CSR – Getting on Top of It

Corporate social responsibility is the latest move for big corporate – and it’s a positive one. Read on to find out what it is and how it works.

Have you ever noticed that more and more businesses are setting up foundations, sponsoring charity events and really getting hands on in the community?
The way of business has changed. Sure you still conduct your day to day the same, but business is really increasingly becoming about what people think of your company and how this impacts if they will become your customers or not. Businesses have realised that one of the major areas they need to be seen to be active in, is the community and how they impact it. Many corporates, as large and influential bodies, contribute to pollution, make billions in profit and can be seen to be forgetting about the little guy. With this firmly set in their sites, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) era is upon us.
What is CSR?
Corporate social responsibility is exactly how it sounds, it is businesses, especially large corporates, taking responsibility for the communities their people live and work in every day. It is everything from recycled business card printingthrough to major sponsorships. It involved undertaking more environmentally friendly practices, sponsoring charities and going out of their way to impact the community in a positive way.
Why do it?
There are a lot of reasons to get involved in CSR initiatives as a large corporate. First and foremost it is a highly valued part of employer branding, that is, it makes your company look good and more attractive to possible new recruits. This means you have your pick of the best new talent around.
In line with this, Generation Y, largely seen as those who will take over the corporate world once baby boomers start to retire, are highly socially aware. Yes they are ambitious and have their own motivations and goals, they want mentors and quick paths to the top, but apparently they also want to work for companies that care about how they affect the environment around them. If corporates want to get Gen Y, they need to be seen to undertake CSR initiatives.
What it does for your company
Along with attraction of the best candidates and the role it plays in employer brand, CSR also makes your company look good. Many of the biggest companies in the world can get the reputation that they are money making machines, not caring at all about the people who work for them, their families and friends, the towns or cities they are in, or nature and the environment around them. With people becoming ever more socially conscious, this could severely effect patronage to the company, and in turn, bottom lines, so big companies have taken it ion themselves to show they care – whether genuine or not!
Who looks after it?
While more often than not, the CSR responsibility will go to the HR or marketing teams, however, more and more, companies are creating new positions that specifically manage CSR projects. That’s how important it is!
How do you do it?
CSR initiatives can be anything from purchasing charity Christmas cards instead of normal ones, through to creating your own foundation, it depends on how much you invest.

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