Business can be a powerful force for good. More than ever, this good is driven by companies that understand that business success is measured by more than just profitability.
“While consumers expect a quality product at a competitive price, they’re also asking relevant questions about ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and brand values,” says Eric Saarvala, adviser with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR), a national professional association for sustainability and corporate social responsibility professionals, and founder of Impactalyst Consulting, a business specializing in corporate social responsibility and philanthropic services. “There is a clear paradigm shift underway – in addition to looking at sales forecasts, companies must now identify where leadership, products, customers and employees intersect with a business strategy that embeds CSR.”
Deloitte Insights’ 2018 Global Human Capital Trends signal strong results for companies that are socially responsible. People are willing to pay more for their products, they want to work for these businesses, and the ever influential millennials are discerning through their purchasing power and brand engagement that companies should be measured by more than just profitability. Missteps are captured, tweeted or shared within minutes. Those without a CSR strategy as part of their business strategy are left in the dust.
“The work environment is also evolving,” says Mr. Saarvala. “Companies are engaging employees to bring their whole selves to work. Team building doesn’t exclusively take place at the water cooler or employee development within training rooms but rather at an aligned charity with a skilled and unskilled employee volunteer opportunity.”
So what about those still on the fence? CBSR has developed a framework for companies to get on board – the Transformational Company Qualities, which identifies 19 attributes to help a company to become transformational and purpose-driven while maximizing sustainable products, corporate culture and brand value.
“Beyond the bottom line, we all win when companies embed corporate social responsibility into strategy and the core business. Consumers have already caught on; now it’s time for businesses holding out to do the same,” says Mr. Saarvala. “When they do, they’ll realize that business success beyond profit will benefit them, the economy, our communities and the environment, demonstrating that every corporation can be a powerful force for good in the world.”
More information at www.cbsr.ca.
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