Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) involves companies taking action for the good of society. Their efforts help to improve the quality of life and protect the interests of the community. CSR is viewed as charity and “Corporate Philanthropy”, but it’s also an investment in good will and good for the bottom line.
APPROACHES TO CSR
When it comes to CSR execution, many companies stick to traditional social issues: quality education, health check-ups, setting up blood donation camps and supporting mid-day meals at schools. Others concentrate on women’s empowerment and skills development. Companies prefer different types of charities and most of them use Non Governmental Organizations and social organizations as support outlets.
More creative platforms of community interaction have emerged recently. These projects have sparked the interest of communities across the globe and have provided companies with a different method of sharing their blessings. Giving Tuesday, a project that celebrates the spirit of giving, has gained the support of more than 10,000 sponsors. Other events have received similar attention thanks to widespread social media promotion.
HELL HATH NO WRATH
Climatic changes are real and have a huge impact on a company and its supply chain. Invest in climate resiliency plans. Environmental uncertainties should prompt companies to address the issue with utmost serious and urgency. Many companies have already been disrupted by nature’s wrath including floods, storms, wildfires and water scarcity.
The Climate Week NYC, for instance, is a special project focusing on the clean industrial revolution. It brings together the world’s leading businesses and governments and pushes them to create innovative solutions to prevailing climatic problems. This annual summit aims to drive climate action and has been a massive success.
Depletion of natural resources is a matter of concern and companies are already looking for alternatives to the usual materials that they use. Changes in climatic conditions also make the scenario worse and makes it difficult to source raw materials. More and more companies are investing in green technologies and switching to bio mimicry for higher efficiency and lower costs.
COLD AS ICE
Employees are the greatest assets of a company. Empowering them with the ability to influence decisions regarding community investments will help foster a culture of social responsibility. Nobody wants to work for a cold hearted corporation. Employees feel good about themselves when they are involved with a company that has a conscience. It also provides a sense of ‘community’ inside the company.
Speaking of cold, the Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral hit when it came to creating awareness against the ALS disease. It was a fun and interactive way of raising funds. To see heads and employees of big companies like Microsoft take in the challenge made for compelling video.
Involvement in activities that promote Corporate Social Responsibility creates a positive and happy workplace environment for the employees. Ventures that are not within the usual scope of work increases employee enthusiasm and productivity. These special projects create a much needed diversion that helps lower stress levels and boosts morale. Awareness of social issues also helps promote ownership and pushes citizens to take action.
On the business side, consumers prefer to spend more money on retailers involved in charity work. There is a natural tendency to support businesses that “give back” to the community. This trend urges companies to adopt policies that help the society.
Corporations spend millions on advertisements that show images depicting them as charitable and socially aware. CSR helps companies gain better public image and elevates the brand value.
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