Despite a difficult economic environment and companies cutting costs throughout their businesses, a surprising number of companies saw corporate responsibility as a priority and, in fact, are expanding their commitments. According to a survey by Boston College's Center for Corporate Citizenship, corporate responsibility is here to stay, with half of companies surveyed believing it will 'become more critical to corporate reputation and business success.'
The US recovery is being influenced via a nationwide social, business and community rebuilding mobilization. Sustainability development and social responsibility is continuing to provide the foundation for infrastructure redevelopment, empowering employees, restoring trust and confidence in business.
The growth of ethical consumerism is also impacting reputation and stakeholder engagement, forcing companies to further align sustainable program development with business strategy and integration throughout their organizations.
In fact, according to a report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than half - 62 % - of consumers bought because they liked the social or political values of the company. Nearly half of Americans said protecting the environment should be given priority over economic growth….and comes in the midst of a recession.
To be sure, companies continue to evaluate their program costs, business priorities and many reduce sustainability investments. We are not out of the woods yet.
2010 Predictions from Founder of Reputation Dynamics, Sam Taylor:
According to a Climb the Green Ladder Survey, 80% say they are willing to take actions that support sustainability at work. Yet, only 1 in 10 say they have the training and knowledge they need to make their workplaces more sustainable.
- Attract, retain and motivate talent by creating sustainability champions: Train your workforce to innovate and advance sustainability solutions. Education is a catalyst that produces the entrepreneurs, technologists, thinkers, knowledge workers, teachers, and leaders who collectively make it possible for economies and individuals to prosper – and – create our future generation of leaders.
- Embrace the power of social media: Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies are transforming the work environment, business operations, delivery and transparency of corporate responsibility. Technological advancements offer tremendous opportunities to make a positive change in how companies approach business, economic and societal challenges.
- Protect thy reputation: Continue to align social innovation and sustainable development with the business model, stakeholders and integral to reputation management.
- Maximize monetary commitments: Forge deeper partnerships with non-profit social and environmental actors – NGOs, (UN Agencies, development agencies). Healthcare, poverty, education and workplace development are among top causes in need. Companies have a timely opportunity to collaborate with some new and innovative non-profit/NGOs who are in the trenches addressing key causes.
- End poverty in Africa: Support a project called the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. These eight goals, which the UN hopes to achieve by 2015, include reducing extreme poverty by half, halting the spread of AIDS and ensuring universal primary education. More information - http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
In conclusion: Now is the time to invest in our people and communities to mitigate environmental impact and promote societal advancement. The case for companies to do this has never been more compelling.
In 2010, Reputation Dynamics can help you align corporate responsibility with reputation management and performance:
- Strategic review and evaluation of your responsibility programs and impact
- Design and implementation of sustainable programs aligned with business objectives - including diversity and workplace initiatives
- Customized training programs to energize teams, develop a stronger employee culture and reinforce management's commitment
- Experiential marketing and story telling
- Develop grassroots education and community mobilization campaigns
- Identify and form deeper partnerships with nonprofit/NGO organizations
- Strategic briefing to your leadership and employees
Stay tuned for our blog facelift in 2010. Thanks for your support and your contributions to society.
By Sam Taylor.