Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement
Today, it is a widely known and accepted practice that everyone do their part to protect our environment and the planet. According to the Nielsen Social Responsibility Report, consumers around the world have made it clear that they expect corporations to be no exception. According to the report, 67 percent of polled participants prefer to purchase from socially responsible organizations, including 55 percent who admitted that they do not mind paying more for a service or product, so long as it comes from a company dedicated to having a positive social and environmental impact.
More and more consumers are looking to ensure that the products and services that they purchase come from a company that actively practices social responsibility in society. Whether it be using recycled materials in their packaging, working to help distribute clean water, or making efforts in eradicating poverty and hunger, consumers need to know that the companies that they support care about the greater good; and are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Positive Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility
Companies today have heard the call of consumers and understand their wishes. They are aware that neglecting to listen to the plea of the consumer could create an unbridgeable gap between the two. For this reason, they are now making conscious efforts to put into action sustainable practices within their organizations.
The impact of corporate social responsibility not only positively helps our society and environment, but it also helps corporations improve their reputation by contributing to their brands’ goodwill performance. By doing so, companies that are implementing green initiatives are also actively saving the business money and are therefore boosting the bottom line. Sustainable efforts to decrease a business’s carbon footprint by way of minimizing transportation costs, reducing packaging materials or even installing energy efficient appliances throughout their plants for example, all have proven effective in cutting company costs.
The Positive Impact of Corporate Engagement
Though social responsibility can help corporations to become more profitable, to increase the effectiveness, they must also focus on successfully connecting businesses to society. The best approach to doing this is quite possibly integrating external engagement deep within the decision-making process, at each level of the corporate structure. By connecting with people and the community, companies ultimately satisfy consumers’ high demands and denote a company’s dedication to making a positive social and environmental impact.
Of the 30,000 consumers in 60 countries polled by Nielsen, more than two-thirds claimed that social responsibility matters when making purchasing decisions. Not only that, nearly half admitted to feeling inspired to volunteer or otherwise donating to organizations that were engaged in environmental and social programs. This information is useful and valuable to companies. Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability at Nielsen says, “As companies drive to create greater shared value, linking their business strategy to societal outcomes, they have put consumers at the center and understand their expectations.” She goes on to explain that by identifying and engaging in the hierarchy of traditional and social brand drivers, in addition to opportunities that lie within such, companies can better develop proactive sustainability strategies that will not only improve company performance, but that will also generate loyalty amongst consumers.
Over half of the consumers worldwide that Nielsen polled admitted that caring about the environment and corporate social responsibility would translate into action by way of paying more for products that come from socially responsible organizations. With such a significant percentage admitting their willingness to support socially responsible organizations and efforts, brands have a great opportunity. However, success in reaching these socially responsible buyers will ultimately depend on the organizations ability to connect sustainable benefits and consumers by way of engagement. Those firms that can find a way to communicate effectively and engage with their audience will inevitably improve their brand positioning in today’s competitive market.