The Impact of CSR on Your Business

Part 1 – What is it?

What does CSR and Sustainability in business even mean?

CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility has become increasingly essential in today’s world business environment. Employees look for a company that stands out not just for its benefits, but for its CSR as well. Consumers have also been known to switch brands or pay more to support a company that is socially responsible. CSR is not only a responsible choice, it can improve the company itself in many ways.

Experts in the field have determined that sustainability is not merely about protecting the climate, conserving natural resources and improving the human condition. An argument can be made that the concept extends to business ethics and corporate governance. “Sustainability is what’s essential to the future of a business,” said Dr. Urmi Ashar, the local chapter president of the National Association of Corporate Directors. “We define doing good and doing well as completely compatible. The philosophy needs to come from the board, and the strategy needs to come from management,” said Ashar. (Source)

According to a global CSR report, 90 percent of respondents worldwide indicated they would switch brands to support a specific cause, and 84 percent purposefully sought out socially-responsible products. Beyond that, 61 percent of respondents globally indicated they would buy a lesser-quality product to support a CSR initiative. (Source) These survey results alone are persuasive arguments for adopting CSR into a company’s business model.

Businesses are developing or increasing policies regarding climate change, inclusive economy, supply chain, human rights, and circular economy and are seeing results from these initiatives. What the reports tell us is that employee engagement, CSR and sustainability in the business world is of utmost importance. “Financial success relates to the ethical conduct of a company, its environmental impact and connections to the communities it operates in,” said Al Miciak, dean of Duquesne’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business.

In examining the impact of launching CSR in a company, consider the philosophy of Jeaneen Zappa, a County Sustainability Manager who said, “The fundamental principle of sustainability is as a frame of reference for a triple bottom line: Profit, people and impact.” (Source)

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