An organization built upon responsibility is one informed of its social and environmental impacts and as such, one well postioned to tap into growth and investment opportunities. Indeed, integrating an appetite for economic progress with sustainability objectives provides not only a roadmap for competitive growth but can strengthen market position and transform and differentiate an organization.
Embed and Communicate
For a company’s sustainability ambitions to reach their full potential, it is vital that they truly become part of the company’s DNA and are instilled in each process at every level of the organization.
Communicating internally about milestones achieved – even modest ones at first – will keep people aligned and motivated by making genuine progress visible, while highlighting the benefits of the transition will allow staff to take ownership of them.
Communicating externally will improve stakeholder understanding of the organization, its objectives and activities. This will translate into improved stakeholder relations and a more active and respected position within the community.
BENEFIT 1: Attract and retain talents
CSR engagement provides an enhanced ability to recruit, develop and retain staff. This can be the direct result of pride in the organization’s practices, or of introducing improved human resources practices. Employees are not only a front-line source of improved performance but are champions of an organization for which they are proud to work.
BENEFIT 2: Boosting innovation and anticipating trends
Importantly, CSR implementation also contributes to improved innovation for CSR is about seizing opportunities, as well as avoiding risk. A CSR strategy can drive a company to capitalize on economic potential inside or outside the firm, and enable corporations to detect opportunities for innovation that they otherwise could have missed.
CSR also offers an enhanced ability to address change; any organization that engages in regular stakeholder dialogue is in an excellent position to anticipate and respond to regulatory, economic, social, and environmental changes that may occur. Increasingly, it is known that CSR-related considerations can operate as a “radar” to detect evolving trends in the market.
BENEFIT 3: Enduring alliances and improved clients and stakeholder relations
CSR and sustainability are powerful tools in gaining and retaining market share with consumers loyal to organizations they feel are operating responsibly.
In addition, CSR will nurture a company’s reputation which may also evolve into more robust and enduring alliances with business partners sharing the same values.
BENEFIT 4: Money, money, money
The financial benefits of CSR are also important as enhanced operational efficiencies and cost savings will arise from activities and policies identified through a systemic CSR approach.
While investing in CSR will have limited financial impact on the short term, research indicates that it does offer a remarkable long-term economic advantage.