The European Commission has defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”. It has become standard business practice but it’s not just something management must do to get a tick in the box. CSR allows companies to benefit society whilst also benefiting themselves.
Here are a just some of the compelling reasons why companies should be actively involved in CSR:
- CSR can be a powerful statement of what a company stands for in an often cynical business world, bringing kudos and improving customer engagement. It allows companies to differentiate themselves from the competition.
- CSR also benefits employees: they gain a sense of pride and happiness towards their company as they participate in (or become aware of) something good going on. This in turn leads to higher levels of employee engagement and markedly better standards of customer service (according to Kenexa High Performance Institute).
- CSR can lead to greater cost efficiency and effectiveness (e.g. cutting down on plastic packaging for your products, or introducing LED lights, etc.)
- CSR leads to innovation (e.g. Unilever was able to innovate new products such as hair conditioner that uses less water).
- Great CSR attracts high profile talent: the graduates from the top universities often look for companies that they see as being “good corporate citizens”.
So, is CSR important? 100% Yes! It doesn’t matter if you’re a small or large business, whether you are aiming to meet your social responsibility goals in an informal / intuitive way or you have a formal CSR approach. Either way, CSR’s incredibly important – both to your business as well as your community.
Splash Project delivers innovative experiential learning programmes through real life community projects – and has experience of working with start-ups, SMEs, large global companies and top business schools.
If your company could do with help thinking through your CSR ambitions and would like some world-class training for your staff, please get in touch or email [email protected].
The photo, by the way, is from a great CSR project Splash Projects organised this summer, where all the staff at DTSQUARED created a specialised arts playground for Sacred Heart School (Islington) to encourage Key Stage 1 innovation and creativity. Each element of the playground had to be mobile, so the space can double up as a carpark when there are matches on at the Emirates Stadium. It was an enormously ambitious project to complete in one day and we so proud of the team at DTSQUARED for their hard work and attention to detail.