Social responsibility and profitability are not mutually exclusive. If anything, Corporate Social Responsibility has repeatedly proven to positively impact your P&L, or bottom line if so to speak. However, start by binning any preconceived ideas and take a fresh outlook on your CSR intentions.
Just the definition of CSR by itself is a challenge:
Corporations look after their benefit, and ultimately, what other benefit than impacting the bottom line are we talking about?
Well yes, is everything about social “free” and “giving” ?
A Corporate Social Responsibility endorsement can be about just allocating a certain amount to a charity and clearing your conscious. Which has a negative impact on your revenue and little contribution to your society.
While the common way of doing business is looking at your bottom line, integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into your “business way of life” makes you consider what we call a “Triple Bottom Line”. It goes beyond the traditional measures of profits, return on investment, and shareholder value to include environmental and social dimensions.
There are still a lot of question marks around costs incurred by a CSR strategy, and that’s mainly because traditionally we look at it as “support a charity/organisation/cause”. Yet, notch it up a little bit, spice it up with innovation and your CSR becomes an ally in energy saving, waste reduction, and streamlined processes, to name a few.
Let’s explore how to create a positive outcome with your Corporate Social Strategy practice!
So how do you positively impact your bottom line through your CSR strategy?
Mirror your Corporate Social Responsibility activity to your business’ best practices and achievements.
Think of integrating all the success factors: a collective endorsement (HR), an understanding of your environment (marketing), an audit of your upstream and downstream operations, and most importantly, align your values. Then, tag to it all the fancy business acronyms such as KPIs, SFI and ROI and positively impacting your bottom line will naturally follow.
Assess your production process, your supplies, your stocks, your employees, your clients. A 360 degrees audit of the way you run your business will help you determine the pertinent approach. Just plan your CSR strategy the way you would plan your business. Make it efficient, relevant, tangible, marketable, attractive.
Can you recycle and reuse your products?
Can you source your supplies sustainably, from your local community?
Oh! And how about creating strategic alliances to benefit both parties’ bottom lines and at the same time have a big outreach?
“Statu quos are comfortable nests, helping people resist change. Yet we can make change happen, by just innovating and acting upon our beliefs.”
Now let’s take a step back and understand what Corporate Social Responsibility truly means to me, my CEO, CFO, clients, shareholders, and more.
Social responsibility and sustainability are not only about environment or charity. They also are about merging your profitability and your values. They are about positive results, shareholders satisfaction and success. Some well thought programmes have seen companies reduce their costs for up to 25% by just implementing sustainable practices.
Even luxury groups such as LVMH are now fully embracing the sustainability and social responsibility business practice. From ensuring the sourcing of their raw material, to streamlining their supply and distribution chain, they also impose some strict “adherence to business ethics” on their partners. Thanks to a full audit of their carbon footprint and the understanding of their impact at each level, they took measures that reflected 15% energy saving in just a year. Finally, they foster a collective commitment by their staff.
With well thought and rounded strategies, you will save on costs, and even create new revenue streams. Your shareholders will be satisfied, and your customer base will reward you by investing their loyalty and $ in an ethical brand that defines business the way they define life: safe, sustainable, profitable and fun.
To know more how to positively impact your bottom line through creative, meaningful CSR initiatives, and tag to it some feel good and successful returns, sign-up below