Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs have recently become an imperative component of any solid strategic plan. Fortunately, not only are such programs proven to increase customer satisfaction and employee volunteer engagement while impacting our planet’s most pressing issues, but they may even go so far as to positively impact the bottom line.
Research shows that selling quality products or services is no longer enough to attract today’s socially conscious shoppers. A study by Cone Communications and Echo Research of 10,000 global consumers found that CSR is now a business imperative, with more than 91 percent of shoppers worldwide likely to switch to brands that support a social or environmental cause. A separate study by Havas Media confirmed this profit-generating potential. Their results found that 53% of respondents would go so far as to pay a 10% premium for products that made an impact.
Further, the research also concluded that businesses that aren’t socially responsible may even receive backlash in the form of lost sales. They found that 90 percent of the shoppers surveyed would boycott companies if they found the firms engaged in irresponsible business practices.
In their comprehensive study, “The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Process and Performance,” authors Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou & George Serafeim confirm the theory that doing good is good for business. Booz & Company summarized:
Firms that embrace corporate social responsibility practices significantly outperform rivals that don’t embrace those practices, as measured by both financial and stock market returns. Firms with a history of commitment to sustainability and social issues also boast more long-term investors and place a greater emphasis on making nonfinancial disclosures.
A robust CSR policy allows companies to not only create private value for itself and its stakeholders through increased sales and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, and for its employees through engagement opportunities that lead to higher morale, but it also generates public value by furthering solutions to pressing social issues of our time.
The opportunities for revenue growth, recruitment and retention of top-of-the-line employees, increased brand awareness & market value, as well as forward-thinking innovation that leads to product differentiation and cost savings, proves that CSR is no longer just a buzzword, but a necessary component of any 21st-century company.
Visit our Corporate Engagement page to see how Rise Against Hunger’s programs can help build your company’s corporate social responsibility program.