By Amanda Craig
Brand reputation is everything these days. One easy way companies can maintain a positive reputation is practicing good corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is a company’s initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s impact on social welfare and effects on the environment. It is an opportunity to make your brand stand out from the rest while benefitting both the company and the public. There are many different types of CSR, ranging from the environment to community projects. A few common CSR practices are listed below.
Sustainability: Creating a business and manufacturing model that reduces environmental impact. An excellent example is NIKE Inc., which created the Reuse-A-Shoe CSR program. They collected old and worn athletic shoes and recycled them to make new athletic surfaces such as basketball courts or running tracks. This allowed them to reduce their environmental footprint by giving new life to shoes that would otherwise be heading toward the landfill.
Philanthropy: Making contributions to the community including education initiatives, charity donations or neighborhood beautification projects. Common philanthropic CSR programs include donating a portion of its sales on specific products to charity or nonprofit organizations.
Ethical labor practices: Treating employees fairly by ensuring fair pay and safe labor conditions. The Walt Disney Company is known for treating their “cast members,” or employees to most companies, exceptionally well. This dynamic creates a positive environment for employees to thrive, which leaves customers satisfied.
Good CSR can increase profits and brand popularity. According to a Nielsen Study, “55 percent of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact”. Companies that make this a priority will reap in the benefits in terms of customer relationships and loyalty.
Consumers are much more likely to trust in a brand who they view as socially responsible. Weaving your company’s brand in with CSR programs is a great way to increase exposure and build a positive reputation with consumers. Check out these companies with the best CSR reputations to get some ideas for your company’s next social responsibility initiative.