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Business Models

A short insight into Corporate Social Responsibility

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

The term Corporate Social Responsibility came into common use in the 70s after the term stakeholder was found: All those on whom the activities of an organization have an impact. Through reports of child labour or adulterated food CSR moved quickly in the consciousness of the consumer. The conditions under which goods are produced are nowadays as important as quality and price to the consumers.

The use of CSR is diverse. Of course for the reputation:  Especially for brand name manufacturers reputation is vital. Attracting customers enables an improved brand image, low price sensitivity and increased customer loyalty. The easier access to debt capital market should not be underestimated. It is demonstrated that sustainable operating companies suffered least from the recent economic and financial crisis. And perhaps what is more important in the knowledge society: the acquisition and motivation of employees. People simply prefer to work for an employer that is socially recognized as a valid integer. Studies show that this is more important than financial incentives.

There has been a decline in interest in CSR in the past few years because of the financial crisis. Sustainability is often seen as something expensive that is needed in the long run but unaffordable in the short term. Those companies that confidently expect to be around for a long time are more likely to act responsibly. Those that are trapped in sectors where the crisis has hit hardest do not take a long-term view and will simply seek to reduce costs as much as possible.

Source: Birgit Riess

Examples for Corporate Social Responsibility

Body Shop has created its corporate image as seller of environmentally friendly and natural cosmetics. It was asserted that company sales and profits were rising however the business opposed animal testing, sell most products in reusable bottles with refilling services and always supported recycling process written on their packaging. This shows that by fulfilling social responsibility, businesses can customer´s hearts.

Source: Ryan Fyfe

Another example, and this is how actually I came to write about the topic, are green meetings. I used to work in a hotel, were as part of service staff I organized green meetings for companies like Ernst & Young and Mercedes Benz. Green meetings are conducted in a way that minimizes the environmental burden of such conventions.

Action areas that are in the focus are for example events associated with traveling, the low consumption of paper, water and electricity and the reduction of waste. And even the catering operators can do something for the environment – for example, giving heed to ecologically grown products.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “A short insight into Corporate Social Responsibility

  1. Hey Pia! I really like your post and I think you did an excellent work. Referring to the Body Shop I believe it is good that you mentioned their approach. They have been one of the very first businesses starting to sell their image as environmentally friendly.
    Interesting that you already worked in a green oriented area!

    Posted by vikiicii | November 28, 2011, 5:40 pm
  2. Hey pia! I found your post very informative and interesting. I think it is great you told a little about you own experiences. Referring to that I have a question: You hear everywhere that an ecological lifestyle is so much more expensive. Since you were integrated in organizing those green meetings can you verify this? I think it is more like a modern myth, but I have no real numbers. Maybe you know something about that.

    Posted by anne | November 29, 2011, 12:40 pm
  3. Hey Anne, first of all I will answer your last comment very sooon! Regarding this one: From my part I do not know how much more environmentally friendly paper costs in comparison to the usual paper because I did not buy it, only distributed it. But the main focus was: Only use as much paper as you really need. The cliche of businessmen scribbling on paper is definitely true – this had to be avoided. Porcelain cups instead of paper cups, faucets were water stops coming after 2 sec. of inactivity (activity per sensor as many restaurants or hotels have it now). And companies could not book either green meetings or not, the hotel i worked in ONLY offered green meetings, so that I could not see if they pay more for a green meeting 🙂

    Posted by Pia | November 29, 2011, 2:52 pm

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