Corporate social responsibility: a winning strategy for your businessSocial responsibility
In our article, “What is the TGS Quality Program?”, we emphasized how quality control is a driver for TGS member firms’ success. As part of our ongoing quality assessment, we assess each firm with regard to three pillars of quality: Professional Core Competencies (PCC), Business Development Collaboration Communication (BCC), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In this article, we examine CSR, focussing in particular on the benefits to your business and how you can implement a solid CSR strategy.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders and the general public. Rather than simply preventing bad behaviours, a CSR approach upholds practices and policies that have a direct positive influence on society.
For example, CSR is about how companies make profits, not how they spend them. This implies a more inclusive outlook, based on the company’s values and core business. The aim is to create systematic positive change.
How can CSR benefit your business?
All companies have a responsibility to ensure that they are making a positive social, environmental and economic impact: not just for the people, the planet, and economic growth but for business too.
Here is how your business could benefit from implementing CSR practices and policies:
- Employee Engagement
- Attract & retain talent
- Greater customer loyalty
- More inclusive practices (diversity, equality, disability, etc)
- Improve work environment & productivity
- Health & safety of consumers, employees, etc.
- Reduce the risks of corruption
- Greater influence of the company in society and on opinion leaders
You need to define your social responsibilities and related action plans (e.g. staff diversity or dialogue, projects with local residents, prioritize local employment, etc). If you do this, you will be more likely to attract new generations of talented employees eager to work for your socially responsible firm.
- Effective resource management
- Eco-friendly office and business travel policies
- Positive reputation
- Circular economy
- Efficient energy consumption
- Green IT
- Cost savings
If you measure and assess the impact of your firms’ activities, you can make positive changes that will benefit the environment and your business in the long term. Being “green,” even digitally, is crucial for sustainable growth.
- Access to funding
- More efficient business processes
- Tax exemptions
- Attract financing
- Win new markets
- Avoid risks or penalties for the company.
In order to sustain a stable economy, companies have a responsibility to be transparent with their finances. Financial transparency includes distributing profits equitably among shareholders, employees and communities affected by the business’ activities.
How to integrate a CSR strategy in your firm
CSR blueprints vary not just between sectors, but also between companies. There are, however, four steps that you can take to design and implement your own strategy:
- Develop a strong mission statement – what is the societal purpose of your business activity? This mission statement should focus on societal needs.
- Define your CSR strategy – identify your values and most important social and environmental issues (you can refer to the UN Global Compact or ISO 26,000 for general standards). List the actions already being taken by the firm that address these issues, and define necessary additional actions.
- Implement sustainable actions in all areas of the company – CSR practices and policies provide guidelines/criteria for making better business decisions in areas such as resource management, supplier selection, contract bidding and hiring.
- Implement sustainable actions outside the company – How can you positively impact the entire community, your stakeholders, your clients, local institutions, etc?
Be aware of your impact
At TGS (“Think Global Sustainability”), our goal is to provoke positive change and ensure that SMEs operate sustainably. You know CSR planning is important and that it will benefit your business in the long run. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with TGS if you need help to take action.
THINK GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY
Are you thinking sustainably about your business development?