Companies today can no longer settle for selling products— they must sell their entire corporation. With the rise of millennial buyers and an increase in environmental consciousness, today’s consumers care now more than ever about where their products are coming from.
In a study done by Cone Communications, 9 in 10 consumers expect companies to act responsibly in favor of environmental and social issues. Around the globe, 87% of them purposely give their business to companies that advocate for causes they care about.1
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an organization’s footprint on the earth and the community. It typically combines efforts to be environmental, promote sustainability, treat workers fairly, and give back through donations and volunteering.2
As the effects of global warming, pollution, and poverty continue to worsen, people feel compelled to contribute in a positive way. Conversations surrounding social issues are also more prevalent today than they ever have been. In response to this rise, a company can give consumers the opportunity they desire to give back and support respectable causes.
Here are a few ways to boost your organization’s corporate social responsibility, and respectively improve its image in the eyes of customers:
1) Commit a Portion of Profits to Strategic Philanthropy
Allocating 5% of profits to a cause that relates to the mission and vision of your company will have great pay-offs. For one, the organization or non-profit you support will thrive off their increase in resources. Additionally, non-profit sponsorship increases brand recognition, and places your company a step above relative companies in your industry. Consumers are more likely to buy from your company if it supports a good cause; although a small percentage of revenue will be going out, you can expect a viable return on investment.
2) Focus on Employee Development
Employees are the ambassadors of your company— so treat them well! Investing in the happiness and development of your workers will have a major impact on your company’s public perception. Show the public that your company takes its values seriously, by ingraining them in the company culture. Treating employees well means fostering a healthy work/life balance, offering maternity/paternity leave, and providing opportunities to strengthen employee skills. Encouraging employee development will progress company initiatives and popularize your brand among working consumers. A company with good corporate social responsibility (CSR) promotes employee engagement, encourages them to pursue external passions, and provides volunteer opportunities. Investing time in the life of your employees, will make them proud to work for you.
3) Decrease Your Global Footprint
Stop printing on one side of the page. Stop printing 50 extra copies. Stop printing period. Install LED lights. Turn off the lights in unused offices. Unplug computers when not in use. Teach employees how to recycle properly. Buy recycled office supplies. Show the community that you care about the planet. Show your consumers that you are not wasteful. Encourage employees to carpool. Install electric car charging stations in the parking garage. Invest in solar panels. Be resourceful and consumers will thank you.3
Establishing a corporate social responsibility program for your company is a small lift for the amount of potential benefits. Not only does CSR contribute to a better society, but it boosts the perception of your brand in the eyes of consumers. Implementing CSR can be done in numerous ways, but some well-respected methods are to commit to strategic sponsorships, nurture employees, and be intentional with company resources.
Authored by Jenna Aguilera, Public Relations Associate