Consumers prefer brands with ethical credentials. Employees prefer working for brands with ethical credentials. And, interestingly, brands with ethical credentials have been shown to perform better on the balance sheet.
As such it’s no surprise schemes like Kumho Tyres’ ‘Cash For Causes’ campaign, which we helped launch last summer, prove so popular. Building on last year’s initiative, independent tyre retailers up and down the UK will again select two local community organisations or charities. The public then votes on which they perceive to be the most worthwhile, with £5,000 handed out to the most popular candidate and all nominated causes taking a share. Until the end of March, charities can register online to put themselves in the running to be part of the campaign by clicking here.
According to research by our client, 45% of Britons claim support for local issues is important to them, and 25% say they want to see more local projects reducing anti-social behaviour. Many businesses already know the value of doing good too. 80% of the FTSE 100 now reports on CSR performance, with successful projects often leading to a boost in commercial results.
So by showing it cares a company can build a loyal customer base, and establish an earnest reputation. But it’s not simply a case of partnering up with a worthwhile cause and letting the public know. People are skeptical at best when it comes to businesses, and the bigger the firm the more questions are often asked. Thanks to tax avoidance, economic catastrophes, Chinese tech sweat shops, the exploitation of mineral-rich countries and more, corporate trust is at an all time low.
There is little to be gained from ploughing resources into social schemes at home if you’re harvesting futures elsewhere in the world. As BBC business writer Shanaz Musafer highlighted in an article last October, authenticity is key for most firms considering a CSR programme. After all, few can afford to do a McDonalds; continuing to cause arterial damage and contributing to weight problems whilst taking a central role in the nation’s fight against obesity through sports sponsorship.
csrinpractice.com divides these projects into separate categories- environmental, community, HR, and philanthropy. From more effective recruitment strategies and the creation of wider business opportunities, to reducing advertising spend thanks to good press and lower bills via energy efficiency, the potential benefits from a well-conceived corporate social responsibility policy far outweigh the downsides, and can even prove cost effective. Combining business sense and moral fibre, few initiatives are so indicative of a forward thinking company outlook.
Talk to us to learn more about integrating CSR into your businesses planning or how to maximise your current programme.