A CRS (Corporate Social Responsible) company is one that considers all of its stakeholders (the community, environment, employees, customers, investors, and suppliers) when making a decision. Companies can have a large impact within their communities, and should take the responsibility of making meaningful changes with their actions. After all, companies are communities of individuals who come together to make a difference. CRS companies seek to increase the overall engagement, and create a sense of connection within and among individuals in society. There are many paths a company can take to approach and engage in CSR. There is no one-size fits all standard.
Socially responsible companies are regular companies who go above and beyond to accomplish the impossible. These companies are businesses first, and need to focus on profits as well as their community. The good thing is that according to Business Ethics Magazine, 74% of respondents to a survey say that corporate citizenship can help increase profits at their company. In 2004, a study of the meta-analysis on CSR and its link to profits won the famed Moskowitz Prize (for responsible investing). The study, “Corporate Social and Financial Performance: A Meta-Analysis,” was authored by Marc Orlitzky, Frank L. Schmidt and Sara L. Rynes. The study found that there is encouraging data suggesting a positive link between CSR and an increase in profits.
Being socially responsible increases a firm’s reputation, and the overall good will of a company. According to a survey, 55% of consumers are ready to pay more for products when they come from a socially responsible company. Think about the emotional response of a consumer when they consider purchasing a product from a local artisan boutique versus purchasing an item from Wal-Mart. This study also found that a whopping 65% of the fortune 500 companies offer gift matching programs, and donated a total of $17.8 billion to charities in 2016.
There are many ways in which a company can get involved with the community and become socially responsible. A business could find alternative uses for used goods (to keep them out of landfills), create green technology jobs, or require higher humanitarian standards from their suppliers. The main point is for a company to be more purpose-driven, involved in the community, or to implement sustainable practices. We are starting to see large companies use their power (as customers) to drive improvements in the area of responsible business practices through their global supply chains. By setting increased expectations around transparency, they hold suppliers accountable for their environmental impact and on human rights issues.
Do you have any unique ideas that a company could implement to help them become a better CRS company? If so, comment below.