Social Impact

What We’re Reading: Corporate Social Responsibility

What We’re Reading

We live in a new world full of fast-paced businesses, cutting edge technologies and a greater appreciation and sense of responsibility for our communities. This is often seen in areas such as economic development, environmental care, and concern for the quality of life in our communities. A company’s commitment to grow the business in a way that will positively impact the community, and society at large, is often referred to as “Corporate Social Responsibility.”

At Cicero Group, we feel a great sense of responsibility for our community. As part of this week’s What We’re Reading post, we have highlighted several of our favorite recent articles on the topic. A few articles date back to 2015, but are included for their insightful messages and clear definition of Corporate Social Responsibility. Please find links to the articles along with a brief synopsis of each article below.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?, Nicole Fallon Taylor, Business News Daily | June 2015
Using profit to do good in the world is now becoming more important to businesses than strong loyalty programs or mobile friendly shopping experiences. Corporate Social Responsibility is doing just that—initiatives that benefit society. Taylor outlines a few broad categories of CSR, including environment, philanthropy and ethical labor practices.

The Truth About CSR, V. Kasturi Rangan, Lisa Chase, Sohel Karim, Harvard Business Review | Feb 2015
Most companies practice multifaceted approaches of CSR that span in different areas, referenced as “theaters.” The authors lay out four steps that help maximize CSR impact overall: pruning and aligning programs within theaters, developing metrics to gauge performance, coordinating programs across theaters, and developing an interdisciplinary CSR strategy.

Recent Example of Corporate Social Responsibility
This Sunday: The Greenest and Most Philanthropic Super Bowl Ever, Ryan Scott, Forbes | Feb 2016
The committee behind Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco has a goal of leaving the Bay Area better off than it was before. Scott quotes the director of the committee: “this can be done by not just focusing on delivering social and environmental returns, but economic returns as well.” Fans can participate in the “Play Your Part” campaign to identify ways to make SB50 a net positive event.

Corporate Social Responsibility in a New World

Consumers Demand Corporate Social Responsibility, Larissa Faw, Media Post | Jan 2016
Havas Worldwide studies 10 trends reshaping business marketing strategies. People want companies to do the right thing on everything. Two in three consumers believe businesses are just as responsible as governments for driving positive social change.

Corporate Responsibility Has to Go Beyond Marketing to Deliver Real Change, Mariarosa Cutillo, The Drum | Feb 2016
Curillo argues that for true Corporate Social Responsibility, the company’s commitment must be backed by day-to-day business operations. What a company does itself and through its partners can deliver real change and resonate with consumers, especially younger demographics.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Nice Guys Finish First, eMarketer, Jul 2015
According to a poll in March, 2015, 91% of internet users worldwide expect companies to do more than make a profit. In fact, as eMarketer explains in this article, 84% of respondents considered a company’s social and environmental commitment before deciding what to buy or where to shop. With a shift in consumer focus as definite as this survey showed, companies can’t afford to avoid CSR efforts. 

Why Corporate Responsibility?

Why Measure Corporate Social Responsibility?, Michael Møller, Huffington Post | Jan 2016
In 2000, the UN launched “the Global Compact” to encourage companies to adopt socially responsible attitudes. Møller explains an associated index for reporting on social responsibility practices: The Global Sustainability Index.

No, Corporate Responsibility is Not Dead, Niels Christiansen, GreenBiz | Jan 2016
There was a recent debate at the British Library in London regarding whether or not CSR is dead because of a new approach Creating Shared Value (CSV). As Christiansen reports, the general agreement after the debate was that CSR is not dead. The discussion shifted instead to whether CSV is enough as a business approach.

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