Category Archives for "CSR"

The 4 Levels of CSR You Can Build Your Initiatives Upon

The 4 Levels of CSR You Can Build Your Initiatives Upon

As you know, many organisations do not start as socially-responsible companies. With the 4 levels of CSR, it will help companies embrace CSR, and manage these responsibilities, with the most basic responsibility at the bottom of the pyramid. With the use of CSR, companies can gain public attention, build a positive brand image, stand out from their competition and nurture their relationship with stakeholders. These four levels can help businesses build their CSR initiatives to benefit society.

Economic Responsibility

Who would set up a business without thinking about making a profit? Well, this is the first level of the CSR pyramid. This is simple, without profit, the company would not be able to pay their workers, employees will lose their jobs even before the company starts CSR activities. Being profitable is the only way for a company (e.g. Tieto) to be able to survive long term, and benefit the society. Additionally, this also means that it is a company’s duty to product goods and services that are needed/wanted by the customers, at a reasonable price.

Legal Responsibility

This responsibility is to ensure that a company obeys the law and regulations that are in place. This is the most important responsibility out of the four levels as this will show how companies conduct their business in the marketplace. Employment laws, competition with other companies, tax regulations and health and safety of employees are some examples of the legal responsibilities a company should adhere to. Failing to be legally responsible can be very bad for businesses.

Ethical Responsibility

A company should not only be only be obeying the law, it should also do their business ethically, which brings to the third level of CSR. This is something a company does because they know it is the right thing to do, and it is not their obligation to do it. Unlike the first two levels, this is something that a company is not obligated to do. They could conduct their business by obeying the law but not being fair in the market as well. However, it is best for a company to be ethical as this not only shows their stakeholders that they are moral and just, but people will feel more comfortable purchasing goods/services from the company as well. Being environmentally friendly, treating suppliers/employees properly are a few examples of being ethically responsible. An example of an ethically responsible company is Amazon.

Philanthropic Responsibility

Last but not least, Philanthropic Responsibility is the responsibility to give back to society. This will not be possible if the other three levels are not in order. Giving donations and giving employees time to do volunteer work are some examples of philanthropic responsibility. Even though this is the highest level of CSR, it should not be taken lightly as many people would want to do business with companies that are giving back to society. Philanthropic Responsibility is more than just doing what is right, but it is something that holds true to the company’s values, to give back to society.

A company should aim to apply all four levels of CSR , also known as Carroll’s CSR Pyramid when running their business.

5 Benefits CSR Can Bring to Your Business

5 Benefits CSR Can Bring to Your Business

In the article “How can you use CSR to improve brand image?”, I have talked about how more companies are involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes for consumers to get a better perception of them. With 64% of CEOs increasing their investment in CSR in 2016, there must be a lot of benefits in these initiatives. Let’s take a look at some advantages CSR can bring to the company.

Helping the community

Getting involved in CSR initiatives allows companies to be socially responsible by conducting their business ethically, and think about the social and environmental impacts when they conduct their business. Companies that engage in CSR activities such as giving donations to charities and sending their employees to volunteer at non-profit organisations, know the problems faced by the community and commit to giving back to them. Ultimately, if a company is committed to CSR initiatives, they will have a positive impact to the community or even around the world.

Encourages employee development

In a survey done by Deloitte on volunteerism in 2017, 89% of employees believe that companies that sponsors volunteer activities offer a better working environment than those that don’t. By giving employees a chance to volunteer in activities, it not only allows them to give back to the community, but it gives them the opportunity to pick up new skills. Companies such as Deloitte and SalesForce give their employees time off from work to engage in volunteerism. Employees can get paid leave during the time they engage in volunteer activities. It is no secret that employees like to work at companies that have a good public image that takes care of their employees’ wellbeing. By having CSR initiatives such as employee volunteering would retain important, hardworking employees making them happyImprove the relationship between clients

CSR initiatives is about being ethical while doing business.With a strong CSR model in place, clients will feel safe by investing in the company. In 2015, Nielsen global online survey showed that 66% of respondents were willing to pay more for a product or service of a company that is committed to a positive social or environmental impact. Investors of the company would also be more confident in investing in the company because the company not only cares about profits, but they are also interested in helping the community and making a difference to the lives of others besides their employees and clients. As the number of conscious consumers is increasing, it is important for a company to engage in CSR activities to improve their relationship with these clients, or risk losing them to their competitors that are socially responsible.  

