Previously we shared why your business should prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR). If you’ve had the chance to read it, you’ll understand that CSR not only can save your business money, but also helps your business align its values with your customers’ values and can even attract new stakeholders.
In our previous article, we also discussed the four elements of CSR programs, including environmental, ethical, philanthropic and economic. These are important to keep in mind as you build a robust program to give back to communities that are near and dear to your organization.
Moving forward with a plan to give back in 2022, your business must become aware of certain trends on how CSR initiatives have shifted. Before you jump into a new corporate giving plan, learn more about what’s new in the space and what’s been around a bit, but here to stay.
When it comes to your company’s 2022 plan for giving back to employees, consumers and other stakeholders, here are a few recommendations that you may want to consider to stay relevant with those current trends:
Nowadays, consumers, particularly younger consumers, are more interested in businesses following through with environmental impact promises than ever before. A recent study from Deloitte found Millennials and Gen Zers want to see concrete impacts from corporations to match the promises they have stated. Therefore, if you are making claims related to helping the environment, for example, consider working with organizations, like Green2Sustainable. This group can help your business measure, track, and share how your organization has been doing with usage of natural resources like energy and water.
In recent years, consumers have increased their focus on environmental needs, and sustainable travel is growing in demand. ‘Sustainable travel’ is a way to travel that not only helps the local economy, but also lends to the culture of a destination. In order to help your employees and consumers be more sustainable, consider incorporating more virtual events – nearly 50% of companies plan to host more virtual events this year than last and nearly 60% will invest in technology to improve their virtual events.
A 54% majority of Americans have begun to make purchasing decisions based on a company’s values, according to a Washington University report. Over the last few years, this percentage has increased, particularly among younger generations and those who experienced a job shift during the pandemic as a result in changing values. Bottom line is that customers expect businesses to keep up with current events. This is valuable information when it comes to partaking in CSR, as your business should consider clarifying its values to understand where to best invest your time and for which cause to appeal to its key stakeholders.
D&I stands for “diversity and inclusion” and it can be considered a vital aspect of CSR as helping the underrepresented may fall into the “philanthropic” or “ethical” pillar of CSR. A prime example of how this can be done is when ICSC announced its Launch Academy to help racially diverse college students prepare for careers in the commercial real estate industry. There is a great need for racial diversity among this industry considering there are less than 2% of racially diverse people among its leadership. On top of developing Launch Academy, ICSC awarded over $1 million in academic scholarships and also focused on empowering Millennials and Gen Zs to start commercial real estate careers. Diversity at your company can lead to positive impacts since diverse teams, whether that’s age-, gender-, racial-, or skill-diversity can foster innovative thinking and increase profits.
Volunteering not only makes you feel good, but it can be a fantastic team-building activity. PWC found in a recent report that 65% of people from across the world prioritize working for a company that has a “powerful social conscience.” Therefore, find ways throughout the year to get employees involved in virtual or in-person volunteering opportunities to boost morale. Examples include hosting a food drive for a nearby food pantry, raising money for a local charity, providing ad hoc services to small businesses in your company’s community, and many more!
Just because 2022 has already started, doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a plan to give back to your organization’s community this year. Or, at least plan out your commitments for the coming years. As mentioned above, there are a variety of ways to make a positive impact.
If any of these recommendations piqued your interest for your business’s CSR plan, we’re happy to help get you started on planning your CSR objectives, strategies and/or tactics! Connect with Mulberry Marketing Communications to learn more.
Brianna Fitzpatrick is a Senior Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She has an excitement for media relations and crafting key messages for thought leaders.