Great corporate social responsibility ideasVincent Tan
Corporate social responsibility is big business today as employers, employees, customers and the society in general place great importance on CSR as much as they do on revenues, costs and profits. Even employees these days value companies which have a greater CSR footprint than those that do not. In some sense, CSR is also used as a marketing tool to market the company’s products and to increase its brand awareness. From an investment standpoint, more focus is placed on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) where funds are channelled to companies which meet certain CSR benchmarks. The ultimate aim however, is to give back to society as much as the organisations benefits from it. Even millennials are more geared towards corporation that have CSR programmes that are in line with their core values. These are some great corporate social responsibility ideas to consider:
Carbon footprint reduction
With the issue of climate change, global warming and largescale deforestation happening, corporations are in a position to help reduce the global carbon footprint. In a simple sense, this means using more efficient machineries which uses less electricity, recycling more, implementing environmentally friendly operating policies and placing high importance on environmental education.
Popularised by Bangladeshi bank, Grameen Bank, microfinancing is more of a corporate social responsibility initiative than it is a profit centric venture. The main aim of providing microfinancing is to provide financial aids and loans to people whom will otherwise not get a loan from the conventional banking system. Microfinancing is important to provide an avenue to lift people at the bottom of the social strata out of poverty through entrepreneurship.
Time-off to volunteer
In a bid to encourage individual employee participation in CSR programmes, company can allocate a few paid-days for employees to participate in CSR programmes. This is to encourage active participation of employees in CSR activities and this will also serve as an educational platform to inculcate and instil the spirit of charity and leadership in employees.
Providing student-employee mentorship opportunities
Apart from the official internship opportunities and graduate programmes, companies can offer student-employee mentorship programmes where employees have a chance to be a mentor to a student who is still studying. The main aim is to allow students to have genuine career guidance from a person who has had years of real-world experiences.
Riding on other CSR programmes
Instead of creating and working on new CSR ideas, corporations can partner with others to ride on existing CSR initiatives. The benefits of doing this is that corporations can participate in already successful drives and with the help of another partner, the whole initiative can be scaled-up to reach more beneficiaries.
In essence, CSR programmes do not only benefit the intended recipients but it benefits the entire society as a whole. Multiple researches have shown that employees become more engage with employers with active CSR programmes, brand recognition increases with CSR drives and corporate brand acceptance in the society increases with more visible CSR programmes.