What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a broad term that encompasses many different, attitudes and actions. This includes anything from dedicated CSR programmes to volunteer efforts. Before a company can be socially responsible it must make itself accountable for itself and its shareholders.
Typically, it’s larger companies that implement CSR programmes as a way of giving back to the community. It’s often seen as their duty to set a good example of ethical standards and practices in their industry, for their peers and competitors.
Types of Corporate Responsibility
There are a few kinds of CSR including environmental responsibility, ethical responsibility, philanthropic responsibility, and financial responsibility. A company that aims to engage in environmental responsibility may do so by focusing on recycling goods and materials while encouraging its customers to do the same.
Ethical responsibility includes practices that many of us would consider a given in modern times such as fair treatment between employees and customers regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, etc. However, a particularly dedicated company may even decide to reach out to a variety of suppliers that represent different factions of the community, to ensure they’re working within a diverse network.
Philanthropic responsibility is all about how you give back to the community. Whether they donate profits to charity or restrict their transactions to other companies that align with their philanthropy. Community or fundraising events would also come under this umbrella.
Financial responsibility is the final pillar that ties everything together. A company can make plans to be more conscious of its environmental, ethical, and philanthropic impact however without a financial investment these plans will not get far. Whether it be through charitable donation, the funding of programmes or product research there needs to be a concerted monetary effort.
What Is An Example of Corporate Social Responsibility?
There are many examples of large companies that have published their social impact, such as Starbucks. According to its 2020 Global Social Impact Report Starbucks has:
- reached 100% ethically sourced coffee
- created a global network of farmers who they aim to provide 100 million trees by 2025
- pioneered green buildings throughout their stores, and created a college programme for their employees
Starbucks is firmly committed to all aspects of CSR, with considerations for their environmental, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities Of course, Starbucks is a global chain with pockets deep enough to fund grand projects. Most companies will not be able to reach those heights but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make the effort. Even smaller companies can make efforts to support their local communities.
The Benefits of Having a CSR Strategy
There are many benefits to be gained from having a good CSR strategy, not least of which is brand recognition. It has been shown that customers are more likely to have a favourable opinion of a company that has acted to benefit its community, than one which has demonstrated the ability to deliver quality products. In the modern world, people are much more socially conscious and choose the businesses they support not solely on their products, but also on their ethics. A company that engages more in CSR is much more likely to garner favourable brand recognition.
There is also the aspect of employee engagement. Strong CSR-related values play a large role in incentivising a worker to stick with the company. If they are working within a company that aligns with their own priorities and values, they see that their own work is beneficial for the causes they are passionate about. This, in turn, leads to less employee turnover.
How Miss Macaroon Is Making a Change
Miss Macaroon has always been committed to helping the community. We are a Social Enterprise with a heavy focus on helping young, unemployed, disenfranchised people gain the skills they need to find and keep employment. 100% of the profits made at Miss Macaroon are reinvested into the community through efforts like our MacsMAD (Macaroons Make A Difference) programme. The programme is an 8-week course available to unemployed young people aged 18-35, which helps them overcome their barriers to work and gain the skills required to thrive in the workplace.
We work with a wide range of people such as those with mental health issues, those on the autistic spectrum, ex-offenders, and care leavers. Throughout the MacsMAD course, and beyond it, we do everything we can to support these people in overcoming their issues.
Miss Macaroon is always open to working with other Social Enterprises and Community Interest Companies to further our reach and make a joint effort. We’ve worked with companies such as Sea Change which are passionate about protecting our oceans and keeping them clean, and Toast Ale who make strides in reducing food waste and providing meals for the hungry.