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CORPORATE Social Responsibility (CSR) can help any business to succeed.
It can build sales, develop the workforce, boost enthusiasm and innovation, enhance trust and increase a company's reputation and standing.
Pursuing responsible business practices makes companies more competitive.
The social responsibility debate recognises one overriding fact, that there are new issues that businesses need to consider and respond to in order to stay competitive.
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Issues such as globalisation, distribution of wealth, environmental concerns and social expectations may not seem to have a direct impact on the activities of a business, but these issues are influencing people's attitudes towards organisations in significant ways.
Consumers want to purchase goods and services from companies who actively state that their objectives are social and environmental as well as economic.
Incorporating social responsibility and being openly aware of the new issues facing businesses today can help to control operational risk, thus preserving the value of what a company already does. Applying responsible business practice can also create value, helping a firm to become more cost efficient. Or it can boost revenue, by opening a company up to new ideas of how best to run its core activities.
By having a hands on attitude to issues such as how to protect the environment, how to treat employees fairly and how to create value and maintain a sense of community, businesses send a powerful message to stakeholders: the key issues facing society are key issues for business too. There are also many good reasons why a business should become involved.
Companies that have worked to embrace social responsibility tend to reap real rewards that help them to prosper.
Companies who foster better relations with employees, customers and the local community report that this boosts business performance.
Improved staff performance and morale translates into a better reputation for the company.
Employees offered real chances to gain new, more transferable skills have greater job satisfaction and will help the company to become more productive.
A local community that benefits from contributions by a local business – through sponsorship, funding, pro-bono work, time and skills – will look favourably on that company.
It is never easy to know how navigate your way through the CSR maze. The Plymouth Better Together Project supported by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce provides a simple but effective route to the wide range of resources and practical tools that are available to you.