The Importance Of Corporate Social Responsibility In Business
By David Saul, Managing Director Of Business Environment
Judging by the various newspaper reports I’ve seen recently, business ethics and the importance of corporate social responsibility is currently a hot topic. While it’s a good thing that this issue is on the agenda, the picture painted by various studies and surveys is mixed.
For the business world, these studies offer an important insight into consumer perception and underline how important CSR can be for businesses.
It’s for this reason that I think it’s worth examining recent research, considering what it means for businesses, how they can adapt and why it’s important for...
...them to do so.
The first point to note is that CSR isn’t just good for the environment and communities – it’s likely to significantly influence business success. Recent consumer polls by Edelman, and Young & Rubicam, show that 87 per cent of UK consumers expect companies to consider their impact on society as much as their own business interests, while more than 70 per cent of people make a point of buying from companies with views similar to their own.
With this in mind, let us look at a recent study by JWTIntelligence and EthosJWT of UK, US and Canadian consumers, which showed how sceptical consumers are of CSR efforts. Some 88 per cent of those polled were concerned that money doesn’t go where promised and more than 75 per cent believe companies need to provide more information on how funds are allocated to charitable or social causes.
When we consider the facts highlighted by these studies – the majority of consumers seek out brands with socially responsible values and the majority of consumers are sceptical about companies’ efforts in this area – we can infer that many businesses could damaging their profitability by failing to demonstrate they... continued on page two >