Trends In Corporate Social Responsibility

December 28, 2009 by: Enogg

Corporations are finding ways to support society in a positive way while simultaneously being profitable. Corporate Social Responsibility is the role corporations’ play in servicing many stakeholders. In particular CSR reflects how corporations support society.

The CSR trend isn’t new, but there have been significant shifts. In the old days, corporate responsibility was managed more from the perspective of a regulatory issue.  Now CSR is viewed as a revenue generating opportunity.

For instance, corporations in the energy sector have gone far beyond their core businesses in trying to develop energy solutions in areas like India and China where the current infrastructure does not support the demand. Corporations are helping poor nations develop new sources of power generation and products in their rural communities. This benefits both the poor rural community and the corporations.

The changes in social media may have a hand in driving the social responsibility agendas of major corporations. Social media pages are channels that build brand and image. A Facebook page filled with a negative social responsibility commentary will have a shorter reach than one filled with positive activity and social optimism.

Indeed the Internet has allowed consumers to see deeper into the actions of companies. Companies have become more transparent in the way they operate. The Internet provides a platform for advocacy groups inside or outside the company. Companies are sharing more openly and leveraging the power that consumers have.

The sharing and cooperative spirit that has been unleashed on the Internet benefits all. Corporations actively want to hear what consumers are saying and consumers are glad that the corporation will take care of the problems when they arise.

By driving more interactive and collaborative activities with the consumer can heighten a brands social mannerisms and bring about a more cohesive interchange between consumer and brands.

A company has to care about multiple stakeholders; in particular, the consumer and the shareholder are the most important. Due to the complexity, CSR is a board level issue. It has the power to damage or ignite a brand. There is both high risk and high visibility. The brand must provide a conscious social responsibility agenda that isn’t based on fluff-and-stuff or run the risk of immediate gigabyte exposure.

Indeed the younger generation entering the workforce is very interested in working for companies that have some level of social responsibility in their corporate framework. Without CSR, it becomes harder to attract a socially conscious workforce.

Customers have a huge appetite for companies with a CSR agenda - more than most companies think. It’s not just about mitigating a carbon footprint. It’s about a full spectrum of social awareness. Typically a company that is conscious about their carbon footprint probably also has a handle of their labor practices.

What To Do?

Companies need to get a better handle on what the customer expectations are. Outreach is important in discovering what your customer base is thinking.  Build ways in which the brand is more interactive with the customer. Leading with transparency helps the brand build trust and loyalty.

CSR weaved into the way the core business is run will help maintain a positive and growing brand. By engaging the employees to help drive the CSR engine will help build the momentum for new ideas, products and solutions.

Should your firm need to measure a carbon footprint from a CSR perspective, CSRware.com has a SaaS measurement and accountability software that ensures there is no fluff n' stuff in your CSR agenda.

Why Do It?

Consumers are making buying decisions based on the CSR performance of companies.  Without a CSR platform interwoven into the corporate culture will risk losing a valuable stronghold in new and emerging markets.

More importantly, it just feels good to be a company that is doing good things!  And feeling good around a CSR platform has serious sticking power.

From The Desk of EnoggEggbert

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  • Fred Lancaster

    This is a nice synopsis on CSR. Loved the idea of building CSR at the board level and weaving it through the entire corporation.

  • Dramatic post about google. I'm honestly amazed that it hasn't been said earlier.

  • This is classical in terms of SEO. Nada looks to irritate towards it compared to that.