There are plenty of undeniable truths in the world, and among them is the fact that climate change is happening at an unprecedented rate. The forests were on fire, the coral reefs are dying, earthquakes are constantly rattling the world, and on top of all that is a global pandemic that’s taken millions of lives in the process.
Of course, not everything bad happening in the world can be associated with climate change, but one can never be too sure. Besides, it’s not like people can do anything to stop natural disasters from happening. But there is something that people can do: practice social responsibility and reduce the negative impacts of their actions on the environment.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
In today’s time, it’s no longer acceptable for businesses to just sit back and watch as their profit-generating activities continue to harm the environment in which they are found. This is the ultimate goal of corporate social responsibility (CSR) — to urge business leaders to become self-aware about the impacts of their organization’s activities and how these are affecting the environment.
Each business in existence has an environmental obligation to ensure that its activities and decisions will benefit its customers, shareholders, employees, as well as their community. Additionally, their CSR initiatives must be integrated with their business strategies, or else, they would lose their value.
That’s why it’s not enough for companies to simply say they’re making changes in public but continue to do their dirty work behind closed doors. Now that modern consumers have access to all the information they need, it only takes a few clicks and shares to spread the word about a pretentious business that’s leading people on.
Business leaders can’t just promise changes because it’s what the people want to hear; instead, they should put their words into action and show the people that they’re determined to save the environment. Common CSR strategies can include adopting sustainable practices, supporting the right causes, and volunteering in the community.
Why is it Important to Integrate CSR with Business Strategy?
Modern consumers are more active when it comes to showing their support for businesses that are determined to save the environment through their actions. These people know what they can use their purchasing powers to convince the businesses to adopt practices that won’t harm the environment, or else they’ll find another business that will.
That’s why it only makes sense to integrate your CSR with your company’s main strategy. Otherwise, it would be too difficult to achieve your goals for sustainability. A good example of this is the innovative changes being implemented by SMRT Corporation, Singapore’s leading public transportation provider.
At the forefront of this company is SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong, who believes that putting himself in the typical commuter’s shoes and immersing himself in the market they cater to is key to solving their problems. When Mr. Hong stepped into his position, he sold his car and joined the hundreds of Singaporeans depending on their trains to get to work every day.
The CEO is hopeful that by 2030, the railway network will be as long as 360 km to become Singapore’s main mode of public transportation, which will greatly reduce the need for private cars. This means that an efficient and reliable public transport service will be able to help minimize Singapore’s carbon footprint.
Of course, this is only one of the many ways you can integrate your CSR initiative into your business strategy, but it’s a good place to start. A lot of business leaders are hellbent on making grandiose promises of change but don’t know how to keep their words. So, instead of going back on your promises, the better approach would be to implement change only where it is warranted.
The Future of Corporate Social Responsibility
Being a socially responsible business is a lifetime commitment; it’s not something that you can do once and then you’re set for life because that’s not how it works. Rather, it’s a lifetime promise to do better than you did yesterday because there’s always room for improvement, especially when it comes to the environment.
The businesses that came before you are to blame, and yet you are the ones to pay for their mistakes. This is because they didn’t care about who or what they were hurting so long as they can make money, even if it was at the expense of everyone else. But it’s not too late to try to reverse the negative impacts of their actions.
As long as all businesses in the world start practicing CSR, there is hope for a better tomorrow. It may not look like it now because the impacts of climate change and global warming are being felt in waves across the globe, but people can only hope that the scientists are wrong to say that the world is ending.
After all, it’s not over until it’s over. There’s no way to tell what the future holds. So, until that day comes, all you can do is make sure that you’re doing your part for the environment and minimizing the negative impacts of your actions. This way, you won’t have to succumb to the helplessness that many others are suffering from because you know that you’re doing something to contribute.