It is said that social responsibility is the duty of all individuals and organisations. From standing for gender equality to taking measures to protect the environment, now more than ever, corporations are slowly beginning to see the importance of social responsibility. But why? By definition, social responsibility pushes businesses to set good long-term goals and achieve them so that people and the world can benefit from these changes. While it is a great way to give back to society and show clients and customers how much they care, this strategy of actively partaking in social movements and empowering individuals does not make clear how it can positively influence a business’s bottom line.
According to research, there has been an increasing demand for businesses and brands to step up and help individuals make a change for the better. In fact, in Futerra’s survey, 88% of the over 1,000 consumers stated that if a brand is not taking steps to improve its social and environmental footprint, they are bound to be disappointed. Along with the surge of a new generation of environmental and pro-social individuals, companies must do more to stay ahead of the curve and distinguish themselves from businesses that do not have a social purpose.
While embracing corporate social responsibility is not mandatory, prioritising it often suffices in making a business appear to be aligned with the times. It also accurately reflects a business’s value, accountability and commitment to make changes that will positively influence immediate communities, societies, and even the world. These are all vital to the success of a business – especially since there is a growing number of customers that expect companies to run responsibly.
Some of the main benefits of adopting corporate social responsibility in your business include:
Implementing social responsibility initiatives can dramatically improve brand perception and eventually increase customer retention and loyalty. Since attracting and retention customers are essential to every company’s long-term success, catering to the ever-evolving demands of customers is one of the main ways to set your brand apart in the competitive business world. Taking corporate social responsibility seriously will encourage customers to see your business in a new light, retain their attention for longer, and keep your products and services at the top of their minds. The result of this? Creating a loyal customer base that not only builds a good reputation for your brand but also simultaneously keeps your company thriving.
When focusing on social responsibility initiatives, it is only natural for businesses to engage with their customers and have them be a part of it. Not only will this enable a company to constantly keep their customers and clients updated with all the plans but it will provide the opportunity for existing and potential customers to provide feedback on how things can be improved.
When your company takes corporate social responsibility seriously, it can attract and retain employees too. Having a well-established social responsibility strategy in place demonstrates how compassionate your company is and gives insight into how employees are being treated at work. Supporting different social causes also give existing employees the space to support their own initiatives – this will keep everyone more engaged and productive.
As mentioned, many companies have been ramping up their focus on social responsibility. One major brand that has done the same is Coca-Cola. The 5by20 programme was created back in 2010 to support millions of female entrepreneurs over the world. And at the end of 2020, Coca-Cola surpassed their goal of enabling the economic empowerment of 5 million businesswomen by providing business skills training and more to over 6 million women across 100 countries.
Gunung Prisma, which provides holistic steel solutions, also focuses on social responsibility to deliver sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental protection in a responsible way. From building bridges for villagers to making donations to health centres, the projects that Gunung Prisma has taken part in reach far and wide.
There are four main categories of social responsibility – environmental, philanthropic, ethical and economic. This means that business models of social good are broad and can cover a wide variety of initiatives. Be it through the direct support of a charity or simply promoting social good on your social media platforms to raise awareness, companies can easily act as agents of social change.
Relaying her own take on the importance of social responsibility, Liwa Supriyanti explains, “Companies should embrace the broad vision of corporate social responsibility and see the good that it can bring to people and the world. Therefore, at Gunung Prisma, we are always encouraging our senior leaders to be more involved and initiate programmes that encourage everyone in the company to do good too.”
There are clearly many reasons for a company to embrace corporate social responsibility. While practising corporate social responsibility can indeed help businesses grow and help the bottom line, it is also important not to violate the public’s trust.
With the aim to align business ethics and goals, Gunung Prisma has social responsibility at the forefront of how the business is run. Adding to this, Liwa states “Rather than doing charitable work and leading initiatives merely for the optics, it is important that companies do it to truly spark change. Forget about winning points as doing social good is more than that.”