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It’s not uncommon to hear business owners ask, “What is the purpose of corporate social responsibility?” After all, implementing a social responsibility policy can be expensive in terms of capital outlay, and perhaps the direct benefits are not always obvious. However, this is something all businesses should embrace as we move further into the 21st century.
Corporate social responsibility covers everything from providing a better deal to suppliers and producers right through to protecting your local water table. In fact, a solid social responsibility policy is a necessity for your business. Here’s why.
A Better Reputation in the Market
Over three-quarters of customers say that they would be more willing to purchase products or services from socially responsible companies. A report from Aflac found that 77% of respondents looked for a corporate commitment to social, economic, and environmental responsibility when making purchases. As customers become increasingly informed on social issues, corporate responsibility becomes a key battleground for businesses attempting to move ahead of their competitors.
A Stronger Response from Investors
According to the same report from Aflac, a strong reputation is a positive influence not only on customers but also on investors. The report showed that 73% of investors would be more likely to invest in a company with a strong and demonstrable background in corporate social responsibility. As investment is such a key concern for businesses seeking to grow and develop in their respective markets, this is certainly something to be aware of.
Better Employee Satisfaction
Employees put a high price on corporate social responsibility and want to work for organizations that can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Constantly having to let go of staff members and then hire and train replacements is an expensive process. By investing in corporate responsibility, you are doing your bit to keep your employees happy and satisfied, and saving on the additional costs of replacing staff in the process.
Strong Team Engagement and the Right Personnel Onboard
Not only does corporate responsibility help to keep your team satisfied and happy in their respective roles, but it also helps you to achieve the best, most engaged team for your business. Who would you rather have working for you: a group of individuals who don’t really care about what they are doing, or an ethically-driven team that is genuinely engaged with your business and your philosophy? A strong corporate social responsibility policy delivers you the latter.
Better Preparation for Changes in Regulation and Legislation
Rules and regulations tend to play catch-up with sustainability and responsibility. Changes to legislation often achieve positive changes within their respective industries, but some businesses are already ahead of the curve — businesses that did not need to be told about the right thing to do. Of course, these businesses find the transition to the new way of operating far easier than those who need to make desperate changes to meet regulatory deadlines. Make sure you are a leader and not a follower in your industry.
Greater Long-term Customer Value
We’ve already looked at how social responsibility is a great draw for customers and a significant influence on customer purchasing decisions. But what about existing customers — how are they influenced? Well, if your business has a strong reputation, this is likely to keep your existing clientele coming back for more, for longer. By implementing a socially responsible set of principles and values, you are giving your customers something they can believe in and achieving an increased lifetime value from them as well.
A Focus on Innovation
Being sustainable and responsible in business means thinking outside of the box. It means being creative and innovative when it comes to adopting new and exciting operations and best practices. Of course, this does not exist in isolation. Instead, it becomes part of your corporate culture and permeates into all other aspects of your business. This allows your team to become more innovative across the board, developing new products, services, and ways of doing business. The advantages of this kind of innovation are enormous for modern enterprises.
Reduced Wastage, Protected Bottom Line
Part and parcel of environmental responsibility is a reduction of waste. Historically, businesses have caused great damage to the environment with their wasteful practices and less-than-admirable approach to handling materials. It is only in recent decades that companies have begun to work against this. Today, businesses are making a conscious effort to keep wastage down to a minimum and be responsible when disposing of refuse.
If you can go the extra mile in reducing waste, you are not only displaying high levels of responsibility — you are also saving a lot of money.
Better Health and Safety for All
We all have the right to live and work in an environment that is safe and secure. This applies whether you work in a factory or warehouse, visit a business premise as a customer, client, or investor, or simply live near a facility. Environmental responsibility ensures a keen awareness of health and safety at your facility or premises, which benefits everyone in the surrounding area.
Positive Steps Toward a More Sustainable World
Above all else, social and environmental responsibility and sustainability are crucial to our future. Without these considerations, we cannot hope to function properly as a society, nor can we expect the natural environment to support us forever. This why corporate responsibility is not something simply to pay lip service to. Instead, it is a step that all of us must take to protect our environment and our fellow human beings. Putting the right policies in place represents a huge move toward a better, more sustainable world.
Connect with a Range of Different Advantages When You Choose to Implement a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
There are many advantages to be gained from corporate social responsibility. However, the underlying purpose is always to make a positive difference in the world.