The New Year brings the opportunity for reflection and resolution. It allows the chance for individuals to set both business and personal goals that align with their future aspirations. In the accounting world it’s the mid-point of the financial year, which is also a good time to check in on the progress of any goals set last year.
Do any of your goals for 2021 include moving the dial on sustainability or corporate social responsibility initiatives? If not, you may want to change that!.
Following on from the year that was 2020, we have seen a huge shift globally towards more conscious and sustainable businesses, business practices and policies. Additionally, research shows that more than 80% of Australian companies expect sales growth over the next year as a direct result of their sustainability and socially beneficial practices.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a broad concept which encourages practices and policies undertaken by businesses to have a positive influence on people, society and the environment.
Employees, customers and stakeholders are prioritising social and environmental outcomes when choosing a brand or company to work for or with. This is being driven by increased media and community attention.
As CSR covers such a wide range of areas, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with WHY it’s important to have an effective CSR strategy for your business:
- Attract and retain talent: companies with strong CSR programs report 38% higher employee loyalty. The next generation of employees are seeking out employers that are focused on the triple bottom line: people, plant, profit.
- Opportunity to give back to the community within which your business operates: 85% of employees feel that it’s important to give back to the community through their workplace.
- Enhance goodwill / brand reputation within your industry and wider community, leading to increased consumer and employee loyalty.
- Increased revenue and profit: research showed that 66% of consumers are more likely to spend on a product or brand that is produced using CSR practices. This rises to 73% among Millennial consumers.
- By demonstrating a commitment to CSR, businesses will often be looked upon favourably in the tendering process for government contracts
Importantly, it’s pivotal that businesses walk the walk and follow through with the promises / practices contained in their CSR strategy.
What is ESV doing?
As a firm, we are working to increase our effectiveness in this area over the next 6 – 12 months and beyond.
For example, ESV has:
- Formed a CSR Committee to look at ways that we can make a real difference
- Will continue our considerable pro-bono work and look for more opportunities
- Continue to look at ways we can reduce our office waste and ways that we can decrease our overall environmental impact. Our building has a 5-star NABERS energy rating which indicates that its performance across energy efficiency, water use, waste management and the indoor environment is classed as excellent, what more can we do?
If you would like some additional support or assistance with creating an effective CSR strategy, or reviewing your current policy, please reach out to your engagement partner. A number of our team have experience in this space and can share their experiences and help you develop a CSR strategy for the future.