Increased customer engagement. If you’re using sustainable systems, you should shout it from the rooftops. Post it on your social media channels and create a story out of your efforts. Furthermore, you should show your efforts to local media outlets in the hope they’ll give it some coverage. Customers will follow this and engage with your brand and operations.
- Greater employee engagement. Similar to customer engagement, you also need to ensure that your employees know your CSR strategies. It’s proven that employees enjoy working more for a company that has a good public image than one that doesn’t. Furthermore, by showing that you’re committed to things like human rights, you’re much more likely to attract and retain the top candidates.
- More benefits for employees. There are also a range of benefits for your employees when you embrace CSR. Your workplace will be a more positive and productive place to work, and by promoting things like volunteering, you encourage personal and professional growth.
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