Do Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability Increase Profits?


In the past couple of years, corporate social responsibility is an initiative that has been picked by a lot of organisations and with the world facing lots of challenges every day, more and more organisations are taking a step to do their own part.


But the question is- does Corporate Social Responsibility really help in increasing the bottom line profits or does every organisation participate solely for the purpose of joining hands and doing some good to the world?


Through this article, We'll look at Corporate Social Responsibility as a business case and how companies have used it to boost their triple-bottom-line.


We'll also look at some real-world examples of businesses that have increased their profits by successfully embedding socially responsible conduct and sustainability into their corporate strategies & core operations.



What is Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility?



Strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) comprises the voluntary adoption of social and environmental initiatives to satisfy a company's stakeholders while simultaneously generating profit.


Companies that completely integrate CSR into their operations can expect a solid financial return on their investment by enhancing goodwill, word-of-mouth marketing, brand loyalty, and sales, according to studies. To validate this statement, we have a great number of case studies to show how organizations are increasing revenue by integrating CSR for sustainable development into their business models. They’re enhancing economic gains in the long-term and enjoying first-mover advantage by aligning strategy and process innovations with societal issues.


Case Study 1 - ITC e-Choupal initiative


Source:itcportal.com


e-Choupal was designed by ITC's Agri-Business Division, one of India's leading exporters of agricultural goods, as a more efficient supply chain targeted at delivering value to its consumers throughout the world on a long-term basis.


The e-Choupal model was created to address the issues given by the uncertainty & other factors in Indian agriculture, which include dispersed farms, poor infrastructure, and the involvement of several intermediaries, among other things.


This project is viewed as IT to facilitate the masses, as it has positively impacted the farmers' lives. It’s become now easier for them to check weather forecasts, purchase fertilizer and pesticide, make decisions, and connect their farm output with market demand to ensure quality and productivity, as well as email an agronomist if their crops show any problem. Farmers can also buy life insurance, apply for loans, and monitor their children's exam results at some e-Choupals.


While much has been published about the social benefits of ITC's e-Choupal, the truth is that the project was designed with a pure economic goal in mind: to develop farmer communities in villages to help the organization source high-quality farm produce for its rapidly expanding agribusiness. Here again from the supply side, ITC obtained a substantial benefit because of the lower net cost of procurement by having eliminated costs in the supply chain that do not contribute value.


ITC understood the demands of the farmer as a stakeholder. In the context of CSR management, e-Choupal is a smart combination of applications such as community resource mobilization and supply chain Business Strategy.


ITC, for example, has been able to preserve the source and increase the quality of produce by assisting farmers in identifying and controlling their inputs and helping them to adopt scientific farming practices, as well as by paying more for superior quality. Maize, barley, sorghum, and pulses have been added to the sourcing portfolio, and the sourcing cycle has been extended to practically the entire year.


These two elements are assisting ITC in gaining a distinct competitive advantage in the commodities industry. ITC now wants to use its e-Choupal infrastructure to sell third-party products, give rural market research services, deliver health advisories and enable e-governance in the social sector.


Case Study 2 - Dabur’s Plastic Waste Management initiative


Source: CSRJournal.org

To achieve its environmental goals, Dabur has worked consciously for the cause of sustainable development. Because they work in an industry that uses a lot of plastic packaging, they decided to make it a part of their environmental and social endeavours to become Plastic Waste Neutral. And now they're the first FMCG company in India to achieve that status.


In a single year, the company gathers, processes, and recycles the same quantity of plastic garbage that it sells in product packaging.


Of course, the project's worth can be seen not just in terms of how it affects the company's immediate profitability, but also in terms of establishing long-term success. They've recognized that the community is a stakeholder in the company and are working to keep it on board.



Case Study 3 - Ambika Municipal Corporation’s eggshells recycling initiative


Source: betterindia.com

The Ambika Municipal Corporation employs local women to create calcium powder and fertilizers from waste eggshells. The powder is combined with the hay used to feed the flowers, as well as seeds provided to the hens.


This project not only creates jobs but also improves trash management, allowing Ambikapur to be recognized as a zero-waste landfill city in Chhattisgarh and one of India's top cities in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 category of 'Innovation and Best Practices' (population 1–3 lakh)


Conclusion



All of the following case studies show a clear link between CSR and profitability. Strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR), which entails the voluntary practice of social and environmental activities to satisfy firms' stakeholders with the goal of generating profits, makes a lot of business sense for all far-sighted organizations that want to be seen in a positive light by their stakeholders and aim to be sustainable in the long run. This serves a dual role for them and considerably improves their bottom line.


Businesses are recognized for influencing society, and now is the time for them to do so through long-term strategic CSR initiatives that benefit all stakeholders and the country as a whole.


All of the following case studies show a clear link between CSR and profitability. Strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR), which entails the voluntary practice of social and environmental activities to satisfy firms' stakeholders with the goal of generating profits, makes a lot of business sense for all far-sighted organizations that want to be seen in a positive light by their stakeholders and aim to be sustainable in the long run. This serves a dual role for them and considerably improves their bottom line.


Businesses are recognized for influencing society, and now is the time for them to do so through long-term strategic CSR initiatives that benefit all stakeholders and the country as a whole.





About Author




Vijeta Chaudhary is a marketing and communications professional with over 17 years of experience. She has done MBA in International Business from Amity University and Digital Marketing Certification from TISS. She has enabled marketing function in diverse industries including Manufacturing, IT, Telecom, Clean Energy, Mobility, EVSE, and HVAC&R.


She possesses hardcore experience in strategic marketing, corporate communications, public relations, business development, channel management, lead generation, digital transformation, marketing events, and sales promotions. In her vast career, she has planned & executed communications & marketing Campaigns for - the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, South East Asia, and Africa.

She’s a passionate writer and loves to curate brand stories to inspire & transform.


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