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Why CSR Matters for Your Company in 2018
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an indispensable aspect of any business. CSR is a form of corporate self-governance that is integrated into an organization’s business model. It is a self-regulatory system through which a company oversees and ensures that their practices comply with the law, ethical standards and local and global norms. In a world where social and environmental consciousness is growing at a rapid rate, a company’s CSR can make or break its brand and reputation.
There are some companies who may have been sitting back, checking their watches, and waiting for the pervasive trend to pass. However, CSR is here to stay and the New Year brings new opportunities for your company to begin or improve its CSR practices.
Just fifteen years ago, only handfuls of companies were issuing sustainability reports. Now, over 9,000 companies have signed on the UN Global Compact pledging to practice good citizenship and reasonable practices in their businesses, including hundreds of companies in the Middle East.
CSR is sticking around with good reason, too. Not only does contributing positively to the world bring about good, fuzzy feelings, but CSR has a range of benefits for the companies that practice it as well. For instance, CSR helps save on costs and capitalize on company branding. This year could be your best year for CSR yet and to help sell its value to you, Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site, has outlined the advantages of CSR right here:
1. A friend with cost benefits
With a true understanding of the benefits you can receive from CSR activities, implementing such programs should be stress-free and straight-forward. If you are pursuing programs targeting environmental sustainability, for example, then the actions you will take as part of your program are win-win and can save thousands of dollars in business expenses in the long run. This is done by reducing energy waste and consumption, water consumption, recycling packaging materials and reexamining any other consumption habits which are detrimental to the environment. It only stands to reason that this will also reduce your costs. If you find thinking of ways to reduce your consumptions and costs, consider receiving an external consultation to see all the ways your company can work to save both the environment and money.
2. Exponential soft marketing
CSR is about more than just sustainability and the environment. CSR could also involve implementing projects that have a direct, positive impact on your local community. These projects will not only positively influence company morale, but it will also increase community awareness of your company, improve your company culture and have some good deeds to publish to your online audience for more consumer and client engagement.
When pursuing this avenue, ensure that you seek out the best partnerships to make your CSR initiatives truly effective and beneficial. The best partner would be an organization that aligns with your organization’s goals and interests. This will ensure that your company is fulfilling its values and increasing its visibility and presence in the right circles. For example, because Bayt.com aims to help job seekers in the Middle East and North Africa engineer their lifestyle of choice through successful employment, Bayt.com recently partnered with the One Million Arab Coders initiative, which aims to give Arab youth the tools and skills they need to gain employment. This partnership is an example of a mutually beneficial partnership where two parties have similar goals and interests and would be at an advantage as a result of the collaboration.
3. Products without borders
When committing to sustainable and responsible business practices, you have a unique opportunity to practice your company’s creativity. At times, even the most innovative and cutting-edge services and products fail to come to light unless the company thinks outside of the box. A few examples are hybrid and electric cars and solar panels. All of these products are becoming increasingly used and are generating millions in additional revenue for companies that produce them, and they initially came from a desire to be more sustainable, responsible and environmentally conscious in consumption. What could your company come up with if it is dedicated to corporate social responsibility? The possibilities are infinite.
4. Branding practice
Company branding and values that are shown through actions and not just words have become a determining factor when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. In present times, candidates have a special interest in companies that are operating in sustainable, responsible and charitable ways. According to the Bayt.com Millennials in the Middle East and North Africa Surveyone in four millennials consider the values that portray an organization’s ethical and social responsibility a determining factor for loyalty.
If your organization fails to express its concern for the planet, its community and the people it seeks to serve, then prospective employees might fail to be persuaded that your company cares for its employees. Atop the cost-saving and marketing benefits of CSR, acquiring and retaining talent is another benefit of practicing CSR practices.
CSR has been knocking on the doors of companies globally for years, and the time to practice CSR and improve your organization’s image is now. Get started by planning how your company is going to adopt CSR practices and make 2018 its most successful CSR year.