Customers and employees are more than ever expecting the businesses they interact with work for to be more conscious and aware of how they affect the world.
You’ll often hear the term corporate social responsibility lumped in with business ethics. It’s important to note that the two are separate ideas; however, many businesses practice them together.
Corporate social responsibility definition:
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-imposed set of regulations a company holds itself to in order to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits for all stakeholders and the public.
What is corporate social responsibility?
Much like business ethics, corporate social responsibility is not required by businesses in any legal capacity. It relies on the virtue of the executives and board to buy into social responsibility and to devote resources towards it.
Corporate social responsibility can be great for brand awareness, employer branding, and recruitment marketing. Don’t take my word for it though, check out these examples of corporate responsibility that are helping all sorts of businesses attract customers and employees.
Corporate social responsibility examples
The important thing about corporate social responsibility programs is that they should be tailored for each company and brand specifically. These examples can help you better understand the concept of CSR, but it will require the input and buy-in from a variety of stakeholders at your company in order to create a program that’s true to the business.
A perfect example of social corporate responsibility is a company like Patagonia. The popular outdoor clothing wear company launched impressive corporate responsibility and environmentalism hubs that prioritize fair labor for their workers and protections for the environment.
Patagonia’s efforts towards corporate responsibility feels natural for its brand and encompasses everything it touches. While many businesses feel that certain CSR programs aren’t a wise investment, Patagonia is able to weave its corporate social responsibility with its sales in a way that doesn’t upset core buyers.
Another example? Our very own G2 Gives that partners with our vendors and customers to unlock donations for local nonprofits like New Story, who are working to create sustainable housing for families in need.
So, what’s the benefit in creating a corporate social program if it’s not required by law? We asked our very own Director of G2 Gives, Ellen McElligott, for her thoughts on why more companies are getting behind this movement.
“As we become more connected to each other through technology, it’s essential that we use our platform to give back to the community. When a business becomes part of the community their consumers live in, the public expect us to stand for more than just revenue.
It’s also important for engaging employees and meeting them where their interests are. Employees want to be a part of a company that goes above and beyond, which is why creating a culture of philanthropy and radical care is so important. We’re seeing more and more than businesses are ready to answer the call and it’s exciting.”
For B2B brands, corporate social responsibility can give businesses and stakeholders a major edge, while also making them feel good.
TIP: Find the right way to express your company mission with our core values list.
Through fighting against animal testing, running ethical buying campaigns, and avoiding greenwashing claims, Lush Cosmetics has become a leader in the beauty products and skincare industry.
This company runs some truly progressive and forward-thinking CSR initiatives, and even allows employees to partake in their own. For example, at the time this article is being written, they have a banner on their website sharing that the company will be marching in the Global Climate Strike on September 20th, 2019 with a link to a page explaining why.
Their CSR initiatives and business ethics are all great ways to bring attention to major causes and promote sales.
Doing the right thing
Corporate social responsibility isn’t necessarily about making money or promoting a brand, it’s about doing what’s right by your buyers, vendors, and other stakeholders. Employers and customers will support you more than ever if they feel like your business is doing the right thing.
Derek is a former G2 staff writer who specialized in HR and recruitment trends and insights. He is a graduate of Iowa State University, a proud son of Chicago, and can usually be found discussing pop music, politics, or digital marketing on the internet. (he/him/his)