CSR - WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY MEAN?
CSR - WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY MEAN?
In the world of CSR, non financial reporting, data collecting and managing, there are lots of tricky and quite foggy concepts that are not easy to understand at first sight, especially if your business role has never had to deal with this before and you are kind of new to the sustainability reporting area.
One of the first things that can actually come in mind is…what is CSR?!
Indeed, this term itself constitutes one of the hardest ideas to explain, assimilate, spread and share among small, medium and big companies whose interest has been directed towards totally different aspects of the business – like sales and marketing just to name a few.
So don`t feel like asking yourself – and the experts too – what CSR actually means is a silly question: it is actually the right point to start from.
CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility, which includes all the policies, practices, attitudes and beliefs that a company has and puts in practice while doing its own business and in order to achieve a certain “sustainable” and “fair” way to do their own things.
To be clearer and more detailed, let`s make some examples.
If your company has adopted a flexible policy towards your employees, allowing them to have some flexibility in choosing their working hours and involving them in decisions and making processes, and engaging them with volunteering schemes, you are already practising some CSR.
If you decided to switch to low impact LED lights and/or to purchase your energy from low carbon or renewable energy providers, you are already practising some CSR.
If you and your employees are committed to cycling to work, using public transport and decreasing your overall water usage…guess what? You are already practising some CSR too!
It should now sound more clear what Corporate Social Responsibility stands for. It refers to all the activities that you, as an organisation, business and company (Corporate), commit (Responsibility) to in order to achieve a fairer cultural, social and environmental way (Social) to lead your business and deliver your services and products to your customers, consumers, investors and stakeholders.
Sticking to “these kind of” behaviours you are truly contributing to creating a more ethical and sustainable workplace, environment, city and world, improving the impact that your business has on local communities and society at large.
Being committed to CSR indicates your commitment to be and do good and have a positive impact on your business, your employees, your networking relations and the environment. Sounds cool, doesn`t it?
And we haven`t underlined the additional benefit of engaging yourself with CSR yet: customers, stakeholders, investors, and public opinion REALLY CARE about how organisations are leading their businesses nowadays – if they care about human rights and commit themselves to avoiding modern slavery within their supply chains, if they choose low impact and low carbon energy providers, if they treat their employees and staff in an ethical and respectful way, if they reserve some of their funds for charities and volunteering.
It means that by committing yourself to CSR and sustainability, you are going to literally boost your business and your success.
Nowadays a company has to respond (take responsibility) not only for how it actually manages its own business, but also for the overall and general impact that it has on society.
Your organisation is responsible for the way in which it sources and manages its supply chain, for the way its suppliers treat their employees, for the way it produces energy, for the way it deals with local communities and helps them offering them work placements or other types of support.
According to the Nielsen 2014 survey “More than half (55%) of global respondents in Nielsen’s corporate social responsibility survey say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impacts”.
To wrap up everything in a very intuitive few words, we can say that with CSR and sustainability reporting you can and you will do well on a triple line base, bringing substantive benefits to:
All this said the only question left is…why not to start now?
Give us a call on +44 (0)117 325 4168 or drop us an email to discuss your questions, needs and ideas and we will figure out together the best way to get your corporate social responsibility up and running.