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Roman Semiokhin is a business leader and philanthropist with extensive expertise and experience of the tech, education, gaming and real estate industries. This article will look at corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the increasing importance of businesses implementing strident CSR policies.

Corporate social responsibility is a form of self-regulation that reflects an enterprise’s accountability and commitment to contributing towards the wellbeing of communities and wider society through environmental and social measures.

CSR is critical to brand perception and a company’s attractiveness to employees, customers and investors alike. It is crucial for attracting and retaining talent and overall business success.

CSR efforts fall into four general categories:

  1. Charity work.
  2. Environmental initiatives
  3. Ethical labour practices
  4. Volunteer projects

CSR is a form of self-regulation implemented with the objective of enabling companies to make a positive impact on society, as well as enabling them to demonstrate social accountability. Some ways that businesses can embrace CSR include being eco-conscious and environmentally friendly; promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in their corporate culture; giving back to the community; ensuring that business decisions and activities are ethical; and treating employees with fairness, kindness and respect.

Corporate social responsibility has evolved from voluntary choices of companies on an individual basis to regulations at international, national and regional levels. Many of the world’s leading companies invest in going far beyond the minimum legal requirements in terms of CSR, recognising the huge reputational benefits of embedding the notion of ‘doing good’ into their business models.

Put simply, the companies of today are expected to play a significant role in making the world a better place, with customers, investors and employees more inclined to engage with purpose-driven companies that are committed to taking measurable action to overcome social, economic and environmental challenges.

According to a report published by Kindlink News Centre, 77% of modern consumers are more motivated to buy from companies that are committed to the greater good. In addition, the report also reveals that 73% of investors cite efforts to improve society and the environment as having an impact on their investment decisions.

In the world of business, CSR is no longer an optional choice – it is a highly necessary business activity. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumer preferences continue to evolve new CSR trends are emerging, exerting a powerful influence over corporate environments.

With digital transformation making itself felt across the corporate landscape, companies must arm themselves with the right tools to digitise and innovate their efforts to achieve the best results. In this context, CSR software has been a gamechanger for many organisations, enabling them to automate their CSR efforts, as well as helping them to manage, track and report defined activities and goals.

CSR software enables companies to make maximum impact in minimum time, as well as lowering costs in many instances. Going forward, companies that have invested in CSR software are predicted to achieve higher impact and see better outcomes, working more intelligently and efficiently. Functional CSR software enables companies to keep a tight rein on every aspect of their CSR efforts, automatically generating data, monitoring progress and gaining a clearer visualisation of results via the software’s insightful and accurate reports.

2023 is tipped to be the year that tests companies’ commitment to CSR, according to a report by Harvard Business Review, with consumers finding out whether CSR commitments and environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies are deeply ingrained values in corporate identities or merely hobbies to be enjoyed in economic fair weather. The report warns that companies cutting their employee volunteer programmes, societal investment and other citizenship strategies could cause harm not just to themselves but society at large, causing it to emerge from the recession with more severe challenges than seen currently.

With consumers becoming increasingly environmentally and socially conscious, the definition of business success for modern businesses goes far beyond profitability, brand recognition and growth rate. Today, companies are judged in terms of their impact on the environment, the community, the economy and society as a whole, with an increased impetus for businesses to not merely generate maximum profits but invest in the greater good and have a positive impact on the world.

Implementing robust CSR policies has numerous business benefits. Chief amongst them, CSR helps to instil trust in potential customers, with a report by Prowly suggesting that 63% of consumers would give the benefit of the doubt to socially responsible businesses during a PR crisis.

Having customers on their side is important to organisations of all sizes, with research from Boston University revealing that companies with good CSR effectively benefit from a ‘reservoir of goodwill’, which incentivises customers to minimise negative information they hear – effectively serving as a sort of ‘reputational insurance policy’ and shielding the company from negative press in the event that something goes wrong.

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