Ways businesses can demonstrate good corporate social responsibility
Businesses are typically started with the goal of earning money. While it's true there are some companies started with an altruistic goal in mind, the bottom line is no matter what the objective is for a company, it's got to pursue profit in order to succeed.
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In today’s world it is common to hear expressions of "corporate greed" and "only caring about profits". The attitude towards business is generally pretty negative in today's world. Most people love to hear of the good deeds a company offers to promote the well-being of society, but ultimately it comes down to the fact businesses have to profit and prosper. The bigger question is whether or not it can be achieved.
It can. It is entirely possible for businesses to be profitable and demonstrate good corporate responsibility. Here are a few ways businesses can pursue profitability and demonstrate good corporate social responsibility at the same time:
Act with ethical integrity
With past corporate scandals (Enron immediately comes to mind) forever embedded in the minds of society, it is not uncommon for many to take a negative perception of business. Businesses can work to avoid this problem by acting with ethical integrity. This can be accomplished through increased levels of transparency and reporting their financials with total honesty. Not because the laws tell them so. Businesses that act with high levels of integrity and use this influence to better society and serve as an example of ethical business. Acting and conducting business with ethical integrity goes a long way in establishing credibility and setting the stage for other businesses to follow suit.
Fair market practices are an essential for the good corporate citizen. Unfortunately, there are those companies which intentionally mislead consumers with the intention to rip them off or sell products or services that are useless and/or even fraudulent. Companies that create a good niche product or service and provide a good warranty and customer service package serve to be more socially conscious. This is because they market honestly, fairly and do not engage in deceptive practices designed solely on profit at the expense of consumers.
Businesses that focus more on quality, customer satisfaction and fulfilling a real consumer need are much more socially mindful. Not to mention, as their credibility increases, their profits will likely begin to increase too.
Caring about the environment
The environment is a primary consideration in modern lifestyles. Going green, conserving energy and being overall environmentally conscious is another effort many businesses focus on in their efforts to promote corporate social responsibility. "Going green" can be looked upon as an opportunity for businesses to reduce their negative impact on the environment and instead contribute to helping keep the earth clean. Being environmentally conscious is a way businesses can win the respect of the communities they reside in and even that of those on the global level.
These are only a handful of the many ways businesses can show positive corporate social responsibility. Other things they can do should include fair hiring practices, giving back to society, sponsoring events to benefit others to name a few.
Profits have to be a goal of any business in order to survive, not to mention a company has a responsibility to all levels of shareholders. Yet, this doesn't mean companies have to ignore social issues and not contribute to the betterment of society either. There are many ways companies can both demonstrate their responsibility to shareholders and society simultaneously.
At the end of a day's work, demonstrating good corporate social responsibility can be a win-win scenario for both the company and society. Companies are in business to make money, but there are many ways they can merge profitability and corporate social responsibility to promote not only healthy profits, but also attain good-will and a competitive advantage too.