Four Types of Corporate Social Responsibility

All businesses must do more than seek strong profit margins for success; being socially responsible is part of business survival in today’s economy. Companies should take a stance on important social issues to build a brand that consumers trust and respect. As a business leader, consider these four types of corporate social responsibility and how you can implement programs that are good for the community and good for your company.

Tip

  • The four types of Corporate Social Responsibility are philanthropy, environment conservation, diversity and labor practices, and volunteerism.

Philanthropic Efforts

The largest companies in the world are aligned with philanthropic efforts. Microsoft works closely with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to bring technology to communities around the world. The company understands that its success requires not just continued innovation, but building a next generation capable of understanding, using and improving technology.

Even small companies benefit from aligning with philanthropic causes. A local car wash might offer schools a platform to host fundraisers for sports teams. Restaurants have fundraising nights when proceeds benefit a local school or charity. Supporting these causes happens to also be good marketing, because the community is invited into the business, has a good experience and sees the company in a positive light.

Environmental Conservation

Environmental concerns regularly make the headlines, whether a long-term problem like global climate change or a more local issue such as a toxic chemical spill. Companies that align themselves in these efforts help minimize environmental problems by taking steps such as reducing their overall carbon footprint. Although major corporations get most of the attention for their environmental commitments — General Mills has committed to a 28 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, for example — there are plenty of opportunities for small and mid-sized business as well.

Does your business have an active recycling program on site? Have you considered using alternative energy sources like solar and wind to help power your operations? There are plenty of “green cleaning” alternatives that can help reduce your use of harsh toxic cleaning chemicals. All these steps can make a small but significant contribution to improving the environment. You can also ask your suppliers to do the same, letting them know that their environmental measures will be a factor in your purchasing decisions. By doing so, your environmental commitments are multiplied along the supply chain.

Company Diversity and Labor Practices

Business leaders realize that diversity in the workplace is beneficial when everyone is getting along and working as a team. However, labor policies must apply to all employees, even those at the highest levels of the company. The scandals with Harvey Weinstein and Steve Wynn show that no company is impervious to the ramifications of sexual harassment. This movement has also given rise to other diversity issues in the workplace that need attention and consistent action. As a business leader, review your own diversity policies and protocol to address any complaints and violations. This is not only good for your company image, it also helps build a positive company culture with good morale and high productivity.

Supporting Volunteer Efforts

Local communities and charities always need help. Smart business leaders know that being involved in the community in a productive way is good for the company too. Give employees the opportunity to help a local school plant trees or work with the city council on addressing homelessness in the area. Business leaders have the opportunity to choose where to spend volunteer efforts to best help the local area along with the company. The important thing for businesses is to choose a cause and contribute time.

Dalang Rohmad Hadiwijoyo

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