The responsibility of business should go far beyond just meeting the demands of the product or service they offer. What matters is the intangible things they do that strengthen their reputation. For this reason, more and more businesses undertake social and community-based initiatives to raise awareness and show they care; and sustainability and the environment are obviously on the agenda too! How can we reach our target audience to highlight the things we are doing for society and the planet?
First step: develop a CSR policy
Corporate social responsibility (or CSR) is a term that refers to decisions by organisation’s that promote the wellbeing of its people, partners, society and the environment. The policy highlights how your organisation balances these needs with the need to operate profitably. However, truly walking-the-talk and putting CSR into practice is not without its challenges, given economic pressures, which are often constant. So, what does it take to start your CSR initiatives?
Create a Corporate Social Responsibility plan
If your company has never undertaken social awareness initiatives, or if it has never communicated them, then why not start now. Create your CSR policy which you can then include in your staff handbook, on your website and social media platforms. Broadcasting your CSR commitment will have a positive impact on brand reputation and trust and improve the relationship within and outside your organisation.
Think about consistency and long term
If you want to implement social initiatives in your organisation, think strategically. The CSR awareness campaign that you decide to carry out, must have ethical and responsible actions that are consistent with the organisation’s activities overall. If you implement socially responsible CSR strategies in some areas but then wreak social and environmental havoc elsewhere, you risk criticism for have double standards and being hypocritical
There is a huge challenge of course for many large organisations where they have diverse forms of operation (e.g. manufacturing and retail). Increasingly, given the level of scrutiny organisations are under, in terms of the CSR practices, then adopting positive policies can reap long term economic benefits for the brand through improving its reputation with employees and customers.
However, if you want the social and environmental values of your organisation to be recognised by your customers and wider society, it is first necessary to get the support of your employees. Their commitment is vital to make sure policies are successfully implemented. The successful implementation of CSR must be an inside-out process!
The environment: a central axis of corporate social responsibility
The environment is screaming out for help. We witness it daily in the news with melting ice caps, wildfires in Australia and rising flood levels. Businesses must accept their share of responsibility, therefore, for meeting the needs of the planet. Whether that is mitigating or avoiding the harm it causes or by supporting others outside the organisation to mitigate or avoid harm. This commitment can be clearly set out in a CSR policy.
And, here are some ideas about how your organisation can demonstrate that commitment to the environment and walk the talk:
Organise a beach or river cleaning day
Beaches are rivers are some of the environments most affected by humans. So why not organise a day out for your team to collect plastic and other rubbish to improve the situation? You could propose a “day out” for employees and let them not only help the environment but have a good time with colleagues – team building, developing strong relationships, improving morale and motivation and demonstrating to them that you are an organisation they want to be associated with.
Promote environmental awareness courses
Making environmental awareness courses available to your employees, helping them see how they can contribute to overcoming the environmental challenges we face. By sharing this knowledge with them and getting them on board not only will they be more likely to support your CSR policies but they will become ambassadors for your organisation. Sharing the fact that you care with your customers and key partners.
Source your supplies locally
Does your company have a canteen for staff or pupils? Then buy local! Not only can this food be very healthy, but you can be sure of picking only sustainably sourced foods that avoid harmful intensive farming practices or which don’t meet reasonable animal welfare standards.
Also, you are avoiding the carbon footprint of food being shipped around the world unnecessarily. The use of cold rooms and plastics from long term storage also damages the environment.
Clearly, we have picked food as an example, but if you are very keen you can employ the same logic all the way through your supply chain!
Promote the use of bicycles to go to work
Especially in big cities, we are used to taking the car, train or bus to work; even for relatively short distances! However, why not encourage your team to walk or cycle to work? Healthy, as well as sustainable options that promote wellbeing and improve concentration and motivation levels.
The government also has initiatives to help you introduce cycle schemes for your employees. You can read more HERE about the Cycle to Work Scheme.
On the other hand, if the workplace is really far from home then encourage the of use of public transport, car-sharing or even work-from-home policies that remove the impact of the daily commute. We can all do our small bit to meet the environmental challenges your CSR policy aims to overcome.
Custom Wristbands to unite behind your CSR causes
The feeling of relevance and connectedness can be a very powerful influencer of behaviours in your organisation. One way we can help at Silicone Wristbands Direct is through personalised wristbands that raise awareness of environmental issues – “We are eco-friendly and proud!” may be the message.
Give all your employees and customers a personalised wristband that highlights your values and commitment. Winning hearts and minds every time they look at their wrist!
Customise your Wristbands with your logo, a key message of support for the environment or other cause, and your corporate branding!
We do offer eco-friendly Wristbands, recognising that these are ideal for promoting your CSR message.
Custom wristbands to raise funds
Another idea to promote social awareness in your organisation can be the sale of personalised wristbands to raise funds for Charities and other NGO’s related to the environment or humanitarian causes. It is a way to involve employees, making them see that with very little effort they can collectively achieve something much bigger. As in the previous section, you can personalise the wristbands to create a sense of loyalty and commitment to these very important causes. In fact, your employees will feel proud to wear them!
We have shared a few ideas, but we know there are many more great initiatives that can promote your CSR credentials amongst your team and customers. We personally like personalised wristbands because they are highly visible, comfortable to wear, last a long time (depending on the style we should add) and relatively inexpensive!
For a small investment, therefore, you can increase employee satisfaction and promote your positive values to your customers and suppliers, demonstrating that you are socially responsible. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us or call 01524 848382.
In the meantime, we would love to hear your suggestions!