Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that corporate social responsibility is more than just a public relations tool; it is a key driver for succeeding in the modern business world.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer an obligation that corporations feel they need to take on, but has become central to the operations of many of the best companies today.
Many insights highlight key trends that have been driving progress in CSR, making many companies to redefine their CSR platforms. Corporate philanthropy is already becoming an integral part of the business with many global markets mandating social investments as a price of doing business. Some of the top trends in CSR are:
1) linking a corporation’s performance and corporate societal investments,
2) aligning philanthropic efforts with the goals for impact,
3) increasing employee engagement, and
4) increasing non-cash methods of giving.
Performance with Purpose
One of the most significant trends in the CSR practices, the evolution of corporate societal investment is linked to business performance. Corporate giving is being used not just as a way to manage reputation and stockholders, but as a growth driver, platform for innovation and a way to drive a corporate culture. Contributing to society is good for business and positively impacts a company’s bottom line. Companies that are giving more back to society are outperforming companies that are not. Such a profound shift in big business could mean the promise of progress for some of society’s largest problems.
More and more companies are improving the way they do business with passionate leadership and a sharp focus on systemic change. Some of these changes include finding innovative ways to minimize impact on the environment and lowering costs through energy and water conservation, as well as reduced use of packaging material; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for employees; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities. The importance of systemic change that impacts customers, society and business, in creating a more sustainable, affordable, accessible ecosystem has to be incorporated.
Focusing for Impact
Aligning efforts with goals, abilities, resources, skills, and areas of expertise increases efficiency and allows individuals and corporations to best benefit those they help. An “Impact Plan” has to be developed as a combination of assessing critical needs with what a corporation can offer. The result is the inclusion of disaster and hunger relief response, and delivering hope and healing to seniors and children in need. By utilizing their unique strengths and resources, companies can make the largest and most meaningful impact in society.
A fruitful CSR strategy can be aimed at building healthier communities, protecting the planet; and creating economic opportunities, using company-unique skills and resources to focus where the most difference can be made. As corporate funders focus efforts for more impact, they are also more concerned with measuring the outcomes of their efforts. More companies are reporting on CSR activities, realizing the importance of transparency, especially as social media becomes more prevalent. Aside from providing leaders with data to help drive decision-making, CSR reporting helps consumers make purchasing decisions. More consumers want to know what companies are doing to improve communities and want to spend their money with companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
The New Employee Engagement
In today’s interconnected society, the new generation of employees expect a passionate leadership and a dynamic culture, when deciding where they want to work. This younger generation wants to feel emotionally invested to causes and favours a more participatory approach to philanthropy, extending beyond a transactional donation. Employees also want to be associated with a company that places a high value on philanthropic actions.
Employees have been continuously identified as the most important stakeholder influencing decisions to expand community investments. These employees are playing a large role in CSR, from matching programs to employee engagement and volunteer hours. Many of the corporate social responsibility reports document an impressive number of volunteer hours, further showing just how important this aspect is to the overall platform. Corporations now count employees as one of their greatest assets and are finding creative ways to engage their employees and finding that employees are proactively seeking out opportunities. Hiring and retaining forward thinking, socially conscious employees in addition to fostering a culture of CSR will continue to slowly drive community collaborations.
Non-Cash Giving Involvement
Cash giving, volunteer hours, employer-matching programs and in-kind services are a few ways in which companies can accelerate social impact.
Across various industries, companies consider the best utilization of staff skills to improve societal outcomes. Further, companies are also increasing paid-time-off offered for volunteering. In addition to strategic alignment with non-profit and cause partners, a company has to approach partnership holistically by offering financial contributions, product donations, extra hands volunteers, and skills-based volunteers to make a budget, build capacity and leadership, and meet its mission.
Companies are learning to apply the same management best practices to CSR as they do in other areas of the business, which is translating into more strategically driven societal investments, increased measurement and evaluation of the results, and a refinement of goals and partnerships to drive efficiency.
The field of corporate social responsibility is a complicated and immensely challenging work. It can be only simplified by the positive correlation between a company’s philanthropic efforts and the corresponding profits. Of the countless ways for companies to give back to the society, if each way can be focussed for final outcome, with learning from previous efforts, building on successful work, increasing collaboration and partnerships, a reversal in some of society problems is possible with an acceleration of solving the world’s greatest challenges.