Doing good business has never just been about the pounds, shillings and pence of the profit margin. How a business works with its customers, its clients and within the surrounding community has always been a trademark of a successful company that both makes money, but also makes a difference. 
This outlook of making a positive contribution on society is what is now regularly referred to as corporate social responsibility. While completely self-regulating, through establishing an ethos of corporate social responsibility a company or organisation can show itself to be socially accountable to stakeholders and the general public. 
Increasingly, companies are expected to be conscious of the kind of influence they are having, with particular focus on the environmental impacts, ethical standards, philanthropic endeavours and financial responsibilities. 
By recognising the importance of these key pillars of social responsibility, a business can then determine its corporate social responsibility model, developing a strategy which focuses energy and objectives to deliver key outcomes. 
Creating an effective corporate social responsibility model for your business will mean that the day to day running of your company or organisation helps to actively enhance the wider society and environment instead of making a negative impact. 
But there are commercial benefits too. Being seen to make a positive contribution in areas such as philanthropy, environmental impact and ethical business practices will promote a positive brand image for your corporation, especially if showcased in the correct way. 
While corporations should be careful not to over-promise and under-deliver on their corporate social responsibility claims, building a reputation as a brand that cares for its own employees, its suppliers, its customers and the planet we all inhabit will go a long way towards building bridges with new customers and clients. 
While price will always be a driver in decision making, more and more of us are giving greater consideration to ethical and environmental standards when we choose where to spend our money. So what specific things should a company be addressing in its attitudes towards corporate social responsibility? 
What happens within your own working environment is a good place to start. Are employees well looked after and are business relationships in your supply chains well maintained with trust and respect? 
More widely, are the business’s products or services having a positive or negative impact on the community and is the business operating in line with fair trading, corporate taxes and anti-bribery requirements? In all parts of your business operations, what is your impact on the environment? Have any negative impacts been minimised? Are there further improvements to be made? 
Also, think about your community. That includes the people in and around your physical spaces as much as the people further afield impacted by your products or services. Are you making a positive contribution to these societies? Is your business known and respected in these communities? 
Through social corporate responsibility, your company should be constantly assessing and re-assessing whether it is ‘doing the right thing’ to leave a positive and lasting legacy. 
To find out more about how to drive your business forward contact the Colbea team today or read about our free courses and take the next step today to creating a sustainable business: 
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