CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is not only the domain of big businesses. It is relevant to any business of any size. CSR is concerned with business impact in four areas: economically (suppliers and clients), socially (local and national community), environmentally (waste and recycling) and employees (psychological contract).
Having a CSR policy tends to be a pre-requisite for any firm wanting to do business with government bodies. But having such a policy goes beyond this; it can have significant impact on a firm’s competitive advantage. How? Externally by protecting and enhancing the firm’s brand and reputation and internally by improved employee engagement.
CRS is not a ‘bolt on’ to a firm but should be ‘part of the fabric’. This means that CSR should be embedded and viewed by all in the firm as part of day to day activities. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform published a report in 2009 titled Corporate Responsibility Report. This shows that CSR does have true advantage in five business areas as shown in the diagram.
According to a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Cooper60% of consumers viewed sustainability as important. CIPD research suggests that staff, particularly graduates, will seek out firms they believe have a CSR that they believe is acceptable to their own ideals.
Indeed, in November 2010 the ISO 26000 standard was developed to provide guidance and support firms of all sizes in relation to social responsibility. Unlike ISO 9001, ISO 26000 is not a management standard per se and does not have ‘certification purposes or regulatory or contractual use’ what it does is provide a framework supporting a firm’s development of how it will contribute to sustainable development in a positive manner.
The next part of this blog explain the actions that TimelessTime are taking to meet our Corporate Social Responsibility.
TimelessTime and Corporate Social Responsibility
At TimelessTime we believe in doing our bit for the environment. We recycle wherever we can and we conserve electricity and water too. We take the train rather than a car wherever possible. However, we go further than that as shown in the diagram below.
We run seminars throughout the year, providing business managers of small and medium sized firms with tools that help them to develop their people and gain greater staff commitment. We therefore help others to strengthen their psychological contract and achieve this aspect of their own CSR. We’re pleased to be able to hold these seminars at Cats Protection near Haywards Heath. Cats Protection is a worthwhile charity and it helps that they have absolutely excellent conference facilities.
CSR and computing
Our social responsibility doesn’t stop there. We have joined the ‘World Community Grid’. This means that we can support a wide range of projects aimed at tackling humanitarian issues. We do this by donating our spare server capacity to research. ‘Grid computing’ allows individual or networked computers and servers across the World to be used to create a single distributed computer system with absolutely huge computational power.
Like many firms, we employ powerful servers with massive storage space but we probably only use them for a small fraction of time. When we don’t use our systems (e.g. overnight) they can be used by the World Community Grid to number crunch. By joining others doing the same we have helped scientists to identify 44 possible treatments to fight smallpox. To undertake the number crunching needed for this project, a series of individual computers worked on packets of data at the same time rather than sequentially as would happen on one single machine. This work was completed in three months rather than the year it would have taken otherwise.
At TimelessTime, we’ll continue to find new ways of discharging our CSR. We hope these examples might give you some ideas to help you develop your own CSR policy. Give us a call (01825 724179) if you want to discuss how we can help you.
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 Sustainability – Are consumers buying it?, PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2008 Accessed 6 November 2011 www.pwc.co.uk/pdf/sustainability_are_consumers_buying_it.pdf
 ISO 26000:10 Guidance on social responsibility. Accessed 6 November 2011 http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=42546