Is your company socially responsible?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations and the targets set in Agenda 2030, highlighted by the climate crisis, have had a significant impact on the way companies play their role in society. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an almost mandatory criteria for companies that want to stand out in today's markets. In this article, we look at how companies can incorporate socially responsible practices, improve their reputation and have a positive impact on society.

Is your company socially responsible?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations and the targets set in Agenda 2030, highlighted by the climate crisis, have had a significant impact on the way companies play their role in society. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an almost mandatory criteria for companies that want to stand out in today's markets. In this article, we look at how companies can incorporate socially responsible practices, improve their reputation and have a positive impact on society.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

The basic concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to integrate a set of measures into the corporate structure with a view not only to the quantitative value of its actions, but above all to the well-being of the society in which it operates. Companies are responsible for making a positive contribution to society and managing the impacts of their activities. A socially responsible organization takes into account three fundamental pillars: social, environmental and governance (ESG) sustainability, which translates into factors such as respect for human rights, investment in personal development, environmental protection, the fight against corruption, compliance with social standards and respect for the values and ethical principles of the society in which it operates.

Benefits of CSR for Companies

While it can bring added responsibilities and challenges to companies, CSR also brings benefits to organizations. Applying socially responsible measures can bring benefits such as:

1. More credibility: a socially responsible company tends to generate more trust among clients, stakeholders, consumers and the general public. An organisation that doesn't just focus on its economic value and that defends principles based on respect for human rights and the environment can create greater credibility and a positive reputation compared to its competitors.

2. More competitiveness and growth: a socially responsible company is more competitive, with the capacity to expand into new markets and grow its business.

3. More empathy with your customers: customers are more loyal to brands and organizations that are concerned about social and environmental issues, that stand up for social justice and that apply sustainable measures, promoting healthy lifestyles in harmony with nature.

4. Cost reduction: by applying sustainable measures, companies optimize resources and become more efficient, reducing costs in the production and distribution of their goods and investing in the sustained growth of their structures.

5. Higher return on investment: socially responsible companies have a better reputation and a positive perception in society, which will allow them to create new business opportunities and generate a higher economic return.

Socially responsible measures your company can adopt

How can you incorporate socially responsible practices into your company? According to the Sustainable Development Goals Observatory report launched in October 2023, 95 per cent of large companies and 77.7 per cent of SMEs in Portugal believe that sustainability is a strategic opportunity. However, the lack of knowledge of how to operationalise social and environmental strategies is a major barrier to implementing these measures.

Here are 6 measures you can apply to your organization in order to become a socially responsible company:

1. Creating measures to support decent employment
Combat precarious labour by implementing decent pay and remuneration measures according to the skills of each professional, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, job creation, including for young people and people with motor or cognitive disabilities, pregnant women or socially vulnerable people, betting on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

2. Impact measurement and transparency
Create tools to monitor your company's sustainable development impacts and respond to environmental, social and economic challenges in a positive and sustained way. Be transparent in your actions and clear in your messages in order to communicate your social and environmental concerns with your customers.

3. Community commitment and partnership
Invest in the creation of internal or external actions with strategic partners or other social and environmental institutions in order to have an impact on local and neighbouring communities.

4. Fight climate change
Adopt measures to combat climate change, namely through a sustainable waste management policy based on circularity (recycle, reuse and reduce).

5. Monitor local/global waste reduction measures
Keep up to date with the measures you need to introduce to make a positive impact on the sustainable development of the planet. Environmentally friendly companies know that the way forward is through environmental sustainability and the application of measures that reduce the impact of their actions.

6. Resource optimisation
Make the most of and sustainably channel all your company's resources in order to save the environment while reducing your costs.

Sustainable social, environmental and governance practices can positively influence the longevity and stability of companies. But they are also a competitive advantage in the creation of new business opportunities, the conquest of new markets, expansion and sustained business growth.

Andreia Arenga
24.01.2024

Share

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

The basic concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to integrate a set of measures into the corporate structure with a view not only to the quantitative value of its actions, but above all to the well-being of the society in which it operates. Companies are responsible for making a positive contribution to society and managing the impacts of their activities. A socially responsible organization takes into account three fundamental pillars: social, environmental and governance (ESG) sustainability, which translates into factors such as respect for human rights, investment in personal development, environmental protection, the fight against corruption, compliance with social standards and respect for the values and ethical principles of the society in which it operates.

Benefits of CSR for Companies

While it can bring added responsibilities and challenges to companies, CSR also brings benefits to organizations. Applying socially responsible measures can bring benefits such as:

1. More credibility: a socially responsible company tends to generate more trust among clients, stakeholders, consumers and the general public. An organisation that doesn't just focus on its economic value and that defends principles based on respect for human rights and the environment can create greater credibility and a positive reputation compared to its competitors.

2. More competitiveness and growth: a socially responsible company is more competitive, with the capacity to expand into new markets and grow its business.

3. More empathy with your customers: customers are more loyal to brands and organizations that are concerned about social and environmental issues, that stand up for social justice and that apply sustainable measures, promoting healthy lifestyles in harmony with nature.

4. Cost reduction: by applying sustainable measures, companies optimize resources and become more efficient, reducing costs in the production and distribution of their goods and investing in the sustained growth of their structures.

5. Higher return on investment: socially responsible companies have a better reputation and a positive perception in society, which will allow them to create new business opportunities and generate a higher economic return.

Socially responsible measures your company can adopt

How can you incorporate socially responsible practices into your company? According to the Sustainable Development Goals Observatory report launched in October 2023, 95 per cent of large companies and 77.7 per cent of SMEs in Portugal believe that sustainability is a strategic opportunity. However, the lack of knowledge of how to operationalise social and environmental strategies is a major barrier to implementing these measures.

Here are 6 measures you can apply to your organization in order to become a socially responsible company:

1. Creating measures to support decent employment
Combat precarious labour by implementing decent pay and remuneration measures according to the skills of each professional, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, job creation, including for young people and people with motor or cognitive disabilities, pregnant women or socially vulnerable people, betting on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

2. Impact measurement and transparency
Create tools to monitor your company's sustainable development impacts and respond to environmental, social and economic challenges in a positive and sustained way. Be transparent in your actions and clear in your messages in order to communicate your social and environmental concerns with your customers.

3. Community commitment and partnership
Invest in the creation of internal or external actions with strategic partners or other social and environmental institutions in order to have an impact on local and neighbouring communities.

4. Fight climate change
Adopt measures to combat climate change, namely through a sustainable waste management policy based on circularity (recycle, reuse and reduce).

5. Monitor local/global waste reduction measures
Keep up to date with the measures you need to introduce to make a positive impact on the sustainable development of the planet. Environmentally friendly companies know that the way forward is through environmental sustainability and the application of measures that reduce the impact of their actions.

6. Resource optimisation
Make the most of and sustainably channel all your company's resources in order to save the environment while reducing your costs.

Sustainable social, environmental and governance practices can positively influence the longevity and stability of companies. But they are also a competitive advantage in the creation of new business opportunities, the conquest of new markets, expansion and sustained business growth.

Andreia Arenga
24.01.2024

Share

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2024-01-26T09:58:36+00:00