Corporate Responsibility (CR) and its importance for business
Corporate Responsibility (CR) is an ever-evolving term that relates to the strategy adopted by companies to tackle local, regional or global social or environmental challenges.
How does CR work?
Initially, CR was an initiative built around the purpose of giving back and showcasing the contributions of an organization in order to connect to the hearts of the customers. This approach was indeed successful in the beginning, but companies have started to misuse CR as a form of covering other unethical business practices. Once this surfaced, consumers started to feel a disconnect and to carefully scrutinize such initiatives.
Over the past years however, organizations have begun to understand the importance of being true to a cause and contribute to societal or environmental wellbeing. Companies are paying more and more attention to what is truly relevant to their business model and CR programs have started to be built around the company’s core competencies and complement the business.
Why is CR important?
A CR program which is ingrained to a business model is not only impactful but if also creates shared value for the employees, consumers, and communities. This allows brands to connect to people and in return, it contributes to the success of the business, as it builds a positive brand reputation (a determinant factor of purchase decisions).
A successful CR program evokes feelings and gets everyone drawn to it, supporting any company’s mission to build strong and meaningful relationships with its stakeholders.
What should I do?
Start by identifying the challenges that your business can directly impact, those causes that matter and that your business can truly tackle. Set the right measurements to help you monitor the progress of your CR initiatives. Ensure that you communicate the impact created.
As rightly said at the Responsibly Business Summit 2013, businesses cannot be successful when the society around them fails.
To learn more about CR, I encourage you to take 30 minutes and listen to my interview with Mariam Farag!