Unlocking Corporate Social Responsibility: 10 Impactful Ways to Give Back as a Business Owner

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article | Unlocking Corporate Social Responsibility: 10 Impactful Ways to Give Back as a Business Owner

Corporate Social Responsibility is neither a trend nor something only for the large companies with millions in revenue. It’s something every company can adopt to give back to society and make a positive impact. The acts can be intrinsically fulfilling and at the same time, increase your brand value.

Here, we have listed ten ways to engage in corporate social responsibility and give back to society as a business owner.

Practice and Promote Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is nothing but being a little kinder to the planet. The most common eco-friendly practice is minimizing waste: during manufacturing or when providing services. You can achieve it at every step of the production process. You can also advocate recycling and go for energy-efficient practices. Partner with local recycling programs and dispose of the recyclable materials used in your processes. Conduct an audit of your machinery and choose the most energy-efficient alternatives. By going green and minimizing your negative footprint, you will benefit the environment and at the same time, establish yourself as an eco-friendly business.

Start a Community Awards Program

Apart from contributing to society, you can also recognize other businesses that are impacting it positively. For that, you can start a community awards program. Community awards examples include Business of the Year Award, Excellence in Leadership and Service Award, Small Business of the Year Award, New Business of the Year Award, and Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Finalize categories, shortlist the nominees, and create an unbiased jury to judge the entries. You can also sponsor an event to expose your brand to potential customers.

Support Local Charities and Nonprofits

Charities and nonprofits operate with donations from other companies. As a business, you can help them by making regular contributions or sponsoring their projects. List down the local charities and nonprofits, and mark the ones that share the same values and business ethics as you. Contact them for partnerships or donate to a cause they’re working toward.

At the same time, promote these nonprofits and charities through your business and encourage customers to support them. It’ll position you as a socially responsible brand.

Encourage Employee Volunteerism

While helping nonprofits, you can raise awareness within your organization and encourage your employees to volunteer in partner charities. It can help you in two ways. First, it will allow you to further establish your image as a socially responsible organization at all levels and enrich the curriculum vitae of your employees. Having any volunteer experience will help them ahead in their career. So, your employees would want to contribute.

List down the core strengths of your employees, and create a volunteer program accordingly. It can comprise teaching or coaching a particular subject or training a small workforce.

Start Educational Support Programs

Starting an educational support program for your local community can also establish your company as socially responsible. Identify the community needs or partner with local educational institutions to understand how much support they require. You can contribute in two ways. You can create a scholarship program to support the underprivileged who can’t afford education. Or, you can create a mentorship program and bear all costs. You can also have one of your employees conduct the mentorship if they have the necessary skills.

Practice Diversity and Inclusion

Having a diverse workplace and welcoming people from all backgrounds also falls under corporate social responsibility. Create strong company policies and implement them. Provide diversity training within the organization. Ensure equal hiring opportunity by setting up an unbiased interview and hiring committee. Practice intolerance when it comes to racism and negative workplace behaviors. All these will surely help set your company apart.

Adopt Ethical Supply Chain Practices

Building an ethical supply chain system is another effective way to become a socially responsible company. Every organization has a supply chain that affects multiple stakeholders. Map your organization’s change to find issues with ethical practices and eliminate them. Build and maintain a supplier code of conduct. Adopt fair labor practices and only pick suppliers who share the same ethics as your company. Pick eco-friendly suppliers to stay green.

Engage in Community Development

Identify initiatives and local development projects that help make life easier for the locals and participate in them. Improve local infrastructure, make public spaces (such as parks and sidewalks) more accessible, and build roads, schools, prayer houses, and even healthcare facilities. You can also adopt or fund beautification projects that increase the comfort of the local population. It also allows you to showcase your brand name and build public awareness.

Develop Corporate Philanthropy Program

You can also design and implement corporate philanthropy programs to help the underprivileged. Make financial donations for education or healthcare. Alternatively, you can create a foundation with a specific mission. Encourage your employees and stakeholders to contribute so that all levels of your management are engaged in the practice. Don’t forget to measure the results and renew program policies once every year.

Engage in Crisis Response and Relief

Step in during natural calamities and help the affected of the locality. You can partner with local NGOs and fund their initiatives. Prepare when you receive the news of an impending natural disaster. Help create awareness in the locals. You can also train your employees to work as volunteers. Provide logistical support. Donate food, water, medicine, and other relief based on the disaster. Work with the NGO to reform the affected after the disaster has passed.

Establishing yourself as a socially responsible company isn’t too difficult. Taking a hard look around will expose you to multiple issues that need immediate resolution. As a company, you can directly donate to help those causes or actively participate in various levels to improve your community. Both will benefit the public and enhance your brand value while making your business more sustainable.

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