4 tips from a CSR expert on how to make the most impact in 2023

16 01 2023

Effective ESG practices provide companies with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability, community and equity by integrating these tenets into everyday business processes and company culture.

By Jess Welser  –  Director of B:CIVIC and CSR, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation • Reposted: January 16, 2023

As I look back on the stories shared in this year’s Good Works Colorado content hub, I’m thrilled to see how our state’s leaders have enthusiastically implemented environmental, social and governance policies (ESG) and invested in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. 

ESG and CSR are constantly evolving. ESG is a framework for measuring and managing risks and opportunities around a company’s commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance. CSR is a reflection of what a company believes, expressed by how it impacts its stakeholders internally and externally. We like to think of it as how a company aligns its social and environmental activities with its business purpose and values. Or elevating business for good. More and more, ESG and CSR are recognized as an essential component of a smart, viable business strategy for Colorado companies. 

This was one of our founding goals at B:CIVIC, an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. Alongside business and community leaders, B:CIVIC is increasing the amount of impact and collective good for the Colorado community. After eight years of doing this work, there are a few lessons we want to share with business leaders who are on their ESG and CSR journey.

1. Now’s the time for ESG. 

As our community faces unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges, local corporations are taking ownership of their impact through ESG. Effective ESG practices provide companies with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability, community and equity by integrating these tenets into everyday business processes and company culture. 

As ESG practices advance in Colorado and across the globe, it’s important that business leaders continue to develop and enhance their ESG strategy. Like the ever-changing world around us, these strategies must remain nimble to meet the moment — whatever that moment has in store. 

2. It pays to invest in CSR. 

As we head into what may be a recession, many companies are preparing for economic downturn by downsizing budgets, instituting travel freezes and more. Though the immediate future remains uncertain, we know CSR programs and personnel are an important investment for a company’s long-term success. 

To ensure continued engagement, we are encouraging CSR leaders to double down. The economic downturn will impact industries differently, but we can anticipate that employee giving and engagement will experience a decline. Further, economic hardship causes increased stress among employees. To encourage connection, focus on promoting skills-based volunteering and employee well-being programs that boost morale and build community. As we continue through these uncertain times, we challenge CSR leaders to get creative with their CSR strategies. It pays to invest in the community and your people, especially in times of economic hardship. 

3. Colorado is a good place to do business. 

Did you know Colorado is one of the best places to do business? In a 2022 CNBC ranking, Colorado came in at No. 4 in America’s Top States for Business list. The state also ranked No. 12 in the category of life, health and inclusion. These rankings are in large part due to the social impact commitments of our business community — commitments that are continuing to grow alongside our economy. 

The secret’s out: People, organizations and businesses are making the move to Colorado to join in on the great benefits this state has to offer. As the business community grows, the resources available for CSR and ESG will grow with it. The future is full of possibilities for CSR and ESG impact.

4. Create the infrastructure today to meet the challenges of tomorrow. 

When business leaders invest in a company’s CSR infrastructure today, they are better prepared to speak out and advocate for the issues that matter to their community and stakeholders. In a recent report released by the Edelman Trust Barometer — a metric that studies trust in business, government, NGOs and the media — it was found that employees care about how their leadership demonstrates commitment to the community. 

According to the Trust Barometer, when considering a job, 60% of employees stated that they want their CEO to speak out on controversial issues they care about. Eighty percent of the general population want CEOs to be personally visible when discussing public policy with external stakeholders or work their company has done to benefit society. Further, 60% of people surveyed will choose a place to work based on their beliefs and values. 

It’s clear the workforce wants business leaders to stand up for the issues that matter to them. Implementing ESG and CSR practices is a great way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to the community. 

As your team is planning for next year, we hope that you consider the above guidance to maximize the impact of your CSR and ESG practices. Want to keep the conversation going? Reach out to our team at B:CIVIC. Together, we can increase the impact and collective good of the community.

To see the original post of this article, follow this link. https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2022/12/23/4-tips-from-csr-expert-on-how-to-make-an-impact.html

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