We’re back with a look at the best articles of August 2014 from the worlds of Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability, Charity Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship.
If you’ve come across any other interesting articles, reports or videos from these areas during the last month, feel free to post it in the comments. You can also keep completely up-to-date with the latest articles and issues on CSR, Charity Marketing and Social Enterprise by following CSR Central on Twitter (@CSRCentral).
It’s often said that ‘Sustainability starts at home’. This dictum could also be applied to the workplace, but what approaches can a manager use to enshrine sustainability in the everyday work practises of their employees? GreenBiz recently carried an interview with Susan Hunt Stevens of the Sustainability agency WeSpire in which they discuss how to promote sustainable behaviour among employees and how to use WeSpire’s “ROI Calendar” to measure the social and environmental impact of employee behaviour.
The question of how you can motivate or ‘nudge’ individuals to behave more sustainably is also dealt with in this article from Fast Company. It focuses on the efforts of the City of Toronto to combat their litter problem, and the striking ad campaign they devised to encourage citizens to respect their urban environment. The adverts featured a ‘mash-up’ of various pieces of rubbish which spelt out a message (“Lazy”, “Selfish”, “Pig”, “Dumb”) to discourage potential litterers.
Corporate Social Responsibility can no longer be dismissed by critics as merely a voguish fad, and it can now be said to be a truly global movement. The ever-reliable Guardian Sustainable Business Blog summarises why CSR is here to stay. Among the reasons they give for CSR’s persistent strength are the move to ever greater transparency in relation to corporate information, growing demands from communities for companies to behave responsibly, and initiatives such as the UN Global Compact.
Charities are becoming more and more dependent on online donations to fund their services, but many charity websites can often be woefully inadequate when it comes to the overall “user experience” of their sites. This is resulting in charities losing out on precious online donations. Third Sector list some excellent tips in this article for how charities can optimise their websites – and so maximise their donations. Among their recommendations are simplifying the structure of online donation forms, optimise the website for mobile, and making the key pages of their website the ones that are most easily accessible to a user.
The last decade has seen a number of huge corporations (Unilever, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive) acquiring smaller socially responsible companies like Ben & Jerry’s. Often these acquisitions were carried out with the expectation that the buyout of the smaller firm would bestow greater social and environmental credibility on the parent company. But, as the International Business Times relates in this article, such buyouts do not always run so smoothly, and the respective companies need to guard against a ‘culture clash’ between the two organisations.
The return of the school year can often be costly and stressful for hard-pressed parents. Thankfully, some North American companies are trying to soften the blow by using the back-to-school rush to promote their charity partners and cause-related marketing campaigns. This blog by Meltwater – the social media and public relations agency – focuses on three such campaigns, including H&M’s “Wear Denim, Share Denim” campaign with K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, and Quaker Oats Canada’s Facebook promotion that aims to eradicate child hunger.
But, how do companies decide what charities are the most appropriate to partner with? This article from Business 2 Community outlines the many reasons (moral benefits, good PR, employee engagement) why businesses should forge partnerships with charities, but also gives tips on how businesses can find their ideal charity partner.
The Craft Beer category has seen an explosion in sales in recent years, as consumers abandon mainstream alcohol brands in favour of offerings from local independent breweries who they perceive to be more authentic. The Guardian Sustainable Business Blog looks at this shift towards local craft beer brands, and investigates whether we might see the emergence of a drinks market where some craft brands differentiate themselves through their commitment to environmental and community values.
Devising and co-ordinating a CSR-based event can be a complex, nerve-wracking experience for any CR professional. This article considers the four questions that CR executives need to consider before organising any such project.
Ever find it difficult to explain exactly what the difference is between ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’? The Huffington Post Green Blog gives a detailed explanation on the difference between the two terms.
BITCI, the network for the practise of CSR in Ireland, recently issued their 8th Annual Sustainability Report. This slickly designed and accessible report outlines “our impacts in the environment, the workplace, our community and how we engage with suppliers and other key stakeholders”. The report is available for download at the BITCI website.