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A quick guide to implementing Corporate Social Responsibility policies

Best Practices ESG Sustainability Reporting
  • March 17, 2023 | Chris Ogletree
A quick guide to implementing Corporate Social Responsibility policies

A quick guide to implementing Corporate Social Responsibility policies

Companies across many industries, including real estate, are keeping sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) at the forefront of their business operations. Long-term viability, improved reputation, cost savings, legal compliance, innovation, risk management, and competitive advantage are just some of the reasons why sustainability is important in business.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important component of a company’s ESG strategy. Responsible businesses consider an array of factors that go beyond financial performance, including a company’s environmental and social impact and governance practices.

What is corporate social responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility is a business model that incorporates ethical and socially responsible practices into a company’s operations and decision-making processes. Taking into account the impact on the environment and society, companies are prioritizing healthy governance practices that improve the wellbeing of stakeholders and shareholders.

CSR policies should reinforce a company’s accountability to their customers, investors, employees, local communities, and the environment as they weave corporate responsibility efforts across the business landscape and employee experience.

To do this, CSR policies involve a number of practices, including:

  • Environmental sustainability: Companies are focused on reducing their GHG emissions and carbon footprint, conserving energy, water, & similar resources, reducing waste, and promoting environmentally sustainable practices
  • Social responsibility: Companies are responsible for promoting diversity & inclusion, improving the wellbeing of employees, and supporting their local communities
  • Transparent & ethical business practices: Companies with strong governance programs tend to prioritize ethical business practices, including promoting business integrity, strong risk management, and transparency
  • Stakeholder engagement: Companies are responsible for engaging with various stakeholders, including customers, employees, vendors, and local communities in addressing their concerns and integrating their feedback into the decision-making process

Why implement CSR?

There are several reasons why a company should implement CSR policies:

  • Cost savings: Implementing programs to increase energy and water efficiency, as well as reducing waste can lead to lower operating costs and bottom-line improvement for the company.
  • Risk management: Having a robust CSR program can help a company mitigate potential risks, including reputational damage, litigation, changing regulations, and a whole array of environmental risks such as floods, wildfires, hurricanes, sea level rise, etc.
  • Improved reputation & brand image: CSR policies can make a company more attractive to numerous stakeholders such as investors, customers, & employees. A good reputation can also serve as a competitive advantage among competitors.
  • Talent retention: Implementing CSR policies can attract and retain the best employees, as social responsibility topics are increasingly valued by the workforce.
  • Impact on society: Through charity and philanthropy initiatives, as well as the support of local communities, companies can build a good reputation and improve their relationship with stakeholders.

Tools for creating CSR policies

CSR strategy requires a structured approach. Here are some of the tools that can help a company develop a strong CSR policy that aligns with its business strategy:

  • Materiality assessments: If you don’t know where to start, start by performing a materiality assessment. Materiality assessments help stakeholders identify the most significant environmental, social, and governance topics that affect the company’s operations. Then the company can decide which issues they want to focus on in their CSR program.
  • Performance metrics & reporting: In order to measure the effectiveness of a CSR policy, setting metrics to track progress is essential, as well as reporting using a sustainability framework or report.
  • Stakeholder analysis & engagement: Involving stakeholders in the process of creating and implementing CSR policy is crucial. Taking into consideration the expectations and feedback from stakeholders will reflect the company’s values in the final CSR policy.

Chris Ogletree

In his role as Marketing Manager, Chris oversees website administration & development of a wide range of content, including email campaigns, social media, & marketing collateral, as well as supporting improvements to the design & functionality of the platform.

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