A new year, a new decade. In 2020, involved consumers are focused on reaching their personal, health, and professional goals. Similarly, while they do so, more and more of them are aligning with companies or brands that prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR). Nearly 90 percent of Americans will purchase from a company because it advocated for an issue they care about, according to a study. In addition, 76 percent will refuse to buy a company’s products or services if they learn the company supported an issue contrary to their beliefs. As your business does some first-of-the-year reflecting, it’s important to ensure that its brand model reflects issues important to you and your audience. Company goals must consider more than economic metrics, they must also benefit stakeholders and the public.
Here are five ways to do so.
Companies are seeing benefits in offering volunteer days to employees. This not only builds camaraderie, it also spreads your company’s visibility among supporters of the charity or cause. TransUnion, for example, provides employees with a Volunteer Time Off day each year. In addition, it matches donations up to $2,000 each for a cause close to its associates.
Invest in Social and Environmental Initiatives
Companies can support local and national organizations through donations. They also can hold events in honor of a cause. Communicators can use their voices to help educate audiences on the issue and ways they can help. Some organizations encourage employees to donate a portion of their paycheck to particular causes in education, income, and health.
Practice Ethical Labor
The job market changes constantly. Potential applicants and current employees seek jobs at companies that practice what they preach in and out of the office. To ensure that your company attracts the best talent and maintains high morale, find opportunities to improve brand confidence. Offer competitive perks, provide a comfortable workspace, and look for ways to engage employees. Netflix offers employees 52 weeks of paid parental leave. In addition, team members are able to take advantage of this perk at any point during their child’s life.
Establish an in-house mission to create change. Form a social responsibility team and encourage it to lead your company in giving back to the community. For instance, Patagonia works in multiple ways to inspire its team members to give back. In addition, it partners with companies to bolster economic and environmental change.
Be Environmentally Conscious
Increasingly consumers are looking for ways to lessen their environmental impact. In many cases, they are supporting brands and businesses doing the same. With 30+ years of working to reduce its environmental impact on the planet, Johnson & Johnson looks to produce 35 percent of its energy from renewable sources. It does this through the purchase of private energy suppliers and other initiatives.
Carbon Footprint Tips
A bonus tip on a timely trend. Businesses can make seamless changes to reduce their carbon footprint. A slew of companies are doing so. The airlines and Microsoft, for example. Ways your business can make a difference include: increasing recycling, decreasing energy and water use, enhancing waste management practices by going paperless, composting, eliminating bottled water, reducing plastic, and embracing eco-friendly travel policies. These policies include flying nonstop to reduce emissions, taking public transportation, carpooling, offering benefits for hybrid cars and staying at green hotels.
Kiana Montgomery is an executive with Sachs Media Group