Corporate Social Responsibility is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it because it is good for our business
– Niall Fitzerald, Former CEO, Unilever
It is not just enough for business to make money and satisfy customers today; they require to, often go the extra mile and give a little something back to their employees, the community, and the world at large. Hence, businesses are aligning themselves with Corporate social responsibility (CSR), a growing practice among profit organizations with relevant causes and social good programs.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) might not sound like a viable subject to small and medium industries now, but the truth is it applies to every brand or company’s reputation, irrespective of the size. Consumers today are more attuned to codes of ethics that companies adhere to as well as issues that plague the society like global warming and unethical labour practices. Hence, there is a rising demand that businesses establish policies that benefit all of society rather than just the business’ bottom line.
The end-result is simple. If companies refuse to practice CSR, consumers will take their money and business elsewhere, to a company that practices it. According to Nielson’s Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility, of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, approximately 60% of the people surveyed said that they were willing to pay more for products and services from companies that committed to positive social and environmental impact, while two-thirds of them are also willing to work for them.
Keeping these findings in mind, it is now commonplace for businesses to have a sustainability report and various CSR initiatives in place. Several companies are now taking this road. These organizations have developed a substantial reputation for going out and doing some good, turning their success into an opportunity to help others.
3 Examples of Successful CSR Strategies
The following 3 companies are just a few examples of those doing Corporate Social Responsibility right. Let’s have a look at what they did.
Other than being one of the world’s most popular search corporation, Google tops its game when it comes to practicing corporate social responsibility. In 2015, Google was ranked number 1 on its Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) RepTrak rankings and it still holds 3rd rank amongst the top 10 companies with the best CSR reputations.
How does Google do it?
Well, Google is conscious of how it effects the environment and to keep a check on the carbon footprint that it leaves behind, the organization has remained carbon neutral since 2007. One of its initiatives to do the same has been by implementing numerous environmental friendly endeavours like Google Green.
The Google Green encourages the members of the organization to use and support resources efficiently and create renewable power. Investments made by the organization in these sectors have had positive effects like an overall drop of about 50%, in power requirements for their data centres, and the savings are then redirected to other areas of the business or to investors.
Other than that, according to the Reputation institute, the organization is one of the first tech employers to release workplace diversity statistics, which has devoted itself to increasing Internet access.
Levi Strauss is practicing CSR by launching its efforts in three different areas, namely, the masses, the environment, and the products that they offer. Of all its policy, the company takes CSR most seriously and contributes by giving out a lot in kind and funding organizations in need.
The company’s website is listed with associations that they can funds and gives an in-depth detail of the resources that they utilize to keep the environment clean and healthy. The organization’s Red Tab Foundation, is a non-profit that aids its employees and retirees to overcome financial emergencies. Other than that Levi Strauss also takes a step forward in contributing to the environment by the signing of pledge on Climate Declaration, that aims at reduction of carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases by maximizing energy efficiency and using 100% renewable energy.
If you have seen Levi Strauss’ current ads, it also promotes the fight to save water via the production of its new jeans cloth-line, a product that they have been working on since 1873. The company is committed to their cause of reducing the use of water in the production of their merchandise, which has helped them save more than 1 billion litres of water since its inception in 2011.
According to Microsoft, when it comes to CSR, they aim to empower every person and organization to achieve more. The organization has held on to its ranking in 2nd place among the top 10 companies with the best CSR reputation. As part of its mission the organization has carried out several projects pertaining to local communities, educating and empowering workers, labour and human rights, employee health and safety, gender equality and minorities, energy consumption, water consumption, waste reduction and recycling, reduction of carbon emissions, sustainable sourcing, and other CSR initiatives and charitable donations.
Furthermore, charitable activities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, also contributes to the organization’s CSR initiatives.
Some of the works that have been carried out by Microsoft are as follows-
- The organization introduced the Lagos Solar project in Nigeria, which helps in creating power and electricity by charging batteries with the help of solar panels and smart inverters that are all connected to the Microsoft Azure IoT technology.
- Microsoft’s YouthSpark project envisions to entitle 300 million young people globally with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship
- During the 2016’s financial year, Microsoft introduced the annual training on Standards of Business Conduct, which resulted in more than 99% of its employees graduating. The training was made available globally in 17 languages.
- Microsoft has had a formal commitment to respect human rights as a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact since 2016.
- Microsoft reduces its carbon footprints by utilizing wind, solar, and hydro power electricity. This is where 44% of the electricity used by Microsoft data centres comes from.
Giving back to communities and actively participating in civic activities helps a company get in good with the public it serves. At its heart, Corporate Social Responsibility is more than just donating money. It is more about acting towards the welfare of the society and environment, while operating transparently and ethically. CSR needs to be embedded in the business, rather than just be kept as an afterthought.
Keeping social responsibility at the front of their mind encourages businesses to act while also considering the social and environmental impacts it makes.
At Bluelupin, we work closely with public value organisations who esteem social responsibility and public value at the core of their vision. As a private sector company, we’re driven by public value and a desire to do good things in the community by way of implementing technological advancements, without leaving carbon footprints behind us. In brief, Corporate Social Responsibility is something that we take to heart.