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Corporate Social Responsibility is Good Business Practice

Corporate social responsibility is good business practice. The benefits to companies that incorporate social initiatives are many. In this article, you’ll see how successful socially-minded companies accrue benefits that build social capital. I give 13 examples of how companies can reap financial benefits and corporate goodwill by supporting initiatives that generate profits with purpose.

Commercial enterprises can support social concerns through corporate strategic philanthropy. They may also benefit communities through economic development while minimizing their environmental footprint. Socially-minded commercial and noncommercial businesses should provide equal employment opportunities, fair wages, accessibility, comfortable, safe work environments, and job training. All these factors build human capital. Some companies go a step further by offering non-mandated benefits such as financial assistance, childcare, subsidized housing, fitness facilities, food, health and educational programs, and scholarships. They contribute to community programs and encourage employee volunteerism. Additionally, socially responsible companies adopt sustainable business practices and support a wide range of other social and environmental concerns. For 20 ways to express good corporate citizenship click this link to see: Earn Public Trust Through Corporate Citizenship.

There are many wonderful examples of corporate social responsibility that bear mentioning. Here are a few:

Patagonia uses recycled materials in many of its fabrics. The company helped spawn the organic cotton industry. It supports fair labor practices and environmental issues.

  • North Face has partnered its Endurance Challenge events with Challenged Athletes Foundation and Karno Kids to run for a cause.
  •  Ben & Jerry’s has a history of supporting fair trade, peace and grassroots activism. Its corporate foundation and franchisees support a variety of community projects.
  •  Starbucks is a leader in community service volunteer hours. The company is working toward ethical sourcing of coffee and it provides financing to help support farmers in coffee-growing communities.

Devoting resources to support social concerns can be difficult for a commercial enterprise. In certain situations, voluntary support of social issues using discretionary resources might require shareholder consent. Modifications to the corporate bylaws could be necessary. Although no guaranty, encoding social mission into corporate bylaws may help ensure continued support after the business changes hands. The more relevant and meaningful the cause, the easier it is to make a case for its support.

Corporate America has an implied duty to satisfy more than profit goals. American corporations can and should address social concerns that complement business goals and marketing objectives without forgoing fiduciary obligations. For-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid corporations alike must understand their roles as corporate citizens and the impact their businesses have on those around them.

Demonstrating corporate social responsibility is especially beneficial when dealing with crisis management situations. It is better to bank corporate goodwill in advance of a crisis rather than in the midst of one.

Realize the benefits of adopting responsible business practices that support relevant social initiatives:

  1. Enhance corporate image and strengthen brand position.
  2. Advance quality of life while providing excellent products and services.
  3. Differentiate the company from marketplace competitors.
  4. Increase sales and market share when quality and price are comparable to competitive brands.
  5. Strengthen shareholder involvement, appeal, and emotional commitment by navigating the business with purpose and shared stewardship.
  6. Attract new customers and build customer loyalty.
  7. Attract talent and strengthen employee recruitment.
  8. Increase workers’ pride, retention, and motivation.
  9. Appeal to strategic partners and build strong community relationships.
  10. Reduce operating costs and increase efficiency.
  11. Reduce regulatory oversight by exceeding minimum standards of compliance.
  12. Engender public trust and establish a loyal following among investors, customers, suppliers, and coworkers.
  13. Demonstrate economic, environmental and social impact in addition to measuring commercial gain.

Awareness of social responsibility is part of doing business. The corporate social responsibility movement encourages companies to take responsibility for the impact they have on the workplace, marketplace, environment, and society. Companies need to be vocal about their social commitments by publicly reporting the social impacts resulting from their initiatives. Global Reporting Initiatives can serve as a framework for sustainability reporting.

By embedding corporate social responsibility initiatives into our corporate culture and daily operations, across all functions within the business, American companies can achieve positive social change and help make the world a better place. Click this link to read my article and learn more about how Corporations Address Social Concerns 

Only by exceeding commercial, legal, and ethical expectations will Corporate America earn back public trust and confidence.


  © 2012 Anne Wall, All Rights Reserved.

Permanent link to this article: http://navigatewithpurpose.com/corporate-social-responsibility-is-good-business-practice/

1 comment

  1. Anonymous

    This is a great blog you have here

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