Debunking the Myths of Avoiding CSR Efforts


There are all sorts of excuses—mainly myths—to avoid implementing CSR initiatives:

Myth # 1 - CSR will hurt your bottom line.
Truth - CSR will help save money and save the environment.

In 2002 Xerox’s waste reduction program reduced environmental waste by 1.5 billion pounds and saved 2 million dollars.
A similar program by 3M saved 807 tons of waste and 8.27 million dollars

Myth #2 - One company can’t fix all the world’s problems so why try?
Truth - In 1998 Lenscrafters “Gift of Sight” program resulted in 1.6 million pairs of eyeglasses recycled.

Myth #3 - CSR is a publicity stunt.
Truth - CSR often leads to higher performance and profits.

Myth #4 - No one will notice.
Truth - Nike took a $5 billion stock loss in 1997 because of human rights issues involving reports of sweatshop labour.

Myth #5 - If we support it, no one will notice.
Truth - In 2004, 80% of investors say CSR wins their trust and would make a decision about where to work or invest based on the presence of CSR: 86% of consumers would switch brands if price and quality were associated with a CSR cause.

Myth #6 - CSR ends at our border
Truth - Health issues are interconnected, ie bird flu and fears of this and other pandemics that know no borders. The presence of poverty is increasingly connected with political instability. Our ozone layer doesn’t recognize borders.

Myth #7 - CSR was just a flavour of the month. It’s on the way out.
Truth - Consumers, shareholders and employees will continue to vote with their feet.

Following are six steps to implement a successful CSR program.

1.) Choose an issue your company, employees and stakeholders care about.
2.) Conduct an environmental audit and find ways to cut waste.
3.) Offer to pay your employees for their community service.
4.) Invest in your human capital. Microsoft invests in gym fees for their employees. Every $1 invested in employee health this was save them $1.92 in health care costs, almost 200%.
5.) Communicate your commitment.
6.) Give your employees something to rally around.

This was excerpted from a larger article that originally appeared on www.evancarmichael.com. It written by Arupa Tesolin, the Canadian Partner for Learning Paths International, a performance improvement consulting company.


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