Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
" It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only 5 minutes to ruin it " - Warren Buffet.
Corporate social responsibility or CSR, as a concept is very old. But, its importance has gained traction in the last two or three decades. Moreover, the awareness of the public about the environmental and social issues has made CSR, a vital component of business strategy.
The uninterrupted flow of information throughout the word over the internet has made people more aware and alert to the global issues. News related to community, society, environment travels to the public, in the blink of an eye; and hence businesses can't overlook this opportunity to create their brand image.
CSR is when a business operates in a ethical and sustainable manner. A company not only focusses on its profit but also acts in a responsible manner with regards to its environment, communities, societies and resources it is associated with. Business activities are aligned with the interests of their customers, employees, share holders and stakeholders' concern for the environmental and social issues. This leads to better employee and customer engagement.
People are less likely to work with a company which does not give importance to ethical and sustainable business activities. CSR becomes strategic as it improves the public image of the company and enhances brand awareness and recognition. Companies shout over the top about their sustainable and ethical practices on media platform to attract customers who share the same values. For example, a company can adopt a village to provide education and basic amenities. Employee engagement is also improved by allowing employess to volunteer for a social cause one hour per week.
CSR is therefore. a competitive advantage over competitors in today's information age. Besides, it can also lead to cost savings. Thus, both social and corporate vales can be accomodated by integrating CSR into the core business strategies.