We are sure by now, at some point in time, you have heard that new buzz term “corporate social responsibility.” Yeah, it sounds nice and official, but what does it really mean and why does it really matter?
Well, here’s OUR take.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating (rather than government-regulated) business model that holds companies socially accountable--to themselves, their stakeholders, and the public. This means that businesses practicing CSR are acting beyond their legal obligations to integrate environmental, social, economic and ethical concerns into their business processes and practices.
Why are companies starting to do this? It’s simple really--the world is becoming significantly more socially conscious. Today, employees, consumers and shareholders are more concerned than ever before about working with and for companies that care about more than just their own profit and are actually determined to positively impact the world. What’s amazing is that CSR is valuable for the community and for the companies themselves because it can:
- Help forge a stronger sense of alignment within the business
- Boost company morale
- Improve brand recognition and business reputation
- Increase loyalty of consumers
CSR can come in many different forms, all of which are important! Some of the most common ways for companies to engage in CSR include:
1. Philanthropy: donate money, products or services to social causes and nonprofits. Just make sure to consult with the charities and organizations about their specific needs before choosing how and what to donate to guarantee the greatest impact.
2. Ethical Labor Practices: establishing labor practices that are both fair and ethical and ensuring that company operations are aligned with international labor law is a critical way to demonstrate commitment to social responsibility.
3. Environmentally Sustainable Practices: regardless of size, companies have LARGE carbon footprints. Any steps taken to reduce those footprints can be extremely beneficial for both the company and society. In addition, environmentally sustainable practices can also include making environmentally conscious investments.
4. Volunteering: attending volunteer events demonstrates sincere dedication to positive social impact--actively doing good effectively signifies a business’s real commitment to a cause.
5. Participating in Fair Trade: engaging in Fair Trade practices means paying sustainable prices (never falling below market price) and thereby giving producers fair, transparent and respectful deals. This clearly demonstrates a commitment to just business practices and sustainability.
Our company, KitePride, does several of the above! We engage in Fair Trade, and we produce durable, lightweight and trendy bags that are made with upcycled material (thereby super environmentally sustainable) AND made by individuals who have escaped modern-day slavery (ensuring ethical and safe labor practices.) Check out how we do what we do and get inspired to do the same!