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Creating an effective corporate social responsibility strategy for your company

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There is no doubt that social and environmental awareness has been on the rise. With increasing competition to attract and keep talent, companies that have corporate social responsibility programs are deemed more attractive to both prospective employees and customers.

By creating an effective CSR strategy, you will not only be helping your company succeed but you will also be supporting the greater community in which it operates. Here are some of the many tips for creating an effective CSR strategy for your company:

  1. Commit to a cause that resonates with the mission, vision and values of your company

If you choose to support a specific cause, make sure that it is important that the cause resonates to all your team (both employees and clients) so they can devote themselves to it. For example, if your company makes cookies, an appropriate CSR cause could be to advocate for sustainable palm oil, as it has a direct link.

To gain further knowledge on this topic read this article.

  1. Establish achievable goals

Set realistic objectives, even if they seem small, rather than lofty over the top targets that will never be achieved. Build your goals on current resources rather than big-picture dreams. Remember you will have to measure them later so don’t load yourself with a huge baggage you can’t support.

  1. Be fully dedicated to the cause

Consistency is one of the keys for a good CSR strategy; be sure that all departments are fully engaged. Once you have managed to create a credible approach, don’t forget to monitor and measure its impact.

  1. Partner with reputable NGO’s

Partner with an NGO that is working directly with your cause. This organization can help guide your publicity surrounding your CSR efforts, and can ensure that your efforts are recognized.

Organizations such as Charity Watch, BBB Wise Alliance and Charity Navigator can help you with the selection.

  1. Make sure the team is included

If employees are fully engaged, they will be more receptive to the company’s values. It is important that all departments are aware of your organisation’s CSR strategy in order to help execute it. If you have doubts on how to increase your employees engagement read our article on how to “Boost your Green Team”.

  1. Share your story

Again, it’s all about engagement. Tell your costumers about your CSR efforts. Moderns consumers will reward companies that are socially and environmentally aware. Having and promoting a CSR strategy will earn you a competitive advantage over your competition.

  1. Measure and monitor

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Get a baseline, then measure your impact and monitor any change over time. Although it can get challenging, it’s easier to ask for help if you have data to bolster your case. Here you have some tips that may help you reach this goal.

As most companies are now aware of the advantages of having a CSR program, unfortunately some are exploiting CSR for inauthentic purposes. This has caused serious concerns to customers that are now less naïve to these issues. Obtaining certification is a great way to ensure to your customers that you are not joking on this matter.

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For many, resolutions don’t last longer than the first month of the year. Don’t overwhelm yourself on the first week of the year and try this step-by-step resolution guide. With a little effort you can make a big difference in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle!

January: Walk, bike or use public transport

The effects on the environment of using the car are many and of course, all negative. This phenomenon represents 20% of the worlds total carbon dioxide pollution according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

February: Be a sustainability ambassador

Climate change is an issue that concerns everyone living on this planet. Many people are not aware of the consequences individual behavior can cause on the environment, so please spread the word. We as consumers and users should take responsibility of our actions and let people know that we should take care and motivate a conversion into responsible citizens.

March: Stop accepting single-use plastics

Plastic usage has become an increasingly hot topic over the past year, parallel to an increase in awareness campaigns about the health of our oceans. Plastic pollution directly  affects the livelihood of marine life and consequently finds its way into the food chain, affecting us humans. To get tips on how to accomplish this resolution click here.

April: Eat local

Transportation is one of the biggest causes of air pollution. By consuming local food and therefore, cutting down on food miles, you are diminishing the ecological impact of your food as overseas plane flights or long truck rides are not needed. To find out more reasons why is this good for the environment press here.

May: Reduce meat and dairy

As explained in our previous Green Tip, cutting down your meat and dairy consumption is one of the main ways to reduce your environmental footprint.

June: Avoid wasting food

This one is definitely a win-win situation as if you complete this resolution you will not only help the environment but as well take care of your wallet. A recommendation would be to set a weekly menu and buy purely what the menu states. PATA has been campaigning against food waste with its BUFFET initiative.

July: Use ecofriendly sunscreen

Not many people know that regular sunscreen is very damaging to most natural species living in the seas and oceans, specially to coral reefs. Nevertheless, it is indeed a problem that must be fixed, and we can do this by buying reef-friendly sunscreen available in most organic stores or herbalists. Some examples are:
Raw Elements Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Reef Safe (SPF 30+) 
Blue Lizard Sunscreen, Sensitive (SPF 30+)
Thinksport Oxybenzone Free Sunscreen (SPF 50+)

For more tips on travel essentials press here.

August: Eat seasonally

Apart from looking out for the environment (by reducing food miles for food brought in out of season), you would be supporting local farmers instead. Seasonal produce is guaranteed to be fresher and tastier.

September: Give a wide berth to printing

It is quite obvious that there is nowadays less need to utilize paper. Starting from emails, to E-tickets and E-books it seems that printing is a thing of the past, and our mother Earth loves it!

October: Turn off your devices at night

Once you are off to bed, you likely won’t be using your phone or computer. Normally, we think about turning off lights, but we don’t usually turn off devices such as the wi-fi or unplugging our microwave.

November: Use cold water for your laundry

Washing clothing in hot water is not always the best option – some clothes may shrink, and others may see stains being set in. Use cold water to treat your clothing gently, and reduce the amount of energy used to heat water. You will surely see a difference in your energy or gas bills.

December: Resist excessive consumerism

Christmas is quintessentially the month of absurd consumerism- simple living has been underestimated for decades, especially during this time of the year. Just think about where all these commodities will end up when you find no more utility to it, or even all the indirect aspects of it such as the packaging, the transportation and the clutter. If you need tips on how to reduce it press here.


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Credit: greenaperture / Shutterstock.com

At Collision, which calls itself “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference,” former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres threw down a challenge to tech titans: move the world from incremental to exponential action on climate change.

Most significantly, the biggest influence the tech sector can have is not on its own emissions or even those of its suppliers—it is, after all, just 2-2.5 percent of global emissions. Tech titans are the interface with global consumers and citizens. On a daily basis, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft influence the behavior of billions of people—the world’s middle classes and the world’s businesses.

Read the full article here.

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Conscious consumers want more information about green hotels, but is peer-to-peer review the best way to validate good practice?

Hanging a ‘do not disturb’ sign on a hotel door almost always assures your privacy when away on holiday or business. But does hanging a used towel back on its rack assure your green preferences? Does this simple action mean you’ve played your part in being a sustainable hotel guest, or will housekeeping wash your towel anyway? Kathryn M. Werntz. Read more.

 

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TripAdvisor, one of the largest online travel sites, launched a “GreenLeaders” program that ranks 2,100 U.S. hotels based on their eco-friendliness, focusing on operations more than construction. Those 2100 hotels now have something that their competitors do not. No…not a heart, but a ranking. I don’t know about you, but when I managed hotels I never wanted my competition to have an advantage that I did not and this program is free. By Ray Burger. Read more.

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