Why Corporate Social Responsibility Is More Important Now Than Ever

“93% of CEOs claim that sustainability is the key to success. And they are right.”
– Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen, TEDx Talk

There is a reason that we have seen such a massive shift towards emphasizing sustainability in the past 10 or so years. It’s becoming increasingly crucial to both the survival of our planet and the survival of our organisations. Why is it, you may ask? Before I explain this, let’s dive into the meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility.

What is CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is “a business model and practice in which a company establishes initiatives, programs, and policies, with the goal to ‘build a better world’.” These are the words used to describe Corporate Social Responsibility by VANCO. Basically, it is an initiative that an organisation commits to that is focused on making something better, for someone.

When you think of positive initiatives and CSRs, there might only be a few that come to mind. But there’s actually a long list of things out there that need positive change. Here’s a few taken from Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen’s TEDx Talk:

  • Poverty 
  • World hunger 
  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Quality education 
  • Gender equality 
  • Clean water & sanitation 
  • Affordable and clean energy 
  • Work and economic growth 
  • Industry, innovation, work structure 
  • Combating inequalities 
  • Sustainable cities and communities 
  • Responsible consumption and production 
  • Climate change 
  • Life below the water
  • Life on land 
  • Peace and justice 
  • Partnerships for goals 

Not to mention the current crises of our world such as the war between Russia and Ukraine and their needs, or the negative impact COVID has had on economies and jobs, both of which are great choices for a Corporate Social Responsibility.

Ditlev-Simonsen gives a brilliant TED talk where she explains that to choose the right CSR for you, try to think of which topic is most relevant to your organisation. For example, if you are an oil company, climate change could be a good CSR. Or if you are a fishing company, life below water would be very suitable. 

Why Corporate Social Responsibility Is More Important Now Than Ever

Why is Social Responsibility important?

50% of people will pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to having a positive social & environmental impact.

50%. That’s a lot of people. What we’re seeing here is a global shift towards conscious living. And you as a brand and organisation, have a powerful opportunity to use your influence and start impacting the world. The good news is, this doesn’t have to mean you lose revenue. In fact, it can increase your revenue and customer satisfaction in the long run.

As you’ll see in the video below, this was proven through Unilever, whose brands that became sustainable performed shockingly better than those that didn’t. 

I don’t know about you, but this gets me excited. To see such a global movement towards positive change gives me goosebumps. It’s the moment our world has been waiting for. So, get on that boat and join the movement.

How to set your own CSR’s

Once again, I’m pulling into Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen’s TEDx Talk here, which I seriously recommend you watch.

It can seem daunting to get into, but once you make the first step and get your team involved, you’ll see that it’s achievable. We can break the process down into just 5 steps:


  1. Choose a CSR that aligns with your company values:
    Look at your company values and cross-reference them against the problems that are a reality around you. What social/environmental problems are a part of your daily reality that you can make a positive impact to?
    2) Map it out:
    Get serious about this and set specific targets and goals. Involve your stakeholders in testing this out, really get your hands dirty in the nitty-gritty of how this would look.


    3) Make it a part of your work culture:
    You know the saying ‘if you want to change the world, start at home’? Well, start in your office. Let your team buy into it, care about it, feel passionate about it. Make your CSR visual in every part of your company so that your team adapts it as a part of their culture. This will make your daily office habits more conscious and sustainable, too.


    4) Implement:
    Take steps forward and make an effort to reach your goals. If this has become a part of your work culture, it will be much easier to do. Keep a visual tracker of your goals and how close you are to achieving them. If you feel daunted about this step, read our blog on implementation intentions to get started.

    5) Report:
    What worked, what didn’t work? What needs to be adjusted? Analyze and ask the hard questions here so that you can make your next run better. You can even take it a step further and post your CSR report or its statistics onto your public pages or website so that your clients can see what impact your CSR has had. This is quite a popular move among bigger organisations who know that social responsibility plays a big role in their customer satisfaction.

Why Corporate Social Responsibility Is More Important Now Than Ever

CAFE Life’s upcoming CSR’s

With all this talk about social responsibility, I’m sure you are curious as to what CAFE Life is doing for our Corporate Social Responsibility this year.

To be honest, we’re still in the very first stage – step one, choosing which issues to focus on improving. But within this brainstorming stage, we have thought of a variety of ideas, such as adopting a river, doing fundraising walks, and starting a daily accountability system for each of us to become conscious of our little choices, such as switching off lights.  Our idea is to do a compound interest of acts that will contribute to a bigger movement.

So, watch this space – we’re coming in hot with our CSR this year.

Make life better for someone, somewhere.

So, there you have it. An introduction to starting your own CSR program. I know it’s not all straightforward. But there’s loads of information out there on this, so if you’re not confident just yet, do a little more digging. But I can guarantee that this is something every company, big or small, needs to action.

We were inspired to write this blog after Mike wrote his previous blog that asks the simple yet powerful question of, “what problem are you solving?” Although this question is targeted at looking inward and discovering the heart of your clients, it got us thinking on a larger scale. What problem are we solving for this world – outside of CAFE Life and our clients?

This is a powerful question. And I encourage you to ask this of yourself, even on a personal level. Every action we take brings us closer to an outcome. Let’s choose to join a positive movement and create the waves of change that we hope to see in our world. 

Are you needing to get your team on board with your company’s work culture?

CAFE Life uses the art of facilitation to grow and strengthen culture so that your organisation can thrive. Visit our workplace culture page to learn more.

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