Build positive image

In the article, “How can you use CSR to improve brand image?” I talked about the ways CSR can improve the brand image of the company. The easiest way for customers to judge if the company that they want to work with is ethical or not is through their CSR campaigns. As I have said earlier, the more committed a company is to having a positive social or environmental impact, the higher the chances of consumers purchasing their products and services. Companies such as Mediacorp and Microsoft have received a lot of recognition not only because of the products and services they provide, but their ability to give back to society.

Save cost

Building a CSR model for a company would not only benefit them by having better relationships with their consumers and employees, it would also give them the opportunity to relook at their business activities, and even save money through various ways. For example, in 2014, Fortune 100 companies saved $1.1 billion using renewable energy. It has been a targeted goal for many fortune 500 companies in recent years to use renewable energy, as it not only improves the public image of the company, but save the company on spending resources that are unnecessary for the company.

Companies can no longer ignore their social responsibility. Consumers are more aware of business activities of companies. By incorporating CSR in the company’s business model, it would have a positive impact on the community, the environment, the employees and the business.

How Do You Engage In CSR Through Sports?

How Do You Engage In CSR Through Sports?

Sports has an unique way in engaging fans from all over the world. In the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Nelson Mandela walked onto the field of Ellis Park donning the Springboks jersey and shook the hand of  François Pienaar, captain of the Springboks at the time. That day was a defining moment to uniting the South African people together. Many companies are not afraid to sponsor athletes and sports teams to endorse their brands, but how many would want to invest in youth development, and build infrastructure? How can companies engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes through sports? What is in it for them for the long run? Let’s take a look.

Sports has a unique way of capturing the attention of fans and bring them together. There are millions of kids who are aspiring to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Lebron James, so why not give them an opportunity to show their talents? Copa Coca Cola, the biggest grassroots football programme, gave many less fortunate children a chance to showcase their skills and get selected to join the Copa Coca Cola Camp. The Camp allowed them to train with top coaches from all over the world, participate in matches and make new friends from all over the world. Copa Coca Cola has been a huge success and in 2015, 80,000 school from across the globe took part in the tournament.

I believe that every time someone mentions CSR, the first thing that comes to mind is, saving the environment or donating some money to non-profit organisations. However, CSR can also be done through sports. An example of a company in Singapore that has engaged in CSR through sports is Canon.  They have partnered with Singapore Bowling Federation and the Singapore National Olympic Council Official Partnership Programme, to promote sports in the community, and support athletes to reach their full potential.

So, what is in it for you in the long run? Why should you start CSR through sports? Well, it’s simple, you are going to make a difference to the lives of people who dream to be an athlete. The population of Singapore is decreasing, secondary schools and junior colleges have been combined because there are lesser children. This will affect sports as the talent pool will also decrease due to the decline in the number of youths.

I am not saying that sports in Singapore will not succeed because we have far lesser people than other countries. However, sports in Singapore will not succeed if youths do not get the opportunities and support to showcase their skill and reach their full potential. If you think that the population of a country is the reason for our demise in sports, I would have to disagree with you on that.

In 2016, Iceland made it to the quarter finals of the Euros after beating England in the round of 16. The population of England in 2016 was 65,648,000. The population of Iceland? 334,252. Iceland was the smallest country to ever take part in a major Final, and they went to the quarter finals. How? It turns out that they had a dedicated programme to give children and youth the opportunity to play football, with top coaches training them.

A Sports Singapore and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, came up with Vision 2030, by using sports as a strategy for Singaporeans to have a healthier and better life, I believe it is about time companies engage in CSR through sports. Sports in Singapore such as football, may have had poor results the past year, but I think it’s time companies start engaging CSR through sports, and support those who are inspiring to be budding athletes.

What Is CSR And Why Is It Important?

What Is CSR And Why Is It Important?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an organisation’s initiatives to evaluate and be responsible for how the organisation affects the environment and the social well beings of their stakeholders. The efforts taken by companies are usually more than what is required by environmental groups and regulations. Companies engage in CSR for different reasons, some companies do it to achieve their environmental and social goals while others try to achieve their financial goals while minimising the negative social and environmental impact.

