Your first question may be, “Just what is my Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?”
We see CSR demonstrated in a variety of ways in areas such as:
- The Community
- Contributions to local community programs through financial support and personal involvement
- The Environment
- Use of packaging and containers that are environmentally friendly
- Recycling efforts
- Use of low-emission and high-mileage vehicles where possible
- Efficient manufacturing processes
- The Marketplace
- Responsible advertising, public relations, and business conduct
- Fair treatment of suppliers/vendors, contractors, and shareholders
- The Workplace
- Equitable treatment of employees
- Workplace safety, equal opportunity employment, and labor standards
Principles such as these not only uphold today’s business standards, but they also pave the way for future generations. In years past, many of these principles were considered almost anti-business and some had to be enforced by governmental regulation.
Successful companies such as Tom’s of Main (producer of natural personal care products) and Newman’s Own have practically been built on CSR. More and more companies – public and private – are following the elements of CSR. For example, Google is a desirable place to work, because of the way they treat their employees: great benefits, great food in the employee cafeteria, great exercise equipment – you name it, Google provides it.
Recognizing CSR in today’s business climate not only increases shareholder/investor interest but also increases value. Socially-conscious companies are considered sound investments. They attract buyer interest and acquire higher selling prices. After all, most buyers want to find a business with the following attributes:
- Good relations with the local community
- Products and/or services that are meeting the current trends in the marketplace and are positioned to meet future trends
- Positive relations with employees and low turnover
- Excellent customer loyalty
- Good relationships with suppliers and vendors
- No "skeletons" in the company closet
In addition, good environmental practices reduce costs, create efficiencies, and provide excellent public relations. Good employee relations make for happy workers, which translates to higher productivity and lower absenteeism. Good relationships with customers and suppliers greatly reduce, or even eliminate, the possibility of legal entanglements.
Corporate Social Responsibility not only creates additional value and helps in creating a higher selling price, it also strengthens the business and community now and in the future.