Social responsibility is a theory which suggests that individuals should consider and act in a way that offers benefit for the whole of society rather than acting for themselves. For businesses, this means finding a balance between profit and the welfare of people and the planet.
Marino Robert Sussich understands the importance of incorporating a socially conscious mindset at the heart of business processes. Learn more about corporate social responsibility and how to nurture this in your business.
In the past, businesses have operated with the sole goal of maximising profits. In more recent years, more business leaders are recognising that alongside maximising profits there is also a responsibility to do what’s best for society and the planet. As concerns around climate change and environmental damage continue to rise, it is more important now than ever to be taking steps to correct and minimise impact on the planet.
In addition to the positive impact that acting with socially conscious motivations would have on the planet and people on it, displaying and prioritising corporate social responsibility can have a positive impact on business. This can enhance customer loyalty, foster engaged and talented employees, improve the overall brand image, and make the business more attractive to investors.
Especially with tools such as Good On You, customers are able to understand the sustainability of various businesses with ease and choose to support a more environmentally conscious organisation instead.
As the Harvard Business School explains, there are 4 types of corporate social responsibility to consider. These include, environmental responsibility, ethical responsibility, philanthropic responsibility, and economic responsibility.
It is important to define and question what it is that your business stands for. Think about your mission in terms of the positive impact that you would like to make on the world in order to guide your business decisions towards more socially conscious ones.
Consider all business operations and question whether these align with ethical standards. Ensure everything from sourcing materials to manufacturing processes follow fair labour practices, display environmentally friendly processes, and responsible supply chain management. Processes should also reduce your carbon footprint, minimise waste or use eco-friendly materials.
Caring for employees with fair wages, benefits, and opportunities for professional development will also contribute to company success and promote a healthy work culture.
It is important that socially conscious businesses value diversity and promote a workplace culture that is inclusive. This refers to diversity not only in terms of race, gender, and ethnicity, but also in terms of the ideas and perspectives displayed. An inclusive environment contributes to social progress, but also contributes to business success by enhancing creativity and innovation.
Actively engaging with the community is another way to enhance social responsibility. This can involve displaying support to and donating to local charities, sponsoring community events, or addressing local needs in business-led projects. Commit to an ongoing positive impact on the community with frequent engagement and support.
Any marketing or communication to consumers or stakeholders should reflect a commitment to social consciousness, though it is important to do so without greenwashing or empty virtue signalling. You should display authenticity by communicating your values along with any initiatives and actual impact that your business has had. Highlight the positive changes your business is making.
Ensure any products or services that you offer are socially conscious in their design to meet ethical standards. You may consider using recycled materials, creating products with longer lifespans to avoid building waste, or ensure environmentally responsible disposal.
It is a good idea to enhance social consciousness with a collective effort, and involving customers, employees, suppliers and local communities is one way to do this. Request fresh feedback and ideas to strengthen social responsibility and build a support network.
As expectations and circumstances within society change over time, it is important to regularly reassess your processes and remain willing to adapt.
Marino Sussich is an expert international business consultant that implements advanced business techniques to help businesses achieve their goals and continue growing. Contact Marino to achieve success.