At Strategic Sustainability Consulting, we know that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important component of business operations. Not only do socially and environmentally responsible practices cut costs, they also increase brand awareness and customer loyalty. The proof?
Last week Golin/Harris International released its fourth national survey, Corporate Citizenship Gets Down to Business: Doing Well by Doing Good 2006.
Conducted by Change, GolinHarris’ corporate citizenship and social responsibility practice, the study reveals respondents recognize progress is being made as a growing number of companies embrace corporate citizenship as a business asset, although business still has a long way to go to meet Americans’ rising expectations for good corporate citizenship.
Change interviewed 5,000 Americans, who rated 152 brands for the GolinHarris Corporate Citizenship Index (CCI) in September, 2006. Top performers included Ben & Jerry's, Target Corporation, Patagonia, and SC Johnson.
And even more interesting, an overwhelming two-thirds of Americans interviewed said:
-- "'Doing well by doing good' is a savvy business strategy. Good corporate citizenship should be approached as an investment, asset and competitive advantage for business that contributes to the company's success.” (67%)
-- “Business should invest significantly more money, time, attention and resources in corporate citizenship than it does today.” (68%)
-- “Corporate citizenship should be considered an essential, high priority compared to other priorities companies face and manage in running a profitable, competitive and successful business.” (68%)
The survey "reveals that good corporate citizenship can impact business results by stimulating Americans to be loyal, passionate and frequent business advocates and committed customers to brands that have earned their trust and support."
But HOW do these companies incorporate good CSR into their day-to-day operations? The survey found:
Another common characteristic of the top performing companies on the GolinHarris CCI is their balanced, holistic approach to corporate citizenship as central to and aligned with the companies’ business goals and mainstream business activities. They’ve learned that how the organization runs its business is just as important as how much money it gives away. Authentic corporate citizenship must permeate all facets of how companies do business.
If your business hasn't recently reviewed its CSR strategy, consider doing it now! Strategic Sustainability Consulting offers introductory sustainability assessments to review what you're doing right and what needs a little work. Get CSR to work for you—contact me at Jennifer@sustainabilityconsulting.com today for a complimentary consultation.