Social responsibility is a way to ensure good business practices and do what is suitable for your employees, staff, and customers.

More and more businesses understand that their role in society goes beyond their product offerings and can profoundly impact the culture.

Since most companies significantly impact the environment, from having on-premise workers that use resources to travel to and from work to the natural resources used in producing and maintaining their goods, taking a socially responsible approach to work is gaining attraction.

For example, some industries are realizing the impacts of their products on the environment and have taken business-conscious decisions that benefit the environment without impacting their bottom lines.

For example, Starbucks announced in 2020 that it is shifting its company philosophy to become a resource-positive business meaning it will look to gut its carbon, water, and waste footprints. The goal is to cut the impact of its products and services by half.

One area where Starbucks is lowering its impact on the environment is its Carbon Neutral Green Coffee initiative that strives to conserve water usage in processing by 50% by 2030.

Additionally, Starbucks has announced that they will begin to implement a strategy to eliminate their single-use cups and begin to use reusable cups for every store in the next few years.

Also, Starbucks promotes inclusiveness and equality, making it a socially responsible workplace for its employees and customers.

The benefits of being a socially responsible business like Starbucks are increasing brand exposure and, more importantly, improving its brand reputation.

As seen by Starbucks, providing for a Corporate Socially Responsible (CSR) business offers various advantages. In fact, a CSR philosophy can;

  • Empower company employees to take advantage of corporate resources to do good in their communities
  • Bolster a company’s image and build upon the brand
  • Boost employee morale and improve productivity
  • Increase customer loyalty and retention

Of course, not all CSR philosophies deal with environmental or social causes. Moreover, in some cases, being legally compliant, such as with various, constantly evolving Russian sanctions or sanctions about other geopolitical events, is essential for legal and perception reasons.

Whether your company is looking to make a positive impact on the communities, you serve or taking a more productive role in changing the corporate environment for the positive, embracing CSR has a distinct advantage on customers’ perceptions.

While there are plenty of advantages, especially toward the long-term reputation of the company brand, many in ownership believe that adopting a CSR will hurt their bottom line.

Contrary to many business owners’ thoughts, adopting a socially responsible attitude doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

While some owners think that lack of resources or financial impacts is a driver in adopting a CSR, the reality is that it is often a lack of long-term vision about the sustainability and advantages to their brand that limits ownership from adopting these new philosophies and practices.

In the example of Starbucks, there are some financial investments toward their decisions for a more socially responsible, positive-impact direction. But the trade-offs in terms of brand reputation and customer loyalty far exceed those investments.

One of the more significant ways that a little forward investment can positively impact your margins is that by adopting a CSR into your business, you will dramatically improve employee morale.

Lower turnover is essential in industries that require customers to feel familiarity and to build a sense of community, such as in service industry positions like Starbucks.

In B2B and manufacturing, creating a positive environment and culture aligned with larger social priorities lowers turnover, a significant driver in costs increasing due to the lack of productivity associated with employee loss.

Employees leave a company causing it to reduce productivity, decrease co-workers’ morale, and increase the cost of hiring and training replacements.

Recognizing the advantages of adopting a Corporate Socially Responsible philosophy provides your company with a lot of positives. For one, you increase company morale and decrease costly turnover while boosting productivity.

Second, adopting a CSR that aligns with the more significant social trends puts your brand into better alignment and increases its reputation as a result. Companies that have better reputations tend to create more loyal brand customers, which in turn, increases long-term revenue.