Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly popular in the commercial trading arena with businesses across the globe jumping at the chance to incorporate self-imposed social and environmental consciences into their operational policies. This willingness to invest in communities and protect the environment is expressed in a variety of ways, from profit percentage donations and annual contributions and sponsoring to ensuring produce is ethically sourced, morally produced, sustainable and eco-friendly. We give an overview of the three most common CSR areas and what they can mean for your business:
Sourcing sustainably grown or manufactured produce is one of the most resounding ways a business can take on its share of CSR. On a daily basis the global population is wreaking irreparable havoc on the natural environment through the unsustainable use of fossil fuels, destruction of rainforests, over reliance on landfill and pollution of the ocean. The world simply cannot withstand this level of resource provision which makes for a despondently bleak future for the next generation. If every business committed to sourcing sustainable and eco-friendly products the pressure on the environment would be massively decreased. Popular sustainability business schemes include recycling policies, effective waste management, using renewable energy sources, sourcing ‘greener’ suppliers and making the change from paper to digitalised documents.
While western countries have been taking advantage of third world cheap labour for decades, there is an ever growing call for businesses to support fair trade practices and ensure transactions are morally sound. This can be applied across all industries, from coffee and chocolate to textiles and technology. As wealthy first world nations, countries such as America, Great Britain and Australia have a social responsibility to ensure members of the less fortunate global population are not exploited, abused or taken advantage of at the expense of western affluence. Business that advocate fair trade are awarded with the Fairtrade Foundation symbol which represents a dedication to ensuring reasonable prices, safe working conditions and local sustainability for the population of the developing world.
While CSR is generally associated with global social movements and environmental awareness, the sense of responsibility can also extend to the local community. This includes a range of social initiatives such as supporting local suppliers, sourcing local produce, backing youth development schemes, donating money to local charities and sponsoring regional clubs and organisations.
Incorporating self-imposed Corporate Social Responsibility guidelines is a great way for businesses of any type to have a positive global impact, both socially and environmentally. Not only will the policies ensure a better future for generations to come but they will also encourage the business of ethically and eco-minded consumers.