Corporate Social Responsibility has become a buzz word in the business world. When we hear about a company and its CSR projects we instantly see them as exemplary organizations that is not only concern about the profit. I have been noticing that while CSR program is not a requirement to conduct business more and more organizations are integrating it to their business practices. It gives me the hope that soon all organizations will be socially responsible. Ideally, a company will embark on a project that is beneficial to the society and environment because that is the ethical thing to do and if they were able to cut down their costs due to that effort it is just a positive by product. However, there are also companies that are implementing CSR projects for the sake of good public image. I still look at it as a good thing because for me it doesn’t matter if the company’s first priority is to simply improve their image and lower down operating costs as long as the effect to the society and environment is positive.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility? The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication Making Good Business Sense by Lord Holme and Richard Watts, used the following definition:
Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.
We know that companies with CSR projects impact the stakeholders in a good way but what do they get from it? Why should they engage in CSR? What is in it for them? Here are some of the reasons why:
- Good public image. Yes, we want to believe that companies are engaging in CSR because they genuinely care about the society and the environment but we cannot deny that one of the main reasons why they do it is because of the impact of their projects to their public image. We all know how important company’s reputation is, it can make or break them. Companies do well when the community feels like they can be trusted. When a corporation is suffering from a scandal, their sales went down and if they are publicly traded their stocks plummet too. A good publicity on the other hand, makes a company look good in the eyes of the customers and creditors which will make their sales rise and easier for them to get investors or secure loans.
Watch how Nike redeem itself from being the villain (due to sweatshop and child labor allegations) to the hero through its CSR efforts.
- Gets the best raw products/materials. When a company is doing good and fair business with their suppliers, they get those suppliers loyalty and support. In Starbucks’ case, they source their coffee from regular suppliers/farmers. They go back to the same coffee farm every year; they know the farmer and build good relationship with that farmer, and as a result Starbucks get the best coffee in the world by working with that farmer.
Watch this video on how Starbucks engage in CSR, specifically their relationship with the farmers and how they make sure that these farmers are protected.
- Attracts employees. Employees nowadays also care about how socially responsible their prospective employers are. They care about what CSR projects a company have and how it affect their community. An organization’s CSR also factors in the decision of a person when accepting a job.
- Employee retention and boost employees’ morale. Employees who take pride in being part of an organization that is socially responsible are less likely to leave a company. It also adds to employees’ job satisfaction and when employees are satisfied and happy they are more efficient in their job. CSR projects also give employees chance improve their various skills such as leadership and teamwork.
Read more on the effects of CSR on employee engagement
- Help a company grow. When engaging in CSR, a company has to go beyond what it can already do for the community and think of better ways to further help them. In doing this the management and employees have to brainstorm for new ideas, innovate to come up with better processes, product and services, and improve policies which will turn them into a better company.
- Build strong relationship with its stakeholders. By following the laws, a company they can be trusted and that the government doesn’t have to worry about them. When an organization operates in eco-friendly manner becomes an organization that shows concern not just for their customers but to the environment as well. Customers then feel that the company care about them and become loyal to company. Socially responsible companies also have reliable suppliers and creditors.
So it’s a win-win situation for the company and the community right? So why don’t other organizations join this crusade and together create a better world not just for us but for future generations?
Global CSR Benefits: The Bottom Line https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh03R83c4Pg