Is CSR just a buzzword, or can it make a real impact?
Navigating the CSR minefield is a tricky one for any organisation, but the ‘doing good’ factor is becoming increasingly more important for companies across the UK.
There are some great examples of organisations embracing social responsibility and harnessing its power to make a real change; not only in the workplace but to their wider community. We’ve listed some of our top examples below.
Cosmetics company Luhasave very clearly made their stance against animal testing with their strong ethical initiatives. Every year, Lush hold their annual Lush prize, with the aim of inspiring and rewarding the innovation of anti-testing practices across the UK.
For Lush, ensuring all their stakeholders get a fair deal is at the top of their priority list and go out of their way to consistently source ingredients from suppliers directly. This allows them to make sure their suppliers not only get a fair price but can also help and support them with working conditions; allowing them to keep a close eye on their supply chain.
Lush have a very active stance against; animal testing, child labour, unfair wages, good working conditions, high-quality ingredients and supply chain management. Their prices may be slightly higher but rest assured, you are buying a fantastic product with a very strong ethical stamp.
Lush place ethics above profits. They do not compromise, and their success has been driven by the fact that they care about every corner of their business, from customer to supplier.
As one of the UK’s fastest growing online fashion retailers, ASOS are leading the way when it comes to their social responsibility stance.
“I’m committed to ASOS transforming how fashion impacts on people and our planet. We can do this if we’re determined enough, work together, make brave decisions and continue to be open and honest about what needs to be done.”
Nick Beighton CEO, ASOS
They have some impressive stats too; a pledge to reduce carbon, water & waste footprint by 15% by 2020, they’ve recycled 352 tonnes of cardboard, donated £90k of products to disability charity scope and their employees have donated over 3,300 hours in volunteering to charities of their choice.
On top of this, they run the ASOS Foundation, that regularly raises and donates millions of pounds to charities of their choice.
Suffice to say, CSR is big business and can not only make a lasting impact to a local and national community but drive and project a national image of doing good, feeding into marketing, PR and perception among clients and customers.
What can you do?
We’re lucky enough to work alongside some of the leaders in CSR, so to give you a helping hand we’ve highlighted our 3 top tips to starting on your CSR journey.
1. Start Small:
There is no need to go all guns blazing if you don’t have the resources or infrastructure. Look around at your local community for projects or charities that need your support. Large charities can get lots of support but it’s your local community projects or charities that need the most help, so start there.
2. Give time & money:
Allow your staff to take a couple of paid volunteering days a year. This way, all of your staff feel like they are doing good in their community but not at the expense of their work. You can also use this to generate a little buzz on your social media streams and blog. It’s a win/win all around.
3. Raise awareness:
The biggest perception is that charities need your money, but they also need your vocal support too. Giving a charity a platform and talking about the great work they do is just as valuable as giving them £50. So use your networks, social media streams, blogs and website to help promote a cause close to your businesses heart.
Does it make an impact?
Giving back can not only be good for the soul but good for business too. A recent study by yourcause.com shows that organisations who choose to implement a strong CSR strategy can benefit from; 13% improved employee productivity, 50% reduction in staff turnover, 75% higher chance of attracting young talent and a 66% higher retention rate of new customers/clients.
They’re bold facts, but the truth is, being a responsible organisation with a strong strategy on supporting your wider stakeholders can have a hugely positive impact on the profitability of your business.
How can we help?
We know how to maximise and unlock corporate/charity partnerships – it’s what we do. But if you don’t have a CSR strategy or are thinking of dipping your toe in the water, give us a shout. We can help start from the bottom, working with you on strategies and implement a socially sustainable policy that will grow your business from strength to strength.
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