Industrial companies such as chemical engineering and mining, can have bad effects on the environment. This allows many companies to take CSR as an approach to show consumers that they are doing their best to conserve the environment. There are different activities in which companies can take to engage with CSR, such as working with local charities and communities, environmental sustainability, and developing relationships with their own employees and customers.

So, why is CSR important? Right now, with the use of technology, the demand for businesses to be open about their business activities has increased. This is important to many big organisations such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s, where their business flourish directly from customers, to be socially responsible or else they would risk losing these customers to their competitors. Would you still purchase products from a company with the worst environmental and social impacts? I know I wouldn’t.

According to the second annual Corporate Responsibility Survey in 2016, 83% of professional investors are more inclined to purchasing stocks from companies that are socially responsible. Why is that so? Well, that is easy. They prefer to purchase stocks with companies that are honest and transparent about their business activities, lowering the risk of them losing their money.

This makes CSR even more important to companies, and hence, many companies have made CSR the core of their organisation. According to the 19th Annual Global CEO Survey, 64% of CEOs say that CSR is core to the business and no longer just a standalone activity.

The benefits of CSR is much more than just doing good to the society/environment and appeal to customers, but it would also help in cutting costs and increase engagement with employees and customers as well. For example, many Fortune 500 companies have announced goals to use clean energy. This would not only help them cut cost, as they will be using renewable energy, but it would help them in their CSR initiatives as well. Based on a report done by World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) in 2017, $3.7 billion was saved in 2016 alone by 190 Fortune 500 companies through their 80,000 emission-reducing projects.

CSR has become an important part in an organisation. Gone are the days where people purchase products without doing their own research about the company. With CSR, companies will be able to do their part to conserve the environment, cut costs and obviously, attract customers to buy from them instead of their competitors.

4 Tips to Make Your CSR Effective

4 Tips to Make Your CSR Effective

Over the years, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been an important part of a business. Many companies have started to embrace these ideas into their businesses, such as charity donations, community engagement programmes and energy efficient practices. A company should have their economic and legal responsibilities in check before engaging in ethical and philanthropic responsibilities, based on the article, “4 levels of CSR”. Here are some tips to make CSR effective in a company.

  1. Make sure CSR programmes is aligned with the company

This is very important as the CSR programmes a company is working on, is a reflection of the company’s core values and objectives. Donating money to various non-profit organisations seems like an easy way to show people that the company cares about the community, but it would be better to know what the core values of the company are and what type of CSR initiatives they can be a part of. This does not mean that there will be lesser options for CSR. For example, Coca Cola’s “Copa Coca Cola” is a tournament which gave kids the opportunity to be active while playing football. This also gave kids who were less fortunate a chance to show their sporting talents and get recognised.  Hande Aksoy, 2014 FIFA World Cup global marketing manager, said that, “We’ve built a programme that’s not just about competition and sport, but about championing our values and leaving a lasting legacy.”

  1. Engaging employees

Another tip on making CSR effective is making sure that all the employees are on board with the programme. This is not only going to benefit the community but the employees as well. In the article, benefits of corporate volunteerism, employees feel more proud and motivated when they do engage in CSR initiatives which are run by the company. CSR is not only about helping out external organisations and communities, but also about taking care of employees of the company as well. Companies can make CSR initiatives something which employees with have a personal connection based on personal values, passion and hobbies. For example, Google Giving encourages employees to give back to society. They have the choice on how they want to give back to the community, through gift matching, volunteer support and even opportunities to take time off from work to support non profit organisations they love.

  1. Leading from the top

For CSR to be successful, it is important to have senior leadership to support these programmes. The senior executives have to lead the way and be an example for the rest of the company to follow. As the leader of the company, it is up to him/her to lead the way and make social responsibility a vital component in the company’s business activities.

  1. Encourage customers and stakeholders to speak up

If making a decision for what’s best for the company is hard, why don’t you get some advice from stakeholders and customers? This gives them an opportunity to tell you the best way you can contribute to the community, and it would also make them feel like their opinions matter to the company. The Body Shop took the advice of customers who were against animal testing in the production process. They were the first global cosmetics company that started campaigning to end animal testing in cosmetics in 1989. Since then, they have been successful in banning many countries all over the world from animal testing. By listening to advice from customers, they were able to implement CSR initiatives which was effective in shining the company in a positive light.

These are just a few tips on making CSR initiatives an effective one. Making CSR effective will only help improve the business performance of a company, as well as building a good reputation of the company.