Want to kill two birds with one stone? Then you should aim for CSR (corporate social responsibility) and sustainable development.
Not only does it enable you to make positive contributions to society and our environment, it makes money for you as well. Sounds to good to be true? No we are actually looking at capitalism at its best. And if you haven’t jumped on the band-waggon yet, it’s high time you do since customers are increasingly expecting companies to show they care about our world and not only their next quarterly results.
If you are not already doing it, start by making small changes that swiftly save money, such as switching off the light, and share holders will be keen to do more.
It’s easy to only look at environmental aspects since profits are swift. But sustainability also includes social and economic sustainability. Social sustainability can for instance be to have multicultural employees that reflect your customers in order to give them better service.
Makes you more profitable, attractive and competitive
To run your business the smartest way possible pays off. Hence the importance of CSR and sustainable development. Why does a company have social responsibility? Shouldn’t the state take care of that? The answer is for capitalistic reasons because consumers prefer to buy from enterprises they believe are taking their responsibilities, employees prefer working for such companies and more and more businesses chose to buy from responsible firms.
Small companies have an advantage
It’s interesting to note that many small companies have been into CSR and sustainable development for a long time with the simple difference that they called it common sense. For them it’s natural to keep expenses at a minimum and make sure that they create an environment that makes staff happy.
Adapt or die
The interest in sustainable products and services is increasing on a steady basis all over the world. Companies that don’t adapt to customers preferences and demands will simply see their market shrink and eventually die.
Long term thinking as opposed to swift results
How do you get multinationals to think long-term and not only focus on the next quarterly results? Is social responsibility a step in that direction? More and more focus is on not only economic but environmental and social results in order to determine if a company is prosperous. If not, a company can have fantastic quarterly result due to staff working 24/7 or causing environmental damage so bad the company will be thrown to the wolves once the public finds out. In other words what looks good on paper could turn out to be a pie in the sky. Companies like Vestas and Timberland hence account for not only economic but social and environmental results as well in their annual report.
Will companies be able to ignore CSR and sustainability?
How much longer will it be possible for companies to behave like in the past? Will consumers tolerate businesses that ignore the world around them and in fact have a detrimental impact on the environment and society? CSR is to use resources in the most intelligent way regardless of if we are talking about people, energy or commodities. And how much savings or gains you get is easily calculated. However, it’s important to be able to show what you are doing and not just talk about it.
Generally speaking companies are better than they realize when it comes to CSR and sustainability. Catch is that they are not good at communicating what they are doing and hence don’t get credit for it. Do you agree that CSR and sustainability is capitalism at its best? Are you into CRS or maybe you simply call it common sense? If so, have you already noticed that it makes money for you in various ways? If not, are you planning to get responsible and start making money by doing good?
Picture: Jose Mesa