Stewardship, Sustainability & Strategy - S³ EFFECT: The Benefits of CSR!
Green sustainability is a multifaceted strategy that emphasizes the responsibility for mankind to use resources in a manner that reduces negative impact to the natural environment and ensures that these resources will be available to future generations. The World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Organizations, whether small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) or multinational corporations (MNC) understand the need to have an organizational strategy that incorporates green sustainability, Triple Bottom-line (3BL or TBL) principles for competitive advantage and high performance.
A well- designed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy will contain elements addressing economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities that coincide with an existing business strategy. If for example, your business strategy is to become a recognized global corporation expanding in the UAE and Southwest Asia regions, then your CSR policy can detail how it will uphold legal and ethical standards offering fair wages and benefits to employees hired by your company. Another example is how your company will work with supply chain professionals who have similar sustainability practices of fairness, equality, and reduced impacts on the environment.
Five (5) Benefits of CSR standards incorporated into a business strategy are:
1. Brand recognition- numerous studies such as a 2011 McKinsey Survey of global CEOs proved that more than 75% of these respondents agreed that introducing sustainability practices into their corporate long-term strategy lend to improving brand reputation and value.
2. Increase Revenue- customers are loyal to companies who provide products and services that are environmentally friendly. It sends a message that you care about their livelihood.
3. Reduce Expenses- water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, use of cloud services and more digital products are a few ways to see a measurable reduction in operation costs.
4. Employee attraction/Retention- HR professionals have learned that talented potential employees seek companies that promote wellness, demonstrate a commitment to caring for the environment, include volunteerism and community activities. These employees, especially the millennials, are loyal to companies with clear CSR objectives.
5. Competitive Advantage- businesses that demonstrate how they use purpose-protecting people & planet- with how they're increasing profits, gain competitive advantage.
Everything starts at the top. When leaders value the power of incorporating sustainability practices into their business strategy, they continuously win. They increase trust and commitment with their customers, staff and other stakeholders. They attract investors who share the same values and they influence their supply chain to embrace the same practices.
Are you thinking about how you can incorporate sustainable practices into your business, but you're not sure how to proceed? We can help you get started.
Contact me, E. Michelle Mickens and we'll get you on a sustainable path that leads to success.