What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a buzz term in the business world for nearly a decade, but what exactly does it mean? Essentially, CSR is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable. It’s a set of ethical standards that guides the company’s commitment to manage the social, environmental and economic effects of their operations responsibly and sustainably.
The climate of the business world is rapidly evolving, and stakeholders are no longer concerned only with companies’ profits. Educated, engaged consumers want to support companies that make a positive impact on society. When companies contribute to meaningful social projects, they are able to cultivate positive associations with their brand and demonstrate how they’re promoting their values.
In today’s digital reality, CSR is an important tool to help companies establish a good reputation and attract top talent. CSR has become the key component in the “S” aspect of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives undertaken by corporations. CSR initiatives can also serve as a means to boost the digital visibility of a company. Engaging in positive corporate citizenship can help improve your public image, increase brand awareness and recognition, increase your client engagement, and give you a competitive edge. Ethical, socially responsible companies tend to attract employees who are eager to make a positive difference in the world and are there for more than just the paycheque. This increases productivity and boosts employee morale, which will contribute to the bottom line.
Leveraging Existing Expertise
Not all companies have the existing resources to develop and implement a robust CSR strategy, but here’s the good news: you don’t have to. Decide what your values are as a company. Maybe your company really values family, or diversity. Maybe your company is seeking to align itself with one of the Sustainable Development Goals, such as good health and well-being, gender equality or clean water and sanitation. Decide what it is your company wants to promote through your CSR program, and then find a charity or non-profit group that aligns with your values.
Chances are, non-profits already have the talent and ability to help achieve your CSR goals, but they may lack the necessary resources. By partnering with the non-profit of your choice, you’re able to achieve your CSR goals and help them continue to make a positive impact reflective of your shared values. Instead of having to build your own CSR strategy from the ground up, you can work with them to reach a mutually beneficial solution. Aligning yourself with reputable non-profit organizations can help you leverage your company’s profile and reputation.
Operation Eyesight: Local, Global, Accountable
As part of my CSR initiatives, I choose to support Operation Eyesight, an international development organization working to eliminate avoidable blindness in countries in South Asia and Africa. They are an international development organization working to eliminate avoidable blindness in countries in South Asia and Africa. They work with local governments, medical professionals and non-governmental organization partners to build essential resources that give all people, regardless of age, gender, or ability to pay, access to the help they need to achieve quality eye health care and vision for all.
Operation Eyesight is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, where they’re backed by a loyal Canadian audience and offer a unique viewpoint to the dozens of organizations vying for support from Ottawa. They’ve been around for over 57 years, demonstrating a strong reputation and proven track record of success. Operation Eyesight has also been recognized by Charity Intelligence Canada in both 2018 and 2019 as one of the nation’s Top 10 Impact Charities.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Operation Eyesight, I encourage you to attend their Sight Is Life events on May 11 in Calgary or May 14 in Vancouver. The event website will provide the details.
I hope to see you there!
-Andrew Judson, Sight is Life Committee Member