Corporate Social Responsibility: Why is it so increasingly important? What are a few best practices? How to understand it?

Corporate Social responsibility is not an elusive idea any longer; it is essential for business growth and organizations place it at the core of their daily practices. Business spend a lot of resources annually, which is further supported by a study on Sustainability and Innovation by the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group that revealed that sustainability has a permanent place on 70% of management agendas.

In one of our previous blogs we examined several misconceptions around what sustainability really is. We said that many, wrongly, think that it is about public relations, solving social inequality and philanthropy. By all means, all the above are great practices but they should not be mistaken with CSR. Restricting CSR to only these areas does not allow us to fully understand what it actually is, so a more holistic approach must be taken. As a part of an effective CSR process organizations need to fully and effectively interact with their stakeholders and engage them in a meaningful and beneficial relationship.

Benefits of CSR  & Best Practices

It should come as no surprise that a strategic approach to CSR is increasingly important today, and it is associated with a lot of benefits for the companies. It can bring benefits in terms of risk management, consumer and stakeholder engagement, stronger performance and profitability and human resource management. And there are a few companies who know best how to practice CSR:

  •  Häagen-Dazs loves HoneyBees

The extinction of honeybees, an important part of the global food chain, is an issue of great importance to every company especially Häagen-Dazs and their all natural ice-creams. Therefore, the organization called people for action by informing them that every time they bought a carton of their ice cream they helped Häagen-Dazs ice cream fund research to save the bees. By that the organization was able to show its human side to people who were more likely to associate themselves with the organization and also help solve an important social cause.

  •   UPS: How Avoiding Left Turns Saved the Company $3 Million

A few years ago UPS was facing pressures to cut costs. Therefore, the company decided to rearrange their routes so that drivers turned right 90% of the time. By that the organization not only showed that they could deliver data in less time but also reduce emissions.

  •   Body Shop: When fashion meets green

The Body Shop has always demonstrated Corporate Social Responsibility through its commitment to social causes. However, after being acquired by L’Oreal, The Body Shop was repeatedly accused of using animal testing. Despite this accusations, it hold true to its values by not practicing animal testing which resulted in being awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in Britain.

How to understand and excel in CSR

At CSE it is our role to primary role to role to help companies develop or upscale existing CSR strategies that are sustainable and can be implemented and reported on. Therefore, to better understand and learn more about sustainable practices we invite you to follow the example of Fortune 500 and beyond and join our upcoming Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training in Toronto and New York.
To view the full course agenda visit here.
Contact us for more information at sustainability@cse-net.org.