With the constant improvement in the quality of CSR reporting, companies have begun tightening their belts. Reporting the impact that your company has on social and environmental concerns isn’t just a formality anymore.
CSR has seen a steady rise in both popularity and impact over the last decade, and it’s been driven by 2 main factors—consumer demand and branding opportunities.
Consumers today are tech-savvy, and thanks to the media, they know exactly where their products come from. Most of them would even pay more if they’re assured of ethically-sourced and produced goods.
This is one of the reasons companies have to ensure that their CSR practices are top-notch.
Besides, CSR also provides excellent opportunities for companies trying to promote their brands. Through well-planned and executed CSR activities, companies stand to gain a lot of publicity.
The state of CSR will see some major changes in 2016. Here are some of the trends that may emerge.
Collaboration With Governments
Lately, companies have begun collaborating with local governments to ensure a more widespread positive effect from their social efforts.
For example, IBM’s ‘Smarter City’ project is aimed at collaborating with cities and providing technical support to advance work in areas like public safety.
In 2016, companies will be looking to tie up with governments to further their CSR efforts. Not only does this build rapport with the government, but it makes it a lot easier to find a social cause to work towards.
Also, thanks to the combined effort from both parties, companies will be able to ensure that their technology, expertise, and monetary resources are put to good use.
Employees Will Have A Greater Say
2016 will see a rise in the number of companies that consult their employees about the issues they wish to tackle with CSR efforts, and with whom to partner up to deal with the problem.
Instead of the top management calling all the shots when it comes to CSR funding, employees will have a greater say in the matter.
Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2015 revealed that millennials today want to work for a company that imbues them with a strong sense of purpose. They want to know that their employers are contributing to local communities and to society at large, and wish to be a part of the contribution.
The only way they can do this is if the management delegates some authority of their CSR functions to the employees. This way, everyone working in the organisation is content, which ultimately helps the organisation function better.
With CSR laws becoming more stringent, companies need to be more transparent in their dealings.
Since unethical sourcing isn’t acceptable to many consumers, the companies stand to lose out on revenue unless they make changes to their supply chain. This is already visible in the Garment Industry, Large Retailers etc.
Transparency helps reduce practices that may be detrimental to society and the environment. That’s why in 2016, most companies plan to be more transparent in their operations.
Better Quality of products & services
With Companies implementing CSR policies it is important for the company’s products & services to meet the consumer’s expectation on quality. Else it would be an oxymoron type of a situation where on the one hand the Company claims to be socially responsible and on the other hand provides inferior quality of products and services.
Companies, as they understand the concept of social responsibility and its benefits will look at the various stakeholders. This will reveal issues that could potentially adversely affect in the near future. Companies could then engage proactively through CSR programs to mitigate potential conflicts.
These are a few of the trends that will transform how CSR is approached by businesses. The importance of CSR is growing, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a greater part of a company’s responsibility to all its stakeholders
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