Businesses and economic systems are bending under the expectations and obligations to be socially responsible. On a global level, governments and private corporations must be more and more accountable for their impact on the environment, and for who they help or hurt.
Here are 5 reasons why social responsibility matters in business:
1. Consumers Look For Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- More than 88% of consumers think companies should try to achieve their business goals while improving society and the environment
- 83% of consumers think companies should support charities and nonprofits with financial donations
2. Employees Look For and Perform Better for Socially Responsible Businesses
- 32% of employees would seriously consider leaving their job if their company gave no/little money to charity
- 65% would seriously consider leaving their job if their company harmed the environment
- 83% would seriously consider leaving their job if their employer used child labor in sweatshop factories
- CSR practices are seen as important to employee morale (50%), loyalty (41%), retention (29%), recruitment of top employees (25%) and productivity (12%)
3. It is a competitive advantage (Harvard Business Review)
- Every company needs “a unique position – doing things differently from competitors.” Philanthropic projects show a particular and distinctive identity.
- “CSR can be much more than a cost, a constraint, or a charitable deed – it can be a source of opportunity, innovation, and competitive advantage.”
4. Capitalism focused strictly on profit is no longer viable
- Investors will sever business ties with companies that are caught damaging the environment or engaging in socially damaging practices.
- A fourth sector of the economy is emerging – “for-benefit.” Different from non-profit, for-profit, or governmental sectors, this is a group that operates on earned income but gives top priority to an explicit social mission over profit for the sake of profit.
5. It is a moral obligation
- Domestically – businesses need to give back to the communities and nations that provided them the opportunity to succeed
- Globally – economic and security concerns/events can immediately have a negative global impact. Investing, developing, and doing-no-harm will strengthen all sectors of business.
– Mary Purcell