What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Meaghan Weeden | February 11, 2021 | 4 min read
WHAT IS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business model that allows companies to integrate social and environmental responsibility directly into their operations + practices. CSR is self-regulated and is a great opportunity for companies to make a positive impact and establish themselves as leaders in this growing space. And it pays off — studies show that the majority of consumers prefer to purchase environmentally friendly products.
Although the term Corporate Social Responsibility emphasizes corporations, businesses of any size can be socially responsible and leverage their efforts with their audiences. In fact, we've helped thousands of businesses achieve their sustainability goals, improve credibility, and grow a loyal customer base that keeps coming back for more.
So how does it work?
Because CSR is voluntary and every company is different, there's no one way to incorporate social responsibility into your business. Some companies weave it into the very fabric of their practices and goals, while others create unique CSR programs that align with their purpose and values. And as long as the actions aim to benefit environmental, social, and economic sustainability and are guided by solid ethics and transparency, that's perfectly alright.
Many businesses that work with us adopt a simple One-for-One model, which is a great way to get started! This can mean anything from planting one tree for every product or service sold to donating a percentage of sales, setting up a recurring donation, or tying tree planting to social media campaigns. Other options include joining larger initiatives, encouraging employee engagement, sponsoring tree planting events, and more.
Here's how some companies approach it:
- Using renewable energy to power production facilities
- Retrofitting office buildings to improve energy efficiency
- Building low-impact supply chains + distribution processes
- Using biodegradable or recyclable packaging
- Planting trees for every product sold
- Supporting local causes and sponsoring community events
- Ethically sourcing raw materials throughout supply chains
- Engaging employees with quality volunteer opportunities
- Being transparent with all stakeholders
- Balancing the impacts of short and long-term investments over time
- Creating products with quality materials that are built to last
- Investing in your business by greening up infrastructure, updating policies, and adjusting protocols as new technologies become available
- Promoting a supportive corporate culture to improve employee retention
- Investing in your employees by providing ongoing opportunities for training and improvement