Something borrowed, something new
Corporate social responsibility or CSR is the term now widely used to describe activities and practices your business can voluntarily undertake to improve the environmental and social impact you have in your community. CSR has garnered much attention recently, but the concept is nothing new. It includes a wide range of activities such as direct donations, matching employees' charitable contributions, and implementing recycling programs.
Building CSR into your business can strengthen how it operates today and can create a stronger community in which to conduct your business tomorrow.
Why take the leap?
CSR can have both internal and external benefits for your business. It can help you attract investors, new recruits and customers and retain quality employees all while enhancing the reputation of your business. It can also help to improve the work culture of your business and serve as an opportunity for employees to gain new skills and experiences.
Making the commitment
Maximizing your profit as you maximize your positive impact in the community can help to ensure your continued success. Customers and investors alike are increasingly showing interest in supporting responsible business practices. They are also demanding more information on how companies are addressing social and environmental risks and opportunities
Here are a few practical examples of what you can do to kick-start healthy, integrated and meaningful CSR practices that will strengthen your community and your business:
- Support local community projects and social enterprise suppliers
- Support employees who volunteer
- Be more accessible to customers of various abilities
- Recycle and use more energy-efficient appliances or vehicles
- Provide a safe working environment and offer educational assistance to employees.
For more ideas, check out Industry Canada's implementation guide.
Finally, don't be shy!
Keep track of your CSR practices and activities and tell everyone what you've been up to! Tell your investors, your customers and your suppliers about your commitment to your community.
Put your heart into your business planning, Canada!