In a world increasingly dominated by global corporations, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only thing that matters in the world of business is the bottom line. However, no matter what field your enterprise is in, adding a core element of social responsibility to the foundation of your business can pay dividends for both you, your customers and all those in your supply chain. Here are three key reasons why corporate social responsibility should be at the heart of everything you do.
You can compete against far bigger brands
Major corporations offer convenience and low prices, but often at a high cost to the environment or by keeping the cost of labor to an absolute minimum. Every business needs a unique selling point, and being able to demonstrate that your business works differently is a good way to ensure you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
For example, the luxury fashion brand Beulah helps vulnerable women to break the cycle of poverty by providing employment and in doing so, opens the door to a better future. Electric vehicle maker Tesla has managed to grab a significant slice of the hugely competitive car market by creating vehicles that do not harm the environment.
You will attract better employees
Millennials – members of the generation born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, will soon make up around 50 percent of the workforce and have very different career and job expectations compared to members of previous generations.
Corporate social responsibility is a huge concern. According to one survey, 75 percent of millennials would be happy to take a pay cut in order to work for a responsible company. Around two thirds would refuse to work for a company that did not have a strong social responsibility work ethic. Ensuring your own business has a strong social conscience will not only help you attract top talent but will also help promote a positive image for your business as millennials have been shown to be extremely eager to share information about the corporate social responsibility efforts of their employers over social media.
You can change the way people think about the world
The increasingly global nature of the economy means many people are more distanced than ever from the people supplying the goods they consume but running your business with a social conscience means you have an opportunity to change this. Sophi Tranchell, CEO of Divine Chocolate, a Fairtrade chocolate company owned by a collective of cocoa farmers based in Ghana, makes a point of personalizing the supply chain so that her consumers not only know where cocoa comes from, but also have a chance to relate to the individual stories of the real people who grow it.
Showing that your company takes a wider interest in social issues that demonstrate a concern for the well-being of others, and do not have a direct impact on profit margins, can ultimately increase sales as more and more customers look to make ethical purchases in all areas of their lives.