Why Social Responsibility is a New Brand Priority
Our Driving Mission Behind Ethically-Produced Care Products
What is “social responsibility”? It refers to the idea that every person and entity has an obligation to act for the benefit of society as a whole. It is the theory that we all have a responsibility to behave ethically and to be respectful of social, cultural and economic diversity. Social responsibility calls for all members of society to be cognizant of how our actions impact the environment, and it implores all of us to commit to the common goal of ensuring the planet’s sustainability.
At U.S. Continental, social responsibility is not just a concept. Here, social responsibility is a way of life. We pride ourselves on being accountable to our diverse staff, clients, and international standards and regulations. We understand our part in safeguarding the longevity of the earth and its resources -as such, we have dedicated ourselves to only creating ethically-produced care products.
For businesses, corporate social responsibility is quickly becoming a new brand priority. Studies have shown that within the last ten years, 68% of companies have begun utilizing CSR as an opportunity and a platform for growth. Being attuned to the environment, the diverse desires of the consumers served by your company, as well as the needs of your employees, offers a wide range of benefits. Many that we have experienced include:
Enhanced Public Image
Companies that are known for their commitment to various social causes are viewed as more benevolent and humanitarian than those whose corporate social responsibility efforts are virtually nonexistent. Recent studies have shown that consumers are increasingly raising their expectations for companies that they choose to patron.
Cone Communications found that 91% of consumers expect companies to not only make a profit, but also to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues. The same study established that 84% of global consumers also seek out responsible products whenever possible.
Clearly, the public image of a business is very much contingent upon its social responsibility programs. When consumers are made aware of a company’s socially-beneficial programs, they will often respond positively towards the business. Consumers also want to benefit their communities and contribute toward the public good.
U.S. Continental has been able to capitalize on one of our already established core values by drawing attention to our commitment to ethically-produced care products. This is just one example of how corporate social responsibility enables companies to improve their bottom line while also serving the needs of others and the planet.
Improved Employee Morale
Employees enjoy working for companies that have a positive reputation, as well as a proven commitment to caring. Making corporate social responsibility a priority can thus help businesses improve employee retention, along with boosting the morale of their staff.
Work-life balance, workplace flexibility and good working conditions are sought-after attributes that employees seek from employers. Offering social responsibility programs that allow employees the ability to take on activities outside of their typical job duties, particularly those which they feel passionate about or that offer them with new learning activities, can also be extremely enriching. When employees are happy, increased output is the most common result.
Additionally, job seekers will make note of companies that have established themselves as socially responsible. These companies benefit from a larger pool of job applicants who, once hired, are more likely to remain onboard, as well as be more engaged and productive.
Being socially responsible and refocusing production so that there is an emphasis on sustainability and environmentally-friendly manufacturing requires innovation. At U.S. Continental, our efforts to only create ethically-produced care products have spurred an almost contagious streak of ingenuity and creativity from our team. As we explore a variety of sustainable means to create extraordinary products, we have developed innovations that benefit the earth, as well as our consumers.
Better Media Coverage
Media plays a vital role in sharing the good that your company is doing. In addition to developing a relationship with local media outlets, behaving in a socially responsible manner will ease the path for those stations to promote your company. Make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for stories that highlight your organization’s efforts towards bettering the community.
Of equal importance, it is essential to avoid any missteps that could gain negative media attention. It is well known that bad news spreads faster than good news, and the public is likely to make businesses pay for any faux pas that generates news attention. Research found that 90% of consumers would boycott a company if they learned of irresponsible or deceptive business practices.
Engaging in corporate social responsibility is an effort that pays for itself in many ways. There are a number of cost-saving benefits available to any business by merely making sustainability a goal. At U.S. Continental, while creating ethically-produced care products, we are still able to cut expenses and increase sustainability by taking a few common steps, including:
- Monitoring energy use in order to raise consciousness about reducing energy consumption.
- Reducing packaging and unnecessary waste.
- Switching to a paperless workplace.
- Conserving water in manufacturing and throughout office kitchens and restrooms.
- Trading water bottles for water coolers, and offering recyclable paper cups for use.
- Encouraging “green” methods of transportation, such as carpooling, bike riding or riding the bus instead of offering company cars.
Appeal to Investors
Investors who are contributing substantial sums of money into a business want to be assured that their funds are being utilized in an appropriate manner. In addition to having judicious budgets and business strategies, companies that are engaged in corporate social responsibility offer tremendous appeal to investors.
While realizing a profit is important to any business and investor, it is critical for corporations to shed the “profit at any cost” narrative that has been attached to many of them. As the social responsibility movement gains credence and popularity, no company wants to be left behind by not advancing its own significant social causes.
At U.S. Continental, we are very proud of our commitment to only creating ethically-produced care products. It is always a pleasure to receive the support of like-minded investors who are also devoted to our vision of improving the environment and the lives of others.
Millennials are now the largest living generation within the United States. They also make up the largest segment of the country’s workforce. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the millennials’ influence on business and the economy will continue to grow substantially over the next several years. Therefore, monitoring their purchasing habits and preferences of this younger generation will be key to business success as the impact of millennials grows.
Millennials have shown that they are generally more likely to eschew risk than prior generations. Furthermore, they are less likely to unnecessarily spend money when compared to other generations. When millennials do decide to spend, certain trends have been observed that demonstrate how important corporate social responsibility is to this group.
According to Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse study, 81% of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship. Additionally, Nielson’s 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report showed that 73% of surveyed millennials indicated a willingness to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. Millennials’ inclination to spend more on products made by socially responsible companies represents a seven percent increase from the number of consumers in other age groups willing to do the same.
Millennials show a clear preference to conduct business with companies that promote social messages, hold ethical business standards and encourage sustainable manufacturing. The key takeaway from these reports on millennials is that it would behoove all companies interested in prospering amongst the largest population within the U.S. to engage in corporate social responsibility.
Planning for the Future
The long-term benefits of sustainability should be quite evident and persuasive to any business. Nonetheless, it is easy to become preoccupied with the financial goals of the current quarter or next fiscal year.
It is imperative that businesses commit to social responsibility and shift their focus from short-term financial planning to their company’s future in a decade or further from now. If we are unable to properly maintain the sustainability of our planet and its resources, the majority of businesses will cease to exist in kind.
Whether opting to pursue meaningful social causes or engaging in the development of ethically-produced care products, maintaining a focus on social responsibility is an important undertaking for all companies. From both a financial standpoint and on a much greater scale that affects the entire world, corporate social responsibility cannot be overlooked.
Regardless of your company’s size or budget, corporate social responsibility may be achieved today. When establishing socially responsible programs, seek and pursue interests that truly matter to you and your community. Also, utilize social media and encourage customers to share your message. In short time, you should see the result of your efforts impact your bottom-line and the well-being of everyone around you.
To learn more about U.S. Continental and our fundamental principles, contact us today.