Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a long-term plan where a business addresses the needs of customers, communities and employees. CSR also aims to direct businesses in a way that is ethical, so taking into account their social, economic and environmental impact.
CSR has become so popular, that 82% of companies are now participating in the United Nations Global Compact (the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, see www.unglobalcompact.org) since its launch in 2000. Many companies are realising that having a strong CSR policy in place is not only good for society, but also creates benefits for ‘staff recruitment and retention; managing risk in supply chains; driving innovation and productivity; and opening up new markets’ (www.gov.uk/government/consultations/corporate-responsibility-call-for-views).
The following points will cover some of the top reasons why businesses should incorporate CSR into their business plan, and what benefits they can get from it.
– CSR supports becoming an employer of choice – to be an employer of choice you need to attract, and retain, highly productive and qualified staff. Businesses can do this by offering work flexibility, good working conditions and fair pay. Having a strong work force can result in employees acting as agents for more social change within the company.
Benefit – Potentially reduce staff turnover, and improve internal CSR. Having a strong work force may also improve business reputation and therefore more employees will be keen to work for you.
– Improve and enhance relationships with clients – through acting in a socially responsible way, businesses are able to build trust with their clients/customers. This trust may overtake the factor of price: “88% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society” (simplycsr.co.uk/the-benefits-of-csr.html). Social responsibility has become much more expected from customers, and they are a lot less likely to buy from overly unethical companies.
Benefit – building trust with clients will increase customer retention, and business reputation. Customers who are happy, and trust a business, can become a free marketing tool; they will be more likely to speak to their friends, family and post on social media about a business they love and trust.
– Save money on operating costs – CSR policies can often include the business joining a green accreditation scheme to become more sustainable. In order for this to happen, a lot of businesses assess their company and find ways they can reduce their carbon footprint. Most of these processes include saving money, either in the short or long-term.
Benefit – you are saving money! The best part about changing a business to be more environmentally friendly is that you are using less water, energy, and paper so you’re saving money as well as making an impact. Reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on reducing resources also improves business reputation, and continues to build that trust with customers.
If your company is yet to create a CSR policy, would like to reduce the resources you use, or would like more information about the benefits of CSR, we are here to help. Get in touch to discuss your needs by contacting iiE on 01733 882547 or [email protected].