Corporate social responsibility (CSR) aims to help improve the community, the environment, the economy, and the consumers. In these modern times, businesses need to have a socially conscious and responsible image. Employees, investors, and consumers prefer companies prioritizing giving back, ensuring good business practices, and reducing their carbon footprint. Hence, companies who practice CSR have the opportunity to improve their image and give back to their community at the same time.
Moreover, CSR is not exclusive to big brands or large enterprises. Even small to medium-sized businesses can apply socially responsible practices in their own ways. Regardless of the size of the business, here are some of the best CSR practices that all companies should prioritize.
Keeping customers’ data private is more than just maintaining compliance with data privacy laws; it is a social responsibility that companies owe to the people who have entrusted their personal information to them. From network micro-segmentation to zero trust security models, companies must have more than enough security measures in place to ensure that customers’ data—and their own data—are safe from the hands of cybercriminals.
Not only does ample data protection help avoid lawsuits, but it also boosts customer trust. When a customer sees that a company is going above and beyond to protect their data, they are more willing to do business with that company, knowing that their personal information will be in safe hands.
With less than a decade left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change, consumers call for environmental accountability from companies—both big and small. It’s no secret that large enterprises are the biggest producers of waste, and consumers, especially the younger generations, are choosing companies that actively make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in environmental protection.
However, even small businesses have a responsibility when it comes to the environment. With simple strategies like going paperless and banning disposable utensils in the office, one business can make a significant change. Nevertheless, the bigger actions that gain praise from the public, such as using reusable packaging and switching to renewable energy in various business processes.
Small and large businesses can practice philanthropy by donating money, goods, or services to local communities, social causes, and nonprofit organizations. However, businesses should keep in mind that donating is not merely a publicity stunt. Consumers are quick to know if a company is only donating for marketing purposes or genuinely wants to give back. Hence, every business must choose a charity or organization related to their business or something that their audiences care deeply about.
It is also a good idea to donate to causes that employees are passionate about. Aside from involving valuable constituents in the decision-making process to make them feel appreciated, doing this is also a great way to make employees feel that they can give back to the community in their own ways.
Participating in or holding volunteer programs is an effective way for businesses to demonstrate their social responsibility and the genuineness of their actions. Companies that go out of their way to give back to the community without expecting anything in return illustrate sincerity and a true concern for the people they want to serve.
Examples of CSR
Here are a few examples of companies practicing their corporate social responsibility:
Samsung’s Look at Me project
The tech giant’s Look at Me project took the initiative to learn more about autism and help children on the autism spectrum communicate better through their tablet app. Over time, the project evolved to focus on the experience of families with children living with autism.
Netflix’s intolerance for sexual harassment
After accusations of sexual misconduct were made against actor Kevin Spacey, Netflix stopped projects with the actor, including the hit House of Cards. The media and streaming company went forward with this action despite the huge financial loss that came with it, which came up to about $39 million.
Lego’s sustainability practices
Lego is one of the best companies when it comes to CSR. They have proven their strong practices for sustainability, education, and societal actions. Recently, they took another step forward toward environmental sustainability by replacing their plastic materials with plant-based plastic.
Social responsibility is a necessity, not a marketing plan. Thus, businesses should keep in mind that practicing social responsibility is the obligation of everyone—not just large enterprises—and a key to improving the community as a whole.