Why Businesses Should Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility

Business, Sustainable Business

In 1970, well-renowned economist Milton Friedman said: “the social responsibility of business is to increase profits.” While this statement was true at some point, a lot has changed in the business environment, and society expects more from businesses today.

What exactly is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming more embraced across all industries as companies shift from profit-oriented to socially and environmentally conscious. According to Benevity, CSR encompasses how businesses are responsible corporate citizens to their shareholders, employees, customers, communities, and society.

This article will discuss how corporate social responsibility helps companies leave a positive footprint through reflective practices and initiatives. Let’s dive in!

Why is Corporate Social Responsibility Important?

The nature of CSR has evolved and is now more than simply giving to charity. It has become an integral part of how organisations run their business and focuses on consumers’ perceptions of the company’s positive influence on society and how it treats its employees.

The importance of CSR is especially apparent in today’s world, where consumers want to spend their money on products and brands that follow ethical practices or whose values and actions align with their beliefs. Again, the impact a company’s CSR initiatives have on the community greatly depends on the area in which the initiative focuses on. For example, a company may focus on making sustainability a core of its business practices, which would significantly impact the environment.

What Are the Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Now more than ever, there is a growing importance for companies to ramp up their focus on social responsibility. Modern customers are invested in sustainable companies’ success because they believe those companies create a positive impact. The benefits of CSR speak volumes about how important it is and why businesses should try to adopt it.

  • For Business

Social responsibility can strengthen both a company’s brand and image. By portraying a positive image and being socially conscious through CSR projects, a company can make a name for itself. Corporate social responsibility plays a crucial role in making your brand popular not only among your competitors but also in the media and, most importantly, with your direct customers.

Again, embracing CSR helps your company establish itself as committed to going one step further by considering social and environmental factors. People have a positive feeling toward a brand that empowers disadvantaged children and plants more trees for a greener environment. In other words, CSR allows organizations to work towards improving society and making it a better place to live.

  • For Customers

We see more CSR in social media and marketing, and this is not by coincidence. In fact, according to the 2021 Porter Novelli Purpose Premium Index (PPI), “73% of consumers say [that] to win their support, companies must show how they are supporting communities and the environment.” As the above statistics show, consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of social responsibility and actively seek products from businesses that operate ethically.

Most importantly, CSR programs allow organisations to display their corporate values and reach customers with similar ideals.

  • For Employees

Employees are more invested in companies that align with their morals and ethics and enjoy their work more when there’s a broader purpose. Moreover, today’s employees want to be part of something meaningful. Remember that when employees are active in the community, they act as brand ambassadors for the business. How employees feel about their company will be evident in their interactions with the general community. Your workplace will be a more positive and productive place to work, and by promoting things like volunteering, you encourage personal and professional growth.

  • For Society

Embracing socially responsible policies goes a long way toward attracting and retaining customers, which is essential to a company’s long-term success. Businesses that implement a social responsibility initiative that is in line with their values have the opportunity to increase customer retention and loyalty. Social responsibility can help people see your company as a positive societal force.

Overall, such actions can benefit local communities by helping those in need. Such donations can help uplift underserved communities , and increase general well-being.

  • For the Environment

There are several ways in which companies can be socially responsible. One common approach is focusing on environmental sustainability. This can involve reducing energy consumption, waste production, and more. Today there is a strong demand from consumers and investors for meaningful, comparative data on how organisations tackle issues such as climate change through CSR and environmental management.

Big companies like Meta and Apple have made long-term commitments to reducing pollution and having a net-zero footprint. Some businesses are taking it further and restructuring their shipments and deliveries altogether. To reduce space and cut costs, they pack their orders into eco-friendly compact containers like biodegradable pouches and recycled cardboard. Any initiative a company can take to reduce its footprint is considered good for the company and society.

However, each day is an opportunity to take another step toward saving the environment.

