Championing Change with Corporate Social Responsibility
Companies and brands alike are being held accountable for the ways they are affecting social change. This could be through their business processes and who they choose to partner with, how they invest their profits (back into their communities or own employees), or how they drive environmental or social change within their own organization and beyond.
When it comes to purchasing power, consumers have more options than ever before, and their buying habits directly influence the way brands operate. This includes their corporate social responsibility practices. ‘Made Local’ and sustainable sourcing, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and fair pay standards are just a few examples of what consumers deem important for the brands they support.
However, consumers aren’t the only ones drawn to businesses that give back. Today’s top talent are seeking out employers who are committed to prioritizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). But what exactly is CSR and how can companies ensure it is in line with the expectations of the industry they are in, the consumers they want to attract/retain, and their own employees?
CSR is defined as the responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment through transparent and ethical behavior that:
- Contributes to sustainable development, including the health and welfare of society
- Takes into account the expectations of stakeholders
- Is in compliance with applicable laws and consistent with international norms of behavior
- Is integrated throughout the organization and practiced in all its relationships
As a global customer care BPO and technology company, we are committed to four pillars of CSR. They are as follows:
- Ethics, Labor Standards & Fair Operating Practices
- Supply Chain Management
- Environmental Sustainability
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Ethics, Labor Standards & Fair Operating Practices
The well-being of your employees is crucial to the success of any business. Organizations can take necessary measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety by having fair labor practices, social and gender equity, zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination, and having policies in place for anti-corruption/conflict of interest and bribery. It is important that companies abide by a zero tolerance approach to protect human rights at the workplace through these policies and practices.
Supply Chain Management
Your CSR processes do not stop at just your company. They also include the suppliers and vendor networks you choose to do business with and their own practices as well. Sourcing materials and supplies, along with treating suppliers and consumers fairly ensures adherence to all aspects of CSR and that these values are being upheld. This includes supplier diversity to create a more extensive inclusion of minority-owned vendors/suppliers in your own network. Finally, all vendor contracts should include the standards of CSR. If they were created before your CSR processes, updating the language to include these practices should be prioritized.
The larger your company, the more important it is to protect natural resources and promote environmental stewardship. As a global company, implementing sustainable business practices is an integral part of the processes at our campuses at all times. Things like water and energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, green procurement standards for supplies, and eliminating negative health impacts such as noise are absolutely essential.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Embracing diversity and having a culture where everyone feels included, welcomed and respected adds incredible value to your company. Diversity and inclusion allows organizations to grow, stay nimble, innovate, and attract partners who share our value of having a world that is more inclusive. As your company grows, it is important to encourage and lead as an engaged member in providing sustained support to your local communities. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will also allow you to attract, support, and retain the best talent in these areas to build leadership diversity and collaboration. A true win-win.
Whatever your CSR pillars are, the true work lies in the ability to constantly evolve your business processes. Building your company into a meaningful, rewarding place to work, all while recognizing the importance of the well-being of your people and future generations is always the end goal.