Four CSR Program Basics

Following are four tips on how to benchmark your new or existing green and/or CSR efforts:

1.    Identify issues related to the environment, employment, the community, policy, and governance that are important to the company and its stakeholders. Stakeholders should be those groups of people who can have the greatest impact on the company and/or for whom the company potentially has great impact. They may include employees, customers, business partners, regulators, community organizations, and others.
2.    Assess how the company is doing on those issues. This can be something as formal as a carbon footprint analysis, but it doesn’t have to be. What’s important is that a company establishes some sort of benchmark in order to know that progress has been made.
3.    Set goals. The goals don’t have to be complicated but they should be SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
4.    Monitor, learn, implement. CSR programs work best when they’re based on a living, fluid strategy that allows for feedback and learning enabling course corrections along the way.

These tips were written by Arlene Fairfield, senior vice president of DDB Brand Integrity Group. It was excerpted from the PR News Going Green: Case Studies in Outstanding Green Business Practices, Volume 1. To order a copy, visit

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