Source: Freepik

Examples of Corporate Social Responsibility in Action

Many companies are proving that successful corporate citizenship is achievable, and most are implementing innovative initiatives by making positive impacts. Depending on the cause, this can mean anything from corporate sponsorships and volunteer days to awareness campaigns.

Let’s look at three inspiring examples of corporate social responsibility in action.

  1. Nike’s Bloom Over Doom Campaign

Nike has big goals when it comes to sustainability. Their Move to Zero initiatives included pledges to transition to renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, and divert manufacturing waste. To promote these initiatives, Nike launched the Bloom Over Doom campaign in August 2022.

  1. Bumble’s Anti-cyberflashing Campaign
Source: SproutSocial

Bumble set a new standard for corporate social responsibility initiatives by taking a stand on their user’s behalf. These efforts helped uphold their brand mission of supporting empowered connections in love by creating a safer digital environment for them to flourish.

  1. Disney

Disney is consistently among the highest-ranked companies in their CSR activities. Its corporate social responsibility aims include environmental sustainability, investment in youth education, volunteering, and children’s hospitals and wish granting. One of the heartwarming examples of Disney’s CSR in action is the five-year global commitment of $100 million to help reimagine children’s stay in hospitals. The funds completely transform the patient and family stay at children’s hospitals around the world with the creation of personalised, distinctly “Disney” experiences featuring beloved Disney characters and stories.

In Summary

The race to a more socially responsible marketplace is well on its way.

In today’s socially conscious environment, employees and customers place a premium on working for and spending their money on businesses that prioritise corporate social responsibility. Therefore, companies need to take an active role in the community beyond just making a profit. When done well, CSR can help companies build trust and loyalty among employees and customers, attract top talent, boost innovation and productivity, and reduce costs.

The Core Principles of Agile Marketing

Gone are the days when marketers could afford to take months to turn their ideas into marketing campaigns. The combination of technological advancement and evolving customer expectations is propelling brands to embrace agile marketing techniques. This is an approach...

Podcasting: A Game-Changing Marketing Tool for Brands

The popularity of podcasting and audio streaming has skyrocketed over the past few years. An increasing number of influencers, content creators, and brands are jumping on the podcast wave to connect with their audience in new and engaging ways. With this advent of...

Interactive Marketing: How to Engage Your Customers

Are you looking to take your content creation to new heights, connect with customers like never before, and differentiate your brand from competitors? Then it’s time to implement an interactive marketing strategy. Through this approach, brands can personalise messages...

Relationship Marketing: The Key to Longevity

Did you know a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 95% increase in profit? With statistics like that, there is no denying the importance of building and nurturing your brand’s relationships with its customers. The best way to create these strong,...

Incentive Marketing in a Nutshell

The interconnected world we live in has widened customers’ choice of brands. How can you stand out amongst local and global competitors? One way is with incentive marketing. Incentive marketing is a strategy in which businesses...

Content Strategy: What All Marketers Should Know

Content strategy is something that is often spoken about in the social media and marketing space. But have you ever stopped to consider what exactly is meant by this term? Understanding this concept and knowing how to create an impactful content strategy is a core...

How To Get Paid Social Media Right: Top Tips and Tricks

Did you know that more than half of the population uses social media? With people taking to social networks to research more about their interests and interact with businesses, this presents a fantastic opportunity for brands to increase their reach and drive online...

Marketing to Gen Z: 5 Things Marketers Should Know

Generation Z, also known as Zoomers, is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. While they share many characteristics with the Millennial generation that comes before them, Gen Z has some truly unique behaviours. Growing up with a wealth of information at their...

Business-to-Human Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

In a world where marketers rely on technology to communicate with customers, taking a step back and implementing a business-to-human (B2H) approach is a strategic way for companies to increase trust and confidence in their brands. We examine the importance of this...

Digital Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

What comes to mind when you hear of January 1, 1983? That’s when the internet was born. Fast-forward 39 years later, it has grown to envelop every part of our daily lives. Think about the last thing you bought online. Perhaps it was a new washing machine or a printer...