Improve Your CSR and Improve Your Profits

profit spelled out in green

Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be counterproductive to running a successful business. It can, in fact, be beneficial because having a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy in place can help to improve profits.

Over the last decade, a number of well-known brands have enhanced their CSR programmes because they have come to understand the shift towards a widespread concern about climate change and the increased demand for businesses to focus on being more environmentally sustainable. In addition to this, these companies have realised that having strong CSR policies in place can improve profits.

It is not just large companies that have benefited from implementing CSR but smaller business owners too. This is because many CSR initiatives are simple to set-up, easy to enforce and are cost-effective in the long-term.

Business benefits

All business success depends on the ability to attract new customers and, with the growing interest in preventing runaway climate change, having strong environmental principles will tap into an influential, an often affluent, section of society.

Additionally, many customers, whether they are consumers or other business owners, are still under strict financial budgets so the competition for their money is fierce. Having strong CSR policies helps to distinguish your brand from the competition and shows that your business is ethical and cares about the environment on a local and global scale.

With regards to forming an effective marketing strategy, strong CSR policies are very important. They can help to establish the brand as one that is socially aware and ethical. In addition to this, CSR provides something positive for small business owners to communicate to potential customers.

Whereas new products and business improvements can be rare, CSR policies and results can be frequently reported on, providing positive press releases for your business that repeatedly reinforce your brand message to the public.

As a brand, it will also help to establish you as a forward-thinking business that has a positive impact on the environment, while also helping to make potential customers feel that money spent with your business will be going towards ethical causes rather than solely enriching the business owner’s finances.

Many CSR initiatives will help your business to save money, therefore increasing overall profits. Becoming energy efficient by turning off unnecessary lights and electrical equipment such as computers and photocopiers at the end of the day will help to cut your utility bills. While reducing the resources your business uses will help to save money, a popular method of doing this is by encouraging your employees to reduce the amount of paper they use but you could take it a step further by introducing systems to reduce waste in factories or in the production process for example.

CSR Initatives

So CSR initiatives are good, but how do you create them? Any business owner can declare CSR policies; however for them to be effective for both your business and the environment, a strategy needs to be put in place.

If you’re new to CSR, it is best to start small with little amendments to how you operate on a day-to-day basis. Once these initial initiatives are in place, try to monitor their impact on your business; are you seeing an improvement in profits? It is also a good idea to try and estimate how these changes are benefiting the environment.

Share these financial and environmental successes with your employees as this will help to keep them interested in the company’s CSR policies and motivated to follow them.

You should also promote them on your website and to any social media following you have built up. You can even email your current customers to make them aware of what you are doing – this once again reinforces with them that you are a business they should deal with more often.

Once you start to see initial results, you can start strengthening your CSR by implementing more advanced initiatives, as well as continuing to focus on the initial policies. These advanced initiatives could be a step further than stuff you are already doing, for example if you’re already recycling your waste you could also start ensuing your hazardous waste (batteries, light bulbs etc.) is disposed of safely.

Alternatively you could look at advancing your CSR in a completely different way, for example neutralising your carbon emissions through carbon offsetting schemes.

In summary then, maintaining some level of CSR throughout your business has the potential to not only improve margins on things you already do make but also attract a whole raft of new customers to your products and services.

Derin (1 Posts)

Derin Clark is a writer, editor and blogger who has many years' experience writing for business publications on a range of topics.

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