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Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Companies Should Already Be Doing It

Author: Lincoln Gray

Published date: 2020/03

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We are living in a time of great uncertainty.  For the first time in generations, the human race is being forced to reflect on our actions and face the fact that we may not be invincible.  Of course, we have faced world wars, global pandemics and natural disasters in the past and survived, but the general consensus that we as a species need to be accountable for our actions is evidently upon us.

Climate Change. Coronavirus. Bushfire emergencies. Refugee crisis.  Mental illness. Homelessness.

All of these concerning issues, combined with our over-whelming access to information (and misinformation) have raised a level of consciousness in our communities to a level not seen previously.

It is now common-place for corporate entities to have Corporate Social responsibility policies in place, but what is the good of a policy if it is not recognised or adhered to? 

A shiny Instagram post of employees decked out in Hi-Vis picking up rubbish is no longer considered to be a genuine indication of a company that has embraced its social responsibilities.

So what are the ways we can help to make an actual difference?

There are several ways companies can actively impact our community and yet most of us only engage in these activities fleetingly or, let’s face it at Christmas time.

Conservation or Environmental. Internal policies and practices to minimise waste and carbon emissions.  Recycling policies, fitting out our office spaces with energy-saving features.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity.   Actively creating and promoting an environment that values individuals who can effectively collaborate to benefit the collective.

Donations.  To donate money or goods to a cause or organisation that benefits the community. Donations can have a direct and immediate impact on not-for-profit or charity organisations. 

Volunteering. Giving our valuable time to provide hands-on support to organisations working to make our communities better. Half a day or a full days labour toward charities provides extremely valuable labour and resources to groups that may not have access or means in this capacity. 

Each one of these activities can be positive in themselves yet a sustained program with a combination of these would definitely be a better approach.

What’s in it for my business apart from the warm and fuzzy feel-good vibes?

Consumers and employees alike are pushing for greater transparency and meaningful contributions from corporations to enact the change we want to see in our communities. 

The bi-products of having effective social responsibility policies are many and varied:

- Creates shared value in the workplace and community

- Employees invest themselves in the reputation of the company

- Employees are more engaged with a broader focus, not just on commercial outcomes

- Create a vibrant and positive culture

- People want to work for companies whose ethics align with their own

- Attract like-minded talent to your business and further enhance your companies reputation

The best way to enact social change in the wider community is to begin to make changes in our own backyard and the only way to get there is to set ourselves targets and work together as a community to reach them.

Lincoln Gray is a Senior Consultant in our Commercial Construction team, he extremely passionate about giving back wherever he can. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.