In the past, many corporations tended to be self-focused; if we’re being realistic, most of them still are. However, some companies have begun to take a more serious look at the long-term impact their business practices have on social change and environmental damage.
“Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) is a term that is now being used to describe their new business practices. The three kinds of CSR include environmental, philanthropic, and ethical labor practices. Implementing any of these strategies in your business is considered CSR and work wonders for company rapport and revenue.
For example, Sands Las Vegas Resort values sustainability as one of their top priorities. Through many new initiatives implemented at the company, Sands has made changes in both local communities and international ones. From building hygiene kits to reducing food waste, Sands has made a radical change in how they do business, and it is showing.
While it would be nice to believe the sustainability movements of companies are altogether altruistic, there is much more at stake than simple good works. Companies that seek to integrate CSR into their business practices see huge benefits in revenue and client happiness. If your company is considering implementing a new social responsibility strategy, consider a few of these ideas.
Environmentally-Friendly Sourced Products
For many companies, their environmental impact can literally be traced to the source. Corporations who manufacture or harvest goods internationally have been historically famous for destroying social and environmental areas across oceans. The first step in a socially responsible protocol can be in how you source your products.
For example, the corporation Starbucks sources coffee beans from around the world. Unfortunately, workers and environmental conditions in some of these areas can be deplorable. Starbucks implemented a C.A.F.E. program guideline that ensures their coffee beans are sourced from fair trade farmers and processed in a manner that protects environmental, social, and economic elements.
Giving Back Through Ethical Labor
Another way companies can consider their CSR is by looking at how much good their products do. For instance, if a company produces their goods in a foreign sweatshop, they are doing damage to that social environment. However, if they produce goods in a way that gives back to locals and boosts economies, they are being socially responsible.
One company that does an excellent job in this department is Tom’s Shoes. All of Tom’s shoes are manufactured in countries with ethical social practices, creating boosted economies around the world. But the beauty of Tom’s Shoes lies in something more than ethical practices.
Tom’s Shoes was founded in order to protect the feet of children around the globe. So for every pair of shoes a customer purchases, another pair of those same high-quality shoes is donated to a child in need. The entire company was founded around a feeling of responsibility for the world’s children, which is a great foundation for social responsibility.
The final way companies give back to the globe is through philanthropic endeavors. Philanthropy is defined as a desire to promote the welfare of others, especially through donations of monetary value. When multimillion dollar corporations decide to fund good causes, great change can happen internationally.
One example of philanthropy can be through matching donations for various charities. The company will set up a fundraiser, for employees, customers or both, and match every donation to the chosen charity. So for every $1 raised for United Way, your company can be matching that dollar donation. This sort of giving is great for getting individuals involved in creating social change.
Another shining example of philanthropy lies with Mike Goguen of Whitefish, Montana. Goguen decided that the instances of missing hikers, skiers and outdoor adventurers was growing too high in this corner of the Inland Northwest and he sought to make a social change. Funded entirely by his private wealth, Goguen founded Two Bear Air Rescue, a privately owned helicopter rescue service.
In January of 2016, three skiers found themselves in dire straits on the Idaho-Montana border after an off-piste ski adventure turned into avalanche survival. While other government agencies were grounded from the near whiteout conditions, Two Bear was able to make the flight in and save the badly injured skier. Without these kind of philanthropic movements, a life would have been lost.
Social Responsibility is something that needs to be considered by every individual. While corporations certainly have the most to invest and aid with, many small businesses have the capacity to make changes in their own local environments. Consider having your employees serve dinner at a soup kitchen one night a week or help out in the community garden. It takes thousands of drops in the bucket to fill it up for social change.