Driven by the heightened consumer awareness about environmental issues, coupled with tightening government regulations and reduced funds available for community projects, companies are now looking for innovative ways to meet their social responsibilities. It is clear that firms who understand their social responsibilities and explore ways in which Corporate Social Responsibility can be built into strategy are more likely to reap the rewards of enhanced competitive positions in the future, benefiting not only their shareholders but all stakeholders involved and the society at large.
There is now increasing recognition of the fact that CSR can be used as source of competitive advantage through good corporate governance, effective execution of innovative social projects and ethical management. In order to maximise this potential, it is essential for firms to smartly communicate their CSR efforts to ensure that consumers view them as driven by intrinsic (genuine) rather than extrinsic (profit led) motivations.
Having been involved with the establishment and running of the International CSR Excellence Awards, which recognise and reward CSR best practice, we naturally wanted to look at a CSR Accreditation scheme. It was clear to us that organisations that deliver on their CSR promises needed a platform other than the CSR Awards to communicate their CSR success stories. Our research indicated that other than the International Standard Guidance on Social Reponsibility (ISO26000) absolutely nothing else existed in the UK.
We then embarked on a journey to define a CSR framework which we could use to establish a national CSR Accreditation scheme. With backgrounds in brand reputation we understood very early on that achieving a CSR Accreditation offers organisations the opportunity to talk about the positive CSR activity they are engaged in. It is an invaluable marketing tool that improves a company’s public image and relationship with consumers. The application process that resulted is a template for an organisations CSR Policy. A good CSR policy connects you with the community that surrounds you, ensures you act responsibly with regard to the environment and helps you value and look after your staff while ensuring that your products and services are delivered ethically and responsibly.
Following 18 months of development ensuring transparent processes and the establishment of a totally independent CSR Accreditation Assessment panel represented by organisations in the public, private and third sectors we launched the scheme in July 2018.
- To Inspire:
To challenge the ordinary: advocating the dynamic and innovative delivery of CSR solutions. To continuosly innovate by listening, watching and learning.
- To Encourage:
To advocate the clear benefits to society of a robust CSR policy for all organisations and businesses.
- To Respect
To involve and respect all organisations and individuals who are open to new ideas and want to improve the working and living environment for their colleagues and communities.
- To Be Trustworthy
To be open in our working, building confidence and trust in our services and products. To be honest with everyone.