5 CSR Trends That Will Dominate 2020

Emma Lawrence

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5 CSR Trends That Will Dominate 2020

CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is a corporate effort to improve the society and environment in positive ways. Larger companies want to give something back to society by donating money, improving local infrastructure, providing scholarships and supporting local micro businesses. Due to many industry changes, it is important for corporations to adapt their CSR efforts to better serve the community. This can be done by following the latest CSR trends that we are going to share with you now.

Here are 5 CSR trends that we will see this year:

Better Aligned Philanthropy- philanthropy can be less productive and less sustainable if it?s not aligned to the value proposition and core competency of the company. Philanthropy efforts work much better if they match with the company. More resources, products and experience can be devoted to benefit the society.

More Concern On Environmental Sustainability- it?s a fact that corporate operations have plenty of negative impacts on the environment. Millions of tonnes of toxic materials and waste are being dumped each year into the ocean, waterways and soil. CSR efforts in 2020 may include more comprehensive waste processing, better recycling methods and clean-up of local communities.

Accurate Information For The Public- it?s a corporate responsibility to provide truth and accurate information to the public. Alternative media sources, fake news and social media could easily spread misinformation and misleading facts to. Companies will hire external CSR specialists to ensure accurate and transparent spread of information.

Support For Local Workers- many companies hire workers who are part of the local community. Supporting local workers is an impactful CSR strategy. Strikes and other labor problems could happen if corporate decisions don?t fully support workers. In 2020, we will see workers exercise their voices more to work together with corporate leaders.

Purpose-Based Efforts- when practicing CSR, it?s easy to have passion, instead of well-defined purpose. While passion is crucial to motivate business professionals to help the community, there must be a purpose to have and goals to achieve. Purposes can ensure long-lasting and sustainable impacts for the local community.

Contact Thrive CSR

???? To learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility and how your business can benefit from better capturing and reporting of your CSR, contact Thrive CSR today and speak with a CSR tech specialist that can answer any questions you might have.

Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched by the United Nations in 2015 as a ?global framework for a sustainable future?, aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all.? Whilst set up to be implemented by governments, the private sector is fundamental to their success, particularly in the areas of finance, economic growth and innovation. So business matters to the SDGs but why should the SDGs matter to business?

The clue is in the title. The fact is that the world – its environment, society, economy – in its current state, is not sustainable. Globally, we?re consuming more than the Earth can continue to provide, and we?re destroying our life support systems in the process.

That?s as bad for business as it is for all for us.

Hence, as populations grow, resources get scarcer and the social and economic disruption of climate change becomes evident, businesses will face challenges that limit their potential to grow or even survive in some cases. ?Business as usual? will not be an option.? It will be in business? own interest to address the social and environmental challenges that the SDGs encompass, or face a very uncertain future.

The case is eloquently summed up by Unilever?s CEO Paul Polman who said: ?It is not possible to achieve long-term business success in a world which contains poverty, hunger and climate change. But can business really help drive a reboot of the current system?? At Unilever, we think the answer is ‘yes’.?

But how should businesses engage?

  • Firstly, using the SDGs as a framework for identifying and disclosing business risks and impacts is an excellent basis for improving strategic decision making, helping achieve better outcomes for the business, its customers, as well as society at large.
  • Secondly, minimising negative and maximising positive impacts in areas that are material to the business and its stakeholders, reduces these risks and results in a range of (often unanticipated) business benefits, such as investor confidence, customer loyalty, staff retention and efficiencies that cut costs for the business, its supplies and customers ? a ?win-win? all round.
  • Thirdly, the Goals can signpost business opportunity in the form of new products, services and markets.? In a future that will demand different ways of doing things, business should do what business does best by innovating to provide ?environmentally and socially? better products and services, as leaders like Unilever, Patagonia and Interface are already demonstrating.

On this last and perhaps the most fundamental point, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission?s ?Better Business, Better World? report http://report.businesscommission.org/report estimates a $12 trillion per year business opportunity in new sustainable products and cost efficiencies associated with companies pursuing the SDGs.

But whilst the SDG?s can be seen as a great strategic framework for futureproofing the business, their comprehensive nature – 17 goals and 169 targets – can present a challenge.

So how should companies determine which goals to engage with?

  1. Start by assessing which SDGs are material to the business and its stakeholders, identifying the most relevant SDG targets and determining objectives around these, with the aim of optimising business and shared value in the areas of biggest impact and opportunity.
  2. Prepare a strategy to ensure these objectives will achieve their intended outcomes, ensuring the necessary incentives and systems and that these can progress can be measured, assessed and reported ? but make sure this is aligned with corporate strategy and don?t assume that a CSR, HR or Comms dept. will be able to exert the necessary influence to deliver it, if production, operations and sales functions are not pulling in the same direction!
  3. Finally, there is the matter of measuring, managing and demonstrating attributable impacts, each of which has its own challenges, including how to collect and organise data, how to use data to drive performance and how to communicate and report progress ? all of which is critical to implementing the strategy and realising the value.

Thankfully, technology is an ally in all of this, with modern computing power and the internet allowing data to be shared and analysed in large quantities, almost instantaneously. With the right software and set-up, performance against SDG targets can be centrally monitored, required improvements communicated to various business functions and overall progress readily communicated to internal and external stakeholders ? an automated system, no less.

And yet so much data still collected on a spreadsheet, sent by email attachment and aggregated manually, with repeated iterations and report extractions.? This seems to be particularly the case for social impact, for example where organisations pursue goals through community investment, training or volunteering, resulting in inefficient or ineffective delivery of intended outcomes.

But it?s not only the Unilevers of this world who are using technology to facilitate action and communicate progress on the SDGs. International law firm Linklaters, who have a particular focus on Goal 16, are amongst an increasing number of innovative companies to use web-based software to manage and report on specific aspects such as their volunteering activities, for example.

Technology is essentially about better ways of doing things, and web-based technology is arguably the single most significant innovation for advancing corporate sustainability and the SDGs, the full potential of which has yet to be realised. Quite simply, companies need to make better use of it, now more than ever.