What is Corporate Social Responsibility Anyhow?
What is CSR?
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is an umbrella term that refers to corporate philanthropic ventures focused on improving local and global communities. For example, Kellog works to fight global food insecurity through its partnerships with local and national food banks while Lyft has invested in improving economic mobility by offering discounted rides to people traveling to job interviews.Recently, CSR has been expanded to include internal initiatives as well, from improving diversity and inclusion to increasing employee engagement through donation matching and volunteerism.
Why is it important?
It could save our planet.
In 2015, 196 countries gathered in Paris to join together around one lofty yet critical goal: limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. This historic convening brought environmental issues into the global limelight and spurred complementary corporate commitments. By 2019, 23% of companies had made a public commitment that by 2030 they will be carbon neutral, a nearly four-fold increase since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. With corporate buy-in growing, experts now hope that by 2030, zero-carbon solutions could be competitive in sectors representing over 70% of global emissions.
It will increase trust and reduce inequity in our global community.
The current global community faces a variety of challenges, including systemic inequities across many facets of society. According to Edelman, this growing sense of inequity is undermining trust in our core institutions with 56% believing capitalism is doing more harm than good.
With this reality comes great opportunity. When measuring public opinion about how ethical and competent core institutions are, business is seen as the most competent while nonprofit organizations are seen as the most ethical. The result? Public opinion is demanding innovation between business and nonprofit organizations, or in other words, CSR partnerships.
It makes good business sense.
Investing in CSR initiatives has been proven a wise busines decision. Not only does implementing environmental measures like reducing paper consumption and electricity usage reduce costs and increase revenue, but according to McKinsey and Company, other CSR work such as gender and racial diversity are strongly correlated with a business’s profitability. In its report, McKinsey found that executive teams with the highest gender diversity outperformed peers by 21 percent and executive teams with the highest racial diversity outperformed peers by 33 percent..
Over the past three years:
- Total community investments increased by 7%.
- International giving grew by 49%.
- Total volunteered hours increased by 26%.
- In 2019, 89% of corporations match employee donations.
- More companies are offering Pro Bono Service opportunities compared to 2017.
- 9 out of 10 companies reported having a foundation/trust in 2019
CSR at Strata9
At Strata9, we are committed to improving our community by investing in both internal and external initiatives. In 2020, we were proud to support directly and through employee donation matching a variety of social impact initiatives, including local and national foodbanks, women’s shelters, veterans assistance organizations, LGBTQ+ rights organization, and more. Additionally, we were excited to sign on to Civic Alliance’s Election Day of Service and ensure that every employee had paid off time to vote and volunteer as poll workers.