3 Key Pillars for Successful Corporate Social Responsibility Programs

Mark Horoszowski

Mark Horoszowski is the co-founder and CEO of MovingWorlds.org.

Your enterprise isn’t the only one struggling to implement effective  Corporate Responsibility Initiatives.

As customer and employee demand increases on corporations to be more responsible, more and more companies are, sadly, starting CSR programs that can do more harm than good.

“The simple truth is that very few companies have truly effective sustainability programs, even those who have published impressive-looking corporate sustainability reports” – Clint Wheelock, Managing Director, Pike Research

But Pike Research’s report on Successful Corporate Sustainability Programs offers some great guidance for small and large businesses working to help make the world a better place:

1. Get Corporate Buy-in From the Start

According to Forbes, companies have a lot to learn from IBM. It’s “Smarter Planet” initiative is a global initiative that not only informs internal innovation, marketing strategy, and business growth, but also informs its CSR programs, including one of the world’s best skills-based corporate volunteering programs. At IBM, the executive team, while still focused on profitability, has developed a holistic strategy which includes CSR to help it achieves its business goals.

2. Create an Effective Sustainability Committee

Patagonia, perhaps the USA’s best poster-child for Corporate Social Responsibility movement, highlights the importance and impact of having a dedicated team. Much more than a single person sending out emails compelling volunteers to donate time and collecting donations, Patagonia’s dedicated CSR team develops initiatives, advocates locally and nationally, and travels around the world to better understand its footprint, and how to reduce it.

3. Establish Clear and Measurable Sustainability Goals

Starbucks does an exemplary job of highlighting its specific CSR goals, and also showing progress in annual reports, and on its website. In fact, it’s Responsibility page shows real-time progress towards its CSR goals. Patagonia, also, does a great job of showing its goals, and progress, with videos on its website. For more inspiration from even more companies, check out the Triple Pundit’s list of 10 Outstanding CSR Reports.

What else can companies do to improve their CSR programs?