While preparing for your next interview, it could be prudent to note if your potential employer has an initiative that resonates with you. Businesses across the globe are being held accountable for their impact on the communities they serve - through the acronym (CSR) commonly known as corporate social responsibility.
Forbes describes (CSR) in The Growing Importance Of Social Responsibility In Business by saying companies should conduct business in a way that would benefit people around the world. Social responsibility can take many forms, such as increasing the use of recycled or renewable raw materials, reducing the use of fossil fuels, or changing suppliers to one that uses more environmentally friendly business practices.
From a business perspective, social responsibility is essential because it shows that companies get it. It confirms that a company is listening, paying attention to what is happening in the community, and adopting new measures to stay competitive while offering products or services that appeal to the consumer as times change. For example, when automobile manufacturers began producing electric cars, they knew a percentage of consumers wanted an alternative to gas-powered vehicles.
Social responsibility although similar is not Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). ESG stems from and is a descendent of corporate social responsibility (CSR). According to a blog on Millie Giving, CSR builds accountability within the organization while ESG measures the accountability that already exists. An example could begin with an automobile manufacturer’s (CSR) initiative to reconsider the cost of production for a particular model because of the fumes they emit. This automobile manufacturer could choose to implement an environmental (ESG) initiative to reduce the production of that model by 40% and introduce an entirely electric model of this car.
EVERFI surveyed adult consumers and found that 58% believe a company’s social impact is essential to making purchases. Today consumers want companies to do more than provide a product that satisfies their needs. They expect the company to publicly embody the principles the consumer values. One example could be the environmental cause of tackling climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Another could be committing to a diversified workforce and creating equal opportunities for all including marginalized or racialized individuals. These expectations require companies to be more socially responsible and active in areas that do not necessarily relate to the products or services they provide. Socially responsible companies strive to reach more consumers by showing they care about social causes that affect the community.
Social responsibility can positively affect a consumer’s choice to support a brand. A great example of this is the (RED) initiative. According to red.org the initiative has raised over $700 million for the Global Fund, which is an international organization that supports health programs in over 100 countries. Companies can choose to turn a product or experience (RED) and the proceeds go toward health systems and life-saving programs in communities who need it most.
Another great example of a social responsibility initiative is “Tim’s for good.” One of the goals of Tim’s for good is to eliminate a billion single-use plastics like straws, lids, and plastic containers by the end of 2022. The other goal which they have already accomplished according to their website is to continue to ethically source their coffee.
Organizations shouldn’t have to prove they are socially responsible. A socially responsible organization will be known for their deeds and interactions with society through the products and services they provide and the initiatives and social causes they support.