Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is anything but a business buzzword. Consumers are increasingly interested in how ‘responsibly’ brands operate – they want to make purchases from companies acting ethically and take a stand for the ones that don’t.
The stats back it up too; a recent survey found that 91% of global consumers said they would expect companies to conduct themselves with CSR in mind¹. It works the other way, too – 90% also said that they wouldn’t buy from companies supporting issues which conflict with their own beliefs².
CSR is something which many businesses take seriously. The John Lewis Partnership³, for example, has its own “written constitution” on the subject, while cosmetics company, Lush, uses its environmental policy and anti-animal cruelty stance as a major part of its marketing strategy⁴.
The Lloyds approach
Lloyds Banking Group offer a good example of showcasing the importance and benefits of responsible business:
“A sustainable and responsible approach to doing business is integral to everything we do. Doing business responsibly is fundamental to our strategy and our purpose to help Britain prosper⁵.”
In 2017, this meant that the banking group:
- Committed 260,000 employee hours to volunteering for good causes
- Donated £58 million to help communities around the UK
- Became one of Britain’s largest corporate tax payers
- Lent £13 billion to first-time home buyers⁵
Lloyds Banking Group also recently partnered with the University of Birmingham to create a Centre for Responsible Business⁶. Existing within the Birmingham Business School, it’s a space dedicated to exploring how businesses can be ‘rewired responsibly’ to become a part of the responsible business revolution.
The Centre’s team of tutors and academics work with companies on a range of areas to help them develop sustainable business models, responsible financing, accountability mechanisms and workplace diversity.
Recommended read: The human elements of management
Building an understanding of CSR
It’s crucial that business leaders and employees take responsibility for their actions, especially at a time when consumers are paying such close attention. Doing so can help to instill trust and respect in prospective customers.
If you’re looking to learn more about how you could bring your company in line with responsible business principles, studying the Online MBA could help. It has a full module on Business in Society, which looks in detail at both CSR and business ethics. You could learn theories from the fields of strategic management, business policy, politics, sociology and philosophy to prepare for the ethical expectations of life in today’s corporate landscape.
Find out more
Being fully online, the Online MBA provides the perfect opportunity to develop a valuable understanding of important business topics like CSR without taking a career break or relocating. To find out more about the programme, download a brochure today.
¹ COLLIER, E. (2018) The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility for Your Business [online] Available at: <https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/importance-of-corporate-social-responsibility/> [Accessed 19.11.2018]
² UNKNOWN. (2015) 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study [online] Available at: <https://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2015-cone-communications-ebiquity-global-csr-study> [Accessed 19.11.2018]
³ UNKNOWN. (2018) Our Responsibilities [online] Available at <https://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/csr.html> [Accessed 29.11.2018]
⁴ UNKNOWN. (2018) Our Environmental Policy [online] Available at <https://uk.lush.com/article/our-environmental-policy> [Accessed 29.11.2018]
⁵ UNKNOWN. (2018) Responsible Business [online] Available at <https://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/our-group/responsible-business/> [Accessed 29.11.2018]
⁶ UNKNOWN. (2018) Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business [online] Available at <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/business/research/responsible-business/index.aspx> [Accessed 29.11.2018]