Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society, the environment and its own prosperity, known as the “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and profit.
Not only do responsible, sustainable and transparent approaches help build brand and reputation, they help strengthen the community and therefore the marketplace. A solid business plan, embedded into the business culture, reflecting organizational values and objectives through strategic CSR application, will help to build a sustainable and profitable future for all. Strong communities support strong organizations; the reverse is also true.
In an age in which environmental and social issues are top of mind for many consumers, businesses can no longer exist in a bubble. Today’s consumers expect the companies they patronize to do good with their dollars and make a positive impact on the world around them. To this end, many organizations are now making social responsibility a top priority.
“Technology has brought global connectivity and enabled advocacy and awareness for social situations that were once obscure,” said Alexis Magnan-Callaway, whose fashion company Pax Cult donates 10 percent of its profits to an organization of the customer’s choice. “Millennials are redefining what it means to connect and give back through this technology. It’s not just about having a recycling program or sustainable products. Those actions, while appreciated and commendable, should be done intuitively. People want to feel good about what their dollar is doing in the world.”
So to begin with you should be able to define this: “What is my company/organization/business entity’s unique contribution to sustainability?” The point is that this question draws you towards a focus on what makes you distinctive. The answer to the question on your “unique contribution” can’t be that you do the same as everyone else even if, in your mind, you think you do each of those things just a little better than the rest.
Having answered the question about your company’s unique contribution, you should then identify your three top priorities within CSR. You are only allowed three. Seriously. And they should be areas where that unique contribution should have some expression.
Having identified those three, you can then start to think big. What should you have achieved in those three areas in five years time? Really ramp up the ambition. Suppose you were to become famous for what you had done in one of those three areas. What would it be?
The ideas in this article have been suggested by www.mpiweb.org, www.mallenbaker.net and www.businessnewsdaily.com.