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Corporate Social Responsibility; How to Make an Impact

By now we have all heard the term CSR being thrown around the corporate world.  But what does it all mean?  And how do you do it effectively in 2019?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is essentially a self-regulating business model that helps businesses be more conscious of the impact they are having on the world around them.  Obviously this will mean something a little different to each business depending on multiple factors such as industry and resources, but generally, it will focus on areas such as environmental, economic and social impact.

Now don’t worry, we aren’t here to lecture you about CSR, but rather to help take the pressure off and point you in the right direction.  To do this we have come up with a few quick and easy strategies to effectively address CSR in 2019.

  1. Community Volunteering

There are plenty of worthy causes that are looking for volunteers to get involved.  Giving your team a chance to get hands on by volunteering for an organization and give back is 100 times more rewarding than them reading about a donation in the company newsletter!

PUT IT IN ACTION:  Develop a program that partners with local charities or organizations that look for volunteers to assist on projects and actively encourage your employees to get involved.  This could be as simple as organizing for a group to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or assisting with a local charity event.  You will be amazed at how many people are willing to get involved.

WHO DOES IT WELL? Deloitte employees are offered up to 48 hours paid time to volunteer for charitable organizations each year.  They have a range of charity partners that they work closely with and also have an annual day of service called Impact Day, where more than 4,000 employees volunteer in over 400 locations across Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to make an impact that matters in the local community.

  1. Socially –Responsible Business Projects

Consumers are becoming more aware of what the businesses they interact with are doing to address CSR.  Thus it is important to actively engage in socially-responsible business projects that align with your company values and vision. Whether these projects focus on one area of CSR such as the environment or address multiple, it is important to set clear goals and implement a structured plan for how you will get there.

PUT IT IN ACTION:  These projects can come in all shapes and sizes.   It could be something as simple as participating in a charity team building activity that gives back to the local community twice a year.  Or if you have the resources, you could look at partnering with environmental initiatives such as Clean Up Australia Day or Earth Hour.

WHO DOES IT WELL? Unilever has undertaken its own Socially-Responsible Business Project through its Sustainable Living Plan.  Through this plan they have three big goals, improve the health and well-being for more than 1 billion people, reducing their environmental impact by half and enhance the livelihood for millions.  Smaller projects are then run under each of these three big goals to ensure they are constantly improving their environmental footprint.

  1. Cause-Related Marketing

Cause-related marketing is a mutually beneficial collaboration between an organization and a non-profit organization designed to promote the former’s sales and the latter’s cause.

PUT IT IN ACTION:  As a profitable business, you may consider creating incentives that see a portion of your product sales donated back to a nominated cause that ties in with your company vision or values.  Consider something a little bigger such as developing products or offers that partner with your selected cause.  For example, a percentage of profits from product sales could go back to a selected charity.  The size of the project doesn’t matter, the important thing here is getting involved and giving back. The cause will, in turn, promote your brand/product, so really, it’s a win-win!

WHO DOES IT WELL? Thank you is a social enterprise that operates like any profitable business, however, unlike other profit businesses, Thank you are committed to donating 100% of profits to their impact partners to fund sustainable development projects that help end global poverty.

No matter how you choose to address corporate social responsibility the important thing is that you are doing something to have a positive impact on the world around you.  Now we don’t expect you to go out and do everything on this list but we do encourage you to take this list, make it your own, be as creative as possible and always have fun with it!