Is having a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program just a cost to your company?

Is having a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program just a cost to your company?

Developing great companies that give back is more about devising a clear Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) program aligned with the company’s goals and values rather than forcefully integrating CSR with their business strategies and goals. Instead of passing it off as a short term marketing gimmick, CSR should be seen as a long term investment strategy.


Some benefits that a good CSR imparts to a business:

  1. Improving name recognition
  2. Boosting brand reputation among consumers
  3. Increasing sales and positive consumer sentiment
  4. Assisting in efforts to recruit and retain talented employees
  5. Improving the quality of life in communities where you do business


Some companies with example of good CSR model:


Coca-Cola’s 5×20 program

Companies are no longer looking at CSR as a marketing move, but rather as a long-term investment. For example, the Coca-Cola Company’s 5×20 program aims to bring five million women in the developing world into its business as local bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products by 2020.

This investment to empower young women entrepreneurs will obviously generate more revenue for Coca-Cola because they will have more bottlers and can sell more product. But at the same time, this type of investment will undoubtedly lead to better-educated people and eventually, more prosperous communities in areas that need help.


The corporate social responsibility model implemented by Visa provides financial opportunities for people in developing areas of the world. By partnering with local governments and nonprofit organizations, people who previously did not have access to the benefits of banking and financial services now do.The Gates Foundation found that this type of service helps low income and poor people manage their finances in trying times, build assets, and increase connectivity worldwide.


CSR as a cost-saving measure

Other companies look at CSR as a way to save money. Energy efficiency is a good example. Wal-Mart has three goals of its social responsibility policy: to be fully supplied by renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain people and the environment. These are lofty goals, but if achieved, they will ultimately save the company a great deal of money.

From savings to developing loyalty with consumers, the benefits of becoming a socially responsible far outweigh the costs. Companies can no longer to afford to ignore their social responsibilities.



Statistics on Employee Engagement

Purchasing Behaviour

  • 55% of global consumers willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact up 10% from 2011 – Nielsen 2014 Doing Well by Doing Good  
  • 42% of North American consumers willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact up 7% from 2011 – Nielsen 2014 Doing Well by Doing Good  
  • 1/3 rd of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. – unilever international study 2016
  • A study in 2014 by public relations and marketing firm Cone Communications and Echo Research revealed 90 percent of shoppers worldwide are likely to switch to brands that support a good cause, given similar price and quality.

Sustainability Influences

  • Among the 66% of global respondents willing to pay more, over 50% of them are influenced by key sustainability factors, such as a product being made from fresh, natural and/or organic ingredients (69%), a company being environmentally friendly (58%), and company being known for its commitment to social value (56%). Sales, and coupons didn’t even make the top five. For this group, personal values are more important than personal benefits, such as cost or convenience. – Nielsen
  • More than one in five (21%) said they would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing.  Representing an estimated €966 billion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear. – unilever international study 2016


  • Trend for purpose-led purchasing is greater among consumers in emerging economies than in developed markets. 78% in the US and 53% of shoppers in the UK say they feel better when they buy products that are sustainably produced, that number rises to 88% in India and 85% in both Brazil and Turkey. – unilever international study 2016

Attitudes on Social Responsibility

Millennials and Work


Developing a CSR program is not necessarily just a cost, it can help propel your business forward, create a more civic conscious brand image while at the same time, giving back to society. A good CSR scheme should produce win-win outcomes.


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