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What is CSR and how can it create value for stakeholders?

Improving your energy efficiency not only helps support the environment through carbon reduction; it can also reduce the cost of running your business. Meanwhile, staff engagement programmes can improve employee satisfaction levels and make people feel that they, and the company, are making a difference. Well known for its CSR work, Innocent Drinks understands the importance of including staff in its projects. Schemes like this can make your business a more appealing place to work and a magnet for potential employees too.

What’s more, ethical customers use a company’s community and social work as a factor when deciding which ones to buy from or work with. And Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan has shown that its Sustainable Living brands grew over 50% faster than the rest of the business.

Work with the community also creates value for your partners. Haven Power’s charity of the year, Eden-Rose Coppice Trust, has said that the work we’ve done with its Brickmakers’ Wood project is making a “huge difference”. The charity is now “two-to-three years ahead of where we would’ve been otherwise”.

Of course, many of these benefits are newsworthy as well: let the world know about the positive impact you’re having and see your PR coverage increase like never before.

Next steps

CSR can create value – including increased long-term profits – for the stakeholders of your business too. After achieving the bare minimum of CSR standards – such as complying with laws like the Equality Act 2010 –  your company can start taking the next steps. For example, you can improve your carbon footprint by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy. You could also participate in community schemes to help reach your CSR targets, perhaps partnering a local charity and engaging your staff that way.

You can also look at improving your energy efficiency – try creating an employee engagement programme to encourage everyone in your business to take part. Haven Power saved nearly 100 tonnes of carbon in 2017 thanks to suggestions from employees